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aud esclusive head. of the church; for laws have no earlier date than Popery, God " hath put all things under his feet, no higher authority than Acts of Parliaand given bim to be head over all things ment;-as a church whose only head is to the church."
an earthly potentate, fallible in all cases; They are one united and indivisible corrupt and wicked in the instance of its body—“ for as the body is one, aud has founder, Henry VIII., yet, nevertheless, many members, and all the members of by law “ vested with all power to exerthat one body being many are one," so cise all manner of ecclesiastical jurisdicalso is the church of God.
-as a church whose ministers and Their members possess an equality of pastors are the servants of the State rights, no ove being permitted to arrogate only, possessing “no manner of juristo himself religious titles and distinc- diction ecclesiastical, but by and under tious, or to call any mau master on earth the King or Queen's Majesty ;"—as a -" for one is your Master, even the church whose rites and ceremonies, Christ, and all ye are brethren"
whether of Baptism, the Lord's Supper, They reject all hired or exclusive or for the solemnization of Marriage, teachers, and in their assemblies “ ad- are maintained only by a self-asserted monish one another,” and “edify one authority “ to decree rites and ceremo. another” according to the Scriptures nies;"-as a church whose lordly pre. " for ye may all teach, one by one, that lates and aspiring priesthood retain their all may learn and all may be comforted." office, titles and privileges in opposition
They “ choose out of themselves” cer. to the clear and express commands of tain officers for the regulation of their Jesus ;-as a church whose tithes aud affairs, that “all things" may“ be done revenues constitute a violation at once of decently and in order."
the rights of property and of the laws of These officers of the Church are Bi- God ;-as a church whose unrighteous shops (i. e. overseers) or elders, and claims are supported by an appeal to the deacons, (i. e. servants,) who are to serve hopes and fears of men, profanely assertand to take " the oversight thereof not ing “ that every priest of this church by contraint, but willingly ;-not for hath power and authority from Almighty filthy lucre, but of a ready miud; neither God, in the name of the Holy Trinity, as being lords over God's heritage, but to forgive or to retain the sins of men ;". being ensamples to the flock."
as a church whose unscriptural faith is Your petitioners further submit to fulminated by means of a creed which is your Honourable House, that where God at the same time intolerant in its spirit, hath fully revealed his will to mau, all and coutradictory in its assertions ; rites, ceremonies, and acts of worship, “ which faith," it is impiously avowed, in order to be acceptable to God, must except every one doth keep whole and be appointed by him; and believing that, undefiled, he shall, without doubt, pe. since the abolition of the Mosaic ritual rish everlastingly;".
'-as a church whose and Temple worship, no rites, ceremo canons denounce curses and excommunies, or public social prayer and worship, pication upou all who, following the dice have ever been appointed by Divine au tates of conscience, shall, like your peti-thority, they, as the disciples of Jesus, tioners, “ affirm that the form of God's and, in obedience to his commands, worship, contained in the Common "pray in secret to the Father,” and as Prayer," is unscriptural; “ that any of " the true worshipers," " worship the its 'Thirty-nine Articles are in auy part Father in spirit and in truth."
