Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

me charge of persecution against Mr. their conduct, I shall revere them the Fuller; and which demands the se- more for Robert Robinson's sake. rious attention of that gentleman.

“ Much as they were struck, the mind

of Mr. Fuller was unaffected. He does After giving Mr. F's account of the

not pass for a man of dull and slow apmatter, Mr. A. adds as follows:--

prehension ; but his sensibilities were " Mr. Fuller first heard the indict

not awakened by the stirring up of pement read in company with some of his

pal laws against anti-lrinitarians. He is Cumbridge friends. It struck them,

quick of discerument as to heresy : he but not him, that it was founded on the

can see an Arminian under the mask of penal laws, against anti-trizitarians.

Calvinism, and, in the detected Armi. Mark the effect of habit.' The well

nian, can discover the future Socmian; read, liberal, private gentlemen of Cam

but he could hear an indictment read bridge, though calvinists, were quick to

in which word after word, and line afdiscern and prompt to expose intole

ter line, were in the direct characters rance. They had been the hearers (oc

ot' persecution, and yet not perceive the casionally or regularly,) and some ihe

malus animus, the detestable meaning. companions of Robert Robinson, that

“Even when the Cambridge friends brilliant genius, who kindled up the

explained how they were struck, Mr. Fulflame of religious liberty in the bosoms ler did not feel with them by the com. of all that knew him, and from the mon sympathy of friendship. He did lightning of whose wit and eluquence, not demand to hear the indictment the malignant spirit of persecution in- again ; he did not canvass the words stinctively shrunk away. Of this bright and clauses that were thought by some ornament to the dissenting cause, I was ' of his company to speak a language not forcibly reminded again and again, wbilst not christian; he, and I dare say his I was, on this occasion, on the spot Sohum friends, would have suffered the which he had so long illuminated by his

persecuring matter of the indictment to talents and his virtues. Most poignant.

pass, through inadvertence, if the sharly did I regret that he had not been lon

per sighted pupils of Robinson had not ger spared to strengthen, to inspirit and

perceived and exposed it : their sense to dignify the cause of intellectual and

of christian liberty served them for religious freedom. How eagerly should Ithuriel's spear, and from the reptileI have supplicated, how readily should

form into which Mr. Fuller could not I have received, his advice and assis

penetrate, (so intent was be upon its tance, in the contest which I was sus

convenient deformity, so satisfied with taining! I felt indeed, that I would its useful venom,) they dislodged the not have yielded even to himself in love evil spirit, of liberty ; but I lamented most sin “Mr Fuller had not sufficiently cerely the absence of those powers that thought upon the subject.' Thirty years cast a radiance upon truth, attracted reflection and discourse as a dissenting beholders, and filled them with delight. minister, had not prepared him to feel - But I should have moderated my instantly and act decidedly in a case of regret, if I had then known that bis persecution ! For the greater part of spirit survived him at Cambridge, that that time he had been in warfare with though dead be was yet speaking.- the Socinians, but he bad not catechized When the indictment was read, ibe his heart, so as to know that there were Cambridge friends were struck ; there some hostile weapons, and amongst was persecution in the formulary of law; them indictments, which his honour they felt the blow; and they protested would not allow him to use. against the iniquity.---Tbere spake the "" He knew," indeed, that his obmind of Robinson ! Excellent man! ject was not to prosecute Mr. G. as an The ride of reproach bore hard and anti-trinitarian, but merely to prevent long against bis inemory, but he had the place of worship from being wrested established solid principles which could froin its rightful owners;' that is to say, never be borne away; they remain, his the direct intention of the prosecution best monument: I see them in the cha- was not to enforce the penal laws, but racter of the “ Cambridge friends," not there was no objection, at first, to callso much of Mr. Fuller as of christian ing in their aid, as subsidiary to the liberty, and whenever I reflect upou maio design.

