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Jews. In that city there is a Jewish college, subsidized by the state.

The principal Jewish congregations in the south of France are at Avignon and Bordeaux. The historian Salvador and the statesman Cremieux are natives of the former city ; Furtado, Fonseca, and Pereira, the inventor of the system for teaching deaf mutes, were natives of the latter. In Paris there are two synagogues, the larger of which follows the German, the smaller the Portuguese ritual. The charitable associations, of which there are several, have also their places of stated prayer-meetings. The most eminent preachers among the Rabbins are Ullmann, Isidor, Vogue, Charleville, and Marx. A remarkable sermon on “Toleration," by Rabbi Isaac Levy, of Verdun, has recently come under our notice. The doctrine which it lays down harmonizes rather with the doctrine of Colani than of orthodox Judaism.

The Jews of France have three periodicals, the Archives Israélite, the Univers Israélite, and the Lien d'Israel, representing severally different parties and shades of opinion. Their most eminent scholar is Munk, one of the curators of the Imperial Library. Cahen and Vogue have translated the Bible. The, future of Judaism in France is highly encouraging, and powerful influences in the Cabinet sustain the Israelite connection.

If these sketches of preachers and churches in France seem too long for the patience of readers, they are far too short and slight for the theme. Want of space has not allowed us to fortify our judgment of individual preachers by extracts from their sermons. We must not omit, in closing, to mention the most hopeful of all religious signs in France, the strong sympathy within the Catholic Church for liberal opinions in theology. A Unitarian movement within that Church is not altogether a new thing. It was tried as long ago as 1831, when the Abbé Ferdinand Chatel, in connection with the Abbé Louis Napoleon Auzou, undertook to establish a new Catholic body on the basis of “the natural law,” rejecting fasting and abstinence, adopting the French language in prayer instead of the Latin, and asserting the humanity, as opposed to the Deity, of Christ. This movement, after more than ten years of existenee, was put down as schismatic and disorderly. Auzou recanted, and Chatel, after long controversies with the ecclesiastical authorities, was silenced by imprisonment. The doctrines which he proclaimed, however, took root in various parts of the land, and are to-day substantially maintained by the leading writers of the Revue des Deux Mondes, in our judgment the ablest review in existence. Ernest Renan, Edward Laboulaye, Charles de Rémusat, and Lucien Prevost Paradol, — four of the most accomplished scholars and most profound thinkers in Europe, - appear steadily as the defenders of that style of thought and study which is associated in England with the name of Martineau, and in America with the name of Channing. Scholarship and philosophy in France are coming more and more to the support of liberal Christianity.

* The College of Metz has, by a very recent imperial decree, been removed to

ART. VI. – DR. FURNESS'S WORD TO UNITARIANS.

A Word to Unitarians. A Discourse delivered in the First Congre

gational Unitarian Church, Sunday, September 4, 1859. Philadelphia.

To few among the living preachers of our land is liberal theology more indebted than to Dr. Furness, its indefatigable advocate in Philadelphia, and for more than a third of a century its sole official representative in that city. His presentation of Christ, analytically first and then synthetically, in the “ Remarks on the Four Gospels” and in the “ Life of Jesus," embodies some of the finest thought, and offers some of the most weighty suggestions, in American Unitarian literature. The development, especially in the first-named work, of the latent internal evidence for the verisimilitude of the Gospel story, we have always esteemed a masterpiece of criticism, unsurpassed in the moral force of its argument.

No one, on the whole, is better entitled, by service and position, to address a word of admonition to Unitarians, than Dr. Furness. Such a word he pronounced at the late reopening of his chapel after the usual summer recess, and has now delivered to a wider congregation through the press. Not all of the body addressed in this discourse will sympathize with the author's alarms, or symbolize with the author's views; but all, we are sure, whom the pamphlet may reach, will listen with respect to counsels dictated by so fine a spirit, and read with interest words so glowing with lofty sentiment and earnest faith. Those who are least with him in the scope of his thought will see more to admire than to criticise in these pages. For ourselves, we heartily concur with the general principles here laid down, while questioning some of their applications.

