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are also said to have redemption through his blood, beeause they are released by the Christian covenant from the yoke of the ceremonial law, and from the bondage of idolatry. Dr. Taylor has in general well explained these Jewish phrases in his admirable Key to the apostolic writings, prefixed to his Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. “The Seriptures contain a faithful and eredible account of the Christian doctrine, which is the true word of God; but they are not themselves the word of God, nor do they ever assume that title: and it is highly improper to speak of them as such, as it leads inattentive readers to suppose they were written under a plenary inspiration, to which they make no pretension, and as sneh expressions expose Christianity unnecessarily to the eavils of unbelievers. “Christianity sums up the whole of human duty in the love of God and our neighbour; and requiring that all our time should be employed to the best account, and that every action should be consecrated to God, lays no stress upon ritual observations, and expressly abolishes that distinction of days, whiuh ! formed so conspicuous a feature in the Mosaic institute. To a true Christian every day is a Sabbath, every place is a temple, and every action of life an act of devotion. A Christian is not required to be more holy, nor permitted to take greater liberties upon one day than upon another. Whatever is lawful or expedient upon one day of the week is, under the Christian dispensation, equally lawful and expedient on any other day. Public worship, however, must be conducted at stated intervals; and it has been usual from the earliest times for Christians to assemble together, on the first day of the week, to commemorate ihe death and to celebrate the resurrection of their Master, “This appears to me to be the true doctrine of reason and revelation, in which the God of nature is not represented as' frowning over his works, and like a mereiless tyrant dooming) his helpless creatures to eternal misery, with the arbitrary ex-\ weption of a chosen few ; but as the wise, benevolent, and impartial parent of his rational offspring, who is training them all, under various processes of intellectual and moral discipline, to perfect virtue and everlasting felicity. Such is the God of my
faith and adoration, the God of nature and of revelation, the 2 ^*
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that God whose existence, attributes, and government are the joy and confidence of every enlightened and virtuous believer."*
“ Jesus is indeed now alive. But as we are totally ignorant of the place where he resides, and of the occupations in which he is engaged, there can be no proper foundation for religious addresses to him, nor of gratitude for favors now received, nor yet of confidence in his future interposition in our behalf.”+
MR. LINDSEY'S CREED. “ There is One God, one single person who is God, the sole Creator and Sovereign Lord of all things.
“i 'The holy Jesas was a man of the Jewish nation, the ser-vant of this God, highly honoured and distinguished by him.
“ The Spirit, or Holy Spirit, was not a person or intelligent being, but only the extraordinary power or gift of God, first to our Lord Jesus Christ himself in his life time, and afterwards to the Apostles and many of the first Christians, to impower them to preach and propagate the Gospel with success.” 1
The above Creeds are strictly Unitarian ; or more properly what divines in this country would denominate Socinian. They do not embrace the Arian idea of the pre-existence of Christ's human soul, or that be originally possessed a super-angelie nature ; or that bis sufferings and death were in any sense to be considered as propitiatory, or that divive honours were due to him. The English Unitarians reject these opinions as absurd, and maintain the simple humanity of Jesus. § Of this character is the Unitarianism, the history of whose progress in this country is given in the following pages.
April 3d, 1816.
* See Belsham's Review of Wilberforce's Treatise, Letter II. + See Letter VIII. in the forementioned work. # See Memoirs of Lindsey, p. 212. $ Sec Dr. Lardner's opinion on this subjcct, as quoted by Mr. Belsham (Life of Lindsey) p. 219-220, note.
Unitarian Liturgy adopted by the Congregation at the Ring's Chapel at Boston, in .Wew-England. .Mr. Lindsey corresponds with Dr. Freeman, JMr. Wanderkemp, &c. Progress and present state of the Unitarian Churches in .1merica.
