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larly in reference to the conduct of Mr. Owen at Geneva. But he begged distinctly to separate Mr. Owen, as a private individual, from Mr. Owen as the representative of the Bible Society, and acting under their orders. As a private individual, Mr. Owen would have scorned to act as he had done in the capacity of agent for the Bible Society. But when he went to Geneva, he found an intolerant and bigotted spirit of persecution in force against the Christians of that place : and finding that the Socinians were the most influential men, he turncd his back upon the poor despised Christians, and took part with their persecutors. He had even refused to notice M. Malan, and had only admitted M. Empeytes to an interview by night, and with closed doors. Mr. H. made some further observations to the same effect.
“ Mr. Pownall exhorted the Meeting to preserve harmony. He himself had always detested the vile system of expediency pursued by the Earl-street Committee respecting the Apocrypha; but still he was unwilling to see disunion, and he trusted the Resolutions passed at the General Meeting would in the end prove satisfactory.
Mr. Jerrani explained. Thanks were then voted to the Chairmnn, and the Meeting adjourned.
With a copy of this, I must send you a copy of my book for “ Every Man,” to give you some better notions about God. You say, that you view a man's rank in society as a matter of trust from God. So that, God makes Princes and Courtiers, Priests and Panders, Despots and Slaves. Be but so critical upou the subject of religion, as you are upon languages and political economy, and you will add to your wisdom. It is lamentable, that men who display admirable wisdom on all other points, should tie themselves down to the antiquated dogmas of religion : that men, who see the necessity of critical examination on all other subjects, should exclude critical enquiry upon the extensively important subject of religion.
The reader of your Guildford speech must be at a loss to determine, whether the words are to be taken in their literal sense, or whether as a piece of bitter and biting irony on the Bible and its supporters. What are we to thick of the following passage? “ While it is gratifying to know how many Bibles had been circulated through their (the Bible Society's) means, it is equally melancholy to know, that thousands and tens of thousands of pounds had been spent in adulterating the Scriptures, by circulating the lies and fables of the Apocrypha along with the words of eternal life.” Pray, Mr. Drummonå, which are the lies and fables of the Apocrypha ? You instance Tobit and his Fish. Is this more or less of a fable than that of Jonah and his Fish? Allow me to
say, after deep investigation,' that every historical sentence of the
have no corroborating proof, that there is a sentence of historical truth in the first fourteen books of the Old Testament, that any such a people as Jews or Israelites inhabited Palestine before the Babylonish colonization ?
You complain, that the London Committee of the Parent Foreign and British Bible Society has been “collecting money under false pretences, in professing to inculcate the Word of God, without note or comment, and yet proceeded to employ the money committed to them for this purpose, in adding, and not only adding, but iutermingling the fables of Tobit and his Fish with the inspired history of Moses, the true prophecies of Daniel with the stories of Bel and the Dragon and Susanna and the Elders.”
Now, really, Mr. Drummond, this is rather too much to keep one serious. With the exception of the Angel, the Fish, its liver, &c. and the Evil Spirits, the tale of Tobit is a pretty Persian tale, and very rational. It is the counterpart of the history of Job and his family: and what is more, with the above exceptions or without them, it is a much more moral tale, true or false, than the inspired history of Moses. There is neither rape, nor murder, nor any of the buman vices displayed, with which the inspired history of Moses abounds.
The story of Bel and the Dragon is an excellent moral tale. It exposes the tricks of the priesthood and reads a lesson to idolators that would not be amiss to be learned by Mr. Drummond. And pray what has been the late exposure of the conduct of the Committee of the London Bible Society, but another version of the story of Bel and the Dragon? The Persians worshipped Bel, or an emblem of the Sun and the Serpent; the priests of Bel gave out to the more ignorant people, that a figure of the God ate a certain quantity of food every night, or whatever that was pleasant to eat and to drink that the worshippers would leave before him. Daniel is made to expose the trick by shewing, that the Priests came through secret doors and took away the food for themselves. So with the Members of the Committee of the Bible Society, it has been found, that they have been helping themselves to large salaries from the subscriptions or sacrifices of the Bible worshippers, and this trick has been exposed by other idolators who were not making gains from the same source.
The story of Susanna and the Elders is a much prettier story than that of Ruth, inasmuch as chastity and resistance to treacherous violence is preferable to treacherous prostitution of person.
