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should be accessible only through application to the Librarian. The allowing members to take down books from the shelves, listless of their proper replacement, is an evil which must be remedied. In a more suitable building these and other improvements could be readily effected.
The Southern Unitarian Fund Society held its annual meeting on Good Friday, April 6, at Chichester, Sussex. The Rev. M. Davidson, of Godalming, Surrey, introduced the morning service; and the Rev. G. Armstrong, of Bristol, delivered an admirable discourse from Isiah xi. 9, in which he showed that controversy, in its proper spirit, is an indispensable condition to the progress of truth. In the evening, the Rev. T. Gilbert, of Ditchling, Sussex, conducted the devotional part of the service, and the Rev. G Armstrong preached from Mark iv. 23, forcibly contrasting the teachings of Christ with the doctrines of some modern schools. The business meeting of the society took place in the morning at the chapel, when a strong desire was expressed for the publication of the sermon that had just been heard. The Rev. E. Kell, of Newport, Isle of Wight, read the Report of the Society, which contained statements of its operations during the past year, and also reports from the several congregations in the district. The intelligence from the Jersey congregation, under the zealous and efficient ministry of the Rev. James Taplin, was especially interesting. Among the resolutions passed at the meeting was one moved by the Rev. H. Hawkes, of Portsmouth, and seconded by Mr. Merricks, expressive of sympathy and respect for the Rev. James Shore, now confined in gaol at Exeter, for conscience sake. In the afternoon a large number of persons of both sexes partook of a cold collation with tea and coffee, at the Assembly Rooms, Thomas Clarke, Esq., in the chair. The following sentiments were introduced to the meeting by the Chairman, and responded to by the gentlemen with whose names they are connected:-Rev. G. Armstrong, and the speedy restoration of nominal Christian Churches to the primitive Christian Faith; Rev. J. Fullager, the memory of illustrious deceased defenders of our cause; Rev.E. Kell, and success to the Southern Unitarian Fund Society; Abraham Clarke, Esq., Civil and Religious Liberty all the world over; Rev. H. Hawkes, and the speedy removal of Jewish Disabilities; Rev. Maxwell Davidson, and Sunday School Education; B. Adams, Esq., proposed the health of the Chairman who had so much contributed to the enjoyment of the meeting; and after a vote of thanks to the Mayor for the use of the room, the assembly separated, highly gratified, and we trust profited, by the proceedings of the day.
DIED, April 8, at Widcombe, near Newport, in the Isle of Wight, in her 29th year, Anne Long, the beloved wife of William Hughes, Esq.
SCIENCE, NATURAL AND REVEALED RELIGION,
THOSE who have firm faith in the ultimate triumph of truth, can discover manifest indications of better times, and a more healthful state of things, in the progress which is made in physical Science. The development of great principles, and the fixed and regular operations of natural laws are well calculated to check the flights of a wild and roaming imagination, and dispel all vagaries and mental nebulosities from the bright and clear regions of the intellect. It seems to be completely forgotten by many of our modern Ethical writers that simplicity is ever the characteristic of all great principles. It is the glory and perfection of all science to trace many apparently various and complex phenomena to some great and comprehensive elementary principle, and the mind that is imbued with the true spirit of philosophy can see no reason that mental science should be an exception to the general rule. Undoubtedly there is much to perplex, there are many apparent anomalies, in the present state of the moral universe. But no truly devout and reflecting mind can for a moment doubt, but that all seeming anomalies and obscurities are doomed to vanish before the light of science, and that future generations will be able to discover the same beauty, order, and harmony pervading both the moral and physical creation. All real progress, all extension of knowledge, must be by slow degrees. The temple of truth must be approached by gradual steps. Fanciful speculations must not be substituted for the sober deductions of reason; nor baseless theories, however gorgeous and seducing may be the verbiage in which they may be set forth, take the place of systems founded on fact, and in unison with every fresh discovery of science.
All that relates to Natural Theology bears a most cheering aspect. The discoveries of modern science have contributed,
in no small degree, to develope and illustrate the principles of natural religion. Almost every department of physical science has been enlisted to exemplify the wisdom and beneficence of the Great First Cause. New light opens in all directions to disperse the "mist and thick darkness" in which ignorance and superstition have so long enveloped the true character of the Deity. The ancient barriers of "Creeds and Articles of Faith" of men's device are being swept away by the influx of knowledge; and even rigid Calvinism is forced, in some portions of the world, to extend, indefinitely, its exclusive land-marks. All the religious world is in a ferment. Self-styled Orthodoxy looks the picture of despair! To advance with the age is-death! To retreat to Puseyism and Romanism, the dernier resort! Some more daring minds, having just burst the trammels of Orthodoxy, revel in the free air of liberty, and, by a sort of reactive force, are driven beyond the limits of reason and common sense, to the regions of Transcendentalism and universal scepticism.
