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Dr. Chauncy a Unitarian.

Boston, Oct. 25. SIR,

In the ninth number of the Unitarian Miscellany I observed Dr. Chauncy's name classed with those of trinitarians. Having doubts on this subject, I inquired respecting the fact of a gentleman, who was ten years a deacon of Dr. Chauncy's church, and he informed me that he was not a trinitarian. This can be relied on, as the gentleman here referred to was an intimate friend and warm admirer of Dr. Chauncy, and himself a uni. tarian.


Ordinations. The Rev. RicharD M. Hodges, from the Theological School at Harvard University, was ordained in Bridgwater, Mass. on the 19th of September. Services by the Rev. Mr. Sanger of Dover; Rev, Mr. Lowell of Boston; Rev. Dr. Harris of Dorchester; Rev. Mr. Briggs of Lexington; Rev. Mr. Palfrey of Boston.

The Rev. BENJANIN FESSEN DEV, from Harvard University, was ordained over the society in East Bridgwater on the 19th of September. Services by the Rev. Mr. Ware of Boston; Rev, Mr. Clark of Norton; Rev. Dr. Ware of Cambridge; Rev. Mr. Kendall of Plymouth.

On the 26th of September, the Rev. JAMES FLINT was installed in Salem, Mass. as successor to the late Dr. Bentley. Services by the Rev. Mr. Flint of Cohasset; Rev. Mr. Colman; Rev. Dr. Harris of Dorchester; Rev. Dr. Prince and Rev. Mr. Brazer of Salem; Rev. Mr. Bartlett, of Marblehead.

To Subscribers. With the present number of the Miscellany, we send out the se. cond edition of the third number. Should any of our subscribers Dot have received the three first numbers, we request them to give na tice to the Secretary of the Baltimore Unitarian Book Society, and they will be immediacely supplied. The other numbers of the first volume will be reprinted as expeditiously as possible.

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Knowledge of the Scriptures. In the number of the Miscellany for September were offered a few remarks upon a translation of the Bible. No one can doubt, that a better translation of the sacred writings might be given, than the one in common use. But a new version is only a small part of what is wanted. The christian community ought to have more definite and rational notions about the Scriptures themselves. With the views, which at present prevail, the most perfect translation would be exposed to great abuses; for it would be impossible to make one, which should at once convey to readers of the present day the same ideas, that were received by the persons, to whom these writings were first addressedl.

There is prevalent a confused notion of something supernatural in the composition of the sacred Scriptures, which forbids us to examine them as we do other writings. An air of mystery and awfulness is thrown around them. Many persons open the Bible with feelings, such as we may conceive to have gone along with a Jew into the temple of Solomon. Believing that this volume is the word of God, that the sacred penmen wrote as they were commanded by the Holy Spirit, that they declare the will of the Most High, and record the signs and wonders which he has wrought, and proclaim the promises of salvation, and the means of obtaining it, they open the volume and peruse its contents, without presuming to investigate their meaning. They seem to hold in even greater veneration what is obscure and unintelligible, and to suppose that, as the holy of holies was hidden by the veil of the temple, so some truths of vital importance are concealed from us by the veil of mystery, which it would be equal sacrilege to attempt to reinove.

When we urge a more thorough investigation of these writings, we are reminded, that all scripture is given by inspiration, and the Bible contains what the Almighty has been pleased to communicate to men; that his ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts than our thoughts; that there is much in the Bible which, men must not expect to comprehend with their feeble faculties; that what may be obscure and unintelligible affords an opportunity for the exercise of faith, and checks the pride of human learning. This may sound well, but is it good sense? If the Almighty has condescended to make any communications to men, it is presumable they were made to be understood. Although, therefore, every syllable in the Bible be the dictate of inspiration, yet if dictated for the use of man, every syllable would have been originally intelligible to man. And we must look for some other cause of the obscurities and difficulties to be met with in the sacred volume, than the original intention of the authors.

At this distant time, it is very natural that we should meet with many things hard to be understood in writings, composed the earliest of them more than three thousand, and the latest nearly two thousand years ago, in languages no longer spoken, in countries far distant from our own, among a people whose manners and customs were very different from any with which we are conversant. Much learning and much critical acumen are requisite to understand these writings thoroughly. That the authors were miraculously assisted is no ground of objection to the science of biblical criticism; for it is irrational, it is even impious to suppose, that God would interpose a miracle to throw obscurity into writings designed for the instruction of mankind.

It is a truth very offensive to many, that the correct interpretation of scripture is attended with great difficulties. Since the Bible was written for the instruction of mankind, they are unwilling to believe that extensive acquisitions, patient research, and an application of principles deduced from a deep inquiry into the nature of language, are necessary to discover the true meaning of many parts. They are more ready to believe, that much is concealed by the veil intentionally drawn around the unseаrehable things of God. This volume, say they, was given for our instruction and edification, to teach us what the Lord requires of us. It is the law of God, and how can we obey it, if so much learning be indispensable to understand it? To such I would say, the laws of the land are promulgated as binding upon every one, yet how very small a portion of the community have leisure or ability to acquaint themselves with the whole code; and how much learning has been expended by the wise, in explaining the principles upon which it was formed, resolving the difficulties and showing the meaning and application of its parts? No one, however, incurs the penalties of the law from ignorance of his duty, nor complains that he cannot be a good citizen, because he is not a skilful jurist. The civil and divine laws are in this respect similar. The latter, like the former, are embarrassed with difficulties, which men will perhaps never be able to resolve; but as in the former, so in the latter, there is suflicient that is plain, which every man may make the guide of his actions. The character of the Deity, our entire dependence upon him, our accountability, the doctrine of a future state of righteous retribution made known by Jesus Christ, and the necessity of a life of repentance, virtue, and holiness, are taught with perfect plainness, and are all, a knowledge of which is essential to right conduct, and the divine acceptance.

Every one professing to be a christian ought to search the Scriptures diligently, for they contain what is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." All the great practical truths of our religion are indeed taught with the utmost perspicuity. They are upon the very face of scripture, and are not made the subject of controversy; bụt the distinguishing doctrines of the sects, into which christians are divided, restupon comparatively a few doubtful passages and words; they are deduced from the figurative and allusive language so common in the Bible. In defence of these the passions of men have been enlisted, and they have made the sacred volume “a common arsenal, if I may use the expression," says a French writer, "to which theological combatants go and arm themselves as they please.” They open it with all their prejudices on the alert, and 'wresting detached passages from their proper connexion, appropriate them to the support of systems of doctrine, which have been formed ages since the Scriptures were made.

If it were generally known how difficult it is to as

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