Imatges de pàgina

to differ from the opinion stated table right, and I hope no man above, he is at perfect liberty so will call me a heretic, for departto do: I make it no article of ing in ihis respect from the com. faith, nor of Christian communion; mon opinion, which appears to me I crave the same liberty to judge to be so embarrassed as to be altofor myself that I give to others, to gether unintelligible. which every man has an indispu.


Design of the History of the Fall. suade that upright man to take


leave of the God of his worship, It is possible I

when he found he would not come may be repeat. ing sentiments which have been to his succour. published before, but as I do not

The first caution that the Alrecollect to have seen them any mighty would give to an intelliwhere, you will if you think pro- gent being, it he gave him any, per give the following a place in would certainly be not to suffer your Repository.

his attention to be arrested by the On reading a critique on Dr. second causes of his happiness, Clarke's hypothesis of the fall, it but to carry them forward to the appeared 10 me not improbable great First Canse, and let him be that, although the account of the the object of his admiration and fall has been in general justly worship. considered in the light of an alle.

In the state in which the first gory, yet there has been an error pair are described as being placed, in imagining that it refers to sin in

I sce scarcely a possibility of their general. Upon this supposition it being guilty of sin, of a moral has been found extremely difficult kind; they were exposed to no to account for the introduction of temptation, nor could they well the leading characters of it, as the fall into any sin, except that of serpent, the woman and the for. paying a reverential homage to the bidden fruit. May not the distin. heavenly hosts, those splendid guishing part they act in this creatures of God, who by their drama, be fully explained, by the imposing appearances and useful supposition that the forbidden agency might seem to call for their Jruit was idolatry; that the ser

adoration. We are assured that pent is brought in as the tempter, the first species of idolatry which because it was the earliest emblem sprang up in the world, was the of a false God; that the woman worship of the heavenly bodies, tempted Adam, in the same way

and it was undoubtedly the most as the Israelites were tempted and natural. Next to them, the ser. drawn into idolatry, by having pent was one of the first images of intermarried among their heathen Deity that were employed by neighbours, and as we read that man. Not that the serpent was the wife of Job also employed all deified; for this I am persuaded the Rippancy of her tongue to per, was not originally intended, whats

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ever corruptions may have after- Egyptians, a wise and a learned wardssprung up amongst idolaters. people; therefore, perhaps, the But the serpent, for some reason fruit was said to be of the tree of or other, perhaps for that sagacity knowledge, and among the Egypfor which he has been so much rians it was that the serpent was celebrated by Mr. Bryant in his held in the highest esteem. It was Ophion, and by others before him, the design of the author of this al. and for having a wisdom and in- legory to intimate that amongst telligence no way inferior to the evils which followed in ihe man®," was preferred by the ear. train of this greatest of crimes, the ly Pagans as the proper represen. disrobing man of his innocence and tative of Deity in their temples. bis immortality were the first and The serpent is therefore made the the greatest. first moving instrument of inis. The unwillingness of the man chief.

and his wife to meet the Lord in the The history informs us that he garden after tbey had been guilty tempted Eve. The Jews, and all of so great a sin is now become a the eastern nations, considered proper and a beautiful part of the the tender sex as much inferior in history, and the sewing of fig-leaves understanding to the males : and, together to cover their nakedness, as the running into idolatry was a strongly marks the weak and in strong mark of weakness, the sufficient arguments by which the writer supposes that the woman Israelites were disposed to justify would be first disposed to this their departure from the worship weakness, and would be a proper of the God of their fathers. instrument to lead her husband Without pursuing these thoughts into it. Or, may it represent a farther, or attempting to explain weaker and more ignorant race of the less important features of the mankind, who first abandoned story, I am, Sir, themselves to the worship of idols,

Your obedient Servant, and whose example was danger.

J. W. . ous to the Israelites ?

This supposition on the account An ancient New Year's Gift. of the fall, is much corroborated Islington, Jan. 1st, 1812. by the consideration of the time SIR, when, and the person by whom it I lately met with an old book, was written. It has been sup. entitled “ Priestcraft in Perfection, posed to have been written by or a Detection of the Fraud of in. Moses ; and at a period when the serting and continuing this Clause subject of idolatry seems to have The Church hath power to de. occupied all the thoughts of both crec Rites and Ceremonies and leaders and people among the Authority in Controversies of Jews. The former using all their Faith, in the Twentieth Article of energies to deter the congregation the Articles of the Church of Engfrom idolatry, and the latter ex. land. London. 1710.” In run. hibiting the strongest predilection ning my eye over its contents, I for that vice. They had taken found the following curious note, their love of false gods from the wbich I transcribe without any * Believe this who will,

remarks for the use of your Mis

But be your


cellany. Indeed the article spraks

D. Wherein is the idolatry, may for itself, and your intelligent rea. it please your majesty ? ders may be gratified with its ill- Q. In the cuts resembling sertion. I an Sir, Yours, angels and saints, nay grosser J: EVANS. absurdities-pictures resembling

the BLESSED TRINITY! “ Dr. Nowell, Dean of St.

D. I meant no harm, nor did Paul's, having gotten several fine I think it would offend your macuts and pictures representing the

jesty when I intended it for a New stories and passions of the saints

Yeai's Gift. and martyrs, caused them to be

Q. You must needs be ignorant bound up in a Common Prayer then. Have you forgot our proBook and laid it for the Queen's clamation against images, pictures use in the place where she come and Romish relics in the churches ? monly sat, intending it for a New Was it not read in your Deanery ? Year's Gift to her Majesiy and

D. It was read. thinking to have pleased her fancy majesty assured. I meant therewith. But it had not that harın when I caused the cuts to effect but the contrary, for she be bound up with the service considered how this varied from book. her late injunctions and proclama- Q. You must needs be very igtions against the superstitious use norant to do this after our probi. of images in churches, and taking bition of them. away all such relics of popery. D. It being my ignorance, your When she came to her place at majesty may the better pardon me. St. Paul's, she opened the book

Q. I am sorry for it, yet glad to and perused it and saw the pic, hear it was your ignorance rather tures, but frowned and blushed than your opinion. and then shut it, and calling the

D. Be your majesty assured it verger bad him bring her the old

was my ignorance. book wherein she was formerly Q. If so, Mr. Dean, God grant wont to read. After sermon in.

you his spirit, and more wisdom stead of taking horse, &c. she im. for the future. mediately went into the vestry and D. Amen. I pray, God. applied herself to the Dean ihus :

Q. I pray Mr. Dean bow came Q. Mr. Dean how came it to you by these pictures! Who enpass, that a new service book was graved them? placed on my cushion ?

D. I know not who engraved D. May it please your majesty, them, I bought them. I caused it to be placed there. Q. From whom bought you

Q. Wherefore did you so ? them?

D. To present your majesty D. From a German. with a New Year's Gift,

Q. It is well it was from a Q. You could never present me stranger, had it been any of our with a worse.

subjects we should have questioned D. Why so, Madam?

the matter. Pray let no more of Q. You know I have an aversi. these mistakes or of this kind be on to idolatry, to images and pic- committed within the churches of tures of this kind.

this realm for the future.

D. There shall not.

among the learned, whether the This matter occasioned all the sacred writers of the Old Testa. clergy in and about London, and ment had any expectation of surthe church wardens of each parish viving the stroke of death. There to search the churches and cha. are undoubtedly many passages, pels, and caused them to wash out particularly in the Psalms and in of the walls all paintivgs that the prophets, which seem to intisecmed Romish and idolatrous, and mate that they had this hope, but in lieu thereof suitable terts taken if, after all, their original import out of the holy scriptures to be is so doubtful as to admit of a difwritten. Strype's Annals of Q. ferent construction on principles of Eliz. pages 238, 239."

just criticism, it must be allowed that no great stress can fairly be

laid upon them. Unitarianism in IVales.

So far at least is certain, that Hackney,

the hopes and tears of a future SIR, Dec. 23, 1811. life, made no part of the Mosaic As an instance of the progress code, the sanctions of which were of Unitarianism in Wales, I beg all temporal : yet the law, in the leave to relate a circumstance language of an Apostle, was “the which was mentioned to me a few school.master to bring men to months since by a respectable Christ.” By this introductory clergyman of the established dispensation they were taught the church on the spot. One of his knowledge of the one living and parishioners, and formerly bis very true God - the theopathetic affec. constant hearer, was induced to tions were excited and cultivated; join a Baptist congregation in the a purer morality was enforced, neighbourhood, with whom he and the great duties of justice and continued two or three years and humanity were called into exer. then returned to his parish church. cise. But, if the various texts, On being questioned by the cler- already alluded to as seeming to gyman as to the cause of this point towards a future state, are change, he assured him his senti. capable of being interpreted on ments remained the same as when different principles, it will follow, he joined the Baptists, and had that no sufficient evidence appears their's continued the same also, he from their writings that the Jewisha would never have left them, but worthies had any definite expectathat tatterly the whole congregati. tion respecting it. tion had (to use his own expressi. Here then a great difficulty ocon) “run Unitarians.”

curs, for how can it have happenIf tbis should be deemed worthy ed that whilst the philosophers in a corner of your valuable Reposi. the Heathen world express such tory, its insertion will oblige, extreme anxiety on this moment. Yours respectfully, ous subject, that these eminent S. C. Jews, 'who in common with them,

had their allotted share of afflicti. Hebrews' Hope of a Future State. ons and trials in this life; were

Sep. 22, 1811. alike subject to sickness and' sor. It has been much disputed row, and eventually to death,


should remain so entirely silent? irradiate the mind and cheer the When the author of that affecting desponding heart of the philosophic composition which in strains so sage; but by what doubts and pathetic, on the banks of the Eu. difficulties was he not frequently pbrates, describes the anguish of assailed? How often would the his own mind and that of his com, perplexing inquiry occur—'Who is panions in captivity, driven from this great Being and what is his their country, despoiled of their name? Does he indeed govern property, and bereft of every thing the world? Are men, feeble, they held most dear-in circum. weak, imperfect, worthy of notice?" stances so afflicting, was it nothing 'Does his power extend beyond to them, whether this fleeting life the grave ?' Has he given any were the whole of their existence? intimation that it does, or entered How then shall we account for this into any engagement how he will extraordinary phenomenon? In use it ? Well might solicitude and my own opinion, Mr. Editor, it fear take possession of mens' hearts admits but of one solution : these in such circumstances—“ They eminent persons, Isaiah, Jeremiah looked for help but there was no and others, “ of whom the world man, neither found they any to was not worthy,” had such just comfort them.” conceptions of the Supreme Being, I should be glad, Mr. Editor, were so habituated to look up to if some of your numerous corres. Him in all circumstances, “who pondents would favour us with alone liveth and reigneth” “ from their sentiments on this curious everlasting to everlasting," to put and interesting subject, which cantheir whole trust in God, whom not fail, whatever may be the rethey knew to be " abundant in sult, to shew in a very striking light mercy and truth ;” were so con. the unspeakable value of the pious stantly in the habit of devoting and devout affections, and of those themselves entirely and with such divine dispensations, the Jewish filial confidence to his service, and the Christian, on which they that even in respect to their future principally rest for their support. destiny, although no promise had I remain Sir, your constant been vouchsafed, “ perfect love Reader and well-wisher, had cast out fear." Does the

AN INQUIRER. dutiful child, who has full and intire confidence in the wisdom, the goodness, the affection of a be- Adult Baptism in connection with loved parent, fear

Church Discipline.

to follow wherever he may lead ? Neither

Maidstone. did they fear “ though they should Is it probable that a more oli. walk through the valley of the gible mode can be devised, of disshadow of death.” Contrast with tinguishing between the serious this, the wretched state of mind of professor of christianity and the the forlorn wanderer in polytheis. wavering and unthinking, than tic darkness. Some faint traces in- the use of that rite, which was deed of the footsteps of infinite wis. instituted by Christ himself, as the dom, goodness and power did occa. instrument of setting apart his dis„sionally break through the gloom, to ciples ?

« AnteriorContinua »