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Mr. R. after having demanded permission to draw bis own conclusious from his own interpretations of the law and testimony, instead of alleging with his friend Mr. Newton, that one plain, literal, and clear text, was worth a thousand arguments, has recourse to a proof founded wholly upon human reason. The simple question he says (vol.ii. p. 34) is,“ Does the Holy Spirit exert any influence upon the human mind, and of what sort is his agency?” This is not the simple question, nor indeed the question at all. The simple question is, Does the Holy Spirit so operate upon the human mind, that his operation is an object of sense, i. e. of experience? and is it clearly discernible from the action of those faculties, which God has given us? There is to be sure, no absurdity in the eye of reason, in supposing, that He who formed the human mind, as Mr. R. (vol. ii. p. 35) observes, can have access to, and can regulate its faculties and their various operations, and can afford us that spiritual aid of his Holy Spirit, which, in our miserable state, is so desirable: but there is great absurdity and great folly in supposing that this access, these regulations, and this aid can be objects of our senses, and that we can discriminate the effects of these divine operations from those effects, which owe their origin to the voluntary exertion and exercise of our natural faculties; because the Scripture has not informed us, that this discrimination can be made, nor given us any marks by which we can precisely distinguish one from the other; and because the Scripture informs us of several divine operations, of which nobody ever pretended to be sensible, or to have the testimony of experience. We are told, that it is in God we live and move, and have our being, and that it is God who worketh in us to will and to do, yet no one thinks of a sensible proof of all this; and had not Mr. R. been as ignorant of the nature of the proof to be derived from experience, as he is of the objects to which it is applicable, he would not have urged the evidence of his sincere and true believers as a proof of the sensible operation of the Holy Spirit.
The testimony of the human senses can produce knowlege only in the individuals, through whose senses this experience is received. A relation of this experience can produce only faith. But these gracious persons are unable to discern the difference between faith and knowlege, though a small portion of common sense would tell
them, that knowlege produces certainty, whereas faith can produce only probability. But further, an affirmation of knowlege cannot produce knowlege in another; for the truth of this affirmation can stand only upon the credit of the relater. In order to produce knowlege, the alleged experience must also become the experience of the person to whom it is alleged. When men appeal to experience for the truth of any fact, it is not to their own private experience, but to the concURRING experience of those to whom such experience is alleged as proof of that fact.
Human experience is of two kinds:—the testimony of our corporeal senses relating to the works of creation, and their effects upon each other; and the testimony of that internal perception, which we call consciousness, and by which we become acquainted with our different states of mind. The truth or reality of the first can be perfectly ascertained by every man, who applies his senses to the same objects; but the internal consciousness of one man cannot possibly be made the internal consciousness of another. The allegation of such consciousness must always rest upon the mere word of the relater. When our corporeal senses are employed, we know of a certainty the origin of their testimony: but we know not the origin of our internal perceptions. The individual himself cannot tell whether they are real or imaginary. Perceptions arising from the imagination, which is one of our mental faculties, have been known frequently to overpower the testimony of the corporeal senses. Apprehensive of being misled by this powerful and ungovernable faculty, Gideon ( Judg. vi. 37.) requested two miracles to assure him of the truth and reality of the divine revelation. He appealed, if I may so say, from the experience of consciousnesmess to the surer evidence of the corporeal Sen SeS.
The apostles and prophets had internal experience of divine revelation, yet did they not plead their prudence in the management of the things of this world, or their piety in the concerns of another, as proofs on the truth of their declarations; but they worked miracles, and thus appealed to the superior and only satisfactory evidence of the reality of what passes in the mind, the evidence of
sense. See vol. ii. p. 85. Mr. R. knows so little of the nature of language, that he cannot see, that to request and expect the right - knowlege knowlege of the word of God, i.e. the Scriptures, is just as much to request and expect a miracle! as to request and expect original inspiration; nor, can what he calls the true sense of transmitted revelation be confirmed by any other means than those, by which the reality of ori ginal inspiration is confirmed, the working of a miracle" Nobody but the pope ever claimed to be an infallible interpreter of (i. e. to have a right knowlege of) Scripture. -
(To be continued)
QUERY ON MONUMENTS.
