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by all who have seen it, to be a faithful delineation of your form and features; which we hope that your family and friends will have pleasure in beholding, whether in your presence or absence. But it would require more power than our words could express, to picture forth the internal lineaments of your generous mind. We feel ourselves incompetent to the task; our own consciousness of your worth, is more than we can adequately utter; and the knowledge of your services, and the noble motives which have actuated you, has already been extensively diffused and recognised throughout our churches.

“ For more than twenty years, through good and evil report, in periods of bodily weakness as well as strength, in the midst of official duties of another kind, occupying your daily attention,-you have performed the very rare task of ministering to a congregation, deeply grateful for your unwearied kindness, and who regret that they cannot evince their thankfulness in a more substantial manner.

“ But we are gratified with the assurance, that you, dear Sir, have always looked, and will look to higher considerations than we in any circumstances could offer. The pleasure of doing good to your fellow-beings, the consciousness of rectitude, the satisfaction of being useful in a great and glorious cause, and the approbation of the God to whose service you were and are devoted,—these, we'are sensible, were the motives of your conduct. We trust, that your past exertions and example, which have been to us of so great value, will extend their influence to future years; and that an increasing harvest of fruits, such as you and we together wish, may be the result of your abundant labours.

“ We would only add, dear Sir, our heartfelt and continuing wishes, that every happiness and comfort may be yours for many years, blessed by the recollection of past usefulness and self-devotion, and cheered by the hope of that recompense wbich awaits the good and faithful servant of his Lord.”

The conclusion of this address was followed by rapturous applause, indicating the deep and universal feelings which pervaded the members of the meeting towards Mr. Gibbs; and when Mr. G. rose to reply, the burst became even more rapturous. When silence at length ensued, Mr. Gibbs thus addressed the Meeting :

“ Mr. Chairman, and my respected Friends,— With much pleasure I accept this valuable present, and I beg to return for it my cordial thanks. The extent of your liberality on this occasion, was quite unknown to me, until I was asked whether I had any objection to your contributions being applied to the obtaining of a portrait of myself? At first, I was not disposed to acquiesce in this suggestion; but, finding it to be the general wish, I thought it would be wrong to offer any opposition; and, as the termination of my earthly course may not be very remote (having almost reached the age of threescore), this Picture may afford some small gratification to my surviving relatives and friends, when the frail original shall have faded from their view, and is laid among the dust of past generations.

“The value of this gift is enhanced by the consideration of its being a voluntary testimony to the usefulness of my public labours. Though the result of these labours does not fully correspond to my previous anticipations, I do not regret engaging in them, as they appear to have been productive of some benefit to the cause of Christian truth. Had more time been at my command, and had I enjoyed a better state of health during the last twenty years, the success of my exertions might perhaps have been greater. But, in addition to frequent indisposition, it is well known that I possessed no leisure to prepare for the duties of the pulpit between eight in the morning and six in the evening; and nearly all that I have done in these weekly preparations, has been performed before the former and after the latter of these hours. Under the pressure of advancing years and increasing infirmities, it is not probable that I shall be able to do much more; but any occasional assistance that may be required in conducting the worship, I shall be ready to afford when my strength admits of it.

“ Most earnestly do I wish, that all those who believe in the proper unity and infinite goodness of God, and are satisfied as to the truth of the Gospel history, should come forward and bear public testimony to their honest convictions on these important points; and that, individually and collectively, they would exert their utmost energies in promoting the diffusion and sacred influences of undefiled religion. I have been myself a firm and steady believer in the doctrines of Christian Unitarianism upwards of thirty years; and the more I read and reflect on the subject, the more am I satisfied of their accordance with the Scriptures, and of their vast importance to the present and future welfare of mankind. These doctrines are suitable, not only to the period of health and prosperity, but they are eminently adapted to invigorate and console the mind under the pressure of adversity, and to imbue it with the most delightful anticipations in the prospect of approaching dissolution. If they are honestly believed, and practically cherished, they will disarm death of its sting, and divest the grave of its terrors; they will float us safely over the turbulent billows of time, and happily conduct us into the secure and peaceful haven of eternity.

“ All the popular systems of theology, notwithstanding the perpetual boasting of their respective advocates, tend more or less to engender false views of our heavenly Father, and erroneous notions concerning his moral government, and thereby subject the human mind to the baneful influence of superstition. Unless correct and honourable views are entertained of the Creator and his operations, we cannot be perfectly satisfied as to his designs toward us and our fellowcreatures. It may, I think, with truth be asserted, that there is not a believer in the doctrine of the endless misery of the vast majority of intelligent beings, who, on calm and serious reflection, can help feeling very unpleasant if not heart-rending sensations, in the appalling prospect of that dreadful catastrophe. He cannot help wishing, that the result of the Divine dispensations were, in this particular, to be the reverse of what his creed teaches him; whereas, if he habitually considered the Almighty as the wise and gracious Parent, and the benevolent Friend of all the human race, he would necessarily be led to look forward to the final issue of events with complacency, and to rejoice in the prospect of a delightful and glorious consummation. He would be led to see, that punishment inflicted by a wise and good God, must in its very nature be remedial — that its grand object is to correct and reform those on whom it is inflicted; and, however painful it may be while in operation, that, as it emanates from the purest love and the most expanded benignity, it must, and will ultimately produce virtuous habits and pious affections, and be the means of insuring complete and permanent happiness.

