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Of the one hundred and sixty-four Unitarian churches in this State, there are but seventy-four which were originally founded on that faith. What terms are strong enough for reprobating the usual policy of this sect, whose members, instead of erecting its temples at their own expense, will worship in the sanctuaries of orthodoxy, till by their cabals they have strengthened themselves into a party, and rallied a rabble influence which shall enable them to turn the rightful occupant out of doors? They strip the departing worshippers of the last farthing. Even the communion furniture is made their prey. In one instance, they have even sued for a considerable fund, accumulated from the sacramental contributions; thus sweeping the sacred offerings from the very altar of God.
And the sect which has systematically perpetrated these outrages, affects to be grieved and indignant, when the churches they have sacked, and sent into exile from the shrines where their fathers worshipped, will not hold fellowship with their spoilers.
The manner in which Unitarianism has contrived, by tortuous policy, to engross the exclusive control of Harvard College, forms another of its unrighteous" annexations." Here is a literary institution founded solely by orthodox men, to be conducted only on orthodox principles, for the benefit of the whole commonwealth, of which, nine-tenths is still orthodox in the larger acceptation of the term. By every principle of natural, moral, or even poetical justice, that seminary ought to be under the management of such men as may fitly represent the class to which the public is indebted for it. The Unitarians, however, by a long course of furtive operations have succeeded in filching, or, as "ancient Pistol" would more genteelly intimate, in conveying the whole. "Convey, the wise it call: Steal! foh; a fico for the phrase."
President Quincy, in his miscalled History of Harvard University, so many of whose glaring inaccuracies and misstatements were exposed and corrected in the First Volume of the CHRISTIAN OBSERVATORY, pretends that, almost from the first days of the colony, there was a "liberal party" here. He states that this party came into possession of that institution at the close of Dr. Mather's presidency, and claims that the Unitarians are now rightfully occupying the trust, as the natural successors of that party, whose "liberality" they have extended and perfected. The fallacy of this statement we have already proved in the former
volume of this work. The men whom Mr. Quincy calls so liberal, were indisputably among the staunchest Calvinists in the land. But be it as he says; what then? They were but a small faction, which contrived to get the staff of power into their hands by taking advantage of circumstances. The great body of the people was strenuously opposed to their ascendancy. If the Unitarians are heirs-at-law to that party, they inherit but a fraudulent title. The original sin" of the transaction has by no means been purged away by the "actual transgressions" of later times.
A more plausible plea has been offered for this dishonest usurpation. It is said, that Unitarians have at last acquired a fair title to that famous seminary, because the greater part of its present endowments are derived from them. Without stopping to prove that this is not the fact, we will pursue a shorter course, by shewing at once, that it is nothing to the purpose. What if a rich man shall make unlawful entry upon a poor man's land; and, availing himself of the difficulty of ousting him when once in possession, shall cover it with expensive "improvements?" Will this mend his misdoing? Shall he plead that the greater part of the present value of the property is due to his outlays upon it? Or will common law and common integrity answer, that he cannot be allowed to take any such advantage of his own wrong; and that the expenditures he has made are at his own risk, in case the premises shall be reclaimed by the rightful owner? All the mortar and marble he may pile upon the ground, cannot make that his, which was not his before. The endowments which Unitarians have conferred upon Harvard College, they have bestowed at their own risk. They knew that the direction had once, at least, changed hands; and ought not to regard it as a hardship, if it should change again.
If the orthodox have not given much to Harvard College of late years, who can blame them? Would it not have been madness in them still further to enrich their spoilers? That they were not wanting in liberality, and zeal for education, is evident from their gifts elsewhere. They have very munificently endowed the other colleges in the State; and the Seminary at Andover, with half a million of funds, owes it origin to endowments which, as is well known, would have gone to Cambridge, but for the shocking untruth perpetrated by the governors of Harvard College, when they said that Rev. Dr. Ware was a "sound and orthodox" divine, in the sense intended by Thomas Hollis.
Moreover, within the period of the Unitarian usurpation, that College has received very large donations from the treasury of the State, the overwhelming majority of whose inhabitants are of evangelical belief. And this brings us to another and an intolerable grievance, namely, that the College should be made a strong connecting link between the State and Unitarianism. In violation of the constitution, they have become a largely favored sect. The education of their ministers is conducted under State auspices; and their licences to preach may be said to be, in some sort, endorsed by the Governor and Senate, and other State officers who sit at the Board of Overseers. Aye, some of the foundations on which, in part, the theological teachers and beneficiary students are supported, are wrested for that purpose from orthodoxy. The Unitarians are neither enterprising enough to lay the foundations for training their own ministry; nor fair enough to suffer orthodoxy to enjoy the just advantage of its own liberality.