To THE EDITott of THE orthodox church MAN's
5 IR -
SHOULD feel myself much obliged to any one of
: your numerous correspondents, but more particularly to the worthy and well-informed London Curate (whose signature, I am sorry to observe, has not of late been so frequent in your valuable Miscellany,) for an answer to the following question, viz. “Has not the Lay Impropriator an absolute and undoubted right to erect a monument to his own Family, and on the wall of his own chancel, the repairs of which he is bound to make good, without being liable to any demand from the vicar; and whether the vicar can demand any fee for the conveyance of the corpse through the church to the chancel of the Impropriator?”
A LAY IMPROPRIATOR. April 3d, 1806.
ON FAMILY PRAYER.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHUCHMAN'S
dai in eben supplico God
V OU will, I know, pardon the liberty I am taking in
requesting that you will have the goodness to insert in your Miscellany a few thoughts on a very important, but much neglected duty; I mean the Duty of Family Prayer.
How can we reasonably expect a family-blessing without family-worship? In the New Testament writings, it is very usual to give private families of devout Christians the name of churches. But surely this would have been a most improper appellation, if God had not been publicly acknowledged, and the daily sacrifices of prayers and praises had not been offered in them. We are commanded " in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to make our requests known unto God; to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and to continue in prayer.” And it is observable, that this last exhortation is particularly addressed to masters of families (Col. iv. 1, 2.)The care of patriarchs to keep up family-religion is very remarkable. Witness Abraham; also Job, chap. i. 5; and lest it might be thought that this family-worship was merely occasional and accidental, it is added, “ this did Job continually." Witness Joshua likewise." God will pour out his fury upon the beathen that know him not, and upon the families that call not upon his name." St. Paul insists that a minister must be one " who ruleth well his own house ;” and he intimates that the permission of domestic disorder argues inability to regulate the government of the church. A clergyman's family is “ a city set upon a hill," and many will be on the watch to observe, whether he who speaks so wisely in public, carry his principles, home; and surely, Mr. Editor, a minister's own household should exemplify the exhortations delivered to his parishioners.-May every minister of the established church endeavour to realize religion in his domestic
Joby occaeht be
relations; and not content himself with family prayers merely on the Sunday evening.
With much respect,
- I remain your's, March 22d, 1306.
A. B. C.
FOR THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
- 1. Genesis iv. 1. THIS text should be rendered “ I have gotten a man,
I the Jehovah,” for when ng stands between two nouns, it unites them by apposition, and always denotes an accusative case : and then only signifies by cum, when joined with a verb transitive or verb in hithpael. Hence in Luther's Bible the passage is thus translated, “ICH HAVE DEN MANN DEN HERR”-I have gotten the man, the Jehovah. And so likewise is the Syriac version.- Eve supposed that she had now brought forth the promised seed, the Jehovah, the bruiser of the serpent's head, and according to that idea she gave to her first-born the name of Cain, which means possession.
2. GENESIS-xx. 16. “ And unto Sarah he said, behold I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold he is to thee a covering of the eyes unto all that are with thee, and with all other; thus was she reprored.”
This is the declaration of Abimelech to Sarah after his. discovery that she was Abraham's wife; and while it shews the generosity and tenderness of that prince, it was also meant as a reproof to Sarah for her indiscretion. But the full force of the passage is lost in our version ; for sin refers not to Abraham, but to the money which Abimelech gave to him, and it hath been so understood by the best interpreters ancient and modern. The text informs us, that by what Abimelech said to Sarah, she was reproved, and it appears that by his calling Abraham
osity and ten Sarah for her version ; for
said to Abranches