Imatges de pàgina

Sir John Dodderidge.

848 sion into the Cisalpine and Ligurian France without which it would have Republics. I think there would be a been lost in the [heart] of Enrope. plentiful harvest, but the disposition in Happily for England, for France, and these countries to reform is much more the world, our efforts have not been in Jiberal than they are aware of. My vain. I beg my best respects to your ecclesiastical acquaintance on that side, respectful colleague, Dr. Disney, and to those who are believers, are in general Mr. Hollis : 1 should also request you Unitarians, which is a kind of pro- to present them to

but lain selytisin the society would not perhaps told I have entirely forfeited that gen. wish to promote.' I have conversed, tleman's friendship : I have received also, with M. Gregoire, the late bishop that information, indeed, from a susof Blois, on the subject. He will sup picious quarter

whose conport it so far as the general interests of duct in London has led me to break off Christianity are concerned: but though all communication with him for some he has quitted his ecclesiastical func- years past.-I shall be glad to be tions, having been just named a senator, mistaken. To those who may still I do not hope that he will enter into all remember ine I beg to be equally rothe projects of religious reforın, though membered, and remain, he will go pretty far.

“ Dear Sir, “You know ihat we are on the eve “Your affectionate & faithful Servant, of great religious changes in this country; what they will be I know not yet, .Rue Varennes, 667." for the opposition is great and various. I am about to publish a translation

Pullin's Row, Islington, of The Corruptions of Christianity, and SIR,

Oct. 11, 1816.

UR Dupuis, of which I have acquainted pleased with the following par. those gentlemen. I should like, also, ticulars of Sir John Dodderidge, ancesto publish the Comparison, which the tor of the pious and amiable Dr. Philip Dr. has had the attention to send me; Dodderidge, and noticed by Job Orton but I must wait for assistance. I am at the commencement of his excellent convinced these Works would be very Life of Dodderidge, in terms of high seasonable at this moment: there are commendation. According to Orton, niany yet who have not bowed the he died at Forsters, near Egham, Surknee to Baal, and many also who want rey, though he was buried at Exeter, only a little assistance to put themselves in the cathedral, where a superb monuin an erect posture.

ment is erected to his memory. Such “As our house is the general rendez- a truly estimable character is at once an vous of strangers, I have pretty good op- ornament to human nature and a blessi portunities of knowing the progress of ing to his country. religious opinion on the Continent. I “Sir John Dodderidge, Knight, was am assured that Unitarianism is making born in this county (Devon) bred in very rapid progress in Germany; and Exeter College, Oxford, where he bethat there is scarcely a church, of which came so general a scholar that it is hard the pastor, if he be at all intelligent, is to say whether he was better artist, not a convert to this faith. With the divine, civil or common lawyer, though state of the church of Geneva you are he fixed on the last for his public prono doubt acquainted.

fession, and became second justice of " I do not enter on any political the king's bench. His soul consisted topic, except to offer you my congratu- of two essentials, ability and integrity, lations on the restoration of peace be- holding the scale of justice with so tween the two countries. I say nothing steady an hand, that neither love nor respecting myself except to observe, that lucre, fear nor Hattery, could bow hiin whatever my former friends in England on either side. It was vehemently (for I do not presume I have any now suspected in his time, that some gave left,) think of my conduct, there are large sums of nioney to purchase places very few points, and those points of of judicature ; and Sir John is famous prudence, in which I do not feel the for the expression that as old and inmost perfect self approbation.- i have firm as he was, he would go to Tyburn laboured, not against England, but for to see such a man hanged that should the establishment of rational liberty in proffer money for a place of that na

ture ;' for certainly those who buy such No man hath seen God at any time offices by wholesale, must sell justice EON CU@ELS TWTOTE TEQEatai. by retail, to inake themselves savers. I humbly conceive that the Article He was commonly called the sleeping is of less value than a legible and faithjudge, because he would sit on the ful hand-post to a bewildered traveller. bench with his eyes shut; which was The system that depends upon o no, only a posture of attention to sequester must be truly desperate. In 2 Cor. iv, þis sight from distracting objects, the 4, the Devil is dignified with the Arbetter to listen to what was alleged ticle. o EOS TOU GEWYOS T878. The and provedl. Though he had three God of this world, or rather of this wives successively, out of the respectful families of Germin, Banufield, and age, a period of abounding idolatry,

vice and folly. Culine, yet he left no issue behind

JER. POLYGLOT. him. He kept a hospital at Mount Radford, near Exeter, and dying 1628,


