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have abited the great family of Christiaos." Nor is this all. It is these sentiments, containing such a gross and palpable violation of the fundamental principle and comprehensive spirit of the Bible Snciety, that are pronogaced by the Committee of the Calcutta Association to be “truly Christian and Catholic." It is the atter. ance of these sentimients that is hajled with delight
as a bigbly auspicious sign of the times." And it is the “ lovely spirit” they dis. play which it is confidently hoped " will epcreasingly prevail.” We do not at present object to this lao, guage considered in itself, but as being wholly qosuit. able to the character and professions of the lostitotion that adopts it. To meet with it is a Chorob, or Independent, Baptist Missionary Report would neither surprise nor offend us : but to give place to such language in a Bible Society Report is to prosti. tute to sectarian purposes av lostitation which claims, and deserves, aod, but for ibis and similar deviations from its principles, would oblain the universal suf. frares of Christians. We do noi, therefore, consider that we are unreasonable in demaudiog either that the Caicotta Bible Association wall publicly avow that it
has been formed for the express purpose of propagating Trinitarian and Calvinistic doctrines; or that in its future proceedings and Reports it shall refrain from the use of language wbich wany Christiaos, and even
who bave liberally contribated to its funds, can regard ia no other light than as ap attack opon the denomination to which they belony.
It will perhaps be plied that Unitarians aro not reckoned amoog those " troe believers of all denominatioos" who it is confi. dently hoped “ will inoro and more approximate to each other," and that there. fore no deference is due to their scruples, no compromise is to be made with their errors. It is to be hoped that bigotry and yocha. ritableness have not gained so firm a footing in Calcutta as such a defence would imply ; botif such a defence should be made, it wonld at once determine the real character of the Calcutta Bible Association. Unitarians in. deed inight urge that, if they chose to imitate mine bad example, they could with as great ease and jostice deny the Christiau oame or char. acter to Trinitarians, as Trinitarians deoy it to them. Bat such recrimi. vatiops would place them 100 much on a level with
those whose principles and spirit they disapprove, and would lead, only by a inore unpleasant course, to a resolt rendered previously necessary, viz. the entire withdrawal of their subscriptions and sapport from an Association which has so far lost sight of its proper object as to erect itself into a tribunal of faith and conscience. But we again say that we hope better tbiogs, aod that althoogb Dothing can be advanced to jastify the language we have quoted, yet that in future the practice of the Associa. tion will more fully come up to its professions.
Tbe next passage worthy of potice is contained in the Appendix, No II, p. 20:
" He has a pretty correct idea of tbe principles of our blessed religion : but tbere are certain doctrines wbich he get stumbles at, such as the Trin. ity. This, however, should not surprize vs, for there are many among us even, to whom it is a rock of offence and a stone of stumbling.' On the other hand, he invariably ad. mics of the justice of God, and begins to stayger at the idea of a sinner's being saved mere. ly on the score of mercy.”
The Rev. D. Schmid, one of the Secretaries of the Calcatta Bible Association, addressed a Circular to the Missionaries in which they " were requested to com. municate any facts respecto ing the readiness of the Na.
tives to receive the Scrip. tares w bich might fall under their experience, and any instances wherein the copies distributed appeared productive
of spiritual good.
The above is an extract from that one of the only two commanications he receivest in ro ply, which as“ beios of a particularly pleasing natore" is inserted in the Alle peadix. The person referred to in it, is described as a re, spectable Moyhul inquirer into the merits of Chrisa tianity.
It is evidently quite with. in the province of a Bible Secretary to inquire of Miss sionaries respecting the readiness of the gatives to receire the Scriptures" bęg cause the circulation of the Scriptores! is the express object for which Bible Socy ieties are instituted. But the interpretation of the Scriptures is no part of that object : on the contrary it is in direct termos disavowed, and there, fore the Bible Sicreo tary seems to have forgot. ten both to whom he was writing and in wbat character he wrote, when he're quested to be informed hy the Missionaries of “any ia: stances wherein the copies distribuied appeared productive of spiritual good." How could a Missionary rc, ply to such as inquiry wine out exbibitio; his owo pe.
