Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

and once in seren years, at least, it the righteous but sinners to repenwill be necessary to renew your en- tance,” implying that there are some quiry.--A very pleasant, and certainly righteous personis “ who need no rea very bealthful method of enquiring pentance.". As to the scriptures in after truth!

favour of the doctrine of natural de2. We have a new way of defend- pravity, they give our author very liting the church, by which it appears tle trouble. When David says he that the Church of England consists was " conceived in sin," it was only wholly of the clergy, because the doc. "an hyperbolical form of aggravating trine of the clergy, is the doctrine of sin.” (Note, p. 151.) And as to St. the church; unless our author means Paul, he wrote “many things hard to to say that the laity have no princi- be understood:"-" His style is tincples at all, but pin all their faith upon tured with rabbinical idioms; and the sleeve of their priests. Again, by the matter perhaps, in some degree; this new logic, it seems the best way with the rabbinical philosophy." to preserve the church in purity, is to (Note, p. 13.)-So easy is it to "ex. "explain away" her articles, and to plain away" the scriptures. Te peal, tacitly, her Jaws:- That by The doctrine of faith occupies a conforming to the church, and re- considerable part of this volume, and peatedly subscribing her articles, we we have three chapters, or sections, may obtain the privilege of dissent. “about it.” The discussion however ing"-yea, “ a right to dissent from all end in smoke, for we are told in a those Articles :-Lastly, that those are note (p. 131.) that ministers of the the most upright and judicious mem- establishment ought to be bers of the church of England," who, “ to teach nothing but that pure mora. on being required to subscribe and lity which Christ taught, without any swear to the Articles in.“ the literal cant or mystery! “ And it is a favou. and grammatical sense,” preach and rite axiom with our author, that. write “ directly contrary to the plain “christianity is nothing more than a sense and letter of the Articles.”- rule of life!" (P. 299.)

Consider this, veevangelical preach- The doctrine ofregeneration is stated crs, and take to yourselves the re- to be a favourite theine with the faproaches with which ye are so eager natics; and it is very modestly conto oppress the reputation of others!” fessed, that notwithstanding the na.

But it is high time to shew how this tural purity of human nature, our soughty champion of the church de- obedience is in some instances iinperfends her doctrines, by "explaining fect, and that our lives are “ some• away” her Articles, and the scriptures times not sinless !on which they are founded, which we “ Habits of righteousness, like habits shall arrange under the following heads. of sin, are not so uniformas to admit of

Original Sin. So far from it being no transient variation. A drunkard true as stated in the 9th article, that may be accidentally sober, and a so" man is very far gone from original ber man accidentally drunk. But righteousness, and of his own nature when we estimate the worth of the inclined to evil,” we are informed, in human character, we are not to form the words of Bp. Taylor, that man's our calculations on the conduct of one "natural power of election seems ra- single day, but we are to take the ther to be increased since the fall”- average of many days and years, and and “ he is better able to obey God see what proportion a man's violathan he was before, (Note, p. $9.)- tion of his duty bears to its performThat “man remains as upright as he ance; his virtues to his vices, or his was created.” (p. xl.) l'hat he has sins to his righteousness, a few occathe same natural and moral powers sional oitences, a few venial and tranthat Adam possessed in Paradise, and sieni errors will not countervail the that his present and future happiness merits of a life devoted unto rightedepend upon their right use and ex- ousness !” p. 211. ercise. "If he do good he conti- Regeneration and repentance are, nieth in favour with God; if he do however, in some cases admitted to evil, he falls, as Adam fell, under his be necessary; namely, to those who displeasure.” (p. 74.) But that all have actually and grossly sinned; and wünkind are not thus fallen he thinks in such cases regeneration is stated evident from the words of our Lord to inply " a reformation of bad haLunself, " Ulat he came not to call bits, and to be “only another name

TO THE EDITOR.

WHILE

for repentance confirmed.” (p. 161.) bered among the transgressions to be To such unfortunate persons repen- accounted for in a future state!" Con. tance is indeed " affectionately re- sider this, ye evangelical preachers!'* commended” in some degrading ex- --but had you offered such an apopressions, which seem to intimate logy for vice, how loudly 'would the strongly, the author had forgotten the trumpet of alarm have been soundpassages above cited. (See p. 219 and ed ! Well might you then have been sequel.)

numbered with infidels and atheists The great point, however, as we and we might have been justly told, have seen, is morality. “Moral good it is difficult to determnine on which is the greatest good.” This proposi- side the guilt preponderates!" p. 131. tion is discussed " theologically and Having, I hope, sufficiently develphilosophically." (p. 340.400.) This oped the religious and moral system is the point in which the fanaties of our author, and occupied more (alias Methodists) are declared to be room than I intended, and perhaps chiefly faulty. They, alas ' “ ima- more than you can spare, I shall leave gine that a very small share of moral the Methodists to defend themselves, purity will suffice for their salvation.” if they think proper, subscribing my. (p. 175.)-I shall therefore conclude self, as I truly am, an enemy to all with some specimens of our christian

CANTING FELLOWS, philosopher's moral system.

