Imatges de pÓgina

Taylor's Contemplations. rels, and to rise up again in the lightness, which others pass by unheeded, of a holier virtue!' How glorious is the and derive from them all fresh proofs prospect of mighty mivds, on earth be- of the noble destiny for which we were nighted, bursting into the full enjoy- created. They will rejoice in the joy ment of truth-of unknown energies of all men, trace the progressive ad. unfolding their native grandeur- of vancement of truth and virtue with genius here 'debased or unknown, honest pride, and catch, as if it were tasting of ever fresh inspiration from the music of angels, the low breathed * Siloa's brook that flows fast by the voice of humble gratitude, or the first oracle of God!"

lispings of infant prayerAround those who are enabled to

" to which God's own ear realize the doctrine of Universal Re

Listens delighted.” storation the arrows of misfortune fall harmless. The malignant passions Here I might conclude these Essays. can find no resting place in their bo- I trust I have, in some degree, shewn soms. They look on the most wretched that the poetry of religion is not conand depraved of the human race as fined to the orthodox creed, nor the brethren, as ultimately destined to be- best feelings of the heart exclusively come worthy of their esteem and af- possessed by the followers of Calvin. fection, as erring children of their own But let me not offend ny Unitarian Father, who will finally bring all the friends, if I entreat them to cultivate wanderers home. The ills of life and and cherish those emotions to which, the burden of all material things are I apprehend, their opinions should lightened to them by the fond belief conduct them. Let them not think that all are parts of one generous sys- that man is ennobled by his reason tem of fatherly compassion. To them alone, or that abstract truth is the only the face of nature seems enlivened by object he ought to pursue. Let them new smiles, for all the beauties which remember that he has imagination to surround them appear indications of be called into exercise, veneration to be that universal goodness which will har- bestowed, and tender affections to gramonize all the jarring notes of this dis- tify; Let them not return persecution cordant world. Every summer breeze with scorn. Let them never despise whispers to them of unutterable love. prejudices which are honest, or speak The “ splendour in the grass, the glory with contempt of doctrines which have in the Hower,” which delighted them consoled the hearts of thousands, bein childhood, seem almost to sparkle cause they regard them as erroneous. again before them. Their virtue is Let not the pride of reason or the fasunimpelled by fear and unmingled with tidiousness of criticism pollute the pride, for its origin and its essence is sources of their joys. Let them rejoy. Death seems to them as a placid member that the toleration is imperfect slumber, as a genial repose which will which is not extended to intolerance take away all evil thoughts and desires, itself; and that even in the bigotry of and will leave them refreshed from those who think their opinions dantheir labours, and purified and fitted gerous, there is a feeling of zeal for for heaven. When they weep over their welfare to venerate and esteem. friends whose eyes they have closed for While engaged in the defence of truth awhile, no sad misgivings will disturb let them remember that it is of more the serenity of their sorrow, or cloud consequence to feel right than to argue over the sweet remembrances which well; that the best orthodoxy is that they delight to cherish. To them the of the heart; and that while sentiments memory of buried love will have all its and creeds and systems perish, the best unearthly charms, for the sanctity of and purest feelings of the soul remain their grief will be unbroken. They unchanged the same in all sects, will be elevated above the world, and countries and generations and that yet taste with more exquisite relish all they will continue while God himself its genuine blessings. Their delight endures.

S.N.D. will be to look on the better and more

Sir, en el fons.w the domestic affections to YOUR Greece, op. 323, refers, 1

July 1, 1816. their loveliest seclusion, trace out the nice and delicate indications of good- apprehend, to the 3d Book of “ The


Liberality of the Clergy.

511 Last Day" and the expostulation of the except the testimonies of the unknown damned soul, which thus begins Robert Harris and the equally unknown " Who burst the barriers of my peaceful have been entrusted.

worthy friend to whom they are said to grave ?

