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Church , just as other classes of Dissenters are protected in their Dissent from those Articles which relate to discipline and forms of worship . I know it has been said that Unitarians are still amenably to common law , by which their tenets are condemned . But can it reasonably be affirmed , that the
Legislature , with the full concurrence of the Ministers and the Bench of Bishops , would , by statute , protect and legalize that which is still to be considered as unlawful ; or , that a judge , in the administration of common law , is permitted to punish that which the wisdom of the
legislature has been solemnly engaged in relieving from penalties ? If so , statute law appears to be perfectly nugatory : it must be for amusement that all its ponderous volumes have been compiled ; and Parliament , it seems , might be harmlessly occupied in passing statutes to legalize house-breaking and theft .
It is a further argument for the exemption of Unitarians from the operation of common law , that the peculiar modification of Christian belief which they profess , has only of late years arisen in England . When there were no persons existing in the country , who , cordially believing in the divinity of the Christian
religion , at the same time maintained that the doctrine of the Trinity was unfounded in Scripture , persons impugning that doctrine might he held to attack the authority of revelation , and might come under the cognizance of common law , as evident unbelievers in Christianity . It is now otherwise ; the legislature has
thought proper to recognize the existence of a class of individuals professing themselves Unitarian Christians , who believe in the divine authority of Christ , and receive the Holy Scriptures as the standard of their faith , but hold it as a part of that belief , that the Almighty is to be worshiped in one person only .
It is not conceivable that common law can take cognizance of the tenet of those to whom the above description applies . If it be said that the learned Judge ' s observation was meant to apply to an indecorous and scurrilous attack upon the doctrine alluded to , I shall be happy to accede to this interpretation , being ready to admit that a sincere profession of religion under all its forms should be treated
with reverence . This maxim , impartially applied ; would greatly recommend our common faith to the regard and homage of mankind . s In conclusion , I cannot but observe , that when his Lordship admits that " the liberty of the press , the liberty of Engustuueii allows a man to question the authority aud propriety of any text in
the sacred volume , " he concedes a much greater degree of liberty than he seems to be aware of ; since the question of the Trinity does not go so far as to involve the propriety or authority of any part of the sacred volume ; the only matter of
dispute being the right interpretation of those Scriptures , which are admitted on both sides to be the ultimate authority in all such questions . I am , &c . AN UNITARIAN . Nottingham , April , 1820 .
Bridport , Sir , August 19 , 1819 . rjnHE declarations lately published JL by the Emperor of Russia against the restoration of the Cortes and the Constitution established in Spain in 1812 , which was sanctioned by the
chief powers of Europe , have occasioned in the minds of many persons considerable alarm , arising from an apprehension , that they presage the return of the horrors of war . I ask
the question , On what pretence ? And am answered , The obligations of the Holy Alliance . The Holy Alliance ! I reply ; why , that is our security for the preservation of peace ; for it is founded on the principles of
Christianity , and we all know , that the religion of the gospel breathes nothing but the spirit of forbearance and philanthropy . To convince the most sceptical that I did these peaceable and benevolent rulers of nations no
more than common justice , I turned to Vol . XL p . 143 of your Repository , have now this document before me , and shall produce strong proofs of my assertion ; I say strong proofs , for can we wish for stronger than the solemn declarations of two Emperors and one King , " iu the name" too " of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity" !
The first sentence I read is the following : " As we have seen from experience , and from the unhappy consequences that have resulted for the whole world , that the course of the political relations in Europe between the Powers has not been founded on
those true principles , upon which the wisdom of God in his revelations has founded the peace and prosperity of nations , we have consequently , " &c . None who know any thing of the history of Europe , and at the same time the injunctions of Christianity , \ yiU dis-
Mr . Howe ' s Comments on the Holy Alliance . 533
vol . xv . >• 3 z
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Sept. 2, 1820, page 533, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2492/page/33/