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shall be done away, where " hell is of its principal characteristics ; and be open before them, and destruction hath no utterly unable, in this view, either to covering !" that we shall search in vain understand it ourselves, or to preach for this system of insanity in the Bible; or explain it to others, and conseand that we should receive with cau- quently unable, thus far, to believe it; tion some of the opinions of an author, since we can believe nothing which however learned and pious, who could we do not, in some measure, apprehend: conclude his elaborate and justly ce- and this, in a question involving our lebrated work, in the following man- ideas of the moral attributes of the ner:
Deity, is a circumstance of prodigious “ But I offer all these things to the importance. This is not a matter of censure of the learned : I submit the mere abstract speculation, as to which entirely to the judgment of the Catho- it is of little consequence on which lic church, especially to the governors side the truth lies:-doubtfulness, in of those parts of it, which constitute such a case, is death! the churches of England and Ireland. But it will be said, alas! what can If there be any thing herein which we know of the extent of the divine seems not perfectly agreeable to their plans and operations in a future state? faith, as I hope there is not, and would Who can by searching find out God, not have it; I desire that may be who can find out the Almighty to looked upon as absolutely unsaid and perfection ?" Shall the Omnipotent retracted !"
he arraigned at the bar of a worm ? The only prose divine remaining, Shall the delinquent sit in judgment whose sentiments upon this subject upon the Judge himself? These obwe shall briefly consider, is the pious, jections are plausible, and the sentilearned and candid Dr. Doddridge. ments themselves founded in truth; In his Theological Lectures, Prop. 163, but they do not altogether apply in Ed. 1776, he proposes the question the present case. We are not to rewith great fairness and impartiality. nounce our understandings in the We cannot enter into all the argu- contemplation of subjects in which ments he has produced on both sides, we are so deeply interested, under a which would be to repeat much of false notion of humility and self-abasewhat hath already been offered : our “We may have true concepinquiry here is only respecting his 'tions of God, though not full and consistency.
adequate conceptions." He acknowledges that "We cannot For be it recollected, that in all our pretend to decide, à priori, or previous reasonings concerning the Deity, we to the event, so far as to say, that the can reason only as to his perfections punishments of hell must and will cer- and attributes; of his abstract nature tainly be eternal;” but gives it as his and essence, we can, at present, know opinion, on a review of the arguinents, nothing: and moreover, that if the That there is at least so much forceon ideas of those perfections which we the affirmative side of the question, and derive froin his works and his word, in the solution of the preceding objec- should be supposed to deceive us, there tions, as to render it both imprudent are no others to be had: we must begin and unsafe to go out of the way of anew, and launch out into a fathomscripture upon this head; or to ex- less ocean, without a pilot, without a plain those expressions in such a man- helm, and probably without a shore! ner, as positively to determine that But it has long been determined as future eternal punishments, in strict the only legitimate criterion we have propriety of speech, are not to be ap- whereby to regulate our notions of the prehended."
Divine Being, to consider the highest Now there is evidently a chasm in perfections of created natures, to subthis way of reasoning : for if we can- tract every thing imperfect from them, not decide that eternal punishments and then to add infinitude to those will take place; and must not be per- ideas : “ It would, indeed, be a high suaded or express our conviction,- presumption to determine, whether that is, according to our conceptions the Supreme Being has not many of things,—that they will not; we more attributes than those which must remain all our lives in a state enter into our conceptions of him ; of tortuous suspense as to one of the leading motives of the gospel, in one
Inconsistencies of Writers on Future Punishment.
329 but it is impossible that we should sidered, we know that it extends to have any ideas of any kind of perfec- every object of power—to every thing tion, except those of which we have that doth not imply a contradiction some small ravs, and short, imperfect and yet, we may be more than morally strokes in ourselves."* “It is foolish,” certain, that there are many things says Archbishop Tillotson, " for any simply possible, which the Deity will man to pretend that he cannot know never bring to pass : as, for instance, what justice, and goodness, and truth, to create a world in one instant and dein God are; for if we do not know stroy it the nert; because this would this, it is all one to us, whether God be, according to all our notions, a cabe good or not, nor could we imitate pricious act, a mark of imperfection, his goodness; for he that imitates, en- and of the creature, and therefore den ours to be like something that he not to be predicated of the Divinity; knows, and must have come idea of all whose ätıributes are in perfect unithat to which he aims to be like: so son, and who cannot for a moment that if we had no certain and settled be supposed to magnify his power at notion of the justice, goodness and the expense of his wisdom and goodtruth of God, he would be altog ther ness. an unintelligible Being, and religion, But this pious and benevolent diwhich consists in the imitation of him, vinc (Dr. Diddridge), when emancibe utterly impossible."