We have seen above, that a “ few venial and transient errors" such as a sober man,” being “ accidentally drunk,” &c. inake no material abate.' ments in “a life of righteousness," provided the man be not a methodist ; but the following passage will perhaps

SIR, surprize those that are unacquainted

your

Abstract and Epic with the sublime ethics of the “An- tome assist your readers to form ticalvinist.”

their own opinions of publications, “A man may, indeed, deviate from. I am glad to observe, from the tenor the laws of bis animal nature, he may of the pieces inserted in your original be guilty of excess in eating and drink. department, that the support of geing; and in criminal pleasures, and nuine Christianity is your aim. It which may have a direct intiuence appears, therefore, not unsuitable to on his present physical good ; but he your plan to admit of needsulcautions may not be conscious, at the time, against those insinuations to the prethat he is doing any thing morally judice of the Scriptures, which abound wrong; and therefore, the act, not in some periodical publications of the being a wilful breach of any moral present day. obligation, niay have no connection Of these none is to be compared, with his condition in another life. for subtiltý or effrontery, with the It may not be a transgression for Monthly Magazine: and of all the which he will be called to account; papers in which it has attempted the for a man may offend against those subversion of Christianity, numerous laws, by which a due moderation of and various as they have been, none all the appetites is made subservient seems to me more remarkable, than to his present interest, without know. (what the editor calls) the “ half ing that he is sinning against the will yearly retrospect of domestic literaof a superior power, which it is bis inre,” in the Supplementary Number duty to obey; and therefore the published last January: a more suittransgression, though it may be phy- able title miglit have been, “ Critisically injurious, may not be morally cism run mad.". Its extravagance, destructive; though it may, from the throughout, implies some disorder in natural association of cause and ef- the brain of the writer, either natural fect, be hurtful to the body in this or incidental. Take, as a specimen, world, it may not affect the state of his concluding paragraph. the soul in the next.” p.3.14.

“ But I am spinning out prate“ Bravissimo!” thou sublime Chris- without the leisure to splice its incotian philosopher; so then gluttony, herence-10 tinge it with ornamental drunkenness, and debauchery, may be colouring—to braid it into connection innocently committed, and not num- with the pamphlet to which it is al

tached-or to clip off its fag ends- at Cesarea, and had the insolence to the imps of Faustus tug!”

accuse him as not living holy, and So ends the critical dissertation, by that he might justly be excluded out which we are to be guided in judging of the Temple, since it belonged only the merits of works on every topic to native Jews. But, the general of published in England during the last. Agrippa's army informed him that half year, and by which we are ex- Simon had made such a specch to the pected to decide against the eviden• people. So the king seat for him, ces of christianity; yet there is means and as he was then sitting in the theing in this madness. No complaint atre, he bid him sit down by' him, and expressed in the passage I have quoted said to him with a low and gentle is upgrounded, except that relative' voice, " What is there done in this to ornamental colouring. Of colour place that is contrary to the faw your ing, there is a redundancy, but per. But he had nothing to say for himself, haps not strictly ornamental. but begged his pardon. So the king. . From this: curious production, it was more easily reconciled to him appears that intidelity is seriously than one could have jinagined, as damed, lest all classes of christians esteeming mildness a better quality, should combine for its extirpation. in a king than anger, and knowing I refer to a paragraph, much too long that moderation is more becoming in for citation, strangely placed under great men than passion. So he made the article of Dr. Campbell's Lec. Simon a small present, and dismissed tures on Ecclesiastical History. With- him.". out dwelling npon that paragraph, or I intreat each of your readers to upon others in which infidelity rears take the first opportunity of turning is head unmasked, I beg leave to to the 12th chapter of the Acts of the point out one passage, which was Apostles, and of reading it with attendoubtless intended to advance the tion. Herod, there spoken of, is the same object in the minds of persons,, same person whom Josephus calls

some literary knowledge, whose Agrippa ; but his conduct toward tlie inclination to scepticism would ren- apostles was diametrically opposite der absurdities palatable. The writer to that described in the account I appears to have suspected that his have cited, and the circumstances izingations would be too gross to be related are entirely different. If, thereenerally understood,without exciting fore, “ the narrative contained in the å disgust that might endanger the Acts, be in fact the very anecdote of cadre he had at heart. For this rea- Josephus," and we are to consider

