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by complying with what the author considers an idolatrous ceremony . Although it may cotitaiu some eccentric passages , and occasionally an untenable proposition , yet what consistent Unitarian can gainsay the remarks on protesting , ( a custom far better neglected than observed , ) or reply to the following extract from the preface ? " It is a fact that Unitarians condemn the marriage
service as being ' repsffnaiit to their religious principles . ' It is equally true that with such an impression of its character they conform to it ; and , moreover , think themselves justifiable in so doing . They maintain , then , by their couduct this proposition—that it is right to do that which they believe at the same time to be opposed to their consciences . They maintain ? or endeavour to maintain , it by their words whenever they can be induced to enter into discussion on the
subject . But this is very rarely the case ; for though the friends of inquiry on every other topic , yet on this , inquiry , generally speaking , is their aversion ; and their only solicitude seems to be to seek their justification in silence . Well if they can find it there ; or , in its absence , that lowly spirit of penitence which best becomes the erriug children of God . " Should it be maintained that the
greater part of Unitarians do not violate their consciences by complying with the marriage ceremouy , the writer justly argues that no such view cau be taken of the subject , if we are to judge by their petitions and their complaints in the public newspapers and magazines ; and that consequently it becomes them to reflect whether they will any longer obey man rather than God . " There is also
another strong confirmation of what has been advanced , ( says this persevering and consistent advocate of the truth , ) in the fact , that others who are not Unitarians have admitted the reasonableness of their objections , and the justice of their prayer . The Edinburgh Reriew for March 1821 , says , that * the establishment compels a Unitarian to abjure his faith before it will allow him to
marry . ' * Unitarians are required at present , ' affirmed the Bishop of Worcester , * to join iu a service that implies a confession of faith repugnant to their conscientious feelings and opinions / * Really this is a most cruel requisition , * observed Lord Holland : * the Unitarian
i « to be required to repeat words to which it is avowed the priest annexes one meaning and he another . It is quite clear that such matters must be paiuful
and revolting . * * A Unitarian is obliged , ' said Dt * . Lushington , * to utter with his mouth at the altar ( hat which he abhors in his heart' Such are the testimonies of persons standing high in character and station , and disinterested in the question . They ought to carry weight with them , and I think they must to every Unitarian that will reflect . " I hope that some of your readers will more fully notice this work , as discussion must be of service to the cause of truth and holiness . L . G .
Sir Walter ScotVs Letters on Demonology and Witchcraft . To the Editor , Sir , In reading the Letters of Sir Walter Scott , on Demonoiogy and Witchcraft , while I have been delighted with the abundance of interesting matter which
he has brought together , and generally edified by the reasonable notions of religion which that author seems to entertain , I have been much surprised at the misapplication made of one passage of Scripture , common , indeed , in the mouths of the reputedly orthodox , and which furnishes convincing evidence of the occasional unfaithfulness of our
common version . Ihis passage is Jer . xvii . 9 , and the manner in which it is introduced by our author is this : " The melancholy truth ' that the human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked , ' is by nothing proved so strongly as by the imperfect sense displayed by childreu of the sanctity of moral truth /* I cannot but regret that our author should have had the authority of the version read in all the churches in
favour of so unworthy and unchristian a sentiment . It is scarcely to be supposed that he can be acquainted with the admission of the Lexicographer Parkhurst , the bias of whose creed was in the opposite direction . *• The English translation desperately wicked \ seems very improper . I do not find that the word ever deuotes wickedness at all . " The
rendering of Dr . Blayney is , " The heart is wily above all things ; it is eveu pant hope . " I doubt , however , whether he has correctly represented the meaning of the sacred writer , and am disposed to follow a manuscript numbered 173 , by Kennicott , corroborated by the ancient Syriac Version , in omitting the conjunction and in the passage , so that the translation may be . " Man himself is
64 Miscellaneous Correspondence .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1831, page 64, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2593/page/64/