pated from the trammels of system, : Thus it is plain, that though we and attending to the silent operations cannot comprehend the extent and of his own sublime and capacious mode of operation of the divine attri- mind, could give his opinion decidedly butes,- for how can finite comprehend enough on this point.' Thus, though infinite?-yet, we have a sufficient he seems in one place to adopt the idea of the attributes themselves, that common notion, that “ the punishis, of those which relate to us, and of ment of the damned may be an intheir nature and properties of what, structive spectacle to glorified saints ;'* upon the whole, appear to be consistent yet he asks, Prop. 45, “ How can the or inconsistent therewith: and that, view or experience of misery be necesalthough it would be highly improper sary to give a virtuous being a inore and irreverend to say, with some weak exquisite relish of happiness ?" Again, persons, if such a thing take place, he observes, that "if it appear the God must be so and so; or, if such a scriptures declare the eternity of future thing be true," then you may burn punishment, these considerations may your Bibles," &c.-yei there is no serve to lalance the difficulties arising irreverence at all in saying, such or from principles of the light of nature. such a thing is absolutely inconsistent Yet, in Prop. 95, on the internal eviwith all our ideas of the divine per- depces of a divine revelation, he tells fections, and utterly impossible if those us, “ We may be sure such a revelaideas be founded in truth. Thus we tion can contain nothing apparently have clear ideas of the divine benignity contrary to the light of nature, beand power; and if we take these attri- cause that is the law of God, and he is butes in connexion, may easily con- too wise and too faithful to contradict ceive, that the Almighty could instantly himself." Then, as to what this light and for ever annihilate all sin and suf- of nature rcally teaches concerning this fering, and make his moral creation doctrine, he observes, Prop. 82, that, universally holy and happy; but we “ As for eternal punishments, ihough know, that though sueh a process, this some of the Heathen did assert them, holiness by infiur, might indeed ren, and many have undertaken to infer der intelligent beings happy, it could them from natural principles; yet it never constituite them-worthy of praise; seems that our natural apprehensions and that, therefore, this desirable would rather encourage us to hope event must be brought about by the that the Deiiy would leave some room co-operation of their own powers, in for amendment and recovery of happiness order to render it consistent with his in a future state; or, by annihilation, wisdom and justice, as well as with his put an end to men's misery, when they holiness. Again, with respect to the appeared hum!led by their punishment." attribute of infinite power, simply con- An argument, surely, for annihilation,
of all others the most inconclusive! Addison.
He afterwards proceeds to consider
a further notion of some of the old dis silence apparently confirm the truth of vines, of perpetually succeeding sins his remarks. and punishments; but this, he says in The superior inerits of Dr. Priestley, another place, is not reconcileable to both as a divine and a philosopher, scripture, which uniformly represents are well known and acknowledged by the punishments of futurity as inflicted every candid inquirer after truth; and før sins “ done in the lody."
no man was ever actuated by a stronger Such are the incopsistencies into desire to promote the best interests of which the greatest ininds may fall his fellow-creatures, by means the most when treating upon subjects not per- gentle, peaceable and praise-worthy. haps wholly mysterious and inexpli- I speak from knowledge; for I was
cable in themselves, but rendered so intimately acquainted with him. He · by the intricate and unscriptural jargon had a soul endued with the most be
of disputants and systematical writers, nesolent affections, comprehending, to whom they are often inclined to in iis grap, the whole human race; pay a degree of attention and deference wholly unlike those narrow and illifar beyond their real deserts. In spe. beral men who, from want of educaculation, therefore, as well as in prac- tion or early prejudice, have been led uice, " Let our eyes look right on, and to embrace the doctrines and to conlet our eye-lids look straight before form to the worship of an established
church, and to despise and consider [To le continued.]
as dangerous enemies to the state, all
those who dissent from it. Ryde, Isle of Wight, What the characier of Sir G. Hill Sir,
15th May, 1816. may be, I know not; but I hope, and I
HAVE always considered the me- have no reason to believe it otherwise
mory of great and good men as a than respectable, notwithstanding this sacred deposit which cannot be 100 attempt to lower the opinion which highly cherished and too carefully every candid and well-informed man preserved; and when the reputation entertains of the late Dr, Priestley, which they have justly acquired has We are none of us perfect, and Sir been violated, I have attributed it to G. Hill has his weak sile; let us pity the grossest ignorance of their exalted and pray for him. worth.