I shait attempt to unfold them. the latter as' “ throwing light on the In characterising Wrangham's thir. mode of narration adopted by the ten practical Sermons, the reviewer apostolic writers, the unavoidable in.' Herves, that “ the life of St. Peter ference is, that their mode of narration K be no means well understood." He is fictitious, calumnious, and blasphe.' odds, " It is probable that the Simon

mous ! mentioned by Josephus (19 Ant. 7. 4.) This instance, however, sufficiently is the Peter of Acts; that he was im. illustrates the mode of representation Joued by the zeal of Herod, and adopted by the Monthly Magazine conreleased by the tolerance of Agrippa; cerning matters which alfect the truth and that the narrative contained in of christianity. Whom the reviewer the 12th chapter of Acts, is, in fact, meant by Herod, as contrasted with tie very anecdote of Josephus. If Agrippa, I know not. The only per$, it throws light on the mode of son of that name, beside Agrippa, who rarration adopted by the apostolic ever reigned in Jerusalem, had been writers."

dead more than forty years before The passage in the antiquities here the latter came to the throne. The referred to, I will give in Whiston's writer therefore appears to be as ig. translation, as I find it sufficiently porant of Jewish History as of the ccurate.

truth of Christianity. " There was a certain man, of the

I am, sir, Janish nation, at Jerusalem, who ap

Yours, &c. pared to be very accurate in the knowledge of the law. His name was

This man got together an. 435201bly, wibile the king was absent

DIEREUNETES.

[ocr errors]

OR

I i

3. There are various other ways of MODERN RULES OF CRITICISM, altering a translation-the original

words are often equivocal, and you

may always use the term most suite An easy way to get rid of a hard Text. able to your purpose: the Hebrew is

very convenient to this purpose, and

the Greek too if you take in all the MR. EDITOR,

senses in which words are used by T being so many years since the the classic authors.

4. When this fails, you may have Bible was published, it may easily be recourse to various readings, of which supposed the translators were not you will find a great variety in Ken. Christians of the modern stamp, hence nicott and de Rossi on the Old Tes. the necessity of a new translation to tament, and in Mill and Wetstein on keep pace with the late improve the New. To the various readings of ments in Christianity, and hence the the text you may add those of the difficulty that rational Christians liave versions, which are still more numefound to make the vulgar believe that rous, and if none of these suit your their scheme is founded on the Scrip- purpose, you have another resource, tures. For the use of such I beg leave 5. Conjectural emendations; this to offer a few hints, by the aid of which indeed can hardly fail, as you may the most troublesoine texts may be conjecture any thing; and Houbigani, easily got rid of, and any passage Bowyer, &c. will furnish a rich vawhatever made to harmonize with riety of examples; only, in general the most refined and modern systems, hit upon a word as similar as you can

1. The simplest and most easy to the present in letters and sound; method, is to make a small alteration for the less remarkable tbe alteration, in the punctuation. Sometimes the the more casily will it generally be mere removal of a comma, or the in. admitted. Though it is hardly possertion of one, may have great effect: sible all these methods should failfor instance, when our Lord says to yet, for the sake of variety, I shall the dying thief, “Verily, I say unto subjoin two or three others. thee, to-day shalt thou be with me in 6. Study the doctrine of metaphors, Paradise ;', this appears to imply the and consider their frequent and libedoctrine of a separate intermediate ral use in all Asiatic writers, this will state; whereas only remove the com- help you through many difficulties : ma a little further, and you get rid of for instance, is any expression too the objection in a moment- Verily, strong for your purpose, call it an I say unto thee to-day,—thou shalt be hyperbole; or does it seem to imply with me in Paradise.”

some antique notion call it a bolt But the most useful of all the points eastern figure ; thus the Spirit of God or stops, is that “ little crooked thing may be reduced to high wind, or a that always asks questions”-the note. hurricane, as Dr. Hurdis calls it. of interrogation; by which you may 7. If the disliculty does not rest in often turn the tables on an adversary a word or two, but most completely: ex. gr. when it is sage, or a considerable part of one, said of Christ, « In him dwells all the sce if you cannot find some ground fulness of the Godhead bodily,” add to suspect an interpolation of the a note of interrogation, and your whole or part. Does no ancient question clearly has the force of a di- father omit some part in quoting : --rect negation. But this method must And does not another who should have be used sparingly, and with caution. quoted it, omit the whole: Nay, is

