Imatges de pÓgina

tempt to take any advantage of what in her favour by the special “ intenmay appear to me to be incorrect in tion" of Providence? It waz well for her mode of expression. I willingly the community that so valuable a life yield to Mr. T. the palın for logical should be protracted to a ripe old age; acumen and definition; I only wish but what had this event, taking is to argue for truth and not for victory. throughout, to do with prolonging it? I am no polemic, and perlaps may by Her death did not then take place some be considered as a busy intruder and to say that her life was prolonged in the literary republic: be that as it by these agencies " that are often may, I claim the right of rambling in employed to take away life or to rethe field of inquiry, and the same store it, at the very moment when it liberty I most ardently consent that is about to expire," appears to me a others should enjoy. I have early in strange and incomprehensible confu. life read Hartley, Hume, Stewart, sion of ideas. In short, I think myself Helvetius, Price, and other writers fully warranted in the conclusion, that on the human mind, and the conclu- the passage. I quoted at full length sions I drew froin this mass of inquiry gives me no authority to extend her were, that I must judge for myself; conceptions of an overruling Proviand that if I pinned my faith upon the dence beyond those of kind and benesleeve of any individual indiscrimi- ficent protection. nately, I was as likely to be wrong as I very readily acknowledge that I if I had no such literary authority did not know from whence my quota whatever. I revere their powers of tion was taken, “one event," &e. I mind, and I give them credit for sin- borrowed it solely from recollection. cerity ; but, after all, I believe com- Mr. T. indirectly, and soinewhat exmon sense to be the best touchstone ultingly, asks, whether I am compeof opinions and practical merit. tent to undertake a commentary on

Mrs. C. says, " It was the intention the book which contains the passage? of a gracious Providence by these Most assuredly I am not ; but this I means, at that time, to preserve my can tell him, that when he shall be life.” Now, what are we to under- prepared to explain all the gradations stand by the word “ intention"? To which the saered volume contains bemy conception, it implies the result tween plenary inspiration and acknofof choice or deliberation. Thus, if ledged interpolations, I will take care this event is permitted to take place, to be ready, so that we may both enter " all the salutary convictions will be the arena together. felt, which similar dangers, and similar I come now to Mr. T.'s explanation deliverances are intended to produce;” of the plans and proceedings of Proviif it is not permitted, then those con- dence; and if I understand him right, sequences will be lost-therefore, it it is his opinion, that all possible shall proceed. If this be not a special events, moral as well as physical, were or miraculous interference for the par- distinctly and separately appointed by ticular purpose, there must surely be Omniscience from the creation of the an end to all attempt at argument: world, or from the profound and inor, at any rate, is it possible, after conceivable depths of eternity. He mature consideration, to deny that nevertheless appears somewhat unsuch was her view of the subject? willing to admit an unlimited investiThat the effect was produced by what gation into the subject, and afraid of we agree to understand by a combina- the consequences of pursuing the artion of natural causes, I admit; but I guwent to its extremes, lest we should cannot separate the idea from the con- be misled by “minute particulari. chusion, that she believed that these ties," and lose sight of general princinatural causes or agents were pur- ples. It must, however, in my estiposely and specially appointed by mation, be a weak cause that will not Providence for the case in point. And bear an examination in all its points ; am I not right in believing that her and if some of them should be more opinion was, that though these events vulnerable than others, a disputant is were apparently trivial and unconnect- fairly authorized to make his attack ed, taken distinctly, and in their re- wherever it suits him best. By tracing gular series; yet that the arrangement objections to their utmost extent we and combination of them was produced frequently may arrive at indisputable

Mr. Luckcock's Defence of his Reinarks on Providence. 521 conclusions; or, at least, may prove in him, and all supplications to him that the arguments of our opponents are absurd, and no part of practical will fail them in wliat they inay con- religion has any good foundation." sider as fondamental data. Such, for I veucrate the talents, the virtucs and instance, as the doctrine of future the memory of the Doctor, and repimishment for moral depravity ;-it spect the character of Mr. T., but I appears consistent with all our pre- must not implicitly bow to their or conceived principles of justice, that any other authority; and with this vice should be made to suffer for its feeling, the conclusions I draw from turpitude; but when we attempt to their own premises are diametrically vindicate eternal resentment and infi-' opposite. mite misery as the retribution for finite If every possible case in the natural errors and crimes, the reflecting mind world is under the “ immediate exermust recoil with horror at the idea, tion" of the Deity--then every atom and feel at onee that no argument can of the universe has been operated establish such a monstrous proposi- upon from its first existence, by abtion. Again, from dubious and appa- solute and temporary volition, and rently contradictory passages in the in all its future combinations and cheOld and New Testainent, we may con- mical affinities and changes, it must tend till doomsday about the person wait the Almighty fiat before it can and offices of Christ ; but when the fulfil its decrees. What, then, is the assertion is made that the God of human frame but part of the great universal nature died on the cross-it and sublime mystery of universal is in vain to urge another word with organization, composed of primeval such an opponent there is no com- atoms, and acted upon by the same anon principle of nind or language universal agencies ? Not to enter into which is not thereby violated beyond the metaphysical contentions about the power of argument to restore. Materialisın, as it relates to a future