superstitious," or " that the governinent That rejecting, like the Jewish people of the Church of England under his or of old, the pretensions of every church her Majesty, by archbishops, bishops, whose doctrines, discipline and worship deans, &c., is repugnant to the word of are not founded on the laws of God God;"-as a church whose alliance with without any admixture of human autho- the State hath produced that cruel and rity, and required as they are, by law, oppressive “ Act of Uniformity," yet to conform to the Established Church iu unrepealed, by which any one who shall the instance of marriage, your petitioners speak any thing to the derogation of the declare and avow that the Church of En- Book of Common Prayer, or any thing gland, whose religious worship they are therein contained, “shall, for the first thus called upon to sanction, they know offence, forfeit a hundred marks ; for the only as a church “ teaching for doctrines second, four hundred marks; and for the commandments of meu ;"-as the third, all his goods and chattels, and church professing a religion which has SHALL SUFFER IMPRISONMENT DURING no other claim than that of being “hy LIFE"!! law established ;''-as a church whose That this church having its foundation
in Rome, being a superstructure of Igno. terms, made such in the present Church rauce and Mystery, of Heatheuism and Liturgy. Popery, maintained by worldly riches That, by reason of its origin from the and power, and guarded by the sword of Popish Mass Book, together with the persecution, is, by your petitioners, re- obsoleteness of certain of its terms, its garded as part and parcel of that city forms are superstitious, its neaving has, shadowed forth in prophecy, that great in some instances, become obscure, its city 'which hath made merchandise of assertions false, and its allusions indemen's souls, by whose “sorceries all licate, offensive, and revolting. nations were deceived," in which was That the worship connected with this “ found the blood of the prophets and ceremony is idolatrous, the language of the saints," but which God, by his judg. prayer being therein addressed to ments, hath threatened to destroy. That “ Christ,” who, as the Christ, that is, in this spiritual Babylon your petitioners the Anointed or Messiah, is in Scripture can, as the true worshipers of God, have expressly called “the Man Jesus," " the no lot nor inheritance. Yea, rather than Son of Man," and who hath himself partake of its abominations, they are proclaimed, « Thou shalt worship the prepared to suffer on the altar of its Lord thy God, anå him only shalt thou idolatry, mingling their lives with “the serve." souls of them that were slain for the That it is open and avowed Polytheism, word of God, and for the testimony a plurality of gods being expressly worwhich they held.”
shiped and separately invoked therein, as Viewing the Church of England as “God the Father," God the Son," and part of such a system of political religion “ God the Holy Ghost," such Polytheism and corrupt spiritual power, regarding being contrary both to the laws of God and the form of marriage, as contained in of our country; to the laws of God by the the Book of Common Prayer, as one of declaration of the apostle, that "to us the rites of such a church, how can your there is but one God, even the Father, petitioners conform thereunto? “How" of whom are all things;" to the laws of (in the language of Scripture) “ can they our country by the 9th and 10th of do this thing and sin against God ?" William III. cap. 32, as amended by the And if, haply, on the grounds of false 53d George III. cap. 160, which altera. doctrines and corrupt practices, no ob- tion of the law still leaves exposed to jection existed against the Established civil disabilities and imprisonment all Church, yet will it be evident to your persons who shall “ maintain that there Honourable House that, denying as they are more Gods than one." do the authority of any established reli. That your Petitioners, with these gion, rejecting the claims of any priest. views of the Church marriage ceremony, hood, refusing assent to all public social and of the Established Religion, of which worship, your petitioners' stand, too it is a part, have ever held it impossible widely separated from the Established for their members to submit and to subChurch, and, indeed, from all other re scribe thereunto on occasion of their ligious bodies, to join in any religious marriages, without publicly, and in the act with any party, other than their own, face of the Established Church, protestthe true church of God.
ing against the same. Your petitioners, in addition to these That the delivery of such protests by their broad and general grounds of ob- your petitioners, together with their rejection against the religion established fusal to kneel at “the altar," and repeat by law, of which the marriage ceremony certain parts of the marriage service forms a part, further and especially ob- deemed by them to be idolatrous, hare ject against that particular ceremony: exposed your petitioners to great and
That it makes a religious rite where serious pain and inconvenience. That God has made none; marriage being a the marriages of members of their body natural and civil right, which is nowhere have been, in consequence, sometimes appointed in the Scriptures to be entered refused—sometimes delayed-sometimes upon by means of a religious soleminiza- broken off, when partly celebrated, and, tion.