Amidst the transition, confusion, and mystification which prevail, all, however, augurs well for the Truth. Its friends have nothing to fear, but everything to hope. The scales are falling fast from the mentally blind. The great truths of Natural Religion appeal to the head and to the heart with irresistible force. Astronomy, physiology, chemistry, and geology will deliver their impressive lessons "though kings should hear." Soon there will be no speech nor language in which their voice is not heard. Even a "Dean of York," however sincerely he may love a favourite dogma must yield to the universal voice of Nature. What an encouraging omen, relative to the future, does the present aspect of the scientific world present to the true, sincere, and devout worshipper" of the Father only"—to him who is thoroughly imbued with the conviction that there is but "One God, the Father," whose wisdom and benevolent design are visible, not in a few scattered cases, but in all his works! It has been said that our peculiar views have become "insipid, and incapable of exciting the interest" of the most intelligent portions of our societies! Paul speaks of a " false philosophy," and no philosophy can be more false than that which dictated such a sentiment. All Truth, all the discoveries of Nature and Revelation, must cease to be interesting to the rational and reflecting mind, before it can feel indifferent to our 66 peculiar views," indifferent to the great doctrine of " One God and Father of all, who is above all, in all, and through all." This is an exhaust
less theme of interest. There is no assignable limit to the knowledge of Nature or of Nature's God. Ministers of religion must cease to gain knowledge before their discourses can ever become uninteresting to their audience.
Another sentiment which appears to be very prejudicial to the spread of Truth, and therefore to human happiness, is unfortunately getting rather prevalent, "That correct ideas of God and of his attributes are not indispensable to true moral culture and man's final salvation." If this were true, man could have but very slight motives to investigate the dictates either of natural or revealed religion. No delusion can be more fatal than that which severs all connection between thought and action, virtue and happiness, ignorance and vice. No truth seems to be more impressively taught in Nature or Revelation, than that the acquisition of sound, clear, consistent, and cheerful views of God's plans and object in the creation and maintenance of the present order of things, is essential to all moral progress and all human happiness. Without this there can be no philosophy, no true wisdom. That "knowledge is power" is no less the dictate of the moral, than it is of the physical creation.
It is universally admitted that indistinct ideas and vague reasonings impede all progress in natural science. A very slight degree of reflection will also teach that they cannot serve to promote either moral or intellectual improvement. Nothing but rational and intelligible views of natural and revealed religion, can successfully arrest the rapid inroad which Atheism and Scepticism are making on the prevalent doctrines of this country. False ideas of the character and attributes of God, and gross misconceptions of the nature and object of religion, cannot fail to generate Scepticism and unbelief in all reflecting minds. God's works must ever be in unison with the dictates of his Word. Nature and Revelation, as far as their respective discoveries go, must ever speak the same language. Here no discrepancies can exist. Who, that understands the language of either, can entertain for a moment any discouraging views of the final success of our simple belief ? All scientific men are already compelled, notwithstanding their prejudices and prepossessions, to adopt its plain and unsophisticated language. Every discovery of science serves to confirm the great fundamental truths which form the basis of Christian Unitarianism. It feels no alarm as the light of science penetrates the dark secrets of Nature. Every accession of knowledge, is a new proof of its truth. Its language is ever in unison with the
dictates of universal nature. It is the "good tidings of great joy to all nations," for its object is to reveal the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Universal "Father," to all his intelligent It is the only doctrine that can become universal, for it is the only doctrine that contemplates the final happiness of all the human race. This constitutes its peculiar glory, and stamps it as the great truth which nature and revelation are destined to unfold.
It is delightful and highly encouraging to the sincere believer in the Divine Unity, to witness the invaluable services which scientific men render, in the present day, to the cause of truth and simple Christianity. The evils which arise from false creeds, and confused and erroneous ideas of the attributes and government of God, are most beautifully and forcibly illustrated in a "Prize Essay," lately published by the "Trustees of the Royal Institution of Great Britain." The author's sentiments are so good, and are so well calculated to serve the cause of pure Christianity, that it cannot be deemed improper to cite them on the present occasion. The Actonian Prize Essay, page 154:
"It is melancholy to reflect upon the evils which have been brought upon the earth, by the adoption of narrow and false ideas of God and of his attributes. The great and beneficent Creator has been invested with the passions and infirmities of humanity. He has been represented as delighting in the exercise of mere arbitrary power; as capricious and revengeful; as exercising a kind of favouritism towards particular individuals, and suffering the rest to remain in a state of hopeless misery. Men have sought in the figurative language of Scripture, confirmation of these views, and have not scrupled to indulge their own evil nature in persecuting their fellows under the mask of religious zeal. Even those whose sincerity and purity of motive are above suspicion, have been led to the perpetration of acts, from which, under other circumstances, they would have recoiled with horror.
"The attributes of the Deity have been constantly placed in opposition to each other. Good men have laboured to reconcile justice and mercy, as if they could ever have been at variance! All this arises from a misunderstanding of the general principle of benevolence; from confounding two things essentially distinct; namely, real provident goodness, and weak, short-sighted indulgence. The true type of God's government is to be found in that exercised by a wise and a good parent over his children. He corrects them, when necessary, by the infliction of pain, and stimulates them to improvement, by the hope of pleasure or reward; but the motive is the same in both cases. It is an enlightened, active benevolence, which prompts him to punish, where punishment is needful. To withhold this would be any thing but an act of mercy. The dealings of God towards man are of this character. We have the positive assurance of One who spake as never man spake, while the analogies of Nature, and the silent convictions of our own minds, testify the