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'Twas timid, unobtrusive,—for it wanted
To Mrs. Barbauld. Thou hast heard many voices hymning thee, Who didst awake their purest, earliest strains; Flowing like mingling rivulets o'er the plains They water—till they reach the mighty sea Where time is blended with eternity! The current of thy years—which age has crown'd With hoary honours, and ripe harvests round, Say, may it drink some gentle dews from me Of grateful song ?—I was in childhood young And artless, when to my dim vision thou Wert as a saint,—and from thy gentle tongue I oft have heard such truths, such thoughts, as wrung Tears of delight from infancy—and now Round thee affection hath with reverence clung.
The Present Age: an Address delivered before the Mercan
tile Library Company of Philadelphia, May 11, 1841. By W. E. Channing, D. D. Glasgow: Hedderwick & Son. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co.
This is a spirit-stirring Address-worthy of its author -worthy to be deeply pondered by men of all nations, of every condition. Its purpose is to show the tendency of the present age “to expansion, to diffusion, to universality," and its opposition “to exclusiveness, restriction, narrowness, monopoly.” This tendency is illustrated by the views which are breaking on the public mind, of human nature, of science and literature, the fine arts, education, religion, human industry, government. The present evils accompanying this tendency, are pointed out, but are not dreaded, because looked on with that eye of faith, that Christian trustfulness in the God of love, who will overrule them all for the lasting and universal good of his creatures. We had intended to give some passages from this Address, but on second thoughts we forbear doing so.
That -Address should be in every person's bands, and its sentiments imprinted on all memories; and, happily for human improvement, its cost ensures its universality.
The anniversary of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association, was held in London, on Wednesday and Thursday, June 2 and 3. The meeting on Wednesday, was held in Essex-street Chapel, Strand, for the transaction of the business of the Association,–J. Ashton Yates, Esq. M.P. in the chair. After the reading of the Report of the Committee, various resolutions were adopted; amongst which was one of heartfelt thanks to the Rev. R. Aspland, for his long and faithful services as Secretary, coupled with the expression of sincere regret at his illness, which deprived the meeting of his presence.
On Thursday morning, the religious services of the Association, were conducted at Hackney; the Revds. J. Murch of Bath, and H. Acton of Exeter, taking the devotional portions, and the sermon being preached by the Rev. E. Talbot of Tenterden. We are happy to learn that this sermon, which gave so much satisfaction on its delivery, is to be printed. At the close of the worship, about three hundred persons sat down to a collation at the late Mermaid Tavern, Hackney, James Young, Esq. in the chair. An interesting and happy afternoon was passed; the meeting being addressed by Messrs. Hornby, Dr. Bowring, and the Chairman; and the Revds. C. Taggart, E. Talbot, M. Maurice, M. Paschaud of Paris, T. Madge, R. E. B. Maclellan, W. Hincks, Dr. Ilutton, and H. Acton.
On Wednesday and Thursday, July 14 and 15, was celebrated at Hull, the Twenty-ninth General Meeting of the Unitarian Association for Hull, East Yorkshire, and North Lincolnshire. On Wednesday evening, the whole religious service was conducted by the Rev. George Harris of Glasgow. On Thursday morning, the Rev. W. Worsley of Gainsborough took the devotional service, and the sermon was preached by Mr. Harris. Large and attentive congregations assembled. Mr. Harris's first discourse was on the Divine benevolence; his second on the infidel objections to Christianity, founded on its corruptions of doctrine. The friends of the Association took tea together on Thursday, in Mr. Davie's large room in Carr-lane, where 141 persons sat down. The Rev. W. Worsley very ably presided, and the meeting was addressed by the Rev. Messrs. Higginson, Harris, Duffield of Doncaster, Lee, Jun. and Frankland of Malton; also by Messrs. Seaton, W. H. Holdsworth, T. Watson, D. Goodwill, Jun. &c. Singing and prayer concluded a highly animated meeting.
On Sunday, July 18, Mr. Harris preached at the Strangeways Chapel, Manchester, both morning and evening, in behalf of the Infants’ and Girls' Day Schools supported by that Congregation. Collections, amounting to nearly forty pounds, were afterwards made.
