Imatges de pàgina


"I would observe," says Dr. Priestley, buman will is always inclined to prefer good in the very beginning of his Illustrations to evil, and among goods to prefer that of the Doctrine of Philosophical Ne- which appears to afford the greatest som cessity, p. 2, “that I allow to men all of happiness, and among evils to aroid that the liberty or power that is possible in which appears to bring the greatest sum of itself, and to which the ideas of man- misery. This is its constant and invariable kind in general ever go, which is the determination. But in order to enable it power of doing whatever they will or pleuse, must carefully scrutinize the respective na

to make this election, the understanding both with respect to the operations of their minds and the motions of their

tures of the objects presented, and decide

on their tendencies to happiness or misery. bodies, uncontrolled by any foreign . When this decision, just or erroneons, is principle or cause. Thus every man is once made, election or reprobation immeat liberty to turn his thoughts to what diately ensues. The determination of the ever subject he pleases, to consider the will towards agreeable and blissful objects, reasons for or against any scheme or- and its aversion from those wbich are proproposition, and to reflect upon them ductive of pain and misery, are uniforme as long as he shall think proper, as well and invariable."-" Modern opponents as to walk wherever he pleases, and to of liberty hare directed tbeir principal efdo whatever his hands and other limbs forts to prove that human actioa, as inare capable of doing. All the liberty fuenced by motive, always follows a certain or rather power that I say a man has and definitive cousse.

This is readily not, is that of doing several things when granted.”—P. 304. all the previous circumstances (inclu- And this being granted, all is granted ding the state of his mind, and his for which Dr. Priestley, or any other views of things,) are precisely the same.

advocate of the doctrine of PhilosoWhat I contend for is, that with the phical Necessity, who understood the same state of mind, (the same strength subject, erer contended: but such is of any particular passion, for example) the looseness with which Dr. Brown and the same views of things, (as any allows himself to think and write, that particular object appearing equally dé he absolutely confounds with this which sirable,) he would always, voluntarily, is his own opinion and the opinion of make the same choice and come to the Dr. Priestley and of all other modern same determination. For instance, if necessarians, the doctrine of fute, or as I make any particular choice to-day, I he terms it alsolute necessity, fatal neshould have done the same yesterday, cessity, &c. (p. 304): a doctrine which and shall do the same to-morrow, pro

no one as far as we know has pretended vided there be no change in the state

to maintain in modern times. of my mind respecting the object of Having discussed in this clear and the choice. In other words I maintain, erudite manner the great question be that there is some fixed law of naturé tween the necessarians and the libertarespecting the will, as well as the other rians, Dr. Brown applies his doctrine powers of the mind, and every thing of free agency to the removal of the else in the constitution of nature; and difficulties which press on the Dirine consequently that it is never determined character and administration from the without some real or apparent cause, existence of natural and moral evil. foreign to itself; that is without soine He argues that moral evil is the result motive of choice, or that motives in- of free agency; that where the latter Auence in some definite and invariable exists the permission of the former is manner; so that every volition or choice unavoidable; that since it is consistent is constantly regulated and determined with the Divine wisdom and goodness by what precedes it. And this consiant to create free agents, the permission of determination of mind, according to moral evil cannot be inconsistent with the motives presented to it, is all that I those perfections, because the one infers mean by its necessary determination." the other. P. 316.

But the fact is, Dr. Brown is himself Should this reasoning be capable of a believer in this very doctrine, as far removing from any mind the slightest as it is possible to judge of bis belief difficults which appeared to it to inon the subject.

volve the Divine administration, we “What,” says he, pp. 298, 299, “ do we

should despair of being able to benefit signify by willing or choosing any thing it by any thing which we could say ; but that of judging it preferable. The nor should we have much greater hope



Review.-Brown's Prize Essay.

609 if it could derive any instruction or fallibly take place. If free agency, the comfort from the following illustration chief source of bappiness to man, and the 'of this argument:

foundation of all virtue and religion,

required the permission of vice and its “ Who can impute to the Author of the continuance during a state of trial, its admirable fabric and constitution of nature, misery to WHATEVER EXTENT OR DURAthat perversion wbich is most repugnant to

TION, when it has become habitual to the bis will, but which bis wisdom and goodness soul, follows as a necessary consequence." Buragested to him not to prevent? When Vol. 11. p. 203. « And no person can a ship has been wrecked by the ignorance complain of the severity of the Divine of the master, can we blame the ship threatenings, if he is fully warned of his builder who fitted it for all the purposes of danger, is furnished with every necessary navigation, and displayed admirable skill in aid for avoiding it, and as long as life its construction, because he did not render continues has still space left for repenít incapable of perishing? Can we blame tance." P. 207. “ The only cffectual enan architect who has planned a most con

couragement to virtue, the only effectual venient and elegant house, or the masoti restraint to rice, is the enactment of who has built it, wben it has been de- rewards sufficiently animating and of pustroyed by fire, because neither of them

nishments sufficiently formidable, The secured it against this calamity? Nor can greater those are in prospect the more we with more reason lay it to the charge of powerful is the check and the the great Author of human nature, that invigorating the encouragement. I granit the noble faculties with which he has en

indeed that the iufliction of cruc) human dowed it, and whose tendencies are to in- punishments in this life, while the course provement and happiness, bave been most of probation is still unfinished, bas rather a unnaturally perverted and depraved.”- tendency to corrupt than to correct a people Pp. 320, 321.

