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Shore Place, Hackney, SIR, Ditchling, May 28, 1816. SIR, May 22, 1816. N number CXXIV. of the Month
OBSERVE in the public papers ly Repository, for April last, p. 199,
an account of Lord Grosvenor hare is a letter purporting to come from the ing dismissed a number of his poor pen of a Ronian Catholic to Dr. Carlabourers from his employ because penter, as a complaint against you. they could not conscientiously atiead This letter seems to me to have been the Established Church. I have now written in an' arrogant style, with to relate to you another circunstance considerable degree of peuishness. I of a similar description in the walks . suppose an editor of a periodical work of humbler life. My niece, about the is not bound to examine all the authoage of eighteen, left me, about a fort- rities which his correspondents may night ago, to take a situation as dress- quote; therefore, no great blame be. maker to two maiden ladies, who longs to you, if any of them should have been long established in business, blunder or make mistakes : if you are at Newport, in the Isle of Wight: always ready to admit corrections, as both parties were perfectly satisfied I believe you always are, it is as much with each other as far as related to as can reasonably be required. business; but on the Sunday morning
But what I would particularly wish after her arrival at Newport, it was
to take notice of in the Roman Cathoinquired of my niece, what place of lic's letter, is his account of the Rheim. worship she had attended; she an
ish version of the New Testament, swered, she had lately gone to an Uni- as it respects its reception among the tarian chapel at Hackney: she was. Roman Catholic clergy. He says it is told, they attended the Established the only translation sanctioned by Church, to which she said she had the Roman Catholic clergy." This no objections, and went with them translation, then, is sanctioned by the twice on that day and once on the Roman Catholic clergy! following Sunday. Nothing more Now, Sir, I wish to inquire, for was said to her on the subject, but on really I feel myself a little alarmed, the Friday following I received a letter though I have always been a friend to from one of the ladies (A. F.) saying, Catholic emancipation, I wish to inmy niece must immediately return, quire, whether the sanction of the assigning as a reason, that as she was of Roman Catholic clergy to the Rheima different religion to themselves they must ish translation extends to all the anbe under the necessity of parting with her, notations annexed to each chapter ? for it would be very uncomfortable to be If it do, pity, my weakness, I am disunited not only in their places of wor
afraid I see in it the direful demon or ship but in their ideas. They regret they persecution. The following is the did not know this before, more Rheimish rendering of Luke ix. 56:particularly as they think her a very
“ The Son of Man came not to de. pice young lady.", 'I replied, wishing stroy souls, but to save." The anno her to remain; but to no purpose : tation on these words is :-"Not jusand she accordingly returned to me, tice nor all rigorous punishment of sinin company with one of the ladies on ners is here forbidden, nor Elias, in her usual visit to London for the pur- fact, reprehended, nor the church or poses of business. It does not appear Christian princes blamed for putting that Unitarian worship is the particu- heretics to death: but that none of lar objection, but the crime of attend these should be done for a desire of ing any chapel; for they informed my our particular revenge, or without niece they had before turned off à discretion, and regard of their amend young female because she was a metho- ment, and example of others. There dist. So you see, Sir
, that though we fore St. Peter used his power upon hear so much of the liberality of the Ananias and Sapphira, when he struck present age, the breed of a persecuting them both down to death for defraudspirit is not yet extinct,
ing the church." We all know, that
in the Church of Rome's idea of here P.S. I observe this morning in the tics are included all those who differ Public Ledger that Lord Grosvenor's the above annotation these may be
and separate from her : according to affair is contradicted.
rigorously punished; or, if it be said that the singers are to be confined to
Queries respecting the Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 821 those who commit civil offences, yet 2. As the Jews had not been preheretics, both by the church and Chris- viously warned of a sin which would tian princes may be put to death. Is be unpardonable, if they had already not this persecution? Would not uttered this blasphemy when the Roman Catholics call it so if they condemnation to which it exposed were the victims?
them was declared, would not their So also Luke xiv. 23, the Rheimish total exclusion from forgiveness be translation is: “Compel them to enter, the same as proceeding against men that my house may be filled." In the an- on the ground of an ex post facto law? notation we are told, “ St. Augustine Is it not more consistent with the also referreth this compelling to the character of Jesus, and the conduct penal laws which Catholic Princes do of God towards his creatures, to supjustly use against heretics and schis- pose the above passages contain an matics, proving that they who are awful warning, than to construe then by their former profession in baptism as expressive of the penalty of a crime subject to the Catholic church and already committed ? are departed from the same after 3. Were not the most malignant sects, may and ought to be compelled expressions which the Jews had ut. into the unity and society of the tered at the time spoken against Jesus universal church again.".