."Mr. Fuller intimates that there seem- sue of the trial; that, in short, Mr. Gis. ed no alternative between proceeding burne, in company with one of the truson the ground of the penal laws and tees and a third person, was indicted for agreeing to a compromise: a compro- a breach of the peace-a riot. Now mise he wished to be excused from how could the crime of anti-trinitamaking ;' yet who dares to charge him rianism have been implicated in such a with being favourable to persecution ? prosecution, but at the instance of the

“A whole vight did Mr. Fuller sleep prosecutors? The trust-deeds, if they upon this indictment! A thorny pil- had been received in evidence, could low, surely, for a christian head! lle not have led to the penal statutes, for was pushing a proceeding which his they contain not a syllable about the friends warned him would issue in per- Trinity, but exactly describe what Mr. secution ; would put to jeopardy the G. and his friends were, Protestant Disproperties and liberties of a large class senters of the Baptist persuasion, The of his fellow citizens, not despicable for penal laws were wholly extraneous to their talents and acquirements, not of the cause, and would not have suggested mean consideration from their stations themselves to the mind of a mere lawyer. and employments, not degraded by their They were not as will have been seen, immoralities to the rank of criminals, first talked of at Cambridge, and I know He could not at once resolve to desist. not how to believe that the idea of thein -I solemnly declare, that I would ra, originated at Sobam." ther bear the urinost severity of all the We are sorry that our limits prepenal laws against me as an Unitarian, vent us from inserting the whole of in their combined force and most rigue this spirited, and most interesting rous administration, than I would have passed such a night as Mr. Fuller went

letter :--but we can only add the through, if he felt as he ought.

following extract towards the con" In the morning, the Cambridge clusion. friends, steady to their purpose urged “ Mr. F. took credit to himself and his again upon Mr. Fuller the persecuting parly, for not proceeding with Gisburne matter of the indictment; upon which, another wuy, ibat is, a different way he resolved,--not to quash it!--not to froin arbitration, and, as he gave me alter it!-hut to inquire of his counsel to understand, the way of the penal Mr. Best, whether his friends were right statutes. For this, I was to acknowin their coestruction of it. Mr. Bestledge his and their liberality, and to did not deny that the indictment rested take it as a set-off agasust any conceson that ground,' namely the penal laws. sions that I might make. Can you wonNo, I dare say the learned gentleman der, Sir, that I was indignant? What! smiled at the simplicity of the que tion. Take credit for not unchristianizing I wish we had been furnished with all yourselves! Take credit for not doing that he said upon this occasion; it what would have stamped you with inwould probably have let us see how an delible disgrace! How should we look indictment came to be prepared on the upon a man who should take credit with ground of the penal laws!.

us for not having calumniated our cha“I must, really, beg your attention, racters! And in the degree in which for a moment to this question. It is, I persecution, which leads to fine, imbelieve, an ir:variable rule that protes. prisonment and out-lawry, is worse than sional men, in these cases, act according calumny, shall I ever rate the persecuto the instructions of their clients. The tor above the defamer, in the scale of form of an indictment is of their ordere inoral disapprobation. 'ing, but the matter of it must come “Mr. Fuller made a distinction be*from their employers. If the penal laws tween heresy and blasphemy; but nowere in the indicement, it must have thing can be more idle. Once allow been because Mr. G.'s anti-trinitarian the competency of the civil magistrate principles were suggested to Mr. Fuller's to interfere in matters of conscience, attorney and counsel, as considerations and this distinction will not restrain affecting the cause. You will recollect, him for a monient; it opens a door that this was not a civil but a criminal wide enough for the entrance of a Spacause; that the legal right to the place nish inquisitor. The opinion that a bio of worship was not now to he tried, got deems heresy, he calls, when utterhowever it might be affected by the is- ed, blasphemy. The persecutor may first attack those who revile his creed, that if he convict me of any material vulgarly and scornfully; but he will not error, I will make frank confession of rest till he has extirpated such as argue it, either in a separate pamphlet or in against it, and in the end such as besi- the Monthly Repository. But it may rate to receive it. He resembles the be useful to say, once for all, that I animal who having once tasted blood shall not think it necessary to notice cannot subsist without a constant sup- any further attestations of Thomas Chapply of the sanie horrid food.

man, or Thomas Emons, or any others "I do not impute a sanguinary de- of Mr. Fuller's party at Soham. sign to Mr. Fuller; but he has provoked If any reader think that I have been the inquiry whether he has or has not too severe in any of my strictures upon manifested an intolerant spirit, a lean. Mr. Fuller, let him consider the wanton ing to persecution ? And this every provocation which my adversary has gireader must determine froin his language ven, and he will I am sure hold me and condnct."