“The doctrine of endless misery appears to me one of the chief sources of bigotry. Certain points of faith are set forth as indispensable to salvation, and those who cannot conscientiously receive them as true, are arrogantly placed without the pale of Christianity, and then unfeelingly doomed to perpetual torments after death! The mild and generous spirit of the Gospel cannot become generally prevalent, until this exclusive and denunciatory spirit shall have been eradicated from the minds of religious professors. We know that all truth is important, but especially Christian truth; and it is unquestionably the bounden duty of every man to seek for it diligently and seriously; and also, after a careful investigation, to maintain firmly and steadily what he conceives to be in accordance with a just and rational interpretation of the Scriptures. But no one has any right to violate the laws of courtesy in his endeavours to uphold and propagate his religious opinions. Let correct statements be given, let the strongest arguments be urged,--and let any honourable means be adopted which is thought likely to produce conviction; but let not recourse be had to misrepresentation and calumny, or to any unholy weapon whatever. Though, by employing nefarious means, a deep impression may be made to the injury of the assailed party, yet the adoption of such a course cannot be productive of any real or permanent benefit; and it will ultimately recoil against those who use it for the ungenerous purpose of blackening the characters of their opponents, and of fixing a stigma on their opinions. It is quite time for theologians to lay aside violent abuse and bigoted anathemas, and to supply their place by genuine candour and kindly expressions. If they are really desirous of ensuring peace on earth, they must cultivate and manifest that grace which our Apostle pronounces to be of supreme importance. • Though,' says he, • I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. Those, then, who manifest an utter deficiency of this Christian virtue (whatever may be their confidence in the soundness of their faith), are, according to Paul,-nothing:--they are as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.' And our Saviour's just rebuke to his disciples, is applicable to many persons in the present day: ‘Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.'

Our great Master was no fabricator of abstruse creeds. His desire was, to reform the moral condition of the world. He laboured to infuse into men a portion of his own mild and benevolent disposition, and to enable them to prepare for participating in the sacred employments and superior joys of the future inheritance. Instead of bewildering his hearers with dark riddles or metaphysical subtleties, he endeavoured to impress on them the great advantage of cultivating love to God and to their neighbours; and he instructed them to let their light so shine before men, that others, seeing their good works, might be led to glorify their Fatber who is in heaven. If all who have assumed the Christian name, had been careful to imbibe and cherish the amiable disposition of their professed Master, and to act agreeably to his teaching, the result would have been truly beneficial and glorious. Persecution for mere difference of opinion, would have been unknown. There would be no hurling the bolts of damnation by one party against another; but all would be disposed to make proper allowance for human frailty, and to exercise mutual forbearance and friendly re


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gards. Though, perhaps, in the present state, men will never think precisely alike on all subjects, yet the period will assuredly arrive, when the practical lessons of the Gospel shall be better understood, and their true effects be produced on the hearts and lives of its professors—when all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evilspeaking, with all malice, shall be put away from among them—when they shall be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another—when the same mind shall be in them which was in Christ Jesus—and when they will love one another with a pure heart, fervently; thus exhibiting a fair specimen of the delightful intercourse and social bliss which will be realised, when mortality shall be exchanged for eternal life and ever-improving felicity.

I cannot help observing, on the present occasion, that it will afford me the most sincere pleasure, if Mr. Cooke's bequest be rendered available for the support and furtherance of unadulterated Christianity in this town. He was one of the most amiable and intelligent persons I have ever known. We were intimately acquainted, and corresponded with each other upwards of seven years, after his quitting this neighbourhood. He had the welfare of our cause deeply at heart. During his residence here, in 1820, he frequently conducted our religious services, in the room we then occupied at the back of George-Street (now the Mechanics’ Institute), and with great acceptance. He presented many useful works to our infant Library; and in the autumn of 1828, he sent me ten guineas towards the erection of our Chapel. Never shall I forget the interesting walks we enjoyed together, and the valuable information then imparted by him,-for his knowledge of men and general affairs was abundant. And I am the more solicitous that the proceeds of the Government Annuity wbich he designed for use, should be applied agreeably to his benevolent intention, as it is now quite beyond my strength to exert myself as I was accustomed to do for many years. But it is my ardent prayer to the Great Disposer of events, that, as he has been graciously pleased to enable me to assist in laying the foundation, he will supply those who shall build on it a goodly and permanent superstructure. Truly happy am I in being able to congratulate my Devonport friends on the acquisition of our present able, worthy, and highly valuable Minister; and greatly shall I rejoice if the means be obtained for continuing him in this situation. May his labours be crowned with the Divine blessing! May you all be closely united, and firmly resolved to assist in extending the boundaries of our holy faith as widely as possible. May you be prepared to withstand every

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