To apply this reasoning to the doc- state of existence, it will not be denied, trine of what is understood by the on Mr. T.'s hypothesis, that the preterm of a Particular Providence, as sent state of the human mind derives advocated by Dr. Price and Mr. T.- its hopes, its passions, its powers and and to me it appears capable of prov- capabilities from the organization of ing that it is inconsistent even with the tenement with which it is contheir own statement and explanation. nected ; that external causes influIf, as Mr. T. contends, "Every thing ence every emotion of the heart, and which has happened, or is to happen regulate, if not absolutely controul, in the universe, was immediately con- every opinion of the intellect ; that templated by the Divine mind, and certain relations will produce the same formed from the beginning an essen- corresponding results, as well in the tial part of the general plan; that moral as in the pliysical world. But every individual entered separately is there no difference between general, and distinctly into the views of his immutable and eternal laws, and imCreator; that not merely our exist- mediate agency? If every thought ence, not merely our welfare in gene. and action of an intelligent being is ral, but every moment's existence, the consequence of the immediate even the minuiest circumstance which exertion of some power independent ministers to our welfare, was foreseen of his own choice or will, what can and provided for before time com- remain that should dignify him in any menced his cotirse : it also follows, degree with the character of a free that the execution, as well as the agent? And how can this be called original desigo, is in the hands of the a state of trial and probation--subsame great and wise Being, and that jecting him to future reward or puin every event that happens we behold nishment according to his deserts ; the immediate exertion of divine pow. when every atom of his frame, every er.” Admitting this to correspond combination of external circumstances, with the sentiments held by Dr. Price, and every impulse of his mind, was then the Doctor is quoted as saying imposed upon him by an eternal dethat to suppose otimorwise," then the cree, and altogether irresistible ? Is universe is a chaos ; the character of this the “good foundation for practithe Parent of it is imperfect; all trust cal religion”? What I understand by



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Mr. Luckcock's Defence of his Remarks on Providence. 523

Bilo 20.mar the feeling is correct upon half ma- As tured and imperfect principles. Where- tached to Mrs. C.'s opinions, I cannot as, on a more enlarged and just view refrain froin mentioning another pasof the subject, our best emotions are sage in her Memoirs, which struck me expanded to higher strains of thanks- as sadly encroaching upon the comgiving for every tie which binds us to monest feelings of humanity, and highuniversal nature, whatever to us indi- ly derogatory to the justice and goodvidually may be its temporary and ness of the Universal Parent. She says, seeming hardships and imperfections. When we read in the Mosaic disThat the usual expressions of the be- pensations of the severe denunciations lief in the partial interference of Pro- against the Canaanites, and other vidence in the concerns of individuals, neighbouring nations, for Worshiping are almost exclusively limited to be the false deities of human device, we nefits received, is obvious. Upon the arc apt to think that the punishment hypothesis of Mr. T. we ought not to was more than commensurate to the make these distinctions, but either re- offence; but when we contemplate, frain from such expressions altogether, even in our own times, a period of so or refer every possible case to the much greater light and knowledge, same wise and merciful appointment. the miseries still inflicted and en

endured But what a horrid sense of profanation by superstition and idolatry, on the and impiety would be excited, should wretched inhabitants of those Counit be said, that providentially Eve tries

ies wh know hot God; when we tasted the forbidden fruit, or slew his brother Abel; or the Isra- gerne Des we the tires Kindled to


on the temple of Jug

elites worshiped their golden calf! consuine the frantic

Widow of IndosOr, to come nearer to our own con- tan; 'when "we try to enumerate the cerns, would not the indignation of dreadful list of horrid enormities which the civil powers, as well as the eccle- owe their origin to these debaşing susiastical anthorities, be let loose upon perstitions, surely We must confess, any one who should

say, that provi- that even the command of complete dentially Copenhagen was bombarded extermination, harsh as it may appear, by its friends; or the Manchester was issued in mercy by Him who massacres took place; or the slaugh- seeth the end from the beginning, ter, in cold blood, of 500 Arabs at not merely to the unhappy idolaHydrabad by the bayonets of English-ters themselves, to save them from men? That providentially, A turned plunging deeper and still deeper into highwayman, Blost his estate by sin and misery, but as a 'solemn warnWould such expressions be endured? sands and tens of beations, 1961 who gaming, and destroyed himself ing to neighbouring nations, to thouYet are they not unavoidable infer- would have been corrupted by their ences, however unguarded and irreve pernicious example,

