On this page
- Text (2)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
tion than I had anticipated in so short a time . The critic ' s clemency towards me , as it conies out near the close of his * ' observations , " when he hopes I may not consider them « ' as implying a stioug individual censure upon" myself , I now heg leave to express for him iu return , with equal modesty and charity . L . LEWIS .
The Remonstrant Synod of Ulster , and the Congregational Magazine ,
To the Editor . Sir , I beg to forward a few remarks on a paper lately printed in the Congregational Magazine , eutided " Present State of Preshyteriauisii ) iu Ireland ; " chiefly confining myself to those parts of it which relate to the Remonstrant Svnod of
Ulster . As the paper in question contains statements whicli appear to me to affect very seriously the characters of some estimable men , I have appeuded my name to this communication , simply with a view to prevent it from meeting with that neglect with which both writers and readers are apt to treat anonymous contradictions of assertions made as from authority .
The writer begins with a statement of the number of congregations belonging to the Synod of Ulster , the Presbytery of Antrim , the Remonstrant Synod , and the Synod of Munster . His estimates appear to be accurate ; but when the author passes from enumeration to desciiption , he overleaps the barrier which separates the imaginative from the
actual , and falls into as many mistakes , if such they can be called , as there are assertions in his first paragraph . He says , ' The discipline of these three bodies of Presbyterian Unitarians , " ( the Presbytery of Antrim , the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster , and the Synod of Muu-Mter , ) " is as loose as the doctrines of their creed . They loudly boast of their Christian freedom and iheir abundant
liberality ; but the one , as they practise it , is mere connivance at sin , while the other is a bigoted intolerance of the orthodox and opposition to the gospel . All who deny our Lord ' s deity , and the sacrificial character of his atonement , are cheerfully embraced in their fellowship . Their communion includes Unitarians of every class , from the High Arian down to the Humanitarian . Immorality passes
uncensured ; and every thing is sanctioned as sound doctrine , provided it be accompanied with a rejection of the Trinitarian creed . ' * Now , I repeat , the above paragraph conveys almost as many incorrect impressions as it contains sentences . The very first sentence ushers in no less than three of them : for when we read that
" the discipline of these three bodies of Presbyterian Unitarians is as loose as the doctrines of their creed , " we cannot suppose the author to mean any thing else than that the three bodies alluded to are professedly and exclusively Unitarian ; that their discipline is loose ; and that the doctriues of their creed are
loose likewise . If this be the meaning which he intended to convey , and , as I have said before , I am unable to conjecture what his meaning is if this be not , he is wrong iu every one of his assertious . The Presbytery of Antiim , the Synod of Munster , and the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster , are not bodies of Presbyterian Uuitariaus , in the sense which
is here , I think , evidently intended . By their published and frequently reiterated declarations , they have over and over again disclaimed any such basis of church fellowship . They profess themselves willing to receive into ministerial as well as into lay communion , persons of sentiments commonly called orthodox , who
may be desirous of joining their body , and who ma ) be duly qualified in other respects . They declare that no such person , while iu their connexion , shall ever be molested by them , or in any way impeded from the open avowal and advocacy of his opiuious , at any time and in any mauuer that he may think proper . Nor do I know that there is the least reason for
suspecting the sincerity of these declarations : for I am aware that , at least , two ministers out of these three bodies of " Presbyterian Unitarians , " are avowediy and notoriously orthodox , using this term in its conventional acceptation . I have heard that at least one of them , and probably both , frequently insist upon the doctrines usually designated by that term : and I have never understood that
the minister to whom I particularly allude , met with any obstruction in the conscientious performance of this his bounden duty , on the part of the Synod to which he belongs , or any person acting under its authority or influence ; but I know from conversation with some
leading members of that Synod , that they highly esteem Mm character and approve of his ministerial faithfulness . The per-
Miscellaneous Correspondence . \ 6 ' S
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Feb. 2, 1831, page 133, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2594/page/61/