It were but a just requital, if the evangelical Christians throughout the State were to enter into "solemn league and covenant" to vote for no Unitarian to fill the stations of governor, senator, or other officers, who are entitled to seats at the Board of Overseers. What if they were to be excluded utterly for a term of years, till the direction of the College shall have returned to its proper channels? This seems to be the only plan whereby that equity may be extorted from their reluctant hands, which is refused by their sense of justice. Could they reasonably complain, if this method were adopted "to wring the wronger till, he rendered right?"
We have another illustration of Unitarian exclusiveness and injustice, in the history of the Massachusetts Congregational Charitable Society. This Society is the creature of the Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers. The Convention undertook to raise a fund, of which the income should be applied to the support of the destitute widows and orphans of the members. Finding it inconvenient to manage this fund, the Convention petitioned the legislature to incorporate fifteen clergymen and as many laymen to act as trustees in the care and distribution of the charity. This corporation for some years acted in concert with the Convention, and adopted its suggestions; regarding itself as an honored servant of that body for whose sake it was constituted. But having, from time to time, in the spirit of narrow-minded and 15*
heartless bigotry, filled up vacancies, as they occurred, with Unitarians, it has of late, haughtily thrown off all dependence on the Convention, makes no detailed report of its proceedings, and is increasing a greater money-power to sway the minds of the ministers. In this way, the Unitarians have acquired the power of patronage involved in the control of nearly a hundred thousand dollars. It is absurd for a party addicted to such practices to set itself up as the most Christian of all Christian sects; and to demand, as of right, the acknowledgment of its claims.
We have not space to describe the collusions by which the Gos-pel Propagation Society, and the Christian Knowledge Society, both of them founded and endowed by orthodox men, have been abstracted by those who have manifested a singular rapacity for orthodox funds. Nor will we tell the tale of a legacy designed by the donor for the Seamen's Friend Society, but which, by a manifest error of the scrivener of the will went to the Seamen's Aid Society, which is under Unitarian management. The court, on grounds of legal impediment, refused to correct the error, though it distinctly recognized that error. But for all this, the Seamen's Aid Society unscrupulously bagged the game.
As we review these numerous depredations, so dishonest and disgraceful, we feel a shade of sadness come over the mind. Alas, that men who seem anxious to be thought Christians and moral reformers, can commit such grave offences against Christian integrity; and, without a blush, seek to cloak them over with the faithless films of sophistry. Surely there must be in their party some generous and honorable natures, who will refuse to be mixed up with such shameful peculations; and will ere long indignantly remonstrate against that settled policy, which has sustained their cause by such unjustified and unhallowed means. A pure and exalted mind would sooner in disgust renounce that cause itself, than partake in the reproach of such rapacious transactions.
But while, as a body, the Unitarian denomination shall uphold and pursue such iniquitous courses, it cannot have a Christian character. While its fingers shall continue to drip with the "filthy lucre " at which it has grasped so greedily, it must not expect that the right hand of fellowship will ever be extended to it by any company of Christ's followers. They who have learned of him to delight in truth and to hate iniquity, will shun all contact with such a combination of doctrinal defection and moral obliquity.
Good morals are essential to religious character. None have said more about morality and "the formation of Christian character," than the Unitarians. But if we are obligated to judge of a system by its fruits, or of men's sympathies by their conduct, what opinion shall we form of Unitarianism, in view of the facts to which we have adverted! What would be said if any Trinitarian. denomination were to be guilty, even in a single instance, of such perversion of funds in trust? We will not, like the Pharisee, bless God that we are not like other men; but we will humbly thank him for the grace which has thus far restrained us from such unrighteousness. Before Unitarianism can make much progress, and especially before it can go forth in obedience to the command to "teach all nations," there must rise up a John the Baptist among them, who shall preach to them repentance for the remission of sins. With what conscience could they send the gospel to the crafty Greek, or the thievish Malay, while themselves at home are denying its power, by continuing to be principals or accessories in a course of undeniable wrong.
TRANSLATORS OF THE ENGLISH BIBLE.
THE second company of King James's Translators held its meetings at Cambridge. To this section of those learned divines, was assigned from the beginning of Chronicles to the end of "the Song of songs, which is Solomon's." The eight men to whom this important part of the work was assigned, were no whit behind their associates, in fitness for that great undertaking.
He is commemorated as "one of the best linguists in the world." He was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and King's Professor of Hebrew. He was actively employed in the preliminary arrangements for the Translation, and appears to have stood high in the confidence of the king. Much dependence was placed on his surpassing skill in the oriental tongues. But his death, which took place in the year 1605, disappointed all such