« AnteriorContinua »
Review.--Belsham on Love of Truth and Theological Controversy. 545 same kind. He informs his correspon- the knowledge which he has hitherto atdent that the Unitarian brethren at tained is as nothing in comparison with Calcutta have not yet succeeded in the vast unknown. It is said of one of getting an eligible piece of ground for the early reformers, that when he lay the erection of a chapel,"but look upon his death-bed, if any present were confidently forward to this object. discoursing upon some of those imporAnd he concludes with saying, that agitated the Christian world, he would he feels a strong wish to visit Europe raise himself up in his bed, and would and the other quarters of the globe in call to them to speak out, for that he the ensuing year; with a view, amongst should die with more comfort if he could other satisfactions, to a personal ac learn some new truth before his deparquaintance with the Unitarians of ture. And a late venerable and learned Europe.
prelate, who was an inquirer after truth
all his days, did not distinctly discern the ART. IV.-Two Sermons : the First; complete evidence of the simple humanity on the Love of Truth, inclading
of Jesus Christ till he had passed his seSummary of the Lectures delivered
ventieth year,”-P. 20., at Essex Street Chapel; the Sea, The second Sermon is an inquiry into cond, on the Benefits arising from the useful purposes answered by error Theological Controversy preached and controversy, and into the duties in Essex-Street Chapel, November, which the present unsettled state of 1822. Introductory to the Course things imposes upon the sincere proof Lectures for the Season. By fessors of the Christian doctrine. Unthe Rev. Thomas Belshamn. 8vo. der the former branch of the inquiry, pp. 52. - Hunter. 1823.
Mr. Belsham shews that controversies R. BELSHAM gives in the have confirmed the evidence of Chrismary of his Lectures," of the subjects terion for the discovery of truth, that of which the following is a list : Evi- they give birth to many of the subdences of the Jewish' and Christian limest virtues, that they are some of Revelation. Inquiry into Inspiration. the most powerful stimulants and State of the text of New Testament. guards to personal and social virtue, Doctrines of Divine Revelation : Per- and that they will eventually terminate son of Christ : Holy Spirit: Atone- in the discovery of truth, and in the ment: Original Sin : Election : Grace: prevalence of general unanimity and Perseverance. Constitution of a Chris- universal peace. The duties of the tian Church, under which head is dis- Christian in these circumstances are cussed the question of the support of pointed out, viz. Submission to the the Christian Religion by the Civil will and wisdom of God, acquiescence Power. Positive Institutions. Nature in the divided state of the church, and Foundation of Virtue and Moral” steadiness at the post of duty, and Obligation. Phenomena of the Hu- triumph in the prospect of the ultiman Mind. Natural Arguments in mate reign of truth and goodness. favour of a Future Life. On all these With great discrimination the preacher interesting topics the preacher states indulges much fervour of spirit. The the arguments in his usual perspicu- most marked feature of this discourse ous manner, and delivers his last is confidence in divine truth. The thoughts. The summary is a syllabus glowing descriptions and animated apof theology, and will be useful to the peals which abound in it, cannot fail inquirer, and particularly to the lec- of interesting the reader's best affecturer. In conclusion, some reflections tions. are made upon the subject of truth,
On the benefits resulting from Perwhich are both instructive and en
secution Mr. Belsham says, couraging. We extract one passage :
« The advocate for truth is sometimes “ 'The sincere lover of truth will never required to endure persecution of various cease to inquire, as long as the powers kinds, and in various shapes. And time of intellect and investigation remain : for the little which he knows, inspires a thirst after further information ; and he * “ Chytræus of Rostock, who died is conscious, that, however successful the A. D. 1600, aged 70.-See Fuller's Lives result of his inquiries may have been, all and Deaths of Modern Divines." VOL. XVIII.
has been, though happily those times are credit of the sect will not only lead men passed, in which the confessor of the to be more than ordinarily kind to their Christian doctrine has sealed his testi- fellow-sectaries, but will stimulate them mony with his blood. And these are to vigilance over themselres and others, circumstances in which the most exalted that they may no: by irregular and disvirtues of the heart have been brought reputable couduct entail disgrace upon into exercise. To suffer martyrdom vo the party which they espouse. Different luntarily and cheerfully, in a good canse sects frequently vie with each other in and upon good principles, is the bighest zeal for laudable and useful undertaperfection of the human character. We kings, in order to shew that their pe. venerate the hero who sacrifices his life culiar principles are at least equal with in the field of honour, and the patriot those of their neighbours in pronpring who offers himself as a victim upon the to good works. This sectarian emulaaltar of liberty and his country's rights;- tion is not indeed the best and purese to die iu such a cause is sweet and glo- principle of action ; but it is powerful rions. What then is it to suffer and die and useful; it is a good substitute where in the cause of truth, of virtue, and man- better principles are wanting, and comes kind! What a constellation of virlues in aid of betier motives where such mois here displayed !-zeal and courage in tives exist. Human virtue in its best the defence of truth; resignation to the siate is very imperfect; and it requires will of God; love to the human race; every stimulus to keep it in vigorous patience and fortitude under suffering ; action, and to repel indolence and sloth. meekness, forbearance, and forgiveness And experience proves that rirtue and of enemies ; contempt of death in au ho- religiou prosper least when there is a nourable cause ; and a glorious triumph dead calm in the intellectual and moral over pain and ignomiuy aud wartyrdom, world, where there is no discussion of in the assured hope of sharing in the argunent, where there is no collision of victory and in the throne of that glorious interest, where there is no vigilant secLeader, with whom and for whom they tary to spy out, and to publish, and 10 are now content to suffer."-P. 39.