by inuring them to sarage and barbarous Dr. Brown. asks, whether it were spectacles. But the case is different, when inconsistent with the infinite wisdom all hopes of amendment are gone, and the and goodness of God to create such an period of probation is closed. Then every order of beings as men. We answer character is completely formed. Vice is decidedly, on his scheme, it was. If rivetted on the soul. Its patural conthere be one proposition clear and un

sequences are allowed to take place. It is deniable, it is that a Being of infinite necessary that its final result should be

tremendous and irreversible."-P. 210. wisdom and goodness must inpart to every creature which bre calls into ex- And this is the final result of the istence a greater sum of happiness than moral administration of a Being of misery, the whole of its existence being infinite power, wisdom and goodness, considered : if this be not the case he in regard to the great majority of is not good, nor is it possible for any mankind-of that Being “ whose coningenuity or sophistry to prove him to stant and immutable disposition it is to be so. Nay Dr. Brown himself affirms communicate and extend the highest that the goodness of the Deity must be measure of happiness to all his crea“a constant and immutable disposition tores--to communicate all possible to communicate and extend the highest happiness to the whole and to every measure of happiness to all his creatures, part of his sensitive creation !" and that this necessarily implies the

Since endless punishinent cannot communication of all possible happi- benefit those who are saved and can of ness to the whole and to every part of his course be of no advantage to those upon sensitive creation." P. 223. "How then whom it is inflicted, it had always is this consistent with his appointment been considered somewhat difficult to from all eternity of the great majority explain the use of it under the wise of mankind to vnutterable and unend- and benevolent government of the ing torinent? Why thus:

Deity. But Dr. Brown easily solves “It has been already shown that the this difficulty, and intimates that it permission of moral evil is inseparable from may be of great service to the people of free agency. The natural and necessary

the Moon or the inhabitants of Saturn. consequences of corruption, proceeding

" As we fiud that among men, prisons, from the abuse of freedom, must also be public examples and places of punishment permitted. Every species, every degree and are useful for impressing vicious minds every extent of depravation however small with terror; so the eternal sufferings of the or short is inconsistent with the Divine incorrigibly perverse and wicked of the buperfections and laws, and whatever those man race, as they certainly convey an awful require must, in the order of things, in warning to those of our own species wlio

are still in a state of trial, inay also prove troul of reason; the first motives to the salutary to other classes and orders of most abominable deeds--inotives in themrational creatures."--Vol. II. p. 211. selves sometiines laudable and often indoWe do not deem it nece sary to

cent: if we consider all this, we shall be follow Dr. Brown through the re

ied to acknowledge that the greater part of

men sin more from, imprudence and error, maining parts of his work. We shall

than from deliberate and desperate wick. only add in respect to those that the edness, and that even crimes which appear worthy Principal is a very orthodox

to us invested with the most detestable and zealous believer in the comfortable colours, may to Him who looketh at the doctrine of original sin. His ideas on heart, and knoneth all its springs and this subject are at least clear and con- modifications, appear more deserving of sistent, if not perfectly satisfactory. compassion, than of interminable unniti. " Whether, after the shock of sin was

gated punisbment. These reflections bare

sometimes occurred to me ou the recital once given to man's nature, it could Tecover primitive innocence, is at least

of some of the most atrocious crimes by matter of great doubt, and is a point which

which our nature is degraded. Their I shall in the sequel endeavour to illus

notives can hardly be conceived by us trate according to the measure of my

who have so little knowledge of the interabilities. It is certain, if I may be allowed nal state of the human frane. The Lord to employ su distant an analogy, that sreth not as man seeth: for man looketh amoug the inferior animals, whole. breeds

at the outward appearance, but the Lord degenerate ; and that all the individuals looketh on the heart. Though human of a succeeding race are affected by the judgments must be pronounced accord'n; declension of the antecedent generation. to the evidence produced, yet that eri. Nay, we see in our own species, diseases dence cannot in many instances exhibit both of body and mind daily transmitted the exact moral complexion of the action

which is tricd. Meo must therefore judge This may lead us in the mean time to conceive the fact, if not the manner of of the same action differently from Him the transmission of moral corruption !".

wbo is Omuiscient and to whom certain Vol. II. p. 130.