enliar views of the sense of Scripture ? What one Missi. onary reckons spiritual-GOOD anoiber may reckon spiritu. al EVIL. Of this we have an example in the extract that has been quoted. Tbe wri. ter represents a respectable Moghul inquirer as unhappi. ly objecting to the doctrine of the Trinity and erroneously seeking to be saved" merely on the score of mercy.” Now if the Secretary's Circular had been addressed to a Unifarian Missionary, and if he had happened to meet with the same Moghul inquirer, bow different the staiements his reply would have contained. He would have expressed to the Bible Secretary the pleasure be had experienced in conversing with a respectable Massal. man who was willing to receive and read the Scriptures, and who had no other objection to Christianity except what was created by the doctrine of the Trinity--an objeciion which of course was at once removed by informing him that this was no doctrine of Cbris. tianity, but a gross and palpable corruption of one of jis fundamental principles. He would also, no doubt, bave staied the gratification which he had received from observing his truly Chris. vian state of mind, since he professed to hope for sale vation, got through his owa
merits, or throogh the mea rits of any oiber being, båt simply and entirely through the vadeserved and prrchased mercy of God, Woold a. reply contains ing these or similar state. megto have been adarit ted into the Appendix and referred to with alprobation in the Report ? Such a reply would tainly have been of a moch
pleasing Dalore," in the estimation of some of the Subscribers, than that actually communicated. But no. The BibleSerretary, and Committee, and Association, would, at a single glauce, bave per ceived that all this was exceedingly irrelevant to the object of a Bible Society. Why can they not, with equal clear. Dess, perceive tbat what is written in favour of the Tri. nity &c. is just as irrelevant to that object as wbat is written against it? One more remark on this
The writer of tho letter affirms,that“ there are many among us even. whom it (the Tripity) is ' a rock of offence and a stone of stambling.'" The language of prophecy here quoted is used by the Apostles of Christ in reference to those Jews who rejecied Jesas as the Messiah: it would be difficolt to say ia what sense it is here emplore ed, If it is used by this write
ter in the same
seose in .wbicb the Apostles used it, and if,therefore, the “ mapy” spoken of are those who, reject Christianity altogether, then how serious the responsibility of those who sopport a doctrine wbicb, pot oply its enemies conteod is Ooscriptoral and anreasonable, but which even its friends admit is attended witb the most fatal consequences
in driving “many"into infidelity. But if the language bere employed is meant only to describe those Christians who reject the Trinity, then, whilst we are glad to learn from such a quarter that there are so “many" of this description, we consider it in no other light than as holding op this confessedly oumerons class of fellow Christians to public odion, and that too where all party distinctions' should be ookpowo and all party feelings banished.
The only other passage upon which we will stop to animadvert is an explanatory note by the Translator of Dr. Van Ess's Circular already mentioned, found in the Appendix, No Ull, p. 22. The Cacholic Professor having expressed his hope that those Protestanı Christians who differ from rach other in more than external matters will re unite them
selves to the one God and Saviour revealed in the Bible, his translator explains this ratber obscore pbrase in
the following mapper:
“ He alludes bere to the prevalence of Socinian and Deistical principles in Germaoy among such as call themselves Protestants."
Iitbis is a just interpre. tation of the allusion, and we see no reason to question it, theo it is one viber proof thaithe zeal for which ibis Roman Catbolic elergsman bas bcen so much laod. ed in Bible Society Reports is directed bot merely to the dissemination of the Scriptures, the only legitimate object of Bible Societies, but also to the spread of his own peculiar views of the Christian sys. tem. We would be the last to do any thing to prevent him from using bis utmost endeavours io diffnsing what he believes to be di. vine troth; bot we think that these endeavoors would be more honourable to him. self if they were not made onder the covert of tho Bi. ble Society's pame and in the character of a Bible Soe ciety agent ; and that the Bible Society, if it would secore to tbe Christian world the entire and anal. loyed advantages which it is fitted to impart, should discourage in those whom
it aids every soch aberration from its genuine principles and spirit.
But it is with the Translaior of Van Ess's Circular, who we understand to be the Rev. D. Schmid, and with the Associaiion whichi has incorporated his explapatory pote into its Report, that we are at present principally concerned. The lan. guage of the Circular was safficiently general to bave oscaped the notice of most readers, and therefore to rescue this hidden allusion from neglect, aud to give full point to its sectarian meaniog, the Translator, a Bible Society Secretary, must needs append a note which coutains as mucb misrepresentation on the one hand, and concession on the other, as could rea. sonably be expected io so brief a notice. We happea to know a little more of the state of religion in Germany tban can be learocd from this note; bot let us suppose that we know nothing more than it ioforms us. Wbat theo, is the amount of the ioformation we receive ? We are told that there is a
prevalence”. of certain principles in Germany" a. mong such as call themselves Protestants." It is admitted, iben, that those who have embraced the princi. ples referred to are numero ous, and ibat they profess
to be Christiuns, Protes. TANT Christians.
These are very plain and important concessioos. And in what way is this numerous bo. dy of Protestant Christo iaus described ? It is in the first place insinuated by the Trauslator that they call themselves Protestants but that they are not so in reality. That is, they hold certain seotiments which some other Protestants do not hold, or they reject cer. taip doctrines which soma other Protestants believe, and therefore they are not Protestants. Admirablo reasuning it must be con. fessed; for on the principle these sell-called Protestants might with equal justice deny tbe pame to those who depy it to them. But if they are not Protestants, what are they? They are Deists or at least infect. ed with "
D. istical principles are such as lead either first, to a belief in natural reli. gion, or secondly to jection of revealed religion. In which of these seoses this phrase is here used it is impossible for us to divine. Perhaps in oeither of them, but probably io a sense dife ferent from both. Every one who does not think, and believe, and profess with the multicude is a Deist, or Athiest, or something worse, if worse can be,