Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

sure and pain, become indispensably necessary; and these effects can only arise from contending or opposite causes, one of which necessarily identifies itself with what we call evil. Mr. E. asks, "How can we be sure of enjoying (unalloyed) happiness or perfection in heaven itself? For when there, we shall still be created beings, and as finite then as we are now, consequently as liable to miscalculation, failure and error." Now, so far from being sure of unchangeable happiness in a future state, my hypothesis proves that it is only on the ground of our being sure that no such inactive stagnant happiness can exist, that we can expect any happiness there at all; since the happiness of all created beings necessarily supposes change, transition, fluctuation, pursuit, hope and fear, grounded of course upon contending or opposite causes, one of which must be evil, as two opposite and contending causes cannot both be of the same nature or principle.

<<

Mr. E. overstrains the conclusion to be drawn from my hypothesis, in supposing that it implies, that we shall remain " as finite then' as now, and as liable to miscalculation, failure and error," as we are at present; for though in heaven we shall assuredly remain created beings and finite," and still liable to miscalculation, failure and error," since both our existence and our happiness will be then, as they are now, inseparably and_necessarily connected with these facts and liabilities; but the hypothesis by no means implies, that we shall be so liable to these things as now, nor so finite then as now, but the very contrary, inasmuch as it shews, that our mental powers will be astonishingly enlarged beyond what " eye hath seen or ear heard, or hath entered into the heart of man to conceive;" and in the measure in which they are so enlarged, and in proportion as we are enabled to perceive the consequences of our own conduct, and to secure the intended effects of our own designs, in that very proportion our happiness must increase. We have, indeed, a full example and illustration of this fact in the present life, since the wise and calculating avoid much more evil than the ignorant and unthinking and could we now ascertain the exact proportion in which

t

that increase of knowledge would take place, the same rule would, I doubt not, shew us the exact increase of our happiness; and which may there. fore be so far beyond our present conceptions, as to appear absolutely infinite, inasmuch as it defies our utmost calculation; but infinite it never can be for the reasons before assigned.

With respect to "unmixed happiness being promised to the righteous in the gospel," I would only observe, that it is impossible that any word in any language can be of such extensive and unlimited meaning, as to comprise the promise of infinite happiness, either in degree or duration, (and unmixed happiness can be no less than infinite,) since as language cannot exceed idea, and seldom, indeed, comes up to it; and as we have no idea whatever of infinity, all expressions in allusion to future bliss, as well as to future punishment, must have a relative or limited meaning; and can really mean no more than this-a longer time or higher degree than we can calculate: and that this is the case in the original languages of the Scriptures, I have often noticed; and, hence, have frequently found an advantage in argument with the assertors of endless torment, when they have urged that the Greek aaying implies endless duration, because it is used in reference to future happiness; and particularly that, in Matt. XXV. 46, alwvior is used even in the same verse, in reference to happiness as well as to punishment; and, therefore, must have a like meaning in both cases, supposing, of course, that I should readily admit its endless meaning as to future happiness: but I have replied that this word in nei ther case signifies endless or infinite, either in duration, degree or nature, but only what its primitive signification imports, age-lasting or limited, or an indefinitely long period: and this is in perfect unison with the third as well as fourth inferences I have drawn from the hypothesis ; the former of which denies the capacity of any creature to possess the attribute of immortality, and requires renewals of existence in a future state, to prolong it to an infinite period; and which faith in the goodness of the Almighty teaches us to rely upon. No

argument therefore can, I apprehend, be derived from the Scriptures, at all opposed to the inferences I have drawn.

I have endeavoured to procure a sight of Dr. Williams's Sermon, in which Mr. E. says there is something similar to my hypothesis, but in vain. It has just occurred to me, that there is, perhaps, something like it, in the old Heathen philosophy, which supposed that there was some intractability in nature, which God could not overcome; and, therefore, in creation could not dispense with evil, but made the best he could of his intractable materials. This, however, impiously supposed the Deity not to have been the Creator of the materials, out of which he fashioned the universe; and is, therefore, very different from that hypothesis, which merely points out certain effects necessarily attendant upon every creature, and which mark his inferiority to the Creator, by exhibiting the limited nature of his attributes.

I shall be most heartily sorry should my present communication hurt the pious impressions, or wound the future prospects of unchangeable happipiness, of any who may be incapable of perceiving the genuine basis upon which happiness, both here and hereafter, appears to me to be founded: none will regret it more than I shall; but called upon as I am to justify my impressions, be assured no consequences will ever frighten me from the maintenance, or the legitimate conclusions of truth. G. P. HINTON.

SIR,

I

correspondent J. J. (pp. 465467), for the indulgent manner in which he controverts my criticism on Gen. iv. 26. When inquirers have no other object but truth, they will agree to differ; and there will be no ground for any other feeling but candour and mutual esteem. I will revise this question on a future occasion: at present I shall only say that the version, "Then men began to call themselves by the name of Jehovah," is printed in the margin of a copy of an old edition of the Bible in my possession.

The paper on the Greek Accents (pp. 442-450) is evidently the production of an elegant scholar. The lovers of Greek literature must feel obliged to the author for bringing the subject before the readers of the Repository in so tangible a form. I will pay due attention to it; and T. F. B. may expect from me, through the same channel, a respectful reply to his positions.

I feel very grateful to the learned Gellius (pp. 457, 458) for the notice which he has taken of my Lexicon. His remarks are well calculated to draw to it the attention of the learned readers of the Repository, which was evidently his intention. I beg to make a few remarks on his notes. The article da, in my Lexicon, is carelessly done. The general term " appearance," which implies "show" or

semblance," ," the sense it bears, as Gellius observes in Orestes, 235, ought to have been inserted. Lexicographers and critics have not sufficiently observed that a word, in a certain connexion, may have a meaning, which yet is foreign to the word itself. Thus anax, as Gellius remarks, may mean the clippings of hair. But the appropriate sense of the term is first-fruits or offering; what the offering might be depends on the context; and it' may denote wine or honey, as well as hair. Thus, also, apmui, in general means to dismiss or put away; but its sense, in the context of Orestes, 115, coincides with the idea of "spilling or pouring out." But even there apes would more exactly be expressed by drop," " i. e. drop as an offering on the grave.-Karaya is a nautical' term, signifying, to bring to land or into harbour, which, to prevent injury,

66

[ocr errors]

The master of a steam-boat standing up and calling, while advancing among the shippings to the landing-place, "Gently, gently," i. e. approach gently, would, it appears to me, convey the exact idea implied in the verb Kaтays, xaтays, addressed by Electra to the chorus, who was afraid of disturbing Orestes, now reposing from his madness. When Gellius says that' avanahh means to soar, as in Orest. 316, he, with other critics, confounds this verb with ανεπαλλω, (ανα, επι, dλw,) which, in the active form, signifies to cause to spring up, or to

[ocr errors]

While in the passive pounce upon, its sense is to spring up. This verb, instead of avaпаλλw, (ava up, and Taλw to shake,) to brandish, to shake up, should be restored to Bacch. 149, 1179, and II. 4, 692. This last verb, auta, (for avarannet,) is the true reading in Orestes, 316, and means, in a transitive sense, to shake, or put in agitation. The address is made to the furies; and the poet paints their intense thirst of vengeance by the effect of their sweeping pinions, in agitating the whole expanse of the atmosphere. Porson's note shews that he mistook the meaning and construction of the passage; and the authority of that great critic seems to have misled Gellius. In column 112 of my Lexicon, aμñaλλw is set down in the sense of shaking, with a reference to the line in question; but the erroneous reading in Beck's edition, which I use, caused me inadvertently to put it in the passive voice.

I smiled, not without feelings of complacency and gratitude, at the adroit and delicate manner in which Gellius palliates my glaring omission of Bane, and its several branches. The cause of this omission was curious enough, though it is not worth while to occupy a paragraph in the Repository to state it. I discovered it a few days after the book was finished; but not before some copies of the work were dispersed. And it seems that the one in Gellius's possession was of that number, which escaped before the omission was supplied in the Addenda. I am sure that Gellius would think it right in me here to insert the omitted article, in order to remedy the prejudice of the statement which through inadvertence he has made. In the Literary Gazette there lately appeared an article on my Lexicon, which must have proceeded from one who, if not a friend to me, is at least a friend to Greek literature, and I beg leave to state the words of that critic. “We will illustrate these observations by one example. This shall be the common verb, Bave; which, however, the reader will not find in its proper place in Dr. Jones's Lexicon, but among the Addenda at the end. Baow, go, march, proceed, Iz. 1, 3 -go up, climb, mount, ascend, A. 2, 3.-Go after, follow, Il. x, 149.-Go to an enemy, assail, attack, II. . 21.

---

-Go by, pass, go about a person to defend him, succour, Il. 510.-Go f. away, fly, depart, vanish, Il. . 229, p. 16.-Go down, descend, B. 167.Go through, cross, Il. 9. 343. Imp. Baivov for Bavov, they mounted, embarked, Il. B. 511; part. Baway, going near, approaching, Isthm. 2, 16.

66

[

βασι, f. ήσω, I go, aor. 1, εβησε, he caused to mount or embark, Herod. 1,80; ẞjo, he caused to come down, brought down, I. . 164. Hence it appears that the first aorist of this verb has a transitive sense. So has aor 1, m. ẞncãto for sßnoato, he mounted the chariot, Il. y. 262; fut. 1. Snow, Ion. Bew, by inserting, 1, Ba, oppa Btw, while I shall go, II. . 113, f. 1, m.; Boera, will go, will become of, II. ß. 339; Baoĭvyrai, Dor. for Boortal, they will go, Theo. 4, 26; BoeTay a new verb, hence the imperfect Botto, for sẞosto, he mounted, Il. e. 745; Beaua, the Ionic form, will go on in life, Il. x. 431, will go by the will of another, obey, shall be ruled by, I.. 194; perf. ßeßque, has gone, is accustomed to go, Isthm. 471 pluper. Baẞyne for eßeBax, had gone, was gone, went, II. . 856; perf. m. Beßado, contr. Beßão, have passed, are gone, II. B. 134; inf. βεβαεναι, βεβᾶναι, βεβαμεν, το go about, defend, protect him, Il. p. 510; Bu, aor. 2, εßny, inf. fñval, part. Bas, existing generally in the compounds, as in avaßas, having ascended; naraßas, having descended; B, εBa, for ß, he went to, I., 152; 8

er for efna, he went to go, hastened to go, ε. 167; By & chauv, he hastened to drive, he hastily drove, II. 27; dvd un uñpes Davat19 eBay pepovera, Il. B. 302, for Javatov &ßnav, whom the fates of death went taking away, whom the ministers of death, i. e. fate, took away.

"A few observations on the above article will close our critique on this Lexicon. Here we see that the au thor refers his readers to the original authorities for the meanings of the explained word, a laborious task, as he himself justly remarks, but fully compensated by its utility. From the example of Bane, imp. Bauvor Baw, f. nowВy, aor. 2, Sny, it appears that Dr. Jones refers the several branches of the verb, each to its respective and appropriate stem. Damm has set him an example for

[ocr errors]

this measure, though Sturze and
Schleusner are chargeable with the
neglect of it. The practice affords
unspeakable advantages to the learn-
er, as it enables him, by the most
obvious and simple analogy, to retain
words in his mind which would other
wise be forgotten unless held by the
sole grasp of a powerful memory.
The above explanation of Bave, and
its several branches, is in our opinion
deserving of attention, as being per-
haps the fairest specimen of lexico-
graphy that can well be met with.
The learner is put in complete pos-
session of its several senses by the
aid of the context. The several
branches of the verb are stated with
the anomalies caused by the dialects
and poetic licence. Dr. Jones has,
indeed, largely profited by the labours
of Damm, but he has condensed his
matter into one tenth of the space
which is occupied by that most ad-
mirable and useful lexicographer.
Nor has he servilely copied his model,
but tacitly shews him to have been
mistaken in three or four points in
this very article. Damm makes Be-
far to be the Ionic form of ßß-
nari; whereas Dr. Jones represents
it as a contraction of the perfect mid-
dle Beßaar. Damm again states Be-
Bauer to be a poetic form of ßra,
while Dr. Jones takes it to be the
perfect middle infinitive, ßeßaeva, by
Syncope ßeßavas, ßeßauer. The for-
mer writer seemingly, could not com-
prehend how Beopa, if the Ionic form
of Broopas, could mean, I will love
or obey,' as it does in Il. a. 194. He
therefore classes it with Bow as its
root. But Dr. Jones has happily hit
on the intermediate idea, for what is
to love or obey a person, but to go
by his will? "And here it is obvious
to remark, how similar the idioms of
the Greek and of the English are to
each other on many occasions. This
is one among many reasons, why a
Greek Lexicon should be written in
our native tongue. Damm renders
Bñ d'evai, II. B. 183, by cæpit cur-
rere but this version does not seem
so well to express the sense of the
he hastened to go, or
original, as
'he hastily went;' nor does B
shaav, bear the precise sense of age-
bat equos, but is more adequately re-
presented by he hastened to drive,'
or 'he hastily drove.' And here it

<

is worthy of notice, that where Dr.
Jones quotes a phrase differing in
genius from one in our own tongue,
he renders it literally first, and then
expresses it in a free version, con-
formably to our own. This is not
the usual practice of lexicographers,
but it is as it should be, since it en-
ables the learner to perceive in his
own tongue the peculiar features of
the Greek. Upon the whole, this
Lexicon is a work of great labour and
research. We have much pleasure in
adding, that we deem it also a work
of very great merit, which we con-
ceive cannot fail to meet the approba-
tion and patronage of those, who, where
the English language is used, study
to acquire a knowledge of the Greek."
J. JONES.
3 H] (kép my r

11

1907 & J!!!

Unitarianism in the United States of
motibo ¿Å.99 America.
HOME very interesting letters have
Mr. Bel-
sham from America, and put into
our hands by the venerable friend to
whom they were addressed. We lay
before our readers a few extracts.
The names of the writers are well
known in this country, but we do not
think it necessary to give them. The
fact of Mr. Jefferson, the Ex-Presi-
dent, having avowed his belief in Uni-
tarian Christianity, is of great impor-
tance, and will be hailed with delight
by all that desire to see divine reve-
lation adorned by the intellectual en-
dowments and public virtue of its
individual professors.

The following is from a letter dated
Baltimore, June 20, 1823.

"In this country the interests of religious truth are as prosperous as could be expected. Important changes of opinions and habits must always be slow. Prejudices are stubborn things, and can be removed only by degrees; but in the United States I have reason to think, that they are yielding as rapidly as the nature of things will admit. The advocates of old systems are awake; the lovers of the dark things of the dark ages are numerous and vigilant; opposition to the progress of religious knowledge is perpetual and strong; the floodgates of obloquy are hoisted; and the thunders of anathema and denunciation roar from one end of the Union to the other; vet there is a spirit

abroad, which winds its resistless way in defiance of the arm of flesh, the, bigotry of ignorance, and the terrors of a gloomy, perverted theology. Truth has friends, and the number is increasing; it will increase; ten years have produced a great change, and ten more will witness a greater.

愿者

"You have once or twice inquired of me respecting Mr. Jefferson. I have lately seen a long and excellent letter from him, in which he gives his views of Christianity. This letter amounts to an unequivocal declaration of his belief in the Christian religion. In high party times, he was charged with being sceptical, and perhaps he was so, for he had studied Christianity only in the garb in which mistaken orthodoxy had laboured to clothe it. He has since examined the ground on rational principles, and the result has been conviction. In a letter to me, written more than two years ago, he touches on the subject in a manner, which gives some hints of his opinions, and you will doubt less be gratified with the following extract. "I hold the precepts of Jesus,' says Mr. Jefferson, as delivered by himself, to be the most pure, benevolent and sublime, which have ever been preached to man. I adhere to the principles of the first age, and consider all subsequent in novations as corruptions of his religion, having no foundation in what came from him. The metaphysical insanities of Athanasius, of Loyola, and of Calvin, are to my understand ing mere relapses into Polytheism, differing from Paganism only by being more unintelligible. The religion of Jesus is founded on the unity of God, and this principle chiefly gave it a triumph over the rabble of heathen gods then acknowledged. Thinking men of all nations rallied readily to the doctrine of one only God, and embraced it with the pure morals which Jesus inculcated. If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, truth will prevail over fana ticism, and the genuine doctrines of Jesusy so long perverted by his pseu do priests, will again be restored to their original purity. This reforma tion will advance with the other improvements of the human mind, but

P

[ocr errors]

too late for me to witness it.' From this extract you can judge with some degree of accuracy concerning Mr. Jefferson's opinions. The letter mentioned above is much more full, and contains a comprehensive outline of the purposes of the Christian dispensation."

The same writer adds, "What a wonderful man is that Rammohun Roy of Calcutta! Few have so much learning and talent. His books must produce an effect. They are written with power and judgment. I had a letter from him lately, in which he says he thinks of visiting this country, and consequently England shortly. The venerable Mr. Eastin, of Kentucky, has just written to me, that eight societies are forming in Missouri on Unitarian principles. In the south of Kentucky there are more than forty Unitarian preachers among the Separate Baptists. The Christians, a growing sect, call them=" selves Unitarians, but they are commonly ignorant and fanatical. Time and knowledge will correct them."

Another correspondent writes from Boston, May 3, 1823, as follows:

"I hope, my dear Sir, you will live many years, if so it seem good to the Supreme Arbiter, to witness the spread of those views of Christianity which you justly consider so consonant to the doctrines of the New Tes tament, and so favourable to the happiness of mankind. In this country, not only do they rapidly extend, but they seem also to approve themselves to men of intelligence and worth. Our ex-president Adams, now eightysix, and in the full possession of his understanding, you know has been for many years a decided and zealous Unitarian. I saw lately a correspondence between our estimable fellowcitizen Colonel Pickering (now eighty) and Mr. Jefferson upon this subject, and I assure you read it with no small surprise. Pickering, of the genuine race of the New Evangelical Puritans, and of a family for several generations of the straitest of that sect; the most inflexible man since the days of Cato, the zealous supporter of Washington's administration, and after a distinguished career during the revolu tionary war, appointed by W. Postmaster General, and then Secretary of State-bred up by temperament,

« AnteriorContinua »