Oct. 11, 1816. the 13th of September (after he had becny seventeen years a judge), in the THE following fact is taken from

of 73d year of his age, was interred under thors.” & stately tomb, in our Lady's Chapel,

“ It was in the 80th year of his age in Excier." - Nicholls's Edition of that the antiquary Stowe at length Fuller's Worthies of England. received a public acknowledgment of J. EVANS. his services, which appear to us of a

very extraordinary nature. He was so Sir,

October 10th, 1816. reduced in his circumstances that he IY N the following passages amongst petitioned James I. for a licence lo cola

many others, the Article is found lect alms for himself! 'as a recumwith the word 10795, used merely in pense for his labour and travel of the sense of Revelation, or the Gospel. forty-five years, in setting forth the Mark vii. 13, The Word of God, 'toy chronicles of England and eight years Moyou to Oy. Luke iv. 32, His taken up in the survey of the cities of Word, ο λογος αυτου. Luke xi. 28, his relief now in his old age; having

London and Westminster, towards Blessed are they that hear the Word, left his former means of living, and τον λογον το Θεό. John xv. 3, Now are ye clean through the Word, dice and good of his country.

' Letters pa.

only employing himself for the service Toy .cyov. John xvii

. 17, Thy Word, tent under the great seal were granted. sonyos osos. V. 20, Through their After no penurious commendation of Word, δια του λογα αυτων. Acts vi. Stowe's labours, he is permitted to 2, The Word of God, toy aoyou to gather the benevolence of well-dis8. Acts xii. 24, The Word of God posed people within this realm of grew, o hoyos to Oce. Acts xiii

. 7, England : 10 ask, gather, and take He desired to hear the Word of God, the alnıs of all our loving subjects.' TOY noyou to @£8. V. 44, To hear lished ly the clergy from the pulpit ;

These letters patent were to be pubthe Word, τον λογον. Acts xiv. 3, they produced so lutle that they were T'estimony to the Word, TW doyw. renewed for another iwelve months; Acts xix. 20, The Word of God in

one entire parish in the city contributed creased, o noroso

seven shillings and sixpence! Such In the following passages among was the public remuneration of a man others, the Article is omitted before the who had been useful 10 his nation, word €95, used to express the true God. but not to himself!" Matt. vi. 24, Ye cannot serve God and

J. F. Mammon. ου δυνασθε ΘΕΩ δουλευ

John xx. 17, I ascend to my Higham Hill, Nov. 11, 1816. Father and your Father, to my God

SIR, and your God, τον πατερα μου, και ΘΕΟΝ με, και ΘΕΟΝ υμων. Acts

who may be disposed to inquire V. 29, li is proper to obey'God rather into the evideñces of Christianity, the than man, 192p Xely dat een following remarks on Mr. Hume's

objection to miracles may not be usefax.SY 7, Ay9cwTois. Soba, iv. 12, less. I have considered this celebrated


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Mr. Cogan on Mr. Hume's. Argument against Miracles. 645 ohjection, and I think impartially, at that testimony of a certain kind prodiferent times for more than thirty duces a conviction equal to what is years, and I have never had but one produced by ocular demonstration. opinion concerning it, which is, that and whence does this arise? It is it has no force whatever.

the spontaneous and necessary result The objection, indeed, has been of experience. That kind and degree ably answered again and again, and of testimony which we have never by some more elaborately than it re- kpown to deceive us, we rest assured quired. To meet the conceptions of cannot deceive 119; and such is the the multitude it may indeed be desira- confidence which we place in it, that ble that error should be exposed in the supposed improbability of the many words; but it is a maxim with fact to which it bears witness, usually wie, that false reasoning always adinits detracts nothing from the strength of a short refutation, when it is once the conviction which is effected by it. clearly discerned in what the fallacy It is true enough that according to consists.