on one occasion, adjourned till a future That it is a Popish rite, first rendered day. That the members of their body compulsory in the church by a corrupt have, in some instances, been kept in pontiff, as a means of increasing the re the Church several hours waiting the venue of the clergy; and that, though completion of the marriage ; that in nominally not regarded by the Esta- others they have been threatened to be blished Church as a sacranient, or mys- expelled therefrom by civil, force, or be tery, it is in substance, and even in hauded over to the terrors of the eccle
siastical courts—those hateful remnants a legal sanction thereto, without a vio. of spiritual tyranny and Popish oppres- lation of their consciences; that they sida; whilst, upon some occasions in- ask this as the free citizens of a free deed, the liberality of the officiating state—as Protestants resisting all spiri. minister hath rendered the situation of tual domination, and appealing to the your petitioners even the more painful Bible as the great charter of their liber. and embarrassing.
ties—as Dissenters denying the right of That your petitioners implore your the civil magistrate to interfere in reliHonourable House to put an end to a gion or usurp authority over the conscistate of things painful to all the parties ences of men-as the Church of God, concerned therein-pecessary to no ex- bound, like its Master and Head, to istiog interest of the couutry-compelled “ bear witness of the truth ;" and apby no avowed object or policy of the pealing, in the language of the apostles, laws-and affording neither support nor to the rulers of this world, “whether it the appearance of support, to the religion be right in the sight of God to hearken established by law.
unto you more than upto God—judge That whereas the right to contract ye." marriages before their own congrega That regarding the conuexion of retions being by law allowed to Jews and ligion with the State as the primary Quakers, your petitioners trust it will cause of the grievance of which your appear to your Honourable House, from petitioners complain, and deploring the the above statement of their doctrines same as having mainly contributed to and principles, that their scruples against the corruption of revealed religion, as conformity with the Established Religion giving occasion to the infidel and scoffer are as serious and as valid as those en- to speak evil of religion, and above all, tertained by Jews or Quakers; whilst, as being denounced by the judgments from the statement of their discipline and threatenings of God, as made known and church government, it will appear in the Scriptures, your petitioners, bethat they are as closely quited and as sides the relief now sought to be obdistinct a body as Jews or Quakers, thus tained, pray your Honourable House to offering to the Legislature equal securi- put an end to the connexion between ties against the performance of clandes- Church and State-that so the power tine or unlawful marriages. That fur- and simplicity of divine truth may apther evidence can, if required, be offered pear-that so the word of God may no at the bar of your Honourable House, as longer be blasphemed — that so the to the unity and identity of your peti- judgments of God may peradventure be tioners as a body, so as fully to justify averted from our country, when“ Baand superinduce the conclusion, that, bylon the Great” shall be had in rewith reference to all the objects of civil membrance, and her sins shall “have society, touching the marriage contract, reached unto heaven." such contracts may be entered into be That all and several the allegations fore the people known as “ Freethinking contained in this petition, whether as Christians," with the same security as regards the grievance sustained by your those contracted among the people called petitioners — their claims a true Quakers, or the members of the Jewish church, or all the matters and things persuasion.
urged against the Established Religion, That whilst your petitioners will not and the Marriage Ceremony, to which renture to dictate to your Honourable they are by law required to conform House the mode of relief now prayed your petitioners are prepared to support for, they take leave to state, that, as far and prove at the bar of your Honourable as their own body is concerned, the ex House, or before a Convocation of the tending to their members the same ex Clergy for that purpose assembled, and emption from the operation of the Mar- they pray for such alteration in the law riage Act as that which is enjoyed by as in the premises shall seemn meet to Jews and Quakers, and upon the same your Honourable House. principle, or the permitting them to And your petitioners will ever pray. contract marriages before the justices of
At the same time similar petitions the peace, as in the days of the Commonwealth, would be a simple process Yorkshire ; Loughborough, Leicester
were presented from Dewsbury, in of legislation, and that the same would
shire; Battle, Sussex; and Cranbrook, be satisfactory to your petitioners.