deeds, characterized by the blackest fen

tures of external guilt, may appear less Upon the whole, we never recollect criminal, tban eren some of those faults, to have read a book which so com. which in human estimation, are hardly pletely disappointed our expectations. deserving ceasure.”—Vol. II. p. 9. For the honour of our age and country

S. S. we are sorry that it should have been found vecessary to award such a prize Art. IV.-Twenty-one Short Forms of to such a production. Yet occasion- Morning and Evening Prayers, for ally and for a paragraph or two there the use of families. By a Member occur some faint approaches to just of the British and, Foreign Bible couception and to good writing. We Society, and of the Society for shall conclude by extracting a passage Promoting Christian Knowledge. which affords a favourable specimen 12njo. Pp. 141. Hunter. 1810. of the author's style and manner. VHESE Forms are distinguished Had there been more of this kind, we should have read and commented on ity to the style of Scripture. They

by his work with much greater pleasure; breathe also a fine moral spirit, and in had there been nothing of it, we should not have decmcd il necessary to

this respect are superior 10 almost all

the prayers that we have read. They notice it.

remind us of the compositions of the " When we consider the deep ignorance late Rer. Theophilus Lindsey, and in which so many of the human race are plunged, the

are evidently the production of a kinwhich have been dred mind; artless, gentle, placid, transmitted from generation to generation; t! prejudices which adhere even to those pure, benevolent and aspiring towards

heaven. whose improvement has not been entirely

The Forms are short, and might Neglected; the defects of education both public and privaten the false maxims have been made shower, by the onrisa which without dispute or inquiry are sion, at least in all but the first, of established in the world; the power of the Lord's Prayer. example, of habit and of temptation ; the

This useful manual of devotion is manner in which the desires and passions introduced and concluded with serious are imperceptibly excited and streogth- and suitable exhortations and admoenel, so tbat they bid defiance to the con- nitioas.


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Review.--Hyatt's Sermons at the Tabernacle.

611 Art. V.-Sermons on Select Sulojects : words and phrases and to consult po

By John Hyatt. 8vo. pp. 369. rity and elegance of language.

'These preachers think it necessary TR. JOHN HYATT is one of to prove nothing; every thing is taken


the temple of modern “ Evangelical” for every thing,—though it is seldom worship, and he has here favoured deemed requisite to justify the applithe public with ample specimens of cation o? the words of Scripture to the that kind of preaching which, through- preacher's subject. It seems as if mia out all England, is drawing the nister and people considered their creed multitude - away from their parish as matter of absolute certainty, and churches, and forming them into “a regarded it as the end of preaching peculiar people, zealous"--for a more to deliver out the articles of their rigid species of Calvinism than was faith, and to express pity for, or 10 laught by the mortal enemy of Ser- denounce judgments against, such as

cannot understand or will not entThe "

Evangelical”. preachers will brace them. not, we apprehend, object to Mr. In point of composition, the serHyatt's being considered as the repre- mons of Mr. John Hyati's class of sentative, as from his station he is the preachers are artless, to a degree that chief, of their order. He is regarded, borders on childishness. A whole we are told, as one of the best preach- paragraph will often consist of a selfers of the sect; and he appears to be a evident proposition, repeated in several - man of thought and to possess a vigo- forms, sometimes put in a broad rous imagination.

simile, followed by a set of Scripture Evangelical" preaching is, we quotations, unconnected and unexe need not say, preaching without book. plained, mingled with interjections, The preacher believes himself, and is and the whole concluded by an anecbelieved by others, to be under the in- dote, a dying experience, a stanza Auence of the Holy Ghost ; a written from Dr. Walls, or possibly a couplet discourse would stint the spirit, and, from Dr. Young. instead of the words of the Holy Perhaps, nothing has contributed Ghost, the speaker, degenerated to a more to ihe illusion which “ Evangereader, would utier ihe words of lical" or Tabernacle preaching bringe man's wisdom.

over the mind than its abounding in Extempore speaking is winning Scriptural quotations, which seen in from its familiarity, and, in Mr. John, invesı il with sanctity and solemnity, Hyatt's specimens, is rendered more and to cover its meagreness arid folly. attractive by certain tender appella. In a great mass of citations, some must tions by which the auditory is ad- be appropriate; and we have observed, dressed. Poor sinners ! Precious souls ! occasionally, in this volume, a happy, my dear friends! and other similar use of the sublime and affecting lanexpressions of endearment go, we guage of Holy Writ. Great wrong, imazine, a great way in helping for however, is done to the Bible, in the ward the effect of this strain of preach- ordinary way of selecting texts for this ing.