Dr. Furness argues ably and justly against an over-estimate of the value and importance of forms and rites, as compared with the virtues of the Christian life. Every Unitarian will assent to that plea; and, indeed, all Christians will agree with him here, in theory at least, however their practice may belie their profession. But when he intimates that the tendency of the Unitarian body is toward this error, and that this is the danger which especially threatens this communion at present, we doubt if the general experience will confirm that suggestion. For ourselves, we had supposed that the tendency lay in the other direction, and that forms in this communion were in danger of being unduly neglected, supposing them to have any value. Individuals, we are aware, have expressed their preference for the use of a liturgy or common prayer in the worship of the Church, and their wish that the churches might unite in something of this sort. But the question here is not concerning increase of forms, but concerning the kind of form. The question is, whether devotional offerings in which the congregation shall vocally participate might not be more edifying than the present use, which broadly and frigidly divides congregations into two distinct parties, affronting with dumb pews a vocal pulpit; and whether, also, a community of ritual offices might not serve as a bond of fellowship in a body whose former bond of theological sympathy is fast losing its consistency, and whose dissolution is threatened by the desiccation of the cement which originally bound it. Nor can we assent

*

to Dr. Furness's position, that " when creeds and rites are madę much of, and regarded as indispensable things, the inevitable consequence is that justice and humanity and personal purity soon come to be undervalued and neglected.” We believe, on the contrary, that the ages of moral decadence are coincident with those of decaying rites, and that spiritual life and ritual interest have flourished or languished together. Christ, it is true, enjoined no ritual, unless the Lord's Prayer and the Supper be regarded as such. And none was needed while the presence of the Bridegroom flooded the Church, and dissolved his own in spontaneous devotion.

The Church's ritual, rightly conceived, is a cry for the absent Bridegroom, and an effort — happy or awkward, as the case may be — to represent him in ecclesiastical communion, as obedience to his precepts represents him in the life. Accordingly, we find the disciples of Jesus, under the guidance of the promised Spirit, in the very first days of the Church, uniting in liturgical worship ; * and probably there never was an age or a Church in which formal worship was more sedulously maintained than it was in the age and Church of the Apostles. What is really offensive in formalism, and what we really condemn by that name, is not the presence of forms, but the absence of the spirit which should animate them; and that is not a necessary result of the form, but an incidental accompaniment. The attempt to institute rites for æsthetic effect, which are not the product of the spirit, but deliberate manufactures of the understanding, — mere literary fabrics, - is justly condemned by the author of this Discourse as a vain attempt and a great mistake. But is it fair to presume this origin in every resort to liturgical uses by a hitherto unliturgical Church? Is not the fair presumption rather that in movements looking in this direction it is just the reviving spirit of worship, and a genuine thirst for church life, that craves this expression and strives to realize it?

Dr. Furness thinks he detects in the Unitarian body a disposition to resort to creeds, and “ to those external symbols and observances which the Apostle Paul calls ó weak and beg

* See Acts iv. 24 et seq. VOL. LXVII. - 5TH S. VOL. V. NO. III.

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garly elements.

That this is the case in our denomination is beginning to be made manifest by most significant tokens. Leading and gifted men among us are publicly declaring, in so many words, that it is high time that a line should be drawn; that a ground should be taken beyond which when any man goes he is to be stigmatized as an infidel, having no claim to Christian communion and fellowship.” We hardly know to what this charge refers, and we very much question if any such desire as is here imputed is seriously entertained by Liberal Christians, or any who claim that title. With regard to the imposition of creeds, we have no belief in the practicability of such a measure, were it deemed desirable, which we think it is not by those who may be regarded as the “ leading and gifted men” of the liberal faith. It is felt, we know, on the part of some, and the feeling has been expressed, that an ecclesiastical body, pretending to stand and act as such, - aiming, that is, at corporate action and organic life, should have some understanding with itself as to first principles and the meaning of terms; an agreement such as shall preclude complication with every vagary, moral or theological, with every profession, Christian or extra-Christian, that may please to assume its name. One would

say

that such an understanding is a primary condition of corporate existence and organic action, - that that which actually excludes nothing as actually includes nothing, and has no existence,- is a mere chimera, not a thing. What is wholly undefined is not, except as a meaningless name. But such an understanding - a simple definition of a name - is something very different from a creed in the sense which usually attaches to that word; and equally different is it from taking a ground “ beyond which when any man goes he is to be stigmatized as an infidel, having no claim to Christian communion and fellowship.If any one thinks we have stated the case too strongly, and that individuals calling themselves Unitarians may act together in that name without defining it, we still ask, Is it reasonable, is it likely in the nature of things, that those who differ in principle and faith more widely from each other than many of them differ from other ecclesiastical bodies, should continue to associate on such terms? To what purpose associate, and

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