Keut. That regarding marriage as a civil rite, your petitioners seek only to obtain
Christian Tract Society. was the Minister of Justice under the
late Constitutional Government of PorThe Eighteenth Anniversary of this tugal, a set in boards was presented. Society was held on Wednesday, May 9th, That gentleman was already possessed at the White Hart Tavern, Bishopsgate of the Society's Tracts, but finding his Street, London : the Rev. Dr. Rees in family, who were about to return to the Chair.
their native country, could understand The Committee's Report was not of them and were highly interested in their so encouraging a nature as on some perusal, he was desirous of their taking former occasions. The pressure of the with them publications so well calculated times, as might have been expected, has to inspire a love of goodness.-To the occasioned a falling off in the number of Lancashire and Cheshire Unitarian MisSubscribers. The Collector chosen by sionary Society, on the application of the last General Meeting declined ac the Rev. J. R. Beard, Tracts were voted. cepting the office ; and the gentleman
-To a gentleman residing at Hobart's appointed, by the Committee, to fill it Town, in Van Dieman's Land, and who having as yet succeeded in obtaining but
was anxious to put into circulation there a small proportion of the subscriptions Moral and Religious Tracts, an allotfor the year 1826, the Committee had
ment had been forwarded.-At the rethought it right to confine the outlay to
quest of Mr. John Mardon, Secretary of the reprinting of such Tracts as were
the Finsbury Chapel Sunday Schools, required to keep up the series. Two
some Tracts were presented for the use Tracts were stated to be under con
of the children.—And, conformably with sideration-one a MS. from the pen of a resolution passed by the General Meeta former contributor, Mrs. M. A. Price, ing of 1824, a set in boards has been the other an Irish tale already in circu- presented to the Rotherhithe and Berlation, but which, with some verbal mondsey Mechanics’ Institution.-A Letalterations, it was thought would be
ter was read from the Rev. S. Wood, well adapted for promoting the objects who stated that he was at Geneva last of this Institution. To enable their autumn, when he was requested by M. successors to bring out new Tracts, the Bouvier, one of the Pastors, “ to reCommittee respectfully but earnestly re commend to him some English work commended the prompt payment of sub- calculated for the instruction of the scriptions both in arrear and for the
Mr. Wood replied, that he current year, the pecuniary claims on is considered The Christian Tracts pecuthe Society being considerably beyond liarly adapted to the object in view." the funds in hand. Indeed, nearly the He, therefore, begged to be favoured
whole of the present year's subscrip- with a set in boards, which he would tions, it was stated, would be required forward to M. Bouvier, who, if he had to satisfy those claims ; particularly as
not leisure to translate the Tracts himthe accession of new members does not self, would, he believed, procure their equal the number of those who have
translation. By such a grant Mr. Wood died or withdrawn their subscriptions, thought the Committee would “confer The Committee, however, saw no cause a substantial benefit on the worthy and for despondency, as activity on the part intelligent people of Geneva." He had of the steady friends of the Society in also heard' M. Monod, of Paris, very the endeavour to procure new subscribers lately express “ the highest admiration and a few donations and life subscrip- of one or two of the 'Tracts which had tions would again place it in a condition fallen in his way, and which he had for effectively prosecuting its benevolent made an effort to have translated.”. and important objects.
The total number of Tracts which the Although the circulation during the Society has printed was stated to be past year had fallen below that of for444,500, of which upwards of 378,000 mer years, yet the demand had required have been circulated. The stock on the reprinting of ten Tracts—and 617 hand amounts to nearly 66,000-and, volumes in boards had been supplied to
with the present series, can seldom be Subscribers, Agents, and Booksellers.
much less. The average yearly circulation The Rev. G. Harris, of Glasgow, was
from the commencement of the Instituannounced as the gratuitous Agent of tion has been about 21,000 copies. The the Society for Scotland — where he thinks a considerable circulation of the property of the Society was thus stated : Tracts may soon be obtained.
