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"ment from you upon such a subject is of no in" considerable value.”
In speaking of Mr. Stevens's studies and learning, I ought not, as a faithful biographer, to pass over in silence, that he was a great admirer of the works of Mr. John Hutchinson: so were his dear friends, Bishop Horne, and the no less eminent, Mr. Jones, of Nayland, a name ever to be mentioned with the deepest respect by every true son of the Church of England.
The first considerable writer upon the opinions which Hutchinson promulgated was the Right Hon. Duncan Forbes, Lord President of the Court of Session in Scotland; and it appears, that when Bishop Horne was at College, he himself, and a vast number of young men, his friends, and who afterwards filled very distinguished stations in life, had adopted these opinions: and there can be no doubt, from the correspondence which has been mentioned to have been constantly kept up between these near relations, that Mr. Stevens received from George Horne his first hints upon this subject, which he afterwards improved by a deep and attentive perusal of the original author, an undertaking which his intimate knowledge of the Hebrew language greatly facilitated. Mr. Stevens made the study of these works his delight; and certainly
he was blessed with that right disposition of mind, that he never delighted in any thing, even as a subject of study, but what he believed to be just and correct. The author of this sketch is not competent to enter upon this subject, not having had time to investigate it so fully as becomes one who wishes to convey instruction to others : but those who wish for more information, without the trouble of perusing the twelve large volumes of Hutchinson himself, which, however important the matter, are not very interesting in the beauties and graces of style, may receive it, by consulting the small work of Lord President Forbes, above alluded to; Mr. Skinner’s Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, Vol. ii. p. 673, letter 59; Mr. Jones's Life of Bishop Horne, particularly the preface to the second edition, written purposely to explain the Hutchinsonian Doctrine; Bishop Skinner's Life of his Father; and lastly, Mr. Stevens's own Sketch of the Life of Mr. Jones, prefixed to that gentleman's works.
Without presuming to form any opinion upon the subject, I think it right, having referred the reader to writers who have written expressly upon the point, to give, in justice to my friend, Mr. Stevens's own sentiments upon the merits of Hutchinson. “ The Bishop of “ Lincoln (Dr. Pretyman Tomline) in his useful “work, called the Elements of Christian Theology,
quotes with approbation a long passage from " Mr. Maurice's Dissertation on the Oriental " Trinities, and observes, that every friend to true
religion will consider himself as indebted to his “ laborious researches, (which undoubtedly he
must) while every admirer of an animated and “elegant style will read his works with peculiar “ satisfaction. What a pity (says Mr. Stevens) “ that his Lordship never fell in with the writings “ of Mr. Hutchinson! Pleased as he is with Mr. • Maurice, he must have rejoiced in an oppor“ tunity of recommending, in the most earnest “manner, the works of that author also, (for matter,
though not for style) to the attention of all those “ who are desirous of seeing strong additional light “ thrown upon some of the most important doc“ trines of the Holy Scriptures. He would there “ have seen not less clearly evinced than by Mr. “ Maurice, that the Doctrine of the Trinity, so far « from owing its origin to the philosophers of “ Greece, as infidels and sceptics assert, was the “ doctrine revealed to man ;-that, from the begin“ning, all true believers worshipped one God in “ Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confound
ing the persons, nor dividing the substance.' " He would there have seen what Mr. Jones so “ fully demonstrates in the tract; (to which Mr. “ Stevens alludes) that the kind of Trinity acknow
ledged by the pagan nations of antiquity, the “ heathens, who knew not God, was not, could “ not be, a · Trinity in the divine nature, the “sacred Trinity, Jehovah Elohim, the God they “ did not like to retain in their knowledge, but a
physical Trinity, that which by nature is not “God. He would have seen, that the works of “ heathen antiquity, and classical literature, are “ rendered abundantly more interesting and useful “ from the view which Mr. Hutchinson has given “ of the doctrines and rites of heathen idolatry, " which he has traced backwards into the most re“mote antiquity. The New Testament tells us of “the heathens in general, that they worshipped " the creature.
Accordingly Mr. Hutchinson “ hath shewn, that the most ancient names of the gods of the Gentiles denote some or other of the
powers of the natural creation, either the sun, or “the moon, the air, fire, &c. that the attributes of " these were the attributes of their deities; and the
rites and ceremonies performed in their worship
were emblematic of their operations. He hath “shewn that, as the whole ritual and ceremonies “ of sacrificature amongst the heathens were not “ from nature, but from the perversion of sacred “ tradition, so their image worship was from the “same original, having been derived from the “symbolical capacity and use of the cherubic
“ figures, first set up at the east of Eden, and « afterwards in the tabernacle and temple : that “ from what is said in the prophets, and in the law, “and in the New Testament, it is sufficiently « clear, that the animals in that mystical figure “ had relation to the divine persons in the godhead, “and to the elementary powers of nature, on which “ account the heathens, in their worship of nature, “ retained it, and added to it in many ways, some “ of them monstrously profane and absurd. By “considering what species of animals were chiefly “ used in image worship by the heathens, with “ the sense and meaning of them, and then com“paring what was there found, after the manner “ of Mr. Hutchinson, with what the Scripture hath “ delivered concerning the cherubim, his Lordship “ would see such a scene of divinity, philosophy, “and heathen mythology, opened before him, as “ could not fail to captivate his understanding, “ and perhaps induce him to say, as Mr. Jones was “wont to say, that he would not for the world - but have met with Mr. Hutchinson's works.' Such is the summary of Hutchinsonianism as applied to theology; and though not presuming to decide upon its merits, yet, as in supporting those opinions, there seems to be nothing hostile to the soundest principles, the utmost piety to God, and good will to mankind, they ought never to have