personally, against the Son of man; Can any one be so blind as not to for they did not admit that he had see to what this leads ? If it be sup- the spirit of God? Is it not conposed, that these annotations were trary to the whole account to say written by the spirit of infallibili- the blasphemy they had uttered was ty, and if the sanction of the Ro- directed against the spirit; did they man Catholic clergy extends to them, not evidendy intend to degrade the and that by the same spirit, I see not character, and invalidate the preten. how the church of Rome can give up sions of Jesus ; was not this their the doctrine they contain, which is whole object, and is it not the intenpersecution.
tion that characterizes the action unIf, Sir, you permit this to have a der a moral view? place in the Monthly Repository, it 4. If the blasphemy they had al. will give an opportunity for any Ro- ready uttered was against the Spirit, man Catholic, and particularly the how are we to distinguish between writer of the letter who has been the their speaking against the Son of man occasion of these lines, to inform the and their speaking against the Holy public, whether the sentiments of Spirit? persecution contained in the above 5. Are we not told that the Holy annotations, are now sanctioned by Spirit was not given till Christ was the Roman Catholic clergy or not. I glorified : John vii. 39. Acts ii. 33. for one should be glad to hear on this and could they blaspheme against the subject.
Holy Spirit before it was given in the A. BENNETT. sense in which the expression is used
in the evangelical writings? SIR,
6. The Editors of the Improved TOT
nation generally given of the blas- "They who ascribed the miracles of phemy against the Poly Spirit, (see Jesus and his apostles to demoniacal Matt. xii. 31, 32. Mark iii. 28, 29.) agency, resisted the strongest possible I beg leave to submit the following evidence of the Christian religion, and queries on the subject to the considere were therefore incapable of being ation of your readers, and shall be converted to the belief of it.” But thankful to any one who will can- can this observation be just, if restrictdidly answer them.
ed to the miracles wrought during 1. Have we sufficient authority our Lord's personal ministry; for he from the above passages to conclude said to his Apostles, “ He shat be that any of the Jews had, at the time lieveth on me, the works that I do when our Lord uttered the words, shall he do also, and greater works blasphemed against the Holy Spirit; than these shall he do because I got as he does not charge this crime upon unto my Father ?". John xiv. 12. them, but warns them of the danger Did not the resurrection of Jesus, and of committing it?
the Iloly Spirit given to the upostles,
furnish stronger evidence than any must be more or less impressed with that had preceded ?
those characters of design and con7. Can the supposition that some trivance with which he is constantly of the Jews had sinned beyond the surrounded and upheld. But sure possibility of forgiveness during our every successive fact that we witness, Lord's personal ministry, be reconciled cannot be justly considered a neceswith the accounts at large? Did not sary component, or requisite mean, Jesus after his resurrection direct that to any purposed end whatever. Can forgiveness should be preached to we reasonably think that all morethem indiscriminately; and was their ment is judicious change; and all opccondemnation finally sealed before ration intentional effect? they rejected the gospel, contradicting If this is “ Inquirer's" view of Proand blaspheming, when preached by vidence, I must say that all men do not the Apostles with the Holy Spirit decidedly think with him. Under sent down from heaven?
this notion I cannot believe it possible A SCRIPTURIST. to form a consistent character of
Deity. The laws of nature indeed, SIR,
May 6, 1816. are divine emanation, and of course N Repository for February, (p. 74) perfectly characteristic of Deity, and
two schemes of the Divine govern- terminate on universal good; on the ment are offered to consideration as accomodation and final welfare of his alone consistent in themselves, or as sentient creatures. having any pretensions to reason or But fully admitting this providenthe common apprehensions of man- tial order of things, I apprehend not kind.
that it amounts to destiny, or positive The first holds forth that all things assignment of every separate atom in are subjected to fixed laws;-that all respect of every other in the universe, is an universal -settled scheme of all possible relation and state of being : Providence; every thing was foreseen but rather suppose that it does not and determined, and happens as the necessarily follow, from hence, that Author of all appointed that it all states and relations of being and should.
