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its course with an unerring hand. Daughters of eternal wisdom;
This double torch, or candle lighted at both ends, is doubt.
“ The earth in its daily and annual progress, lays open in a spiral form the circumference of its two hemispheres, which the sun surrounds with his rays as with threads of gold stretched on a machine. The moon crosses them like a celestial shuttle, and binds them together with her silver streaks. The vegetable and animal world feel this influence and come forth, grow, and perpetuate their species by these soli-lunar, and luni-solar harmonies.” Vol. II. p. 448. • ?
Could an altar be raised to the genius of nonsense these
words should form the inscription to be engraven upon it. w
posing one serious objection to their tendency, did we not con
sider it our duty to place the public on their guard against the re-animation of any vicious and destructive principle. The design of these volumes is to inculcate that sort of Theophilanthropic Deism, which is in our opinion more injurious to mankind than even the very Atheism, with which it is so closely connected. With all the wretched cant of tenderness, philanthropy, and douce humanite in their mouths, it is to render them. proud, selfish and savage. By presenting false views of the perfection of human nature in theory, it wholly unfits the mind to meet its imperfections in practice; so far therefore from expanding the finer feelings of the heart, that it paralyses and contracts them. Soured by the disappointment of finding all his splendidimages of virtue vanish into nothing, the philosopher retires in disgust, and naturally converts his abhorrence of each particular vice into a general detestation of the persons of mankind. When rouzed from his seclusion, and called into action, we view him gloomy, hardened, and inexorable. He considers not man here below in a state of probation, he sees not the necessary existence of moral evil in a world of trial. Admitting neither the fall of man from a state of innocence, nor the consequent corruption of human nature, he is ill prepared to encounter even the inperfections, much less the crimes of his fellow creatures. Disdaining the free redemption of a fallen creature by the sacrifice of the incarnate Son of God, he sees no path of acceptance before his Maker; and the pardou, which he thus refuses for himself, he is ill calculated to extend towards his offending brother. Upon the Theophilanthropist no duty is bound of forgiving even as he has been forgiven. - - We consider it our duty to warn our readers against the first revival of this execrable system of cant and cruelty, which with Rousseau as its high-priest did more to demoralise and degrade the human mind, than all the fiercer blasphemies of Robes. pierre and his crew. The monsense with which these volumes are supra-saturated, is but a passport to their destructive principles. There are thousands who will swallow whole this mass of absurdity, victique dolis sacrymisque coacti, little aware of the iucalculable mischief with which it is impregnated.
ARt. VII. A Parochial Vicar's Remarks on Mr. Belsham's Letters to the Bishop of London. 8vo. 84 pp. Cadell and Davies. 1815.
HAVING so lately gone over the ground of this controversy, we are sorry that it will be out of our power to give to these excellent letters that extended motice which they so much de* * ** Q 2 Serve.
serve, 'We have read them over with much attention, and are of opinion that the public will find in them a most able aud convincing awswer to all misrepresentations both of himself and others, with which Mr. Belsham's last publication has been shewn to abound. The Parochial Vicar appears to be well acquainted with the bearings of the Unitarian controversy, and brings his forces into the field with much bolduess and skill. Sir Isaac Newton and Mr. Locke are justly defended against the calumnious commendations of Mr. Belsham, who is of course highly desirous to briug them both within the pale of Unitarianism. . A very happy citation is made from the works of Dr. Law, the late Bishop of Carlisle, and another from Griesbach himself, clearly demonstrating that, however unsound in some points of theology, they held opinions in direct, contradiction to those of Mr. Belsham. The attempt therefore to enlist those and similar theologians under the banmers of Unitarianism, is a sort of crimping trick, which is utterly unworthy of any controversialist, who pretends even to common homesty. * * *
“The period, at which the opinions of men can be ascertained with the greatest correctness, must be when they have reached and whilst they still retain the full vigour of their mental powers. Such was the period of his age and talents, when Archdeacon, afterwards Bishop Law, published the second edition of his learned and able work, entitled, “ Considerations on the State of the World with regard to the Theory of Religion.” Added to it is a “Discourse upon the Life and Character of CHRIST :” in which we read thus: “Let us begin where the beloved disciple dates his gospel, (who had much higher manifestations, and a more perfect knowledge of his Master, than any other of the Evangelists,) and with him reflect on His original state and subsequent humiliation. That a Being of infinite glory and perfection, the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature, and the Lord of heaven and earth, should condescend to degrade Himself from all this power and dignity,” &c. &c. The divine pre-existence of ØUR Lo RD and SAviour is the groundwork on which the Discourse rests, and on which the main subject is built. - The author was never known to express an idea which might seem to deviate from his avowed sentiuments, in any Publicatios; what PUBLIC. authority have you then, (and nothing short of PUBLIC authority" cán warrant your endeavour,) what Pualic authority have you far attempting to create a belief, that Bishop Law coincided with you in disapproving our doctrines? None whatever. And yet he is twice introduced in your Letters, evidently for the purpose of making readers, inexperienced and unacquainted with his works, imagine he agreed with you in opinions derogating from the diviHity of nature in CHRIST. • . . ... • “. ‘. . . to Ta
