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tion which is the only foundation of own, reluctant récantation. For I our immortal hopes.*
can assure them, that no personal disBut passing over these baby-contro- 'respect was intended to that learned versies, which are only fit for those and liberal prelate by placing him in who have need of milk, and who are not the highest rank of enlightened Chrisdle to bear strong meat, I proceed to ' tian divines. the main business of my epistle, which The learned lecturer, not content is to explain and apologize for an er- with advocating Bishop Shipley's ororoneous representation which I have thodoxy, in confutation of my supbeen understood to have made of the posed erroneous statement, prompted Date Bishop Shipley's sentiments con- by his overflowing zeal, travels a little ærning the person of Christ in my out of his record and volunteers an Letters to the Bishop of London. I assertion which, if I am not mistaken, did indeed conceive, by what I had many of the prelate's friends will not heard from my friends Mr. Lindsey deem to be either necessary or prudent:. and Dr. Priestley, that their friend the I will cite his own words, p. 121 :Bishop of St. Asaph, had been an Uni- “ Had Dr. Shipley's faith been in- . tarian like themselves. I misunder- consistent with that of the church to stood them. I am now informed,' which he belonged, those who knew from very high authority, that Bishop his utter disregard of worldly interest Shipley was an Arian, similar in his and his characteristic frankness of cha-",
principles to his learned friends, Dr. racter, know that he would not have Price and Sir William Jones. I re- retained his preferment a single hour." gret to place the venerable prelate a * This paragraph will excite a smile degree lower in the scale of theologi- in many of the readers of Mr. Heber's, cal excellence than that to which
I elaborate performance, and by many once believed him to be entitled. He will be regarded as the eccentric flight is, indeed, still in very good company. of a juvenile imagination, more conBut, like David's worthies of the se- versant with books than with the cond order, he does not reach the high world. This gentleman talks of a pre-eminence of Lindsey, Lardner, bishop's resignation of his mitre as if Priestley and Law. I hope, however, it were an every-day exploit. I recolthat I have now done theological jus- lect, indeed, that Chrysostom states, tice to the memory of Bishop Shipley: that no man is worthy of the office and that those whose feelings were of a bishop, who is not prepared to hurt at his being classed with Unita- resign it whenever duty calls. But rians, will accept of my public, and, I Chrysostom wrote fourteen centuries
ago, and both he and his doctrine are • “I wish,” says this charitable wri. become completely obsolete. A bishop ter, p. 290, “ that he (Mr. B.) had resign his office for conscience sake!! not, in a note to p. 168 of his Review of Mr. Heber, Sir, I am told, is a young Mr. Wilberforce, given us too good reason
man. He is but entering the lists, as to apprehend that his private notions of a candidate for ecclesiastical preferChristianity are of a kind very faintly dis
ment. When he becomes a bishop tinguished from Deisn." The
hiinself he will know better. alluded to in the Review of Mr. W. is as Mr. Heber charges ine, p: 289, as, follows : “ Their professed principles como taxing Bishop Horsley with insinceriprehend the essence of the Christian reli- ty, because I have said in my Review gion : But not admitting the resurrection of Mr. Wilberforce, " I strongly susof Christ the Theophilanthropists deprive pect that the prelate of Rochester themselves of the only solid ground on would smile at the honest simplicity which to build the hope of a future exist- of the member for Yorkshire, in supence." With this passage before his eyes posing that a sincere faith in creeds and qnoting the former part of it, Mr. and homilies is at all necessary to Heber presuines to represent me as an nabeliever in the Christian revelation: the permanent prosperity of a national and affects to wonder at my expostulation church.”. I deny that the learned genwith the Bishop of London for charging tleman's inference can be fairly drawn the Unitarians with being Deists in their froin the premises. For has not Polırarts! Can that be the cause of truth pery stood for ages though popes and ahủ honour which reqnires such gross and cardinals have been notoriously unbepripable misrepresentations in its de- lievers? But to say the truth, though frace?
I desire to excrcise that charity, in its
Mr. Belsham's Reply to the Animadversions of the Rev. Reginald Heber. 259 fullest extent, which hopeth all things these learned gentlemen thought of and believeth all things, I do confess me as they profess to do, and as I that my charity is strained to its ut- think of them, they would surely act most limit when it is required to be- by me as I do by them, and would lieve, that one learned and highly çe- give themselves no sort of concern lebrated prelate is sincere when he either about me or my works. maintains, that the Father begot the
I am, Sir, &c.
T. BELSHAM. tions: and that another can be quite P. S. The learned lecturer, who is in earnest when he contends, that ever ready to charge the Unitarians
three non-entities make a perfect Be- with that inaccuracy of which he himing. When one is reduced to the self exhibits many conspicuous examhard alternative of believing that a di- 'ples, accuses me note p. 121. of reprevine of the highest order in the church senting Archdeacon Blackburne, as an is either or which of the Unitarian.* This charge I distinctly · sides of this distressing dilemma would deny.. I have a better opportunity of • Mr. Heber advise a friend to choose? knowing what that venerable dignita
One word more, Sir, and I have ry's sentiments really were than Mr. done. There are Christian advo- Heber can possibly have: for I am in cates" at Cambridge, “ Bampton Lec- possession of his confidential corres*turers" at Oxford, and “ Senior Fel- pondence: they were not Calvinistic.
lows" at Dublin, not to mention 'a But whatever his theological senti"herd of Reviewers in their train, who ments were, Archdeacon Blackburne, all with one accord write and preach was a man of a truly honourable and publish against me and my works, mind. Entitled by talent and learnand who take infinite pains to con- ing, and warranted by connexion, to * vince the public that neither the one look up to the highest preferment or the other are worthy of notice. which the chuch has to bestow, he "From none of my numerous opponents 'refused to accept of any benefice do I meet with quarter, and scarcely which made it necessary for him to with common civility, except from renew his subscription to the thirty'my worthy friend, professor Kidd, of nine articles. For which he was Aberdeen; who does not represent blamed by some who thought as freeme as altogether , void of common ly as himself, but who possessed more sense, though I am unable to compre- of the wisdom of this world: who hend his super-sublime demonstration 'loved truth well, but preferment betof the doctrine of the Trinity. Now, ter. But this venerable man did not Sir, as an overweening vanity will ex. think it necessary to relinquish his 'tract nutriment even from what was moderate preferment in the church intended as its bane, and, as I once notwithstanding, the change in his knew a bad poet console himself for theological opinions, because he rethe lampoons which were made upon garded it as a station of more extensive his wretched verses, by observing that usefulness than any which he could
even Horner had his Zoilus," so occupy among the Dissenters. And
ral interprctation of these numerous that the favour of God depends on a. and complex propositions was not circumstance entirely independent on deemed a disgrace: and it was even the will of man. But the Arminians, thought to be countenanced by the opposed to Walker, contend notwith"articles themselves, which require standing, that man has a free-will, and that nothing should be insisted upon as that he is here in a state of trial; for an article of faith which cannot be which opinions they quote the whole proved by the holy scriptures. And body of scripture, and they are quite many in those days were not ashamed shocked at the opposite suppositions. 10 avow the principle, " that an unity Walker, in his various writings, shews of spirit in the bond of peace,” was that they maintain these opinions in of far greater value than " an unity of opposition to the principle of atone* faith in the bond of ignorance, or an ment. He asks them in substance, unity of profession in the bond of with much reason, -As you not merely hypocrisy." In our days the case is admit but strenuously maintain that altered : and we are now bound to be the sins of men are forgiven, and that lieve that every clergyman who sub- they are accounted just before God,
scribes the articles, assents to every only for the sake of the atonement made proposition contained in them: and by Christ, how can you in the next That to hint the contrary is both “ false breath attribute these effects to a differand injurious."
ent cause? If works be a necessary
condition of God's favour, where is Letler to a friend on the Atonement. the necessity for the atonement? Must (Communicated from Ireland.]
the infinite atonement made to God Dear Sir,
by a part of himself be abortive, unless March, 1816.
it be aided by the puny efforts of miINTEND to answer at some serable man?' Can such a costly atone
ment he necessary or suitable, to render 'obliging as to send me with Sande- our good works acceptable, or to ena'man's Letters and Walker's Address, for ble a man to atone for himself? Can 1 presume you wish that I should give it be in the power of any man to reverse you my opinion of these writers.
the councils and decrees of God vith You say you do not subscribe to all respect to himself, the most important the sentiments of Sandemnan. He cer- of which must relate to the atonement? tainly goes a strange length in describe Inanswer to these questions, Arminians ing the corruption of man, particularly appeal to scripture and reason for the where he maintains, that * as to the freedom of man's will, leaving the "matter of acceptance with God, there principle of atonement to shift for itis no difference between one man and self. another," for instance "between the But neither do Walker and his parenost revered judge, and the most ty abide by the fair consequences from odious criminal," &c. Yet in his this doctrine of atonement, as may be reply to Hervey, and others whom he seen in a few instances. For if God calls popular preachers, he argues with bas atoned for mankind to a part of randour, and he shows that they are himself by an infinite sacrifice, why 'not true lo their own principles. In should the benefit of this infinite sacrigeneral, I think he proves that a mode- fice be restricted to a few persons, who Fate Calvinist is an inconsistent charac- have no more free-will to plcasc him, ter. Mr. Walker also appears to me than those have from whoin the bene10 have an evident adrantage over these fit is irithheld? Calvinists dispose of Twith whom he reasons; for they con. this question arbitrarily, not regarding cede to him what is a suficient ground their own description of the atonement work for his entire theory, and he as infinite, nor the justice and goodness knows well how to profit by their con- of God, whose essence is love, and who ression. Put the remark which I is no respecter of persons. The case make upon him and his opponents is, of the potter, 10 which we are often that they both build upon a wrong referred, can relate only to the rarious principle, which has no foundation in conditions of men in this world. There the goʻpel.
are other questions, in answer to which This principle, common to both pare Walker will hesitate to do full justice ties, is the doctrine of the atonement, to the doctrine of the atonement. If which leads necessarily to the opinion, it be pride in man to suppose that any
Letter to a Friend on the Atonement.
of his works can have the slightest ef- seems wanting to prove them to be fect to propitiate the Deity, and if such extravagant fictions, most disparaging a notion shews farther his want of to the Divine Nature, but a simple and faith in the atonement, would it not be accurate detail of them. I shall at the safest plan to renounce all good tempt to give such a detail in the fewest works whatsoever, both in profession words possible. and practice? Do not these men In consequence of the foreknowledge prove that they have not much faith that the wiles of Satan would prevail in the atonement, who spend their lives over man in paradise, God, for the first in making converts to this doctrine, time, found himself under a necessity that is, in presuming to help in his of dividing himself, or of being divided work the omnipotent God? How can into three, distinct, co-equal, almighty Walker insist on the all-sufficiency of Persons, all of the same substance. the atonement, and consequently These three Persons, being still but one maintain that there is no condition re God, held a council on the subsequent quired for justification, while he insists state of man; upon which occasion, on faith as the one thing needful, by the first Person expressed infinite wrath which he means, an accepting of at the foresight of man's transgression, Christ as a proxy, or an apprehended the natural effect of which wrath, if exchange with him of our vices for uncontrolled in all cases, would be his merits? While he maintains lite- most grievous torments, in soul and rally that it is given to some men exclu- body, without intermission, in hell-fire, sively to believe in such an exchange, for ever, to Adam and Eve and all his preaching must appear a mockery. their posterity. The crime for which One of the great objects of the gospel, Adam's posterity was to suffer in this he says, is to humble the pride of man, manner, is called original sin, which by convincing him that the atonement means literally, the sin of men before is all-sufficient, and that the intrusion they existed. When Adam and Eve of his own works in any form is imper- ate the forbidden fruit, their offspring tinent; but what is so much calculated by this act was guilty of so henious à to defeat this object, and to puff men sin, that all men, women and children up with spiritual pride, as the notions who have ever existed, with a trifling that they are the favourites and Elect exception, and the greater part of men of God, and that all who oppose who are still to be born must be punishthem are Reprobates ?
ed for it with endless torments, by the Both Calvinists and Arminians have first Person, to the praise of his glorious always been involved in inconsistencies justice. No alteration for the better or by their faith in the atonement; still worse can be effected in their destiny they are alike fearful lest their faith by their works, good or bad,--to hell in it might be questioned, for notwith- they must go without a possibility of restanding their mutual jealousies, they demption. All men, without any exhave always agreed to brand those per- ception, would go the same road, if a sons with the name of infidels, who do few of these delinquents did not expenot believe in it implicitly. Here I rience unconditional favour and remay be permitted to say, that those ward, to the praise of God's glorious men are much better entitled to this grace. Reprobates, as they are called, name, who repose implicit faith in are here tempted to ask, as all the de mysteries. A sincere Christian who scendants of Adam are equally guilty values rightly his Christian liberty, will of his crime, why should such a disa think it is incumbent on him to prove tinction be made between them, as this doctrine, to analyze it, and view it that a few should be made eternally on all sides, without prejudice, influ- happy, independent of their works, enced only by a regard for truth. Such and all the rest eternally miserable? a severe examination will probably be For this distinction, the reason assigned censured as irreverent, even by men is the sovereign will and pleasure of who scruple not to decide, with great God, not of the first Person, nor of the confidence, that the substance of God majority, but of the second Person ais complicated, and his councils partial; lone; for though they are all One in but before they can convict us of pro- Deity and substance, still they differ faneness for questioning their decisions, widely in their dispositions, and in they must prove them to be sacred and their ideas of justice and mercy. The self-evident truths; whereas nothing second part of the substance of God did VOL. XI.