2. A very slight change in the order not the book itself of doubtful'au. of words, or the insertion of the sin- thority Was not its authenticity deple verb be, will often wonderfully, nied or doubted by some early writers, improve a text-ex. gr. Instead of or some ancient council: “ He thought it no robbery to be equal Lastly, Your grand coup de main with God," read, with Dr. Clarke is still reserved : suppose none of the and others “ He thought not of the above methods altogether satisfies, robbery, to be equal with God. In then you may consider: 1. Whether the following text insert be " who is the Oid Testament is any essential over all, God be blessed for ever!" part of Revelation (except the pro

a whole pas

phecies) or whether it be not a col- ancient creed of most nations, and lection of Hebrew records of uncer- thinks it extremely improbable; tain date ; and of the poetical exer. therefore, that the Hebrews should cises of some pious persons-inspired be ignorant of it, especially as the enly by devotion, or by the Muses. general tradition appear to have been The New Testament you may divide derived from their ancestors-the Pa. into two classes, historical and episto- triarchs. “ Is it at all probable (he lary:- In the former are coinpre asks) that the nation which has been bended the Gospels and the Acts, most favoured with divine Revelawhich were the composition of good, tions, should be more ignorant of but fallible men, who chiefly wrote this most important of all iruths than from memory, and were therefore any other people?". p. 4. very liable to mistakes. The Epistles To me this question appears very you may consider only as the private forcible, and the absurdity implied in correspondence of the Apostles, in its negative extreme. The Dr. how. which is a great deal of bad Greek- ever, does not in this case rest on pro. of false logic, and enthusiastic rant babilities. Contrary to his usual me- which last character particularly thod, he argues fairly and plainly froin applies to the Apocalypse. And now, a variety of Scriptures, to which, in Sir, with these rules before us, I think this case he allows a weight and we may fairly bid defiance to all the authority which, in other cases, he impertinence of dogmatists and enor is indeed too reluctant to admit. thusiasts, and with the greatest ease Among the arguments he insists explain away any text in all the upon and supports with pertinent Bible,

texts of Scripture, the following struck Yours, &c.

me as peculiarly forcible: MENTOR. · " The absolute assurances of the

final happiness of the sighteous, and of the certain destruction of the wick:

ed, which are frequent in the scripRemarks on the Monthly Review. tures of the Old Testament, could not

have been given in any consistency SIR,

with the frequent complaints of the I :

view for last January, my curio- and the sufferings of the righteous in sky was particularly excited to read this life, without a view to a state of the critique on Dr. Priestley's last recompence.” (p. 20.) See Ps. lxxiii. perfornance, which I had lately pe- throughout. mised with a kind of disappointed Dr. P. also argues with great effect pleasure, and was now a second time from the following passages, which desappointed in the perusal of this speak evidently of a resurrection of Review-though I cannot say so the body, certainly implying a future agreeably. The pamphlet of Dr. P. state both of rewards and punishbere alluded to, is “ an Enquiry into ment. See Is. xxvi. 19.--.xvi. 17.the Koowledge of the antieni He- Blix. 16. Ezek. xxxvii. 12. Dan. xii. brew, concerning a future state, in Ps. xvi. 10.--xlix. 14.- xxi. 20. Jub which I was gratified to find (con- xiii. 15.-xiv. 7.-xix. 23, &c. trary to my expectation) that the Dr. I do not mean, however, to give an takes the affirmative side of the ques. unqualified approbation to the whole tion in opposition to the author of of the Doctor's pampblet, in which are " The divine Legation:" the Re- soine strong insinuations against a fuviewer, however, who appears to be ture state, &c. but I think it is much 2 Warburtonian, can see no evidence to be regretted that the least excepin the Author's proofs, and no force tionable of all his works, should be la his arguments, though both appear the most objected against in this ceto be much more simple, clear, and lebrated Review. forcible than I have met with in his Before I conclude, I beg leave to forner works. The Reviewer charges present your readers with the conthe philosopher with arguing on cluding paragraph from the preface,

presumption and improbabilities,” which bears the signiture of T. L. because he asserts that the doctrines “The editor begs leave only to add, of a future state composed part of the that perhaps it may be of importance

« PoprzedniaDalej »