** To the Bishop of London, (who happily for us is conversant with the writings of German critics, and who will be vigilant where caution may be requisite,) to a parochial Vicar, (who through means of quotations is furnished with some slight knowledge of contents in books from Germany,) acceptable must be your appeal to that “eminent philologist” Griesbach. You thence give an opportunity for adducing his solemn profession of faith in OUR Loap's divinity, which you deny: * * * * “‘That, so far as lies in my power, I may remove all unjust suspicions, and take from malevolent men a handle for calamniat- s ing, I first of all declare publicly, and call. God to witness, that I by no means doubt concerning the truth of that doctrine (i. e. the divinity of Christ). And indeed there are so many both clear arguments, and passages of Scripture, by which true deity in Christ is asserted, that I can scarcely understand how this doctrine 'can be called in question by any one, if the divine authority of
sacred Scripture is allowed, and just rules of interpretation ad- o mitted. Among the first, that passage of John, i. 1, 2, 3. is so perspicuous and raised above all exceptions, that by no bold en- i. deavours either of interpreters or of critics, can it ever be subverted o: and forcibly taken from the defenders of truth.’ ” P. 50. o Upon that “prostration of the understanding,” of which the e Bishop of Loudou has insisted as a necessary qualification of. him, who would approach the oracles of divine truth, our author, speaks in the following spirited and judicious terms: -- o “‘Where is the wise? where is the scribe 2 where is the disputer of this world?” are the questions of him, who was a master in human reasoning, and a pattern of humble faith; St. Paul.
Weigh well the whole of the chapter, in which that text occurs. Condescend to read also Discourses on I Cor. i. 21. by a prelate, eminent for masculine understanding and force of argument. His present successor, every way fit to hold the station filled by Sherlock, in substance speaks as Sherlock thought, when he asserts, > . “Prostration of the understanding and will are indispensable for proficiency in the Christian religion.” . More than that, so far as you are concerned; the Bishop does but state, what to a certain. though inadequate degree is practised by yourself. In high con- x fidence of superior intellect, you may exclaim, “Prostration of : the understanding ! God forbid!—If the Christian religion itself- : were to require this debasement of the intellect, this prostration of the understanding in those who approach it; I for one would. reject it with disdain.” How little do men know themselves and o how ineompetent are they to pass judgment on their own pro- o ceedings With all your disavowal of submitting your intellect to the Christian religion, you nevertheless exercise that submission. You believe, “that Jesus performed a series of astonishing and beneficial miracles, and uttered various prophecies, which in o due season received their proper accomplishment; that He was . * . . . - - raised * * *
raised to life (from the grave); was miraculously taken up into the clouds; fulfilled His promise of pouring out upon His apostles a miraculous effusion of the Holy Spirit; that the apostles were filled with His Spirit; that “the extent and rapidity of their success were such as can in no other way be accounted for, but upon the supposition that the doctrine was true and that the miracles . were incontrovertible.” You “believe, upon the authority of Jesus Christ, that God will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He hath ordained.” Now, in all these particulars of your creed, viz. that a mere Man should work such miracles; should deliver prophecies; should be raised from the grave; should ascend to the clouds; should impart spiritual powers; and, above all, should sit in solemn and final judgment on the whole human race; is there nothing to which the understanding prostrates itself in humble submission to the will of God? nothing, in which it renounces its usual powers of comprehension, and resolves what is inexplicable into this simple conclusion; “Supernatural authority communicates this, and on such authority the human mind is bound to receive it?” Why, Sir, the whole of what you believe, as stated concening your Christian faith, exceeds the common course of eyents; comes not within the reach of what is familiar, and obvious to our senses; lies not within the limited bounds of . our reason; your intellect therefore is prostrated, i.e. humbly submitted to revelation supernaturally made. Whether, or not, upon a review of what actually takes place in your own mind, you will continue to summon Mr. Hume as an advocate on your side, must appear doubtful: doubted, however, it cannot be, that in the partial degrees of your CHRISTIAN belief, you exercise the very prostration, which you so reprobate; and that in the larger extent. of your NATURAL religion you evince the same intellectual prose tration at least in an equal, if not greater proportion.” P. 73.
The matter cannot be placed in a clearer or more convincing. . int of view. Here then we shall conclude our extracts from. these valuable letters, hoping that they will meet the attention which they so justly deserve, and that in a second edition the Parochial Vicar will make us acquainted with the name of one, to whom we are so much indebted for so judicious and seasonable a publication.
Abt. VIII. A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of
Watford, for the Benefit of the Widow and Ten Children of the Rev. J. Dennis, A.M. late Curate of Overton, Hants, By the Rev. Thomas Morgan, LL.D. Prebendary of Wells, &c. 16 pp. Cadell and Davies. , 815. •.
THE melancholy and distressing event which gave rise to this.
discourse, is one of those which call loudly upon the charity of - every