Country 'squires (and titles are no In this light I regard the attack of exemptioni) labour under great disadSir G. Hill on the character of that vantages. How superficial is their illustrious man, the late Rev. Dr. education ! how low and groveling Priestley, in the Committee of Supply, their pursuits! Their days spent in on Friday, the 10th instant, respecting hunting and shooting, and their nights an academical institution at Belfast, in carousing! in which the reporter of his speech Study has no charms for them; and informs us, that he remarked, “That literary characters, who dare to inthis institution was likely to be per- 'vestigate truth and to think for themverted, as persons of a desparate cha- selves in matters of the highest imparracter had' wormed themselves into tance-who refuse to subscribe to that school with the view of promoting articles which they are convinced are the politics and religion of Paine and false, though imposed by the highest Priestley; hoping, by these insidious human authority, are, in their judgmcans, to promote their abominable ment, persons entertaining the most principles by inculcating them into abominable principles. the minds of the young. The visit- I rejoice to think that we are no ors," he added, “ have not been per- longer the slaves of a feudal aristocracy, itaps sufficiently active and many The mind of man is now beginning good men have declined interfering." to work; it will be found a most
If the above report be correct, powerful engine, and eventually ex(which, for the credit of Sir G. Hill terminate the deep-rooted errors and and the reputation of the honourable prejudices both of religion and politics. the House of Commons, I much ques- We cannot raise our expectations tion) I am at a loss to account for the too high. In the mean time let us silence of those members who could aid the progress of truth in every way patiently suffer so illustrious a name which lies in our power; recollecting to be só vilely traduced—and by their that we are the sali of the earth, and
On the late F. Well, &c.—Mr. Scargill on American Peace Society. 331 the light of the world, and though for board should be regularly paid hiin, a short time we may be reviled and he chose to make a species of boxes persecuted and our names cast out and which he learned to execute when irodden under foot by ignorant and at Birmingham. This being what his slanderous men, we shall in no case employers much approved, at the end fail of our reward. I am, Sir,
of every week he received what he Your obedient Servant, thought a considerable sum.
B. T. ceeded in this way until the time of
his imprisonment expired. Being SIR,
Bath, June, 1816. then told that he was at liberty to go WISH that you could furnish us where he pleased, he requested that the late Francis Webb, Esq. I wish the Rasp-house until he should earn thercfore that Miss Milner, of Isling- a sufliciency to support himself else. ton, would grant you her assistance. where. His petition was acceded to, I was glad to see the mistake cor-, and after remaining there some years, recied, that he was secretary to an he found himself in possession of embassy sent to the prince of Hesse money enough to live without labour. to hire troops to fight against the He returned to Birmingham and took Americans. I knew that to be an a neat house in its neighbourhood, unfounded assertion, as he was al- and, being found a thoroughly reformways a most strenuous advocate for ed and intelligent man, some gentlethe cause of American resistance. men became acquainted with him, The history of his defence against the and frequently dined at his table. To attempt to rob him was not worth thein he generally related his whole recording. Let your correspondents history, and the circumstances which furnish us with matters of more mo- contributed to implant in his breast ment.
honesty and integrity and generosity; Your correspondent who wishes to and he always concluded the feast know where I learned Dr. Chauncey's with tcasting the master of the Raspparticular doctrine concerning the suce house. cessive states of oblivion of the righteous If we would only study how to in their passing to higher degrees of glory employ the licentious and profligate in a futureworld, must be informed that in some such way, and to impress I learned it in a long private conver- them at the same time with the prinsation with himself, which he began ciples of true religion, we should soon by saying, I must pass through many see purity reign in all our island. We sleeps. The Dr. 'thought highly of should no longer be shocked with acmy liberality, and was perhaps more counts of murders, executions, &c. open in his communications with At present when we go to Morocco, nie than with any person except his we express our horror at the sight of son Charles. Though we did not heads of human beings in the enalways agrec, I always greatly esicem- trances to their palaces, but forget ed and loved him.