J.O.U. Aí! cruel Death! that would no longer

Sir, But grudg'd me e'en that parrow, dark

Bath, Aug. 13, 1816. abode,


BEG leave to transmit to you a And cast me out into the wrath of God."

lightened clergyman of the EstablishTowards the close of his address, the ment to a Dissenting minister, whose miserable victim of divine vengeance is Unitarianism lately compelled him to thus made to recollect the paternal cha- resign his congregation, with whom racter of God:

'he was connected almost twenty-six

years. “ And canst thou then look down from

“ Dear Sir. Those who wish to perfect bliss,

worship any more Gods than one, And see me plunging in the dark abyss, Calling thee Father, in a sea of fire,

ought to go to the East Indies, and Or pouring blasphemies at thy desire ?" prostrate themselves before the idol of

that country." Mr. John Wesley, many years be- The whole letter is written in the fore his death, and during the life of same strain, virtually acknowledging Young, re-published, in a Collection no God but the One God and Father of English Poems, (3 vols. 8vo.) " The of our Lord Jesus Christ, and conLast Day.” He was aware of the in- demning all encroachments upon the consistency into which the orthodox dictates of reason, and all impositions poct had fallen, and annexed to the upon the rights of conscience, as dialines I have just quoted the following metrically opposite to the glorious docnote, in substance, if my memory has trines of the gospel. As there are well failed me as to the exact words : “ Im- known to be a great number of clergypossible! Could a damned soul speak men of the same sentiments, why do thus, would he not in a moment be in they not unite in petitioning the leAbraham's bosom?"

gislature, and, to use the language of Your Correspondent (p. 326) appears sailors when they are aroused to exert not to be aware of the question which their utmost exertions, with a long has been raised whether the Treatise to pull, a strong pull, and a pull all which he refers was written by Jeremy together, claim the privileges uk the Taylor. I suppose he intends the children of God, and desire to be perContemplations of the State of Man mitted to obey his voice, in the lanin this Life and in that which is to guage of their own hearts, and accordcome,” the eighth edition of which, ing to their most strenuous endeavours 8vo. 1718, is now before me. It is to understand and propagate the reveconfessedly posthumous. Prefixed are lation he has given them. Our legistwo Addresses to the Reader. The lators are not at present Calvinists or first signed B. Hale, highly com- Laudeans. Many of them are lovers mendatory, without a word as to au- of truth, and none of them can stand thenticity: the second Address, signed up and say that this or that Shibboleth Robert Harris, describes Bishop Taylor should be required of men, when conas “ having left these Holy Contempla- trary to the light of their own minds, tions in the hands of a worthy friend of and what they believe to be the word his, with a full purpose to have printed of God. Whatever erroneous sentithem if he had lived."

ments many of them may entertain at I have understood, on the best au- present, let them all be allowed to dethority, that the Editor of “ Specimens clare themselves unequivocally, and of Early Dramatic Poets," a gentleman truth will be a gainer in the end. It critically versed in the fine writers of will shine with glory by a free discusJeremy Taylor's age, is of opinion that sion. Or if any subscription be yet the Contemplations, though containing thought necessary in those who una passages in his manner, were not writ- dertake the office of minister, let it ten by the Bishop. There appears no be this only,—" I believe in the Holy evidence for assigning them to him, Scriptures, and by the divine blessing

[ocr errors]

will endeavour to explain them in their that he knew not the precise date of an original purity, according to the uni- event which he was yet empowered to form declarations of the unadulterated predict (Mark xiii. 32); that he might Bible.” But this latitude, it will be well assume the very title about which said, will produce almost as many so much controversy has arisen, and creeds as there are men. I think, on found his apology for assuming it on the contrary, that it will soon terminate the ground that other missionaries of in the universal reception of the good God had in Elohim arrogated a higher word of truth, and lead all men to em- one than he did in that of Ben Elohim, brace that holy church, in which there John x. 36; that of himself he could do is no spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such nothing, viii:54; that if he bare witness thing. Voltaire, notwithstanding his of himself his witness were not true, great infidelity, believed that there is- v.31; that the very words he spake, one God, one great and good God, the he spake not of himself, xii. 49, xiv. 10; God of all beings, of all worlds, and of hearing him, in short, referring every all ages : and, had he not supposed, thing he said, and did, and was, as without making that inquiry which unequivocally, as invariably, as absobecame him, that the Trinity and some Jutely to that Being whom he called other unfounded doctrines were con- his Father, as any other pious man tained in the Bible; or, had he per- whom he had taught to address by the ceived that the Divine Unity, and that same endearing appellation could have true holiness, &c. contained in the done :-then superadding to this unNew Testainent, were the real doctrines impeachable testimony the still (if which the Lord Jesus taught, he never possible) more vnambiguous attestacould have become an infidel, nor have tions of the Most Highest Himself at ridiculed what he did not rightly ex- the several periods of his baptism, amine, and therefore did not under- transfiguration and crucifixion, so ada stand. A NEW TESTAMENT mirably adapted in kind and in degree CHRISTIAN. to the “ beloved Son,” in whom of all