Mr. Hume's observation we cannot Mr. Hume's objection amounts to rationally admit any fact, till we conthis, that a miracle being a violation ceive it to be more improbable that the of the order of nature, can never be evidence should be false than that the rendered credible by testimony, as the fact should be true. But in order to a ' falsehood of testimony can in no case just judgment, it is necessary that we be deemed miraculous. It would per- consider on what ground we prohaps have been more correct to define nounce any fact to be antecedently a miracle to be a deviation from the improbable; and it is certain that order of nature; but let this pass. It when our notions of their improbais to be observed that Mr. Hume does bility arise, as they often do, from a not object to the evidence which is niere defect of knowledge, they inproduced in favour of the Christian stantly yield to certain testimony: miracles as being deficient in quantity, Such' being the force of testimony but denies in toto that this species of and such the nature of the faith evidence can confirin a miracle. This which we place in it, I ask what fact makes it necessary to inquire a little cannot be supported by testimony, the into the force of this evidence. It falsehood of which would be deemed will suit Mr. Hunie's purpose that we impossible, except that which should should consider testimony in the gross, itself appear to involve an impossibility. in which view of it, it must be con- But the Christian iniracles do not fessed that it not unfrequently de- come under this predicament, nor does ceives. But testimony differs from Mr. Hume's argument proceed upon testimony as much as error does from such a supposition. What then is it truth, and it may be so circumstanced which renders them incapable of and so accumulated in force that its being supported by testimony? Their falsehood will be deemed impossible. antecedent improbability. And of this Let the actions and the fate of the improbability how are we to judge? late Emperor of France be for a Were they not referred to a superior moment called to mind. These are power ; were they supposed' io be admitted by thousands, upon the evi. effected by some hidden law of nature dence of testimony alone, and admit- which was never in action before nor ted with as full conviction as can be since; were it necessary to maintain produced by inathenatical or ocular that they took place without any demonstration. And will any one assignable cause and to acknowledge presume to say that this evidence may that they produced no important effect

, be false? Is it not to suppose a viola- their antecedent improbability would tion of the order of nature to suppose it certainly be great. But irom what false? It has just been intimated data are we to conclude that God

would never interfere miraculously in • How far the evidence which is produced in favour of the Christian miracles shewn to be false, it remains with every falls sbort of the strongest possible testi. one to consider for himself whether the mony, is a question with whicb I have antecedent improbability of the Christian Bothing to do. Mr. Hunie's is an abstract miracles appears to him to be surmounted position, that no testimony can prove the by the testimony which is brought furward reality of a miracle. When this has been in their behalf. VOL. XI.


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the government of the world, or in rational reply would be, who can tell osher words would never communicate brit he who sees the end from the to mankind such a revelation as the beginning? Allowing the improbaChristian? And this improbability is bility of such an interposition from the precise improbability which, if Mr. the want of past experience, would Hume is to be believed, no testimony this improbability amount to any thing

But such an interpo- like a proof that the future would in sition is contrary to experience. It has this respect correspond to the past? been observed that this expression is and shall that become incredible, not quite accurate; but waving this, when attested, which it was by no I ask, may it not with equal truth be means certain would not take place! affirmed that the falsehood of testi. In a word, that any thing short of the mony in certain circumstances is con- absolute incredibility of a fact in itself trary to experience ? But to what considered should render it incapable experience is the interposition in of being proved by testimony, is a paraquestion contrary ? To say that it is dox which it may require some ingecontrary to universal experience is to nuity to defend, hut which it is truly beg the question. When, therefore, wonderful that any human being it is said that such an interposition is should be found seriously to believe, contrary to experience, the meaning I affirin, then, without fear of refutation, must be that it is contrary either to that the evidence of lestimony may be our experience or to general experience. so circumstanced as to render a miracle To urge that it is contrary to our ex- wrought for a certain purpose, the ob perience would be to lay it down as ject of rational belief. and I have no an axioni, that if God should ever hesitation to affirm, also, that whoever interfere miraculously in the affairs of would not believe such miracle upon men, he must interfere also in our age the strongest possible testimony, would and for our particular satisfaction. not believe it on the evidence of ocular To press the objection that such an demonstration. But in fact, a being so interposition is contrary to general ex. incredulous does not exist. I once, in.. perience, would subject the objector deed, heard an unbeliever say, that he to a very perplexing question. What would not believe a miracle if he saw reason is there to suppose that if God it. I approved his consistency, though should interfere miraculously in the I did not give credit to his declaration. administration of the world, such in- Man, however reluctant, may be comterpositions would be so frequent as to pelled to believe his eyes, and he be matters of general experience? In inay also be compelled io put faith in the case of events which must take testimony in spite of all the refined and place, if they take place at all, by the subtle reasonings in the world. In operation of the laws of nature, genc- many cases, he cannot wait to calculate ral experience will reasonably influ- between the strength of the evidence ence our belief, and the want of simi- and the improbability of the fact; and lar instances will render us slow in in some cases, could he wait for ever, admitting facts which seem to set the he would not know how to manago ordinary course of nature at defiance. the calculation, And conscious of his But to bring a miraculous interposi- infirmity he chooses in such cases rather tion of Providence, which is recorded to examine the validity of the testito have taken place at a certain timnemony, of which he can judge with and for a certain purpose, to the test tolerable exactness, than to fatigue his of general experience, is palpably ab- faculties with endeavouring to balance surd, unless it could be proved that if the evidence which is laid before him iniracles were ever wrought they must against improbabilities, the force of : be wrought frequently, which is a which he cannot estimate. And in proposition that no one would choose the case of Christianity, if he conto defend. But to shew how little ceives himself to be an incompetent experience has

do with the credi- judge of the antecedent credibility of a bility of a Divine revelation, let us Divine Revelation, his business is to suppose that God had never interposed inquire into the evidence with as much miraculously in the government of the impartiality as he can, and to abide by world to the present hour, and that the result of such inquiry. If any. the question were now put, whether Christian has precisely calculated the he ever would so interpose. The only preponderance of this evidence above


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A Sermon for Preachers. the à priori improbability of the facts, this passion as much as possible from I should be glad to be acquainted the view of others. For as every one with the balance. And if any disa is in some degree under its influence, it ciple of Mr. Hume will point out the is certain that I cannot obtrude my own measure in which the antecedent ima self-love upon the notice of others, with, probability of the facts preponderates out risking an abatement of that respect above the strength of the iestimony, for me, which they inight possibly feel added to the improbability of the pre- while they were not sensible thai my valence of Christianity, had the mira- own vanity was an obstacle to my percles been false, he may call upon meceiving the preferable qualities which to abjure the Christian faith.

they suppose themselves to possess. One word more on the subject of Hence, he is sure to succeed the best in miracles, and I have donc. Though obtaining the approbation of other men, we could not judge à priori whether who is not niggardly in his commenGod would interfere miraculously in dations of their virtues whether real or the government of the world, yet when imaginary, and who says but little of such an interposition has taken place, his own. This forgetfulness of ourits credibility may be heightened by the selves is of more importance in proporend which was proposed by it, and the tiou to the publicity of the station we consequences by which it has been fol- are called to occupy. Not only be lowed. Thus the Christian dispensa- cause more eyes are upon us, and our tion, among other objects, was avowedly frailties are placed in a glare of light intended to overthrow ihe idolatry of which scarcely allows one of them to the heathen world, and to establish the be invisible; but also because it is worship of the One living and true God. generally expected that such meu And this purpose it has most fully and should live for the public and not for gloriously accomplished. The inira- themselves, that they are wholly der cles, then, recorded in the Christian voted to the public good, and conse Scriptures, are not events which have crated to their advantage.

No man left no trace behind them, but are can forget hijnself always, and cerevents of which the effects have been tainly ought not. But it must surely experienced from the season of their be thought that when a preacher canoccurrence to the present hour, and not get through a single paragraph of which will continue to be experienced his sernion without some such phrases eill time shall be no more.

as I shall next observem propose to It has, I think, been made to ap- shew-1 affimi-In the course of my pear that Mr. Hume, while he threat reading-In my opinion--In my forens destruction to Christianity at a wer discourse with perhaps twenty blow, has iu fact effected nothing, and other similar forms of expression, his that the Christian does not set aside own riews, and the operations of his every principle of rational beliei, whey own mind, have a disproportionale he acknowledges Jesus of Nazareth to place in his thoughts. There are also have been a man approved of God by gesticulations and accents, which can MIRACLES and signs which God never be mistaken, as intimating the did by him.

strong impression of self importanet E. COGAN. under which a teacher delivers his in

stractions. Whatever may be the
A Sermon for Preachers. temporary effect of such ihings on
I is without any design to give of young and inexperienced persons, they

fence, and with a sincere wish to do almost uniformly produce in the minds
good, that the writer would venture to of men of maturer years and extensive
point out a fault that he has observed knowledge of the world, a low opinion
in soine preachers, and would earnestly of the judgment of such instructors,
desire to have it banished from among and a sort of pity for the vanity so
Unitarians. He means excessive egot- unguardedly betrayed.
ism. That self-esteem is a powerful It is not necessary for the sake of
and universal passion of the human avoiding egotism, studiously and uni-
race he is well aware ; and therefore rersally to discard the use of the first
clergymen as well as others may be personal pronoun in the singulat nun-
cxpected to have their share of it. But ber, nor would this be always effec-
it is obvious that in every transaction tual, for by the perpetual subsìitution
of life mankind feel it necessary to hide of the plural we, vanity is not a whit

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