what was seen at Temple Bar soine Lord Stanhope's speech is very years ago, and what is still seen in interesting. To make us a truly some places in the country. glorious nation, very many of our The incmorialist of Mr. Calamy in laws must be abolished. I have been your last number, was very defective informed of a gentleman who lived in not mentioning his age, his relaabout seventy years ago at Birming. tionship to the great Calamny, his wife, . ham, who in the younger part of his and wriat children survive him. Many life was guilty of some transgressions other particulars would be satisfactory which led him to fly into Holland: to your readers, Bot being yet cured of his follies, he
W. H. committed some acts for which he was committed to the Rasp-house, Bury St. Edmunds, 3d June, 1816. where he must either work or be
SIR, drowned: the rasping not suiting THE friends of peace in this counhim, and he being informed that he try will be happy to hear, that inight pursue any trade for which he exertions are making in America for was fitted, and íhat all his earniligs the diffusion of pacific principles. On beyond a weekly allowance for his Saturday the first of June, I seceived
a packet from Boston, containing has devoted six months to careful and some pamphlets on the subject, and a almost incessant inquiries in relation letter from the Rev. W. E. Channing to the dreadful custoin, its origin and (A copy of which I herewith transmit popularity among Christians, its to you.) The pamphleis, five in causes, principles and means of supnumber, consist of "À Solemn Re- port; its tremendous havoc and miseview of the Custom of War," a ries, its oppasition to Christianity, its work which has been already reprint- moral influence on nations and indied in this country. Numbers 1, 2, viduals, and the means by which it and 3, of a work published quarterly, may be abolished. The more he has called, “ The Friend of Peace.” And exainined the more he has been astoNumber 34, of a periodical publica- nished that a custom só horrible has tion, called, “The Christian Dis- been so long popular among Chriscipie.” There also accompanied these tians. For he has been more and pamphlets a printed statement of more convinced, that it is in its na“The Constitution of the Massachu. ture perfectly hostile to the principles, setts Peace Society." (A written copy the precepts and the spirit of the of which I also send you.) Number 1, Christian religion. He is also confiof “The Friend of Peace,” contain: dent that such light may be offered ing 42 pages, consists of “ A Special on the subject as will bring reflecting Joterview between the President of Christians of every sect to this alterthe United States and Omar, an Ollie native,-either to renounce Christiçer dismissed for Duelling" " Six anity as a vile imposture inconsistent Letters from Omar to the President, with the best interests of mankind, with a view of the Power assumed by or to renounce the custom of war Rulers over the Laws of God and the as indefensible and anti-Christian."! Lives of Men in making, War, and From The Christian Disciple," I Omar's Solitary Reflections. The transcribe “ Facts relating to the Masa whole reported by Philo Pacificus, sachusetts Peace Society." “ In conAuthor of a Solemn Review, &c.” sequence of an arrangement made by Number 2, contains “ A Review of four individuals, who are now mem the Arguments of Lord Kaimes in bers of the Massachusetts Peace SoFa our of War." Number 3, “ The ciety, a meeting of seventeen perHorrors of Napoleon's Campaign in sons took place in Boston on the Russia.". This article is formed of eighteenth of December last, to con. extracts from Porter and Labaume; sult on the subject of forming a with some remarks by the Editor : it Peace Society. It was the wish of is followed by " An Estimate of Hu- the projectors of the plan to form a man Sacrifices in the Russian Cam- society on such principles as would paign." A Paper, “ On Estimating embrace the real friends of society, ide Characters of Men who have been without any regard to difference of concerned in Sanguinary Customs." opinion on other subjects whether " A Solemn Appeal to the Con- religious or political. But it was not sciences of Professed Christians." And known how extensively the senti“A meinorable and affecting Con- ments in favour of such a society had trast between the peaceable Con- been embraced, and of course but a chict of William Penn, and the oppo- few persons were requested to attend. site Behaviour of some other Set- At the first meeting a committee was tlers." In each of these, is much that chosen to form a constitution, and the is truly valuable and interesting: and meeting was adjourned to the twenty: I do hope that some steps may be eighth of the same month to be heldt taken for reprinting and circulating in Chauncey place, immediately after them in this country. In America, the Thursday Lecture; at which time the “ Solemn Review” has gone the committee reported a constitution. through three large editions in differ- This was read, discussed, adopted, and
One in Connecticut, ane subscribed by a considerable number in New York, and another in Phila- of persons. The choice of officers delphia--the latter amounting to was postponed to January 11, 1816, twelve thousand copies, for gratuitous in the hope that the number of subdistribution. From Nunber 1, of scribers would be increased. The “ The. Friend of Peace," I quote the number of subscribers has indeed been Author's own words." The writer increasing, and some of the officers