class of sermons; passages are plainly Mr. John Hyatt and his brethren taken more for sound than sense, and, are pleased with themselves for lower- whether moral, devotional, doctrinal, ing their discourses to the rude appre-' prophetic or historical, are forced ļo hensions of the lowest vulgar; not speak Tabernacle theology. once thinking that it is possible, or But the principal and most availing feeling that it is desirable, to improve part of « Evangelical" preaching is its their taste and enlarge their under-, damnatory style, its denunciation and standings. Hence they deal out com- description of the torments of the mon-places with great self complacency, damned in hell : this is the heavy and the merest troisins with a pom- artillery of Calvinism, with which the pousness which indicates self-admira-, least skilful engineer. can beat down tion. Their words drop from them. the proud heart and storm the stubborn with a volubility which makes the conscience. d great part of the conanuluitade stare ; for they , preach versions recorded in the Evangelical against eritics and would think it Magazine have been effected by the criginal to stay to sift and select sons of thunder; thundering, however,


as Dr. South remarks, from hell and vourable specimen of the preaching of not from heaven. To thoroughly ig- the Tabernacle school :norant, vicious men, it is in the nature of things that such preaching should sive and interesting terms, with whick

“ Grace is one of the most comprehenbe interesting and affecting: we be

any of mankind are acquainted. If its lieve that it rarely produces striking real importance was (were] understood effects on the minds

of men of informa- and experienced by every one preseat, each tion and good moral habits.

countenance would brighten, each beart But it is proper we should exhibit rould leap with joy, and all would rear Mr. John Hyatt himself to our readers: dily unite in expressing the sentiment af we shall select a few passages from himn the truly excellent Doddridge

a which explain the siyle of Tabernacle "Grace! 'tis a charming sound, preaching and illustrate some of our Harmonious to the ear.' remarks. In nothing is the good sense of a

“ There is infinitely more in this term,

when its meaning is understood and its preacher more tried than in the an- blessings are realized, to encourage the nouncement and developement of the heart of man, than there is in all the terus plan of his discourse ; his division, if by which the consequences of sin are exhe adopt one formally, should be na- pressed, to discourage. Grace is an effectural, simple and distinct, and the se- tual remedy for all the spiritual maladies veral branches of his subject should be of the soul., Sin has not produced an evil connected together and all appear im- in the nature of man, which grace cannot portant. The terms in which the plan effectually counteract, and finally remore. of a sermon is laid down should be Hath sin blinded the understanding ?plain and precise. Ingenuity and grace can enlighten it.

Hath sin pereloquence should here be avoided ; a

verted the will ?-grace can reduce it to painted, ornamented threshold would subjection. Are the affections defiled ?be a silly device even for the entrance

grace can sanctify them. Is man impose to a palace.

risbed ?-grace can corich bin. Is he We have not to blaine Mr. John ignorant!--grace can instruct him. Is le

guilty ?-grace can pardon and justify. Is Hyatt for ingenuity or eloquence in the an heir of hell?-grace can make him this particular; he is, on the contrary, an heir of heaven. Nothing else bas ever blunt and quaint. The first sermon, performed such wonders. The loudest note for instance, “ On the Importance of that is beard in glory sounds in praise of Meditation," from Gen. xxiv. 63, And grace. It is an inexhaustible theme; its Isaac went out to meditate in the field at wonders will be the even-tide, is thus divided :

“Ever telling—yet untold.'"-Pp. 28, 29. “ Let us first notice the nature and im

The conclusion of the same sermon portance of the erercise mentioned in the text ; secondly, mention some suitable sub- is in the terrific style which we have jects for the believer's meditation ; and adverted 10:thirdly, urge it upon Christians to imitate “ Is there in this assembly an individual Isaac in this exercise."--P. 4.

whose desperately wicked miod derires enSermon IV. on “The Death of the couragement to sin from the aboundings of Righteous," from Numbers xxiii. 10,

grace? Because God is able to make all Let me die the death of the righteous, and grace abound towards the chief of singers, bet my last end be like his, is thus di- proceed in a course of ungodliness ? Abo

are you resolved to try how far you can vided :

minable wretch! how knorest tbon but "From these words we shall observe, thy base determination is the effect of thy 1. Death is the common lot of mankind, having been giren up by the Almighty to both the righteous and the wicked must hardness of heart? How knowest thou but die. II. It is most desirable to die as the God hath said concerning thee, 'Let him righteous die (dies), and that our end be alone ?'. Should this be the case, O! bow like his. III. However desirable is [be] tremendous will be the end of thy mortal the death of the righteous, the wish for it

course! Miserable wretch! what wilt is vain, witbout a gracious change pro- thou do when the hcavens lower, and the duced in the mind by the Holy Ghost.” tempest roars, whither in thine extremity --P: 80.

wilt thou turn for shelter? Then, so

voice of pity will address thine ear, to The following extract from Sermon · place of refiige will encourage thy flight, II. on “ Abundant Grace," is a fa- but, without refuge and without kopt,

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