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exclaim, “ These are the gloomy horrors of a dismal mind.” We have much more of hell than of heaven, presented before us; and there is a reckless wantoning in suffering, which we do not recollect having seen equalled in any work of the present day, that has come under our notice. The following is an instance similar to those which we have already adduced. It is the Father of mercies” who is speaking, in reference to his Son, the meek and lowly Jesus:
“ Has he not taught, beseech'd, and shed abroad
The Spirit unconfined, and given at times
Vindictively on nations guilty long?"-(p. 378, 379). For our own parts, we know not where to look for such examples: we have never seen them ourselves. Of “fierce wrath,” and “vindictive judgment,” he has said not a word in his mild and benignant religion; and it is only in systems engendered by voluntary loneliness,' and “extravagant reverie,” that such things salute our
We have the Son of God, the Judge of the world, presented to us at the great day of account, rendering to all according to their deeds. After the dread sentence is pronounced, he dashes the wicked from the walls of heaven, into a lake of burning fire below; and such is the dead and awful silence which reigns, that they are distinctly beard to fall into the fiery lake. Take the passage:
- That silence which all beings held,
Was now forgotten, and every silence else"-(p. 385). “ All creation heard” the splashing of those miserable wretches into the liquid flames! What a tremendous idea! And wbat horrible sufferings! Yet, this done, we are told, that
“ God grew dark with utter wrath;
There is a scrambling amongst these hapless wretches, when lighting in this fiery gulf. And no wonder, that amidst the excruciating tortures of boiling flames, they should attempt to fly and make their escape. And though the extravagant reverie of a gloomy fiction, we cannot forbear feeling anxious, that they may secure their retreat. But it is a vain and hopeless struggle; for they are still pursued by the “ tides of dark tempestuous wrath,” in which they are incessantly tossed. And
Falling, received their everlasting prey”(p. 317). This may be thought promoting the glory of God. But we think we pronounce more correctly, when we say, that it is libelling his character. Think of the miserable damned, boiling in liquid flames, and scrambling to escape the horrid pit of destruction; but as they rise, are grasped and thrown down again by the Almighty, with all the malignity that a demon could feel!
Akin to the foregoing, we have a highly wrought, but dreadful and horrible description of the worm that never dies:"
“ One I remark'd
A voice, from whence I know not, for no one
These words: This is the worm that never dies”—p. 11, 12). Think of the heart, quivering with torture intense, grasped in the complicated foldings of this malignant neverdying worm! No wonder that it should be swollen and black. But it is a wonder, that it should bleed evermore.
We had thought, that such “ raw-bead-and-bloodybones" stories, as fire and brimstone, and thousand-headed serpents, &c. &c. had been reserved for silly old nurses, to frighten children withal. But, apparently, we were mistaken; as they are still gravely recommended for the edification or amusement of “children of a larger growth.” We hope, however, the time is not far distant, when a more enlightened system of education may be adopted. The march of intellect has commenced; and, we trust, it will not balt, till it shall have accomplished the thing whereto it was sent.
(To be Continued.)
On Sunday, 22d August, the Rev. William Smith, the first licentiate of the Remonstrant Synod of Ulster, commenced his public services as the Minister of the Unitarian Congregation of Dundee. In the morning, the Rev. George Harris conducted the worship, and preached on the duty of ministers and people devoting all their powers to the promotion of the great purposes and holy will of the all-gracious Father, concluding with a special charge to Mr. Smith and the Congregation. The little place of worship was crowded to excess, by an audience composed of persons of all classes and all denominations. In the afternoon, the whole service was conducted by Mr. Smith, and a truly interesting service it was. His concluding observations, particularly, in which he spoke of bis entrance on the ministry, and the peculiar trials and duties he should have to go through, were excellent and appropriate, and made apparently a great impression. A larger place of meeting had been engaged for the evening, and it was filled with a deeply attentive congregation, when
Mr. Harris again preached. We earnestly hope, that this auspicious commencement may be the precursor of brighter days, and increasing prosperity, to our Congregation in Dundee. Long have they nobly struggled with adverse circumstances. Consistently have they opposed the prejudices of the day, and borne their testimony to long lost truth. Those are now amongst them, and have in times past been united with them, who desire not honour from men, or large is the meed of praise which they deserve. May the mantle of departed and of living worth, descend on the Minister whom they have chosen. May he be happy and successful; may the People abound in good and righteous works; may the truth of Cbrist Jesus be advocated fearlessly and embraced fervently, and may God be glorified.