THE grand theological controversies which exsited so much attention, and were conducted with so much animosity, in England, could not fail to attract notice in America, and especially in the New-England States, where a manliness of character, a deceney of morals, and a serious though not universally enlightened spirit of piety, dispose the minds of considerable numbers to religious enquiries, and where freedom of investigation suffers no restraint from the civil power. It was with great pleasure that Mr. Lindsey received information in the year 1786, from a respectable correspondent, (the Rev. I. Smith, af. terwards Librarian to the University of Cambridge, in N.England,) that the principal Episcopalian Church in Boston had consented to the introduction of a Liturgy reformed nearly upon the plan of that which had been adopted in Essex-Street and perfectly Uni. tarian.* The Minister of this congregation, which
* In Mr. Freeman's first letter to Mr. Lindsey, dated July 7, 1786, he tells his venerable correspondent, “The Liturgy of our church was during a long time unpopular. But your approbation, the note of Dr. Price annexed to a letter of Dr. Lush, and the mention which Dr. Priestley is pleased to make of it in his sermon upon the fifth of November, have raised it in esteem. It now seems to be acknowledged that that book cannot be very absurd which is praised by men of such great learning and abilities, and who have been so long known and so justly admired in this country. I wish the jo was more worthy of your approbation. I can only say that I endeavoured to make it so by attempting to introduce your Liturgy entire. But the people of the Chapel were not ripe for so great a change. Some
hssembled at what was called the King's Chapel, was the Rev. James Freeman, and is described by his friend as “ a young man of a great deal of knowledge and good sense, and of an excellent disposition.” Some of his hearers left him on account of the change introduced into the service; but the majority adhered to him, and the congregation flourished under him. He was for some time under considerable embarrass
defects and improprieties I was under the necessity of retaining, for the sake of inducing them to omit the most exceptionable parts of the old service, the Athanasian prayers. Perhaps in some future day, when their minds become more enlightened, they may consent to a further alteration."
*l'he writer of this memoir is happy to add, that the day of increased light and liberality, predicted by this enlightened reformer, is now arrived, and that Dr. Freeman has hinself lived to see his own prediction verified. In a new edition of the Boston Liturgy, printed in the year 1811, a copy of which the writer has had the honour to receive as a present from the Ministers, Wardens, and Vestry of the King's Chapel, nothing is to be found which is inconsistent with the purest principles of Unitarian worship as such, and with a very few alterations, chiefly verbal, it might be made perfectly unobjectionable. May it long be the efficacious means of supporting the purity and simplicity of Christian worship, and diffusing a spirit of rational piety!
Mr. Freeman further proceeds to state the progress which Unitarian principles were making in the United States, and particularly in New England. This be imputes to the many excellent books published in England, and to Mr. Lindsey's Works in particular, which were much read and with great effect. The sermons and conversation of some Clergymen in New-England also contributed their share : and amongst these he mentions the Rey. Mr. Hazlitt, a pions, zealous and intelligent English minister, who since his return to England is settled at Wem in Shropshire. Mr. Freeman speaks of himself as particularly indebted to the instructions and conversation of this respectable person. “I bless the day,” says he, “ when that honest man first landed in this country.” In another let. ter dated June, 1789, Mr. Freeman writes, “ Before Mr. Hazlitt came to Boston, the Trinitarian doxology was almost uniVersally used. T'hat honest, good man prevailed upon several respectable ministers to omit it. Since his departure, the number of those who repeat only scriptural doxologies has greatly increased, so that there are now many churches in which the worship is strietly Unitarian.
yient for want of episcopal ordination, upon which some of his hearers laid much stress, though in the estimation of the more judicious members of his congregation, as well as of Mr. Freeman himself, it was rather a matter of expedience than necessity. To avoid, however, giving unnecessary offence, he applied for orders first to Bishop Seabury, who had lately been consecrated by the non-juring bisheps of Scotland, and who exercised his jurisdiction over the episcopal churches in Connecticut. But this prelate, being a rigid Calvinist, would not lay hands upon his suspected brother. Application was then made to Dr. Provost, who had been elected bishop of the province of New-York, and who together with Dr. White had been consecrated to the episcopal office by the prelates of the church of England. This gentleman, who had been a pupil to Dr. Jebb, was a man of great learning, of liberal sentiments, and of deep piety. At the Convention of the episcopal clergy at Philadelphia, he had himself proposed a very important alteration in the Litany, viz. to leave out the invoeations to the Son, the Holy Ghost, and the Trinity; and to retain only the first, which is addressed “to God the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth.” To this worthy prelate, therefore, the members of the congregation at the King's Chapel repeatedly applied to obtain episcopal ordination for their respected minister. But the bishop, perhaps unwilling to give offence to his weaker brethren, referred the matter to the next Convention at Philadelphia; which determined Mr. Freeman’s friends, who had reason to apprehend, that whatever might be the information and liberality of some individuals, the majority would decide against him, to ordain their own pastor at home. This solemn rite, therefore, was performed, with the previous approbation of many persons of high character and worth who had been consulted upon the occasion, on Sunday the 18th of November, 1787, according to a form suggested by Governor Bowdoin, a gentleman, whose learning,