human kind God deigned to express SIR,

August 1, 1816. himself emphatically “ well pleased," I

HAVE heard it occasionally re- so palpably infra dig. to a Being of an

marked, that at one period of the infinitely superior order:-and last and history of the Christian church, it was least, recollecting the remarkable inciin agitation, by some synod or council, dents of the temptation, when this to place the Virgin Mary as a person heavenly personage is accosted by of the Trinity, in the room of the another (whom later ages have almost Holy Ghost. In referring 10 the re- invested with the character of omnimarks of Theolotus, M. Repos. Vol. VI. scient) as a “Son of God," who might page 399, I find some confirmation of haply not only be seduced from his al. it, as represented by the Novogorod legiance to his Father by such a conIdol, and in the censures of such a sideration as the kingdoms of this atom Trinity by the Arabian Impostor ; of the universe, yclept our world, but to but setting aside such authorities, I transfer it, and with it the homage of should be glad to be informed by your religious worship, to his seducer, as the more learned readers, if there be any donor of them :-who, ruminating I other and better authority for such an say over thus much, and more that assumption.

J. W. might be adduced of a kindred de

scription, regard the Christ in no other Sir,

August 2, 1816. light the Son of God than as figuratively N this our sad season of logomachy, so constituted, or at most so miracufrom some of your more polemically ever was before him. Yet, on the other given Correspondents, the proper name hand, reading the proem of St. John's for a denomination of fellow interro- Gospel, surprising as they think they gators with Pilate—" What is the do the interpolation of the reporter at truth?" Who, (not more firmly as- the 16th verse of his third chapter, not sured of the existence of the Christ thun to mention a multitude of appositions, of the divinity of his mission), while, on turns and probable emendations, suffi. the one hand, sitting at the feet of ciently indicative as they hold of the Jesus and hearing from his own lips historian's construction of the more


[ocr errors]

Doctrine of Eternal Misery fatul to Christianity.

513 genuine phraseology-looking indeed The Orthodox now would perhaps • at the general tenour of our Saviour's look no further than 2 Tim. iii. for a discourses as edited by that Evangelist, title for our Catechumens, but illi in nos and collating them with the subsequent sariant if they will! You will not I original letters of the same author: then hope be so short or severe with an alagain turning to the Epistles of St. most conscious semi-proselyte to their Paul, observing his repeated classifica- heresy, in your Correspondent and tions at the beginning of them, his Coustant Reader, closing sentence to the 2d Corinth. his

TE TACE. Lord of Glory, his 5th and seg. verses P.S. And quære against our heretics 2d chapter Philippians, in spite even -On what Son of God does St. John of their unlucky UTESLYW5E-remen- suppose the Chief Rulers to have lebering too the exclamation of Thomas, lieved, when he expressly states, that the prayer of Stephen-can scarcelý though they did believe on him, they dispossess themselves of something had not the consistency to confess very much like a conviction that these him, John xii. 43, on a presens Deus of first disciples of their heavenly Master any kind,

or in the anointed Messenger recognized in him (consistently how- of their One only true God? Could ever always as they thought at least, so monstrous a practical faith have ever with their most pulpally fundamental existed in any human breast? And doctrine of the unity of their ancestors' again, Martha, when she took it for Jehovah in the sole person of his God and granted HE had no power to bring Father) a 805 Tipos (apud) HIM their back her brother from the grave though One o O895, an homousian the subor- he might have prevented his going thidinate Logos, an only begotten Son ther? Or the Disciples when they all from the beginning, the same yester- forsook him and Aed? day, to-day, and for ever, a One Lord ly ,

August 1, 1816.

T is HIS co-eternal but not co-equal image, delegate, minister, representative.

Jigious inquiry, which has for its main How indeed these excellent men object the reconciliation of the doctrines could reconcile soine of these doctrives of revelation with the conclusions of with others; how they could make up

reason. It appears to be one of the their minds to believe (as in the opinion great evils of establishments, that they of our inquirers they most unquestion- often operate in the prevention of their ably did, not more unquestionably any members, from speaking fully their one tenet they published) that such a convictions, on the most important Son of God died, such a Lord of Glory subjects. Thus we see Paley, when was crucified, in the person of Jesus, or he reviews the popular objections to how (compatibly with their hypothesis