WESTERN UNITARIAN SOCIETY.—The Forty-ninth Annual Meeting of this Society was held at Bath, on the 21st of July. An unusually large number of members and friends attended, among whom were the following ministers: Mr. Armstrong, Bristol; Mr. Blythe, Chesterfield; Mr. Bailey, Bristol; Mr. P. Carpenter, Stand; Mr. R. Carpenter, Bristol; Mr. Crompton, Norwich; Mr. Gibson, Bristol; Mr. Harris, Glasgow; Mr. Jones, Northampton; Mr. Lewis, Cheltenham; Mr. Martin, Trowbridge; Mr. Maclellan, Bridport; Mr. Murch, Bath; Mr. Philp, London; Mr. Short, Warminster; Mr. Solly, Yeovil; Mr. Tingcombe, Bristol; Mr. Walker, Frenchay; Mr. Whitfield, Ilminster; Mr. Wreford, Bristol. The devotional parts of the service were conducted by the Rev. H. Solly and the Rev. R. E. B. Maclellan; and a truly admirable sermon on the paternity of God was preached by the Rev. G. Harris. At 3 o'clock, the Congregation partook of an elegant collation in the Assemblyrooms, Mr. Green of Bath in the chair; and after a few appropriate toasts, the business of the Society was transacted, Mr. Éstlin of Bristol in the chair. The Minutes having been read by Mr. Hugh Evans, the Secretary, several new members were elected. At this stage of the proceedings, a cordial welcome was given to James Yates, Esq. and J. H. Ball, Esq. who appeared as a deputation from the British and Foreign Unitarian Association. The Rev. J. Murch, in moving a resolution on this subject, pointed out various benefits which the Association had conferred, in rendering pecuniary aid to infant congregations until they had outgrown the need of it—in offering a welcome to distinguished foreigners, such as Rammohun Roy, Dr. Tuckerman, Mr. Gannett, and Mr. Martin Paschaud-and in publishing and republishing works of great value on Christian truth, liberty, and righteousness. Mr. Yates, in replying on behalf of the Association, thanked the Western Society for the manner in which he and his colleague had been received—assured the Meeting, that much as he enjoyed the scientific pursuits to which his attention was now chiefly devoted, his highest gratification was derived from intercourse with the lovers of religious truth and freedom; and dwelt on the importance of supporting the Association he represented, devoted, as it was, to the welfare of Unitarianism in the country, rather than in London, and embracing, as it did, objects in which the whole body were deeply interested.
At half-past five o'clock, the company withdrew from the dining-room, and were joined by a large number of friends in the spacious ball-room, where they remained about an hour, exchanging friendly greetings, and enjoying the novel sight of so many assembled there for such a purpose. They were then summoned to the tea-room, where eighteen ladies of the Bath Congregation presided at as many tables. The business of the Western Society having been concluded, by resolutions recommending that Mr. Harris's sermon should be printed, and that Cheltenham should be the next place of meeting, Mr. Murch took the chair, for the purpose of introducing a succession of sentiments to the Meeting. They were the following:
1. Religious Fellowship, unalloyed by Sectarianisın: may it increase among us, and be full of good fruits.--2. Religious Principle: the firm and enlightened determination to obey God rather than man; Honour to all who manifest it, and especially to those who have suffered from it.-3. The Cause of Christian Truth in Ireland: may the Few cease to Oppress the Many; may the Porters, the Drummonds, and the Montgomerys, succeed in crushing the Bigotry by which they are opposed, and proving the power of Learning, Eloquence, and Right.-4. The Cause of Christian Truth in Scotland: our fearless, persevering, and most welcome visiter, the Rev. George Harris; Success to all his plans for lessening the dominion of Calvinism, and diffusing the influences of pure, practical, and benevolent Christianity.-5. The Lewin's Mead Congregation, and our respected friend, their Pastor: many thanks to them for their presence on this occasion; may the sacred cause of unsectarian Education, to which their hearts and hands are devoted, be everywhere successful.-6. The Ministry to the Poor: Mr. Philp, Mr. Bailey, Mr. Martin-all who are labouring for that class to whom the Gospel was preached, and who heard it gladly. Heaven grant them the power to tread in their great Master's steps, and with the arms of knowledge and charity to raise up those that are bowed down.
These sentiments were responded to with great earnestness by Messrs. Jolly of Bath, Whitfield of Ilminster, Jones of Northampton, Maclellan of Bridport, and Armstrong and Gibson of Bristol. The Meeting testified their sympathy with all the speakers, but especially with Mr. Harris, who had come from a great distance, and whose powerful address excited the warmest emotions. In introducing the sentiment relating to Ireland, Mr. Murch read an interesting letter which he had just received from the Rev. Dr. Montgomery, who had hoped to be present. Dr. M. expressed a strong desire that some plan should be formed for sending representatives to and from the principal Associations in England, Scotland, and Ireland. A hymn having been sung, the Chairman terminated the proceedings of one of the most numerous, and, it may be hoped, one of the most useful meetings of the Western Unitarian Society--a meeting at which the pious and venerated founders would have devoutly rejoiced, presenting, as it did, scenes which they longed to see, but could not.
On the following Sunday, July 25, Mr. Harris preached to large congregations at Bath and Bristol; at Bath, in aid of the funds of the Daily School supported by the Congregation; and at Bristol, on the sufficiency of the knowledge of the Gospel of Christ.