Daniel, his visions, and his lion's den, the burning unconsumed bush of Moses, the speaking ass of Balaam, and the thundering
scenes of Sinai, with the immortnl God that died on a tree, are with you sublime matters; while the simple and strictly probable tales of Bel and the Dragon, Susanna and the Elders, and Tobit with its exceptions, are rejected as so much like truth, so unlike mystery, as to be unworthy of being called divine inspiration. Verily, I do think, that your speech is more powerfully infidel or antichristian than any thing that I have spoken, written, or published. The John Bull newspaper seems to view this matter in the same light; but unlike me it rejoices in the apparent dissolution of the Society. I wish the society to be coextensive with Christianity, or to go on in its assistasce to uproot it. The “ John Bull" has announced with glee the approaching dissolution of “ The Bible Society" on its last Sunday's placard, and the following well written article forms its comment on the subject in that day's paper:..
“THE BIBLE SOCIETY. “We present our readers with the following account of a late Bible Society Meeting in Wiltshire, which, for impudence and hardihood of inference, in assuming the principles entertained by onr most gracious Kung from those attributed to one of his Chaplains, exceeds even the usual inordinacy of presumption which characterises these itinerant quacks! Be it remembered the Report is official--for as more than one of the provincial editors with whom we have remonstrated on espousing the vagrant theology of these revived Puritans, have informed us, the sums paid throughout the provinces by the Auxiliary Bible Societies, our or THE FUNDS FOR THE PURCHASE AND DISTRIBUTION OF BIBLES, for puffs direct and indirect, and reports of their proceedings, are so large, as to amouut to one of the chief sources of revenue to the provincial press! If there is the least demur on the part of the editor whose principles may revolt at such an abuse of public credulity, the proprietors silence him by the more prevailing argument that thirty, forty, and even fifty guineas may be gained by a single article from the Biblers !! Such a contempt of the mammon of this world may abstractedly be very conformable to the principles of our boly faith, but we rather believe that even these Jesuitical casuists would be puzzled to shew any authority in Scripture for putting their hands into other men's purses as a mode of evincing their indifference to the good things of this life!
“We have said so much merely in proof-which might otherwise be well questioned—that the extract we are about to present to our readers does not merely represent what occurred at the meeting, but that the Report has passed the ordeal of a revising Committee, and been regularly connected for public presentation.
•. • The anniversary of the Wilton Branch Bible Society on Wednesday se'onight, was more numerously attended than for several former years. In the absence of the Rev. T. Methuen, G. Atkinson, Esq. undertook the duties of chairman. A brief Report was read by the Rev. S. Hawtrey, one of the Secretaries. The details given by the Rev. A. Brandrum, on the part of the parent institution, proved that the sphere of the Society's operations was continually extending: that an ardent thirst for the scriptures was excited in every quarter of the glube ; and that whatever diminution there might have been in the funds of the Society during the past year, this bad by no means arisen from any serious defection of its supporters,
who on the contrary were stedfast and increasing. Mr. B. communicated to the meeting that the Bishop of Salisbury had, for 22 years, been a most zealous Vice-President of the Society ; that the Rev. Dean had also long been a friend to the institution; that the loss which had been sustainod by the death of the late Bishop of Dun ham, is repaired by the addition of the newly-elected Bishop of Llandaff to the list of Vice-Presidents; and that from the relation in which the last-namei Prelate stood as Royal Libarian! THERE WAS THE FULLEST ASSURANCE THAT THE PLAN, OBJECT, AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE BIBLE SOCIETY MET WITH THE ENTIRE APPROBATION OF HIS MAJESTY!!'
“ We say nothing of the drift of the Society in audaciously attempting to impose upon the world as the adopted opinions of his Majesty—in direct opposition to his public acts, through which alone the sacredness of his character permits us to iufer bis principles of action-the sentiments of an individual who acts upon his own responsibility, and who must stand or fall by his own individual rules of conduct. But it is the fact itself which we doubt, and which we trust is the ovly one of those hardy assertions made in this mountebank Society, which, like a college of Jesuits, labours to make the worse appear the better reason,' whenever the inte rests of the body are concerned. We say we doubt the fact of the new Bishop (Dr. Sumuer) having lent the authority of his Episcopal title to the purposes of this heretical confederacy.