exaggerate the errors and failings of the
dominaut party; and where the triWe are particularly pleased with umphant sect domineers over the minds the following statement of the good and consciences of the people with proud ends to be answered by religious dif- and unresisted sway.”-Pp. 41-43. ferences :
“ This harmony of spirit among those who differ in belief and in forns of Art. V.-A Familiar Dialogue beworship, is a state of things which,
tween a Calvinist, a Socinian, and however desirable in itself, the infirmity
an Infidel ; intended as an Answer of human nature will seldom admit, and to Mr. Wright's Pamphlet, called! which the knowledge of mankind will “ The Trinitarian and Unitarian," not allow us to expect. Not penetrating &c. designed chiefly to guard the cach other's motives, not comprehending Minds of Young Persons against each other's views and prejudices, we
the pernicious Influence of Socinian do not make suflicient allowance for
Principles. By B. Kent. 12.no. each other's errors; and are ready to wonder that what appears so clear to
pp. 32. Trowbridge, Clark. ourselves should not appear with equal Art. VI.-Truth and Facts Stated, strength of evidence to others. And it and Misrepresentation Detected; is well if we do not impute their conduct
a Revier of Mr. B. Kent's “ Famito improper diotives and an unworthy bias. Be it so. In this impertect world
liar Dialogue between a Calrinist,
a Socinian, and an Infidel.” By we are ourselves imperfect, and we live among imperfect beings. But even this
R. Wright. l2mo. pp. 36. Liverdefect of charity is not without its use.
pool, printed by F. B. Wright: sold Christians of different sects and parties
by Eaton, and Fox and Co., Loudo not in general think well of each
don. 1823. other. Trinitarians and Unitarians, Cal. CR. WRIGHT is not allowed to vinists and Arminians, Churchmen and Dissenters, are apt to regard each other with dislike, and to speak of each other challenged to theological combat by with contempt.
But this mutual jea- Mr. B. Kent, a Dissenting Minister, lousy among different sects constitutes at Trowbridge, and has readily taken one of the most powerful motives to up the glove. As far as argument moral vigilance and to the practice of and good temper can prevail, Mr. personal and social virtue. Regard to the Wright is decidedly successful, but
. He has been
Review.-Kent and Wright's Trowbridge Controversy. these, we fear, are not the means by Paul's Epistles onght not to have been which Mr. Kent and his partizans will in the New Testament”? (P. 10.) No allow a controversy to be decided. wonder, that he prompts his “ Infidel”
Mr. Kent is a polemic of that to calumny, since he says, in propriâ school which holds that every thing personâ, that a question relating to is fair that is done against an adver the body and spirit of man being put, sary. He scruples no language, how a few months ago, “to a Socinia! ever gross, and makes statements minister by another minister of the without any secming care concerning orthodox persuasion,” the answer their truth. What must be thought was, “0, as to that, Şir, there is of a Christian minister who says, “it nothing iminaterial in me; when I is my firm opinion, that if it" (the die (said the Rev. Divine) there will be “ Socinian scheme”) “were generally an end of me.'" (P. 21, note.) The to prevail in this town, in a few relator of the story puts three notes inonths' time half our tradesmen would of admiration at the conclusion. Well. become bankrupts; such loose prin- he might. The tale is admirable ; ciples naturally lead to loose conduct, but we suspect it is of his own invenand loose conduct will always under. tion, and are sure that it is a gross mine a man's character and credit in falsehood. If it be not, let Mr. Kent society” (p. 16); and who can allow produce his proofs, and we engage to himself further to say, “ A Socinian publish them to the world. meeting is a house of call, where the We had marked some other pasGod of this World directs his votaries sages of this choice “ Dialogue" for to step in and stay a while, till they animadversion, and particularly its can obtain license to mix with the pretended quotations from Socinus and horrid crew of scoffers and libertines, others, which are taken at secondwho live as Atheists in the world” (pp. hand and in the most bungling man29, 30)! This outrageous man vows ner both with respect to names* and enmity (p. 30) against Unitarians; things, but we are disgusted with the but we think that there are few per- writer, and turn to his answerer, who sons above the condition of barbarians does not " answer a fool according to who would set any value upon the his folly," but with the meekness of friendship of such a fire-brand, wisdomn exposes the evils of bigotry
There is still something ludicrous and pleads the cause of evangelical in Mr. Kent's wrath. Passion vents truth and charity. itself in metaphors, and this enraged The following passage from “Truth gentleman thus describes the Improv- and Facts," will shew the Dialogue ed Version : “ It came into the world writer to the reader in another chaat first with a horrid black skin and racter, that of a biblical critic : with cloven feet, and with a viper's
“ After all Mr. K.'s outcry against those stiug under its tongue; and after all
who deviate from the cominon version of their atteinpts to hide its deformity the Scriptures, and his censure of new under the finest and most costly dra
translations, he too can deviate, he tuo pery that art and labour could furnish, would bave a new trauslation of, at least, all the world have agreed to pronounce some texts. (See p. 19.) The text, it an ugly monster, and are afraid to The Lord our God is one Lord, he would go near it” (p. 17). The meaning of have read, The Lord our Gods is one this insane rant is simply that there is Jehovah : and speaks with approbation one Version of the Scriptures, with
of a Calvinist minister's having so read Notes, compiled from the labours of it in public. Mr. K. then has no objecthe learned of all parties, into which
tion to altering the translation of the Mr. B, Kent is afraid to look.