Due from Agents, Country The Committee reported the follow Societies, and Bookseling grants : to Senhor Carvalho, who lers, for Tracts on Sale
£100 105 at least who admit the sound morality Estimated value of the
of the Society's publications should give Stock on hand
362 89 it their support-and if controversial Cash in the hands of the
Tracts are deemed requisite, they might Treasurer
72 17 8 be published as such. In sentiments
like these the Chairman and company
535 14 10 seemed cordially to unite. Owing for Printing... 48 14 6
Bolton District Association. Owing for Paper 99 13 0
The Second Half-yearly Meeting of 148 7 6
the Bolton District Association was held Leaving a balance of pro
at Bury, on Friday, April 13th. The perty to the Society of .. £387 6 4
Rev. W. Tate, of Chorley, introduced
the service, and the Rev. James WhiteThe following gentlemen were elected head, of Cockey-Moor, preached from into office for the year ensuing :
Hebrews x. 24 : “Let us consider one Treasurer, JAMES ESDAILE, Esq. another, to provoke unto love and to Secretary, Mr. GEORGE SMALLFIELD. good works.”
Committee, Messrs. S. Bayley, J. Mr. Edmund Grundy took the Chair ; Bowring, Rev. E. Chapman, Niessrs. J. and the Rev. W. Probert, of Walınsley, Clennell, J. Evans, J. Fernie, S. Hart, was appointed supporter to Mr. Tate S. Hart, Jud., J. C. Means, H. Taylor, at the next meeting of the Association, and W. Wood.
to be held at Chowbent, The Secretary Auditors, Rev. Dr. Rees, and T. Horn- reported that no progress had been made by and B. Kennedy, Esqs.
in the Missionary arrangements recomCollector, Mr. John Wiche.
mended at the last meeting, owing to The Subscribers and their friends af- is hoped, will be ultimately removed,
some unexpected difficulties. These, it terwards dined together, John Woov, Esq., M. P., in the Chair. The prefaces and the Association be enabled to estato the sentiments proposed by the Chair-blish, at least, two stations for occaman gave very considerable interest to sional preaching within the district.
In the course of the afternoon con. the meeting, as did also the addresses of Mr. Aspland, Dr. Rees, Mr. Hardy, siderable discussion took place relative the Treasurer, and other gentlemen.
to the repeal of the Corporation and The company was not numerous, but Test Acts, and a petition on the subject the excellent Chairman evinced a strong ed by the Association, owing to its not
was produced, which could not be adopt. desire of contributing to its pleasure, and cordial wishes for the prosperity of being ready for signatures, but has since the Society by becoming a life subscriber. been forwarded to Parliament from BolIn the course of the evening other life
B. ebscriptions and several donations were announced by the Treasurer, who appeared to feel increasing solicitude for
Sheffield Meeting of Ministers. the welfare of the Institution, Hitherto ON Good Friday, the Half-yearly the Society has been supported chiefly Meeting of the Ministers in the neighby Unitarians, other denominations ap- bourhood of Sheffield was held. The pearing to regard it as an Unitarian Sermon on the occasion was preached institution. But however its Tracts fail in the Upper Chapel by the Rev. R. of enforcing a belief in those doctrines Wright, who, during the course of it, which are called orthodor, the primary made many appropriate and excellent object of the institution most certainly observations; and the devotional serwas, the inculcation of that moral cou- vices were conducted by the Rev. H. H. duct founded on motives derived from Piper. After the service, the ministers the Christian Scriptures, the necessity and many of their lay brethren, amountof which is deemed essential to the ing to more than forty, dined together Christian character by the wise and good at the Angel Inn, the Rev. R. Wright in of all parties. While, therefore, the the Chair. The ministers present were importance of right faith is contended the Rev. Dr. Philipps, Rev. I. Williams, for, and the indispensable necessity of Rev. H. H. Piper, Rev. R. Wallace, and a virtuous life admitted by the advocates the Rev. J. Brettell. of the most opposite creeds, all might Considerable interest was excited by consistently support such an institution the observations made by many of the as the Christian Tract Society. Those gentlemen who addressed the company,