“Our grounds of doubt rest, first, upon our unwillingness to believe that so young a Bishop would at once enter the lists against all the learned portion of the Beach on which he has so recently taken his seat against the great head of the Church, and the wbole body of Bishops, with such exceptions as only tend to prove the soundness and orthodoxy of the real and effective Governors of our ecclesiastical establishment; and secondly, because the same impudent trick was played off against one of the firmest and most steady pillars of our church, the present Bishop of London, Dr, flowley
" When the Bible Society was first set on foot, the art and subtlety with which the saints and dissenters disguised the ultimate object they had in view--in short, before any appearance of its being, what it now unblushingly assumes to be, A DISSENTING CONFEDERACY against the established church, Dr. Howley, then a private clergyman, contributed a single sub scription to the local purposes of the new institution. The real object of such a scheme could not be long concealed from the penetrating eye of such a man-and he declined any further subscription for purposes, and towards an object which he dissapproved upon principle. Many years afterwards, when he was raised to the Bench, this honest, fair dealing Society gave the signal from the central junto in London, and blazoned forth his Lordship's name, printed, published, and circulated, in every part of the empire, as Vice-President and patron of this institution!!!' In vain did lis Lordship's friends remonstrate upon the fraud; it was persevered in, and we believe that this falsehood, recorded under the sanction of a Society claiming a patent for exclusive Evangelical purity, was not fiually suppressed until after it bad in a great measure answered the purpose
of the conspirators, and the Bishop bimself felt called upon to take effectual measures to repel the libel upon his dignity and character. This, we trust and hope we shall find to be the case with respect to the Bishop of Llandaff.
“ Thus much is certain, that the frequent detection of intrigue, falsehood, and imposition arising ont of this hot bed of 'false doctrine' and
schism,' has, so far from having checked or retarded the system upon :which the whole of the mummery and harlequinade of its principal actors
is built, that, aided by the influence of a purchased press from one end of the kingdom to the other, falsehoods and misrepresentations are impudently persevered in, which by repetition and boldness of re-assertion they oppose to authenticated facts, and the evidence of truth itself. The detection which we recorded on Sunday last, however, induces a hope that from its publicity truth may begin to operate upon those very silly and weak persons who contribute their money for an annual entertainment in a theatre or public house, consecrated and converted into arena for the grimacery and buffoonery of men whose mediocrity of talent, in most instances, excludes them from the legitimate objects of professional ambition.
“ It is one of those extraordinary delusions which have too frequently occurred in the bistory of this couutry—in which a Wilberforce may become extensively successful, wbilst a De Maineduc and a Johanna Southcott, lacking the powers of sustenation, sink, after a blaze of popularitynot from any essential difference in the nature of their appeals to public credulity, but from the absence merely of those means which the more elevated impostor possesses of giving currency and effect to his opinions. What is impudently and arrogantly styled “ EVANGELISM” in these days, is precisely, to the orthodox faith, what the Solomons, Brodyms and Eadys are to the regular and scientific practice of physic!
" That in this enlightened period, as it is called by the coxcombs of phi| losophism, any man of real talent and education can be found to associate
with a society whose only visible and deducible principle is hostility to the Established Church, and which, so far from offering any specific advantage in exchange for the rejection of the national faith, professes to encourage and receive on an equal footing every species of dissent from the Presbyterian to the Bryanite, and from the Socinian to the Muggletonian; that any really enlightened mind can, upon principle, lend itself
to the support of such an institution, we consider to be impossible; and if we look to the prominent actors from its first establishment to the present ma ment, we find nothing to interfere with the conclusion to which our first judgment would conduct us.
" It my be considered the central deposit of mediocrity--where, in no single instance during the long progress of this Society, with all the incidenial advantages of puffing, popular excitement, and even the spirit of emulation, has any individual appeared, above the ordinary level of every-day talent, or a single work been produced which can compete with the secondratc Divines of the Established Church !
“We are, and we have proved ourselves to be, the steady, unchangeable, and persevering friends of the Established Church-and it is with feelings of no slight suffering and regret, that in supporting such a cause, we have more than once been called upon to animadvert upon the conduct of some individuals who are supposed to be, and ought to be among the main pillars of the spiritual edifice. But we own no principle beyond that of duty—and when the enemies of the Church vauntingly throw in our teeth the growing advantages to their cause from the accession of our own Church Governors to their ranks; we cannot sheathe our weapons, because, schooled in the policy of a military archetype, they place our captive brethren in the front of their array, and scottingly dare us to the attack. Those two or three dissenting Bishops-dissenting we mean from their brethren on the English Bench-who have suffered themselves to be thus placed, might indeed awaken our clemency, from a conviction that their conduct is founded on well-meaning but mistaken notions of duty; but such a mode of acquittal from the gener al obloquy, deservedly incurred by the main body, would probably be taken as an ill compliment even