justified. Mr. Fuller has in short reLetter the 6th. contains a vindi. duced me, (some may think ominously cation of the account in the Month for himself) to much the same condiTu Repository. In confirmation of its tion that my friends and I stood in at

Cambridge; he has indicted me on truth a letter is published, signed

heavy charges which I could not sucby Benjamin Fuller, (another king cessfully repel but by cross-indictments; man of Mr. Andrew Fuller's) Wit my cause is in the hands of the jury of Tiam Attesley, and William Threa. the public; and I have no doubt that, der, given an account, for the truth as in the former case, Mr. Fuller's bill of which the people of Soham are' will be thrown out, and mine found

true," appealed to, that entirely overturns the previous statement of Mr. Ro

Mr. Fuller has, we think, very bert Fuller, proving the liule credit

prudently,remained silent under these due to the assertions of the latter,

charges. Ile may probably hope, and how completely he had imposed

that his conduct and that of his

" on his reverend kinsman. This let.

party in this affair will ere long be ter cannot be read without exciting

buried in oblivion; we trusi how

ever, that it will operate as a warnfeelings of indignation, on account of the scandalous proceedings of

ing to the religious world ; in geneMr. Gisburne's opponents during

ral, and to protestant dissenters more divine service, and iheir persecuting

particularly, who will henceforth

be careful ihat they do not disgrace conduct afterwards; and which, we hope, are unparalleled at least in

their cause, by rioting, persecution, the history of modern dissenters.

or slander. The town and neighbourhood are

An Appeal to the Members of the appealed to as “ knowing the truth of the statement."

London Missionary Society, against

a Resolution of the Directors of Letter 7th. consists of Miscella

that Society, dated March 26, neous Remarks, in which Mr. A.

1810: with Remarks on certain with his usual 'ability, and with

Proceedings relative to the Otaheicomplete success, refutes the charges

tan and Jeuish Missions. By of want of honour, hypocrisy, sc,

Joseph Fox. 2d. Ed. p. 141. 2s.6d. brought against him by Mr F. The

Conder 8c. whole concludes as follows:

“ Should Mr. Fuller condescend to A Brief Statement of Facts, by the publish a reply to these letters, I shall

Directors of the Missionary Socie. be guided by my opinion of its contents, either to rest satisfied with what I have

ty, occasioned by Ar. Joseph Fox's written, or to renew my appeal to the

Appeal to the Members of that In. public. I will promise him, however, stitution. p. 16. Williums.

A Second Appeal to the London Mis. British name has been rendered odie

sionary Society, in reply to a Pub- ous by the crimes of those who have lication entitled A Brief Statement plundered and desolated the distant

of Facts. By Joseph Fux. p. 32. countries they have invaded and · Isi Conder.

conquered, we have little reason to

expect the arrival of the glorious Amongst the various methods ta- ' period, when whole nations of chirisken to ameliorate the conditon of tians shall be born in a day, and mankind, by extending the know when a little one shall become a thouledge of the gospel, the several Mise sand and a small one a strong nation. sionary Societies which have been May the LORD hasten the accoma recently established are not unde. plishment in his time and way; but serving of notice. It is impossible till the majority of professing chrisfor any one who is sensible of the tians understand and practise that importance of genuine christianity, pure religion which is without pars and who is a firm believer in revela- tiality and without hypocrisy, themtion, not to look forward with eager selves, there is little reason to hope expectation and ardent desire to the that they will be made the honour. accomplishment of those great and ed instruments of extending the glorious predictions, which assure knowledge and practice of christiania us, that by the influence of pure ty, in any considerable degree, do christianity, the whole world shall nongst heathen nations. be transformed into one large family The pamphlets now before us con. of love and peace, wars shall cease, tain much information respecting and the only remaining strife, if the management of a society, which strife it can be called, shall be who arrogates, as has been justly reshall do most good to each other! marked, the title of The Missi

