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in my instruction of the people. Consequently, in this grand important point, these articles are no more obligatory on my conscience than the reveries of the Koran, or the fables of the Talmud. I shall be obliged, Sir, by your insertion of the above in your Repository for October, as I wish the public should be put in possession of this true statement of my case, before the cause comes on for trial in the spiritual court in November. I trust, that the Judge, Sir William Scott, contemplating it in the same point of view, and consulting his own tried, uninfluenced, unbiassed uprightness of character, will regard me as a man“ more sinned against than sinning:” and in consequence, not only pronounce the sentence of my acquittal from the groundless charges of this ferocious, unjust prosecution,but adjudge me more deserying of a remuneration for my injured innocence, than of a real punishment for imaginary guilt. Happy in having, to the extent of my ability, borne my public testimony in vindication of the strict literal unity of God, “ the God and Father of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ," and of all his brethren of mankind; of the strict literal humanity of this “ one mediator between God and man,' and of all the blessings of the gospel-dispensation as derived from “ the free gift of the grace,” or favour“ the love and mercy of God our Saviour,” as principal, administered by Christ our Saviour” as his agent, in opposition to the absurd hypotheses of the two trinities, of the miraculous conception and of the satisfaction of Divinejustice by the vicarious punishment of Christ, which militate against these fundamental gospel-truths. Happy in having in these instances, fulfilled, in my Visitation discourse, my two scriptural engagements, with my ordaining bishop as priest, and consequently conformed to the letter and spirit of the old obsolete statute aforesaid, which enjoins the observance of these solemn engagements, I pray to God to bless my endeavours to yield a complete resignation to his will with respect to the worldly consequences of this rectitude of conduct. Unwilling to trespass too much on your admission of more valuable communications,
I have the honour to be, Sir, Mount Sion, Your obliged friend and obedient servant, Tunbridge IVells, Sep. 30, 1807. FRANCIS STONÉ.
P.S. I must not omit my thanks for your transcript from another periodical work of a just and humorous account by an unknown friend, of the “ prosecution of Mr. Stone *.” In return for the author's recorded Distich, “ God killed God," " &c. I intreat you to present him with a Tetrastich of my own on the favourite symbol of the Triune-Divinity t.
+ A Triangle in a circle.
Vol.ii. p. 449.
Ye idolizing orthodox divines,
NB." Idolizing" in my, not in their opinion, and answering to Paul's definition of an idol, “ An idol is nothing in the world."
LAWS RESPECTING NEGROES IN ENGLAND.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. SIR, The accomplishment of the abolition of the Slave Trade, compared with the general situation of public affairs and the tendency of our other public measures, is indeed
A spot of azure in a clouded sky,
island in a stormy main. And to such men as Mr. Sharp, who have exerted themselves through life to effect it, the retrospect must be a source of the most just and pure gratification. The statement in the letter of that gentleman, which you inserted last month*, of the fluctuation of legal opinion on the subject of man-slavery in England induces me to mention the early juridical opinions on this point. In Lord Coke's time the condition of villains or bondmen was so well known and familiar, that negro-slavery, then in its infancy, was easily classed under that title, and the condition of the negro being scarcely worse than that of one class of Englishmen excited little attention, and the maxims and principles which were rapidly growing inapplicable to the native were readily applied to the foreigner. This similarity of condition, however, was continually decreasing, till shortly af, ter the Restoration, when the spirit of freedom was very much depressed, and that of commerce very predominant, it was de. termined that
* Vol. ii. p. 345.
action in the form which was used to recover the possession of goods, could be brought to recover possession of a negro slave, “ for that a negro man was merchandize!” The Revolution brought in its train more just sentiments, and in Queen Ann's reign, Judge Holt decided that in an action brought to recover the price for which a negro in England was sold, the plaintiff was defeated by his own statement, for that he came to have a contract enforced, which was contrary to law, and that as soon as a negro came into England he became free. In another case, before the same Judges the court held that men may be the owners, and therefore cannot be the subjects of property, that a man could have no other right to a negro, than he could by the law of nations to a captive taken in war, that the common law takes no notice of ne. groes being different from other men, and that the first mentioned decision, that negroes were merchandize, was contrary to law. After Judge Holi's death, the spirit of commerce again became for its hour, lord of the ascendant, and in 1729, two lawyers were found in the persons of York and Talbot, to give that unfounded opinion in opposition to Holt's decision, and in favour of slavery, which Mr. Sharp succeeded in invalidating.