le, and have

perperent they may appear 2, And do they tuated

the dreadful evil from generanot shew the extreme hazard of spe- tion to generation.""Gracious heaven! culating in these opinions beyond the extermination for what? For ignopower of penetration allotted to us rance ; and by whoin? By those who, by our Maker? Should I be accused having had superior information, were of impiety in the rashness of these perpetually plunging into the same queries, why s

should such a case as idolatry themselves !! It is recorded the following pass uncensured? If of Pizarro, (I think, that havitty I have any just conceptions of incon- requested a friendly interview with siderate or presumptuous folly, it an Indian

cacique, and the most dissurely was here displayed. The pub- tinguished persons of his empire, lic papers informed us of a fire having recommendation of the doctrines of taken place in London, and destroyed Christianity was

s submitted to them, the offices of a copper-plate

printer, with the

assertion that the Bible, which who was known to have had in his was put into the hands of the chief, possession the large engraving repre- gave the information of the whole. senting the coronation of George IV., The cacique

examined it seriously, but though most of the other plates and put it to his ear as if expecting it entrusted to his care were lost, yet would speak; but being disappointed, providentially this one escaped." and fearful, perhaps, that it possessed

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some secret charnı which would injure use the word Trinity, we must by him, he let it fall with the timidity of them he considered as involving the alarm. Spaniards ! Christians ! ex subject in perplexity and doubt, howelaimed the fanatic Pizarro, will you ever we may varnish over our own see your holy religion thus insulted, interpretations. If, then, the Israelthe word of God trampled on by a ites were selected by the Almighty Pagan? Revenge ! Revenge! and as his chosen people to perpetuate prove yourselves worthy of the protec- the knowledge of his Unity; at least tion of heaven! A general massacre the Mahometans are entitled to share ensued : and is there in the black cata. this praise; and, coupling this merit logue of human crimes, a fact which with the atrocities and abominations holds a stronger claimi upon our bit- committed in the name of Christiterest execration ?

anity, we should, to preserve our conThe infamous tribunal of the Inqui- sistency on the theory of Mrs. Cappe, sition is said to have caused between petition heaven to issue its “comthe

years 1481 and 1759, 34,668 per- mands" to the followers of Mahomet sons to be burnt alive, and between to extirpate the believers in Christ 1481 and 1808, to have sentenced from the face of the globe. 288,214 to the galleys or to be in- 1 But in the case of the Canaanites prisoned.* If to these we add the it is said, that it was the command of ruthless persecutions over a great part Him“ who seeth the end from the of the world, which had no connexion beginning." I know but of one rule with the Inquisition ; and the bloody, of justice, and I dare not charge Ominfuriated and numerous' national nipotence with its violation, viz., wars undertaken and continued under that retribution should be in exact the prostituted name of religion or proportion to the desert. We may Christianity ; we must be compelled swerve from this precept through in to admit, that, detestable as were many attention, prejudice, or misapprehenof the Heathen institutions, and san- sion; but do not let us attempt to guinary as were many of their prac- vindicate in the Almighty what the tices; yet that Christians (nominal noblest and best feelings of our nature Christians) have infinitely exceeded proclaim it would be wrong in us to them all in atrocity, and sacrificed commit. " Where there is no law more victims in one century, than the there can be no crime ;” and to puCanaanites or Hindoos would have nish as an “offence" wbat could not done in twenty. It appears to have possibly be avoided, and to call it been the general opinion of the an- mercy," too! Venerable shade of cient Pagan world, that every king- departed excellence ! however thy dom or community had its proper and virtuous mind might heretofore be stationary gods, so that when any shaded with imperfection, bear witconquest took place, the invaders ness now to the correctness of the adopted the mythology of the con- views for which I am an humble advoquered as a matter of course ; it was cate; that man is endowed with faculreserved for enlightened times, and ties which he can voluntarily either for the followers of the “ Prince of debase or improve ; that he has the Peace,” to make wąr upon each other option either “to bury his talent in for mere opinions, and to preach exs

the earth," or to extend it a hundred termination in the name of the “God fold ; that more will not be required of mercy.”

of him than has been bestowed, and Whatever may be the errors of the that if perfectibility be denied to his Mahometans respecting their partial limited powers, it is his bounden acknowledgment of Christ and the duty never to lose sight of the splenperson of their own prophet, they did and animating goal, as it is his certainly have more correct potions high privilege that he shall succeed of the unity of the Godhead, than the in proportion to his endeavours. great inajority of the Christian world. Such are a part of the anomalies They plead for his simple and undi- which present themselves to my imavided essence; whereas as long as we gination, either with the limited

views, which I have supposed to be

entertained by Mrs. C., or the more • Histoire Abrégée de l'Inquisition. extended ones of Mr. T., and such


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