The letter to the Rev. G. Struthers, inserted in the preceding pages, was sent to that Individual on the 6th September. No answer having been returned by the 17th, it was published, with additional remarks, addressed to the Inhabitants of this City. A second Edition has been already called for. We are happy to contrast with the conduct of this Minister, the sentiments expressed at a meeting of the Town Council of Edinburgh, and their subsequent decision. They are honourable alike to the respected Individual in question, as well as to that assembly of wbich he has been elected a member. One person, indeed, was found there also to utter the sounds of intolerance, but they found no response in the minds of the Council. Virtuous and honourable character, and not the belief or the mere profession of a creed, was deemed the best passport to social distinction and friendly intercourse. And we are satisfied, the people of Glasgow will not sanction by their approbation, a different measure of public worth, which would prefer profession to practice, and would exclude the honest wbilst it sanctioned the timeserving
“On the presentation of the leet of the Incorporation of Surgeons, a most important discussion took place. -Bailie Blackwood said, that though he did not intend to move that the first three of this leet should be struck off, still he could not approve of the gentleman at the head of it, as being qualified to be a member of the Council. He held religious opinions which he could not approve of, and which he thought disqualified him from acting as a member of the Council. He felt no animosity to Dr. Gairdner, but he considered, that, by the statutes of the land, the Council were bound to allow only the most godly persons to be admitted in their number. In his sense of the word godly, it applied to persons who were of the Established Religion of the land, and not to individuals such as Dr. Gairdner, whose religious opinions differed from the doctrines of the Church in fundamental points!— Deacon Wood, in a most excellent speech, defended the leet of the Surgeons. He said that the leet, and the person at the head of it, were the unanimous choice of a very full meeting of the College. Dr. Gairdner was a person whom the Incorporation highly respected, and who had on all occasions conducted himself with the utmost honour and integrity. He was, therefore, considered fully qualified to be their head, and to discharge his public duties in the Town Council. He hoped the day was gone by, when a man was required, before taking office, to go over his Catechism, and to be asked, whether he was an Episcopalian, Unitarian, or Methodist. He considered Dr. Gairdner as indeed a godly man, though he differed from him in religious opinions. In respect to the Established Church, he was sure, that though he dissented from it, he would support, with all his power, the exercise of the patronage of the Council in favour of the best clergymen to fill the city charges. He concluded by moving, that the first three be given.-Mr. Gordon Brown, in seconding this motion, stated, that he was always friendly to the giving to the Incorporations the first three on their leets, and to the principle on which this conduct was founded, that the public bodies themselves were the best judges of the qualifications of those who were to represent them. The objection to the exercise of office on account of religious opinions, was connected with the great question of civil and religious liberty; and he hoped that the manner in which the distinguished person at the head of his Majesty's Councils had acted, in the settlement of the Test and Corporation Acts, and of the claims of the Roman Catholics, had set this subject for ever at rest. He should be sorry that this topic should be again revived in a Burgh Council. He was acquainted with Dr. Gairdner, and he knew him to be a most honourable person, and fully qualified to discharge his public duties in the Council.-Dr. M‘Lagan wished to bear testimony to the integrity and undoubted honour of Dr. Gairdner. Though opposed to him in religious opinions, he knew no man who knew or studied his Bible more closely than he did. He was in every way entitled to be called a godly man, in so far as good conduct and excellent practice qualified any man to that epithet. He would never himself prefer a man who hypocritically acquiesced in the Established Religion of the country and attended the Church, but who showed that he had the form of religion without the power, to the person who could not conscientiously conform, but whose life was unblemished and honourable. He would therefore recommend Dr. Gairdner as a person of honourable and honest principles, and who would act in such a manner as would do credit to himself and the Council. After some further discussion, the Council adopted the motion of Deacon Wood to give the Surgeons the man of their choice."— The Scotsman.