I send you this sketch to shew how variously the same law has been expounded, and to evince how much the judges anticipated the return of just sentiments on this subject at a time when our slave captains represented themselves as sailing with a fair wind by the blessing of God, obtaining a cargo of slaves by the protection of providence on their honest industry, and having a favourable passage to the West Indies through the love, and mercy, and merits of Jesus Christ their Redeemer. (Sir John Hawkins's Journal.)
I am Sir, your's, Kingston, Aug. 21, 1807.
H. N. D.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository.
I observe in the Clergymian's Answer to J. M. (p. 407.) that he objects, as might have been expected, to a very just remark
of Iris opponent “ that the scriptures know no such compound being as the God-man Jesus Christ.”. Another of your correspondents on the Decisions of Gommon Sense, (p. 420.) has shewn the absurdity to which the scripture will be often reduced if we apply the notion of Christ being “ very God” to various passages of the New Testament. Yet in defiance of such absurdity the God-man in all orthodox creeds and catechisms, continues to usurp the honours, so justly due, and which I trust Unitarian Christians are behind none in affectionately paying, to Jesus of Nasareth, a man approved of God, by wonders and signs which God did by him.
The Church of England in her second article declares that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the godhead' and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man.
It has been a favourite employment of orthodox divines, to enlarge upon this notion, which has been considered of such easy digestion as to be even - milk for babes.” The “ assembly's shorter catechism,” was designed for the instruction of children, and I remember to have been taught it by very pious and affectionate parents, as soon as I could learn any thing. This S form of sound words,” as orthodox dissenters often call it, declares that “ Jesus Christ being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continues to be, God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person for ever.” But I have now -before me a manuscript; upon this subject, saved from the destruction of many things more valuable, the curious contents of which, you may be willing to preserve as a theological rarity. It is a translation from Latin, as a school-exercise, in my own hand-writing, when I was not more than eleven years of age. I will copy it verbatim, and for your satisfaction it shall be accompanied with the original.
“ The astonishing extremes, or unparalleled opposites in the pere son of our Lord Jesus Christ, by J. R. [John Ryland.] Northampton.
1. The eternal Jehovah once an infant of an hour old. II. The immense God, once a child of a span long.
Tlf. The omnipresent God, filling all worlds, yet lying in a mana ger.
IV. The creator of all things once a creature,
V. The Lord of all worlds once a servant to poor man, and wash. ed his feet.
VI. The true God is reputed a deceiver of the people and a liar,
VII, The mighty God, once weak as a worm, and as no man, unable to bear his cross. VOL.II,
VII. The only wise God is blindfolded and buffeted as a fool. IX. He that is God, and none else, is treated as less than nothing. X. 'The holy God reckoned a confederate with the devil.
XI. God above all, (Rom. ix, 5, in the original) is sunk into the dust of death.
XII. God blessed for ever is made a curse.
XIII. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is murdered by Jacob's children, the Jews.
XIV. The Lord of hosts is forsook by every being, upon the cross, and hath not one out of all his armies to attend and comfort him.
XV. The King of kings, sold for 31. 15s. the price of a slave among the Jews.
XVI. The God of the whole earth becomes as poor as a beggar. & Cor. vui. 9, (in the original).
XVII. The God of absolute dominion over all worlds, is made subject to his own law, both in its commands and its curses.
XVIII. The supreme judge of men and angels is arraigned as & criminal at Pilate's bar, and condemned by his own creatures, his own guilty and wretched creatures.
XIX. The great giver of eternal life suffers death, the author of all pardons himself condemned to death for guilt.
XX. The author of all resurrections in the vegetable and human world, sinks down and dies.
XXI. The best beloved son of God dreadfully punished by his own Father,
Such was the manner in which bis school-boys were initiated into the greater mysteries of orthodoxy, by the late Rev. John Ryland, to whose preaching I have seen crowds resort, as to that of an eminently sound divine, whose doctrine interested, while his occasional eccentricities, amused them. Should the paper which I have transcribed be charged to eccentricity, I might safely challenge the reverend antagonist of J. M. or any other of your orthodox readers, (for I hope you have many such) to allow.the premises that Jesus Christ is God and man, and then justly to reject my quondam preceptor's twenty-one stupendous conclusions. But this well-intending, and, in many respects, ingenious inan was by no means singular in a fondness for “ astonishing extremes or unparalleled opposites.” I well remember to have read, not many years ago, a sermon on the passage, Is not this the curpenter's son ? in which the author, a respectable dissenting minister, now deceased, was transports ed into a pious rapture upon this subject. Adopting the an. cient tradition that Jesus had worked at his Father's trade, he described the angels as paying him divine worship and at the same time shouting, through the empyreal“ The Carpenter the Carpenter!"