) Christianity, wholly silent about the one of them could dispose of such a

only weighty objection which existsBeing in the manner he does in the its future punishments. His situation, 15th chapter 1st Corinthians, they I think, must have been the cause of avow themselves quite incompetent to this, for there is nothing in all his conjecture. Not less perplexed, aghast writings which shews his belief in rather, (their reason and faith both lasting or everlasting misery. We see utterly confounded) do they confess those men who were independent of theinselves upon the recollection of the establishments, Hartley, * Priestley, familiarity, the chit chat, the rebuke, Simpson and others, quite explicit on the lying on the bosom, the probable this great subject. Paley says at the concurrence in the opinion that HE end of his " Natural Theology,” that was beside himself, of these HIS con

man lives in God's continual presence, temporaries. As willingly do they and that death resigns him to his avow themselves unable to reconcile merciful disposal. This is language the argumentation in the 1st chapter scarcely consistent with the popular of Hebrews with the Scripture on

doctrine concerning the final destinawhich it professes to be founded, or

tion of mankind. Indeed this is the that in the chapter of the Philippians one fundamental objection to Christalready quoted, with the antecedently ianity, for if the popular idea of its sempiternal claims of such a “Christ punishment be true, every humar Jesus.”

being must wish it to be false.

There are certain facts with which only punish, a divine can reward and we are all acquainted that fill us with to an extent more than equal to any dismay, if this popular objection be difference of character.

How can the doctrine of revelation : That the then the popular doctrine stand—and great majority of human beings have if it be Christianity-how can that not lived up to the acquirements of religion be defended. All other obChristianity : That sensuality, and jections are as dust in the balance, this selfishness" (the true original sin of is first, last, amidst, around and above nature) have generally prevailed : them all, and I should hope that your That natural evil (of which our publication would ever keep it in its native passions and appetites are the eye, for the time will soon come, that greatest beyond all estimation) has this doctrine must be otherwise exuniversally produced moral evil : That plained, or Christianity will be unithe Scriptures seem to say that there versally discarded. are few that be saved, and if only

SENEX. those be who have completely overcome animal nature, the language of SIR,

July 30, 1816. Scripture appears to be correct. when we take into the account the Actruth ought to be the sole


ject of religious as well as philooriginal strength of human appetites, sophical inquiry, men who pretend to and the unfavourable circumstances in be friends to the human race, will not which men are placed for their inno- be permitted by those who really are cent gratification, the final lot of man- so, to impose their conjectures on the kind becomes a most tremendous world as so many facts. The art of question. There is so much misery thinking justly on interesting subjects, in this life, that it is a momentous especially on religion, is nevertheless question whether, considering this generally speaking, but little underlife alone, it be right for a man to stood. The multitude are dazzled too become the father of a human being; much by authority and prejudice, to but if the popular doctrine concerning view with steadiness, or to measure futurity be true, no man thạt exists correctly the perfect symmetry of unshould in any case or circumstances veiled truth. They are used to think become a father. This is the one as they have been taught, and believe moral duty, which must swallow up what they have been told; thus many every other. And that men become things which are received, as obvious fathers, professing this belief, shews and essential truths, concerning nathat no one does indeed believe it to tural and revealed religion, are cerbe true ; for a man believing it true, tainly no better than vulgar prejuand becoming a father, is a monster, dices ; - often, pernicious errors, as little better, though not indeed so bad dishonourable to God as they are conas the God whom he professes to tradictory to the concurring dictates of worship

reason and revelation.

Commonly Unprejudiced reason tells us, that these errors lie at the root of a systein, although it may be right that the consequently the data being false, the obtaining of eternal felicity should be reasoning from them is sophistry, and very difficult

, yet that the escape from its moral tendency often detrimental eternal misery should at least be very to the interest of virtue. Such, I am easy, if in any case a Creator could be fully convinced, are

the popular justified in making it possible for any opinions concerning original sin. being to involve himself in such a this paper I purpose with your percalamity. Besides what is this world mission to lay before some of the and what are its enjoyments ? Taken occasional readers of your Miscellany singly and of itself it is what no human who hold that doctrine, my reasons being would have on such a condition, for rejecting it. Educated as I was and very few would have it upon no in the Established Church, where the other condition, than what their pre- Calvinistic articles of that Church were sent circumstances impose.

constantly enforced, as well in the It may be proper

few domestic circle as from the pulpit, it should be saved, but it never can be was natural that till I began to exjust, that any should be damned, if by amine for myself, I should receive that be meant any thing more than them as others do, without hesitation. destruction. A húman legislator can I supposed that they were believed by

that very

« AnteriorContinua »