The project, however, of conver. onary Society, when there are sa ting distant nations by means of many others which, (it is paying Missionary Societies, is by no means them no great compliment) are at new, and equal zeal has been shewn least as well, or to speak more corby the votaries of the church of rectly, are not worse conducted. A Rome, as well as of the church of serious perusal, will, we hope, be England in former times, as by any the means of opening the eyes of of the societies of more modern date. many who do not properly consider Most, if not all of these different so that subscribing an annual donation, cieties, in their origin, had many or putting money into a plate at a well disposed members, and produ. public collection, are only parts of ced some partial good; although, it benevolence; that it is an equally is much to he lamented, some of important part to take care that them were afterwards productive of their liberality is not abused, but infinite mischief, and very few have that it is inanaged not only with in. answered the grand end designed by tegrity, but with wisdom. With re. the majority of their supporters. In spect to the particulars of the disthe present corrupt state of Chrsten- pute between Mr. Fox, and the Dios dom, when some of the most zealous rectors of the Missionary Society so promoters of Missionary Societies conspicuousin the management the are the equally zealous promoters Rev. Dr. Haweis, Messrs. Burder, J. of war and corruption, the most Clayton, and various other ministers, bitter enemies of reform, in either together with laymen, some of the church or state, and who brand latter of whom, we are sorry to find. every real reformer with some odious do not attend their duty as men appellation :-in an age when the ought to do, who take upon themVOL. IX,

31

selves to act for others; our limits, “ The enchanting descriptions which as well as our inclination, oblige us

#cre given of the ambrosial air, and the to pass over the major part of them.

fragrant groves, female beauty, and One of the principal objects of the

manly gentleness, together with the

bounty of nature, in presenting bread dispute relates to a Mr. Bicknell,oue

of her own preparing with one hand, of the Missionaries, who appears, while she withdrew the curse with the like others of his brethren, to be a' other, by rendering labour unnecces. weak man, who can tell different sary, were powerful inducements to stories to different persons. We do not young men of roving dispositions and charge him with want of integrity,

unsettled prospects, to offer themselves

Y for this work. but he certainly seems to have been

“ It is well known, that the object influenced by that fear of man which of the Directors being to complete i his brings a snare. The choosing of such mission in as short a time as possible, men for Missionaries proves, that, they were not exceedingly strict as to notwithstanding the solemu mum. the degree of christian experience of mery of what is ridiculously called

those who offered themselves as candie ordination, praciiced in order to

dates ; and the result with respect to

several of the persous who were sent out, give such mer importance in the

will justify the assertion, that no very eyes of the religious world, the little

close enquiries were made concerning. care and judgment exercised in the moral dispositions, or mental abilia sending out men of such description, ties of the persons who were set apart on a work which requires great pru. for this ill-judged mission. dence, as well as great piety. — Ad

“I am compelled, however, to noditional evidence of the unfitness of

tice the conduct of a gentleman who

accompanied this mission. Being a sur-, some of the Missionaries may be

geon, he was led to consider, that the seen in other publications than those

sure means to establish the mission and before us. By the Evangelical Ma render it respectable in the eyes of the gazine for March last, we perceive natives, would be to begin with reliethat one of those ordained by our ving some of those diseases, which had modern Apostles for this service, been introduced by the vices of Euros? was constrained to offer himself a

peans; and discovering that no surgeon

had been engaged by the Directors, be Missionary by witnessing the solemn

nobly volunteered himself for this imdesignation of Mr. Morison for China; portant service. To the honour of this and hearing that his determination gentleman be it mentioned, that his had been formed by these remarkable outfit was entirely at his own expence, words--Curse ye Meroz, curse them and that he also had to encounter the bitterly said the angel of the Lord : disapprobation of some of his nearest because they came not to the help of

relatives. But this did not deter him

from prosecuting his pious determinathe Lord against the mighty !"

tion, and seeking the opportunity of adSuch ignorant interpreters, or ra ministering those remedies which his ther perverters of the word of God, skill could apply, and thus imitate bis are, at an enormous expence, sent LORD in curing the diseases of suffering forth to evangelize the heathen

humanity. world! – Of the unfitness of many

“ Nothing can more strongly prove of the Missionaries for their work,

the injudicious selection of the persons

who were appointed for missionaries, Mr. Fox presents us with the fol. than

than the infamous treatment which this lowing account.

gentleman received from some of them « Those judicious persons who oba during the voyage, compelling him served the enthusiasm which was exci- to avoid as much as possible all comied at the fitting out of the Otabeitan munication with men, whose ignorance mission, and the eagerness with which and brutal conduct rendered them unmuny persons were caught at to be sent 6t to be companions with a man of lie out as missionaries, from the first pre- beral education. It was only the au. dicted its failure.

thority of the Captain of the ship that

« ZurückWeiter »