every, consequent result are subjects Now I do suppose that all events, of divine device, or any mental conall effects of power, are not subjects cern whatever.' It seems to me, and of intellectual determination, or ob- it is my present opinion, that though jects of appointment; but on the every phenomenon in nature is (essencontrary, that there are many natural tially natural) necessary issue of eterresults of force, which are not parts nal principle, nevertheless all bearing of of any scheine, or any matters of de- objects, every event, every movement vice or ordination whatever.
and consequence, is not a part of die Indeed all things are necessarily rine scheme; not a link, or distinct what and as they are: but we need subject of direct will, device, purpose distinct evidence of appointment—that and ordination. And that man's perall events are, or ever were, objects sonal character and end, is not it of divine contemplation, or devised, may be) absolutely prescribed and determined parts of provident plan. preordained. I suppose that it is by No doubt, Deity is source of all or- divine pleasure and purpose that I am der, all systematic work, all manage- constituted capable of a certain meament.
sure of action : but must' or may I But is God actually the designing thence infer and affirm, that I can cause of all movement and result? Is not do more or less than was the pleaall movement and consequence, issue sure and purpose of God in my make?" of intellect, pure offspring of wisdom This seems to me tantamount to saying and good-will? True, the natural that all efficiency is strictly divine standing order of the world indisputa- will-deed ;, that every instant motion bly, betokens wise and good design; and operation is personal act of Deity, and all men must be agreeably affect to all intents and purposes. Howed therehy-by the beauty and bene- ever, I do suppose, think and believe fit of the provident succession of that we are not justly authorized to things; the orderly, eligible course affirm that the supreme legislator of which actually prevails throughout the universe actually appointed every the system of nature. Every man temporary fact-all events whatever,
Inconsistencies of Writers on Future Punishment.
323 ihat take place through the action of degree. Take away the natural evil man or other (provident ordination, and it would cease to exist at all. or) creature energy. Finally, I will Will this reasoning apply to the Deirepeat, that I cannot think that every ty? If we conceive that the Deity natural effect is subject or olject of pure is really the Creator of all things, pose and appointment.
which all men now allow; that he This said scheme of divine determi- must be perfectly happy, possessing all nation and ordination, now lies be- things, and having nothing to counfore us simple say-so. But as' it is teract his views, seems to be an unseriously thought that facts do not deniable inference, the contrary of altogether answer to the tale, the which cannot be conceived, but seems matter demands some elucidation. to involve a contradiction. If the And it is hoped, Sir, that this ingeni- Deity then be a perfectly happy being, qus theoretic correspondent will en- it will follow that he can have no page
himself herein to our common desire, contrary to the happiness of interest, and he will oblige an any Being. It will now be asked, OLD INQUIRER.. why then has this happy being pro
duced natural evil, and that moral, Whcther natural evil be the cause of in a word, why has he made any moral evil.
suffering and unhappy beings? _ 1 January, 1816. cannot answer this question. The IT IT is commonly said that if moral usual solution of thinking men is,
evil could not injure sensible beings, that all beings which he has made are or produce misery, it would be no or will be happy, and I confess that if eril at all, and I see no reason to dis- this be not true, the difficulty admits pute this position. There is another of.no solution whatever. Without question, however, connected with this, all is a riddle, an inexplicable this subject, and that is, if the previ- mystery, all reasoning on the divine ous existence of natural evil be not the character and conduct, vain. This is cause of the subsequent existence of universally, or nearly so, the doctrine inoral evil, or whether if there were held by Unitarians, and no other has no natural evil moral evil could be the appearance of common sense, possible in man? Now, all natural connected with the present condition evil, is to sensible beings, unhappi- of man and the belief of a perfectly ness; so the question will be, if nen happy Creator. were all perfectly happy, could an
SEARCH immoral volition or act take place? P.S. May I be perniitted to aske I think not. Every immoral act ape your correspondent, Mr. Belsham, pears to be produced by the imper- who is one of the most diligent stufection of the agent's happiness. He dents in the scriptures now living, if is stimulated by some apprehended he have found any prophecy in the good which he has not and which he Old Testament, which speaks of the desires, and if he were perfectly happy Messiah's dying and rising again the he could have no desires, and there. third day, which seems to be clearly fore could have nothing to draw forth designated by Jesus after his resura an immoral wish. If the will be de recuon, as recorded in Luke. termined by desire, take away that desire, and no volition will be exert, SIR
March 28, 1816. ed. A human being perfectly happy, THE suggestion in a late number, if can do no immoral act, because he
, can have no desire to change his con- “Armageddon," (M. Repos. X. 649] dition. Take away fro:n man in his probably intended in that poem, indipresent state, uneasy passions, bodily rectly to oppose the common notion and mental, and all wants, and the of future punishment, hath induced dread of want, and all moral evil must to send you a few scattered cease. The first pair are represented thoughts drawn up under a similar as not perfectly happy, they had un- idea, somewhat amplified, a few years easy desires, and criminal volition ago : an idea, with which I was followed. Moral evil, therefore, is forcibly impressed, on perusing Dr. caused by natural evil, and indeed in Young's Poem “On the Last Day." proportion io the extent of natural They are part of others on the subject evil; qoral evil exists in a very limited in general, much too long on the
whole, for a periodical work. If the divine of the church of Scotland, in present fragment be not out of time his “ Theologia," 1716, a work, which, or unacceptable, it is at your service. allowing for some parts of the auAN OCCASIONAL READER. thor's creed, contains an inexhaust.