Mr. Wriglit tells his townsman very frankly that the “ Infidel” in his
* E. g. Mr. B. Kent quotes, without “Dialogue” is of his own creation,
understanding, a passage from Socinus's and that he is answerable for all that author, not vamed, from whom this
“ Second Epistle io Bulçerimicius :" the he puts into his mouth. Let us ask learned theologian borrows, evidently Mr. Kent, then, where he got the
meant the second epistle to Balcerovicius. story, which he makes his Infidel ut
[Socini Op. I. 421.] It is daugerous to ter, of the Unitarian minister who quote works never read, and especially said in the pulpit “ that soine of if they be written in an unknown tongue.
Scriptures, though he censures the Uni. K. admits, that the terms used to ex. tarians for altering it. As he would ale press the Trinitarian doctrine, are not to ter the English Bible, to inake it express be found in the Bible, that they were the polytheistical notion of Gods : can never in the Bible, (see p. 26,) that the it be wrong to say that he believes in a doctrine is to be made out by inference, plurality of Gods ? He would have Je. (p. 20,) and in this way he altempts to hovah to include Gods. To his substi. support it. Trinitarians have a right to tuting Gods for God, I must object as adopt what terms they please to express totally unauthorized, an unwarrantable their thoughts; but what right have they alteration of the sense as well as the to make their thoughts, expressed in language of the Bible, and as subversive their own language, and not in the words of what the Scriptures most clearly of Scripture, essential articles of Chris. teach, that there is but one God, and tian faith, and to censure and condemn that God is one, and because it would those who will not receive them as such ? be directly calculated to lead the people They have a right to make such inferences into polytheism and idolatry."-Pp. 20, from the language of Scripture as seem
to them proper; but they have no right
to treat as fools and knaves those who One more extract from Mr. Wright's think their inferences unfounded, and judicious pamphlet will explain the cannot receive them as doctrines of the result of this controversy, which, gospel ; but who admit as essential artimiserably as it has been conducted on cles of faith, and as Christiau doctrines, the part of his antagonist, will not be what can be fully expressed in the words without its benefits:
of Jesus Christ and his apostles. Enough
has come out in the present controversy “ I called upon the Trinitarian to ex
to establish one important point: viz. press his doctrine in the words of Scrip. That the Unitarian doctrine is fully reture, as I had done the Unitarian doc- vealed in plain and positive terms in the trine. This Mr. K. has not attempted : Holy Scriptures, and can be fully exhe admits that it capuot be done, and pressed in the words of Scripture, witheven ridicules me for requiring such a
out either addition or comment : and thing; but is it unreasonable, that those that the Trinitarian doctrine is not fully who identify their notions with the Scrip- revealed in plain and positive terms in tures, make them essential to salvation, Scripture, and cannot be expressed in and condemn as the enemies of Christ the words of Scripture, but is made and the gospel, those who reject their out and supported by inference."-Pp dogmas, should be required to express 24, 25. them in the words of Scripture ? Mr.
PARAPHRASE OF MICHEL ANGELO'S POEM
το γαρ και γενος εσμενο
Ch'altro in terra non è che mi diletti,
Grazia ch' ad uom mortal raro si dona.
Ch'a lui mi levo per divin concetti,
Ardendo, amando per gentil persona.
Torcer non so, conosco in lor la luce
Che ne mostra la via ch'a Dio mi guide.
Poetry.-Lines on a Dew-Drop.
“ To the First Perfect, and First Fair." To Heaven the smile of beauty wins my soul,
That finds on earth no lasting home of rest,
But living, joins the spirits of the blest-
With him, to whom my ardent thoughts aspire,
Of universal life and grace the Sire ;
From gazing on the “human face divine,"
On wings of love allure me to the skies,-
With joy eternal and supreme delight!
LINES ON A DEW-DROP.
Sparkler! they say that with thy draught
Titania's acorn bowl is fill'd-
Flung from some heavenly waterfall,
Until it reach'd our earthly ball.
Dropp'd from some pitying seraph's eye,
The sins he saw beneath the sky.
That mortal glory, gain and power,
The dreamy brilliants of an hour.
The fond pursuit of things so frail,
That, ere we call them ours, exhale.
A moment on its flowers to shine ;
Must quit the surface for the mine.
The thoughtless heart from thee inight learn,
The kindred drop he hastes to spurn!