not give way to positive wrath against for he scorned to save them by halves. any part of mankind. While he was Agreeable to this offer, he is aptly deresolved to leave most men as he found scribed by the Elect as a physician, them, he was inclined to reprieve a who cures his patients by prescribing few, not indeed from the foresight of regimen and physic, not to them, but their faith or amiable qualities, but ra- to himself, ---and as a judge who prother the contrary. His Elect would be cures himself to be executed, in order greatly alarmed, if even any part of his to save the lives of felons condemned infinite' atonement should be turned by his own sentence. His offer was aside from themselves; his inflexible accepted, and the bargain was accordjustice in refusing all aid to Reprobates, ingly concluded between these two inwho are just as good as themselves, is finite Persons of the one substance. It a principal source of their triumph; certainly appears a very dear bargain; and they are delighted with his good- particularly when we consider that it ness, principally on account of its par- did not prevent the success of Satan tiality. However, his favour did not over both Persons, with respect to extend to a greater number than to mankind, in the enormous proportion one person in two thousand, and with of at least two thousand to one; and only this trifling exception, he had no that it gare Satan the triumph of excommiseration for the lost state of acting an infinite sacrifice, distress and mankind. Or, perhaps, benevolence huniliation, in the reserved case of toward them would not have been the Elect, wherein he was foiled. In consistent with a prudent regard for vain do curious persons inquire from himself; for as the office which he the Elect the reasons, why the Devil did undertake to execute for this should be allowed to triumph in this small number proved to him a most manner,---why this bargain between grievous task ; so, if he had enlarged two Co-equals, either such as the other, their number to one half of man- should be so partial in itself, and bear kind he would have drawn down so hard on the sccond Person,-why on himself a thousand times more one part of the substance of God wrath. At the commencement of his should have infinite wrath to be apvery limited undertaking, what must peased, and not another,—why the have been his distress of mind, when second Person should not require the no dignified or rational way occurred First to atone to himself by exquisite to him, or was communicated to him sufferings for the Elect, or for an equal to avert from the Elect the Father's portion of men among the Reprobates, infinite wrath, excited and impelled as ---why the partial sufferings of God it was by his infinite justice. He had should be an advantage to men alone, no choice but to adopt or decline the and to a very small proportion of them, expedient pointed out to him. It was why they should not, at the sanie promulgated in heaven, that the Fa- tinie, purchase vegetable life for inert ther's wrath and justice, with respect matter, sensation for vigetables, räto mankind, might be expended, not tionality for brutes, and higher powers on them, but on some innocent per- for all mankind, since they are as son, who would voluntarily undertake much calculated 10 produce these efto appease him by assuming their guilt fects, as to expunge unconditionally and punishment. From this circum- the sin of any inan? But if there be stance we cannot suppose that justice any congruity between these sufferings, in heaven can bear any analogy to and the unconditional removal of sin, justice on earth. An awful silence then--being of infinite value, why ensued. No angelic being offered to should they not remove unconditionbear the brunt of this wrath and jus- ally the sits of all men? To none of tice. On this ominous pause, the Son these questions do the Elect choose 10 himself, part of the very substance of reply either from scripture or reason. God, came forward, and otiured him- One of the wonders of this bargain self to be reputed a sinner for the consisted in the contrivance by which Elect exclusively, and not only to the substance of God might be made atone by exquisite suffering for all to suffer. It was stipulated, thial, in their sins, both original and actual, process of time, the second part of this but also to impure all his own righte- substance should become an intint ousness to them, without requiring and a man upon this eartis, should from them any condition in return; subnit to all the intimities of a man,