able fund of theological matter, Apparent Inconsistencies of great Mids, treating of the divine patience, says: eremplified in a series of Extracts on “Of all the other perfections of the Future Punishment.
divine nature, this of patience hath There yet remains one collateral the shortest tiine to act its part, have argument, of great weight and impor- ing no other stage but this world to act tance in the writer's opinion, against in: after the end of which, it will both the schemes already treated of, remain, shut up in the Deity, without namely, the indiscriminate notion of any further operation. The time of future punishment, as represented by this life is the only time of long suffer. some, or the doctrine of absolute, ing." Yet, he afterwards tells us, eternal and unremitting torments; that the consideration of the divine and secondly, that of punishment patience is to be used as an argument, ļimited in degree, but strictly everlast- « to manifest the gracious, merciful, ing in duration-an argument, dis- and reconcileable nature of the Deity, tinct in itself, and not much advert- and to clear and justify the divine ed to in books ; and that is the inde- judgments in a juture world ;-an terininate and equivocal language em abundant patience, called the riches of ployed by the advocates of eternal forbearance and long suffering, far beyond punishment, either in explaining their the patience of good men, of glorified ideas of the doctrine itself, or of cir- saints, or angels." Not to advert cumstances connected with it. If a here to the singular freedom of writer lays down a specific opinion, speech in the former part of this quoand presently shuns the investigation tation, it may be observed, than of it, and elsewhere, perhaps in the which nothing can be plainer, that next page, expresses a sentiment dia- the divine patience and long suffering, metrically opposite, or utterly incon- are often very limited in their exercise sistent with ihe former one ; we may in the present life. The Deity doth fairly conclude, either that he hath not often interpose, that we know of, not forned any precise ideas upon the by miracles, or by remarkable deviasubject; or that he means to com- tions from the common course of napound with different parties; or wish- ture and Providence, to prevent the es to retract in some measure what usual, or the accidental effects as they he had before advanced. Nothing are called, of transgression. The piean be a surer proof of a weak argu- ous author himself observes, “ How ment, thau a man's authority against many candles have we seen put out, himself. A prodigious mass of evi- before they were half burnt! War dence might be furnished of this and pestilence, famine and intempekind; at present we shall producerance, destroy their thousands and ten only a few instances, without regard thousands in the first acts of sin, and to chronology,
many of them perhaps in the posses. Calvin, in his Institutions, B. III. sion of a previously moral, if not reliCh. 25, Section 5, having slightly gious character: now, to propose inentioned some of the common argu- that, as a general argument, which ar ments for eternal punishment; as to present applies only to purticular cases, the contrary opinions, only says, is a false and absurd method of "Let us leave these trifles, lest we reasoning. Again, under the head should seem to consider such dotages of divine justice, he tells us, “The as worthy of confutation.”. No doubt justice of God, in a future state, is many a zealous Romanist has said inexorable :" but afterwards, that the same, respecting any sentiments “ This vindictive justice, though escontrary to the peculiar dogmas of his sential to the nature of God, is not community: nevertheless, of the natural to him, as heat is to the fire, greater part of these, this pious re- though it be necessary that he should former justly thought it necessary to punish sin, because of his righteous enter into the most minute and nature; yet, not by a natural, or laborious investigation.
physical necessity, as the fire burns, : The Rev. IV. Wisheart, a profound but by a moral," or rational necessity: