Imatges de pàgina
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Analysis of the Idea of Pleasure. be necessary, if not to cause, at be fitted to so many different situ. least to heighten ideas of pleasure? ations? But suppose pleasure the and may not those painful sensa. result of a comparison of sensa. tions in consequence of being as. Lions, and every difficulty vanishes. sociated through indefinite time, I shall now endeavour to analyse with that pleasure of which they one of our pleasurable emotions, will be found the constant fore- that it may be seen how the pherunners, come ultimately

ultimately to numena correspond with this the. change their character, in the ory; let it be that of eating strawmind of the intelligent being ; so berries ; and here I think it as to make pleasure the neces- undeniable, Ist, That were we to sary result of every possible im. eat nothing but strawberries, we prossion?

should not have that pleasure in This hypothesis may be thrown eating them which we now have : into a more tangible shape, in the —and 2d. That were we to eat following proposition and corol- them without intermission, the un. laries.

ceasing act of eating strawberrics Prop. Pleasure is the result of would become, like that of breath. a comparison of sensations. ing the air, indifferent. From

It cannot be doubled that there hence it follows, that the pleasure are many impressions and states of eating strawberries is purely the of existence, which would cause result of a comparison, from the pleasure to some and pain to others; Ist instance, beriveern the flavour for example, a piece of jerk beef, of this fruit and that of otheredible or an ill-cured herring, is a lux. substances; from the 2d, between nry to a half-lamished savage; our state when eating, and that of a whilst to a full.ted citizen, it previous state of hunger. No would operate rather as an emetic. doubt, pleasures arising from other To a dethroned nioparch, the state sources, may sometimes constitute of a private genuleman would be a part of the pleasure now under one of galling degradation; whilst consideration, for example, if by thousands setting out in life, we have been in ihe practice of it is regarded as the enviable re. eating strawberries with an esteem. ward of unweariçd exertions, and ed friend, or in the light and the ne plus vltra of human felicity. agrecable society of ladies, or in The supposition of the absolute na. the midst of a delightful landscape; ture of pleasure, seems irreconcil. the pleasure resulting from these able with these facts, as also with causes, may be afterwards con. the universality of its existence: tinued to the simple act of eating, in all climates sentient beings en- with which they were previously joy pleasure; man, in particular, associated; but as all complex through all the states of society, emotions may be reduced to simfrom the most barbarous to the ple ones, it will be sufficient to most civilized, through all the consider matters in the simplest ranks of society, from the prince point of view. By the way, the to the peasant ; and through all action of brcathing mentioned the stages of individual existence, above, is a corroboration of this from the infant to the hoary eden hypothesis; we breathe incessantly, tulous. Is it conceivable how an unconscious of pleasure; but toa absolute, positive something, can person recovering from a severe

attack of asthma, the pleasure of stant forerunners, will come ultieasy respiration is unspeakable. mately to change their character

These considerations, I confess, in the mind of the intelligent being, appear to me, to prove the pro- so as to make pleasure the necesposition ; but it will be easy, no sary result of every possible indoubt, for him to whom they do pression. not come with convincing evidence, In this corollary, without assuto point out that pleasurable emo. ming sensation as a certain passport tion, which is either not clearly to endless existence, it is simply referable to contrast,

or which maintained, that where indewould exist at all, had no other finite duration is extended to impression, than that from which a sentient being, capable of recol. it proceeds, been ever known. lecting its emotions and of explor

Cor. 1st. The pains of the sen. ing their causes; pleasure will tient creation are necessary in tend ultimately to be the result of order to produce ideas of pleasure. all its impressions.

This, like all other corollaries, This, I confess, does not appear can stand upon no other demon. to me, to be beyond the power of stration than that which establish. the associating principle, but raes its proposition, and is to acquit ther to be its natural effect, con. itself to the understanding, simply sidering that unless the pains have by a comparison between its own place, the pleasures will not fol. terms and that of its principal. It low; it reconciles the present may be proper to remark, however, motley appearance of things with that the production of pleasure in the attributes of infinite goodness this instance is purely mechani. and power in the Supreme Being; cal, requiring no exertion of intel. and in the means which he adopts lect, and in fact little else than for procuring the happy result, that the subject should be a sen. he exhitits himself as a wise and tient being; neither does it infer designing agent, as much as in any a future existence. But where a part of the animal or vegetable cause of pain is so violent as to economy. Resignation will then produce dismemberment or de- deserve the name of rational, and struction, it would scem either to the phrase of " seeing every thing point to a future state of existence, in God, and God in every thing,' where it may produce its benefic instead of an unmeaning ebullition cial effect; or to impugn the in. of over-heated devotion, may be finite power of Deity; for if this the predicate of a state future be established, I hold his infinite indeed, yet possible, if not cera benevolence necessarily inferred, tain.

ZERO. ' and of course, whatever militates

Glasgow, against his infinite benevolence is Jan. 10, 1812. conclusive against his omnipo. tence.

Theological Query. Cor. 2d. The pains of the in. SIR, telligent creation, in consequence Allow me to submit the follow. of being associated, through inde. ing query to your theological corfinite time, with those pleasures of respondents of every denominawhich they will be found the con• tion :-Is it to be considered as a VOL, VII.

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The Zeal of Unitarians not ill directed. suade myself, with more than suf. Nay, I even grant that they are ficient; not with zeal and bold. much more dependent on our ness beyond what the case requires common faith than many may be and Christianity approves. If these able to discover or willing to cons tenets be corruptions of the gospel, cede. However, what Mr. Burns and whether they are, we must himself has said, and truly said, severally judge for ourselves, it concerning the moral feelings and becomes our duty to expose them views and attainments of some on with as much firmness of purpose whom he animadverts, might have as calmness and candour of dis- satisfied him that the nature of reposition.

ligious practice is not unrelated to But the author of the Inquiry, systems of opinions. Surely, for &c. complains that when the indivi- example, our “ esteem for the duals and societies alluded to attack moral character of God" must be these doctrines, it is “ only to set affected by the light in which we up other tenets respecting them in behold his government and attri. their stead.” That is, in different butés. And it should be considerand perhaps correcter' language, ed that those Christians whose error is combated, in order that sentiments are most remote from truth may be established: it is established and prevailing creeds, attempted to renove the additions are not the least disposed, on to the building, for the sake of ex- principle, to recognize all as their hibiting the fabric itself in its na- fellow believers who acknowledge tive strength and beauty. What the Messiahship of Jesus. is there unnatural in this process, While, therefore, the first obor censurable in these efforts ? In ject of zeal should be the diffuthe mouths of many persons, it is sion of those “ fundamental" a complaint against those who are truths, whence" a godly, righteous said to subvert the belief of others, and sober life” immediately arises, that they have none of their own I see not, Sir, why the enlightened to offer in its room.' Mr. Burns is, Christian should be called to opjustly enough, of the contrary sen. pose the zeal of different classes timent: and you will wonder, Sir, of believers for what some may that admitting the fact, he makes take to be merely matters of specu. it the ground of an accusation ; the lation. For the fact that those iather as the simplicity of the principles influence the minds and creed of those to whom he refers, ihe conduct of men, I appeal once is discerned the moment that cer- more to this very pamphlet of Mr. tain tenets by which it has been Burns'. Without dispute, howobscured, are seen to be unauthor- ever, it was particularly needless izerd appendages to the Christian for the author to enter his careat doctrine.

against what he regards as the ill. I agree with him, that the tem- directed zeal of the Socinian ; as per, the conduct, the character of I question whether there be a ibe gospel are every thing: and I single Socinian within his majesty's own with gratitude and pleasure dominions. that these do not belong exclu.

I am, Sir, sively to any one denomination of Your constant reader, &c. the professors of Christianity.

N.

Dr. Nic. Gibbon's 6 Socinian But the most curious applicaPopery."

tion of the Popery-charge is to be Sir,

found in Richard Baxter's Life of For two centuries after the Re- himself, who represenis himself as formation in England, the charge discovering that strange compound, of Popery was bandied from one (lusus theologiæ,) a Socinian-Pato another, amongst our sects. pist : I extract

his words as The puritans accused the high. follows:-church party of it, and they re “ While I lodged at the Lord torted it: it was a watch-word Broghill's, a certain person was with the Nonconformists in the importunate to speak with me, civil wars, and Dr. South wiltily, Dr. Nic. Gibbun : who shuiting but somewhat malignanıly, re. the doors on us that there might presents thein in alliance with Pa. be no witnesses, drew forth a pists against the monarchy and scheme of theology, and told me church of England.

how long a journey he had once taken towards me, and engaged

me to hear him patiently open to * South pursues this subject in the me his scheme, which he said Ist sermon of his cth vol. on The fatal was the very thing that I had Infiuence of Words and Names falsely been long groping after; and con, applied. In a short passage, which it may be worth while to quote, he repre. tained the only terms and method sents the Popish and Protestant Dissent- to resolve all doubts, whatever ers of the 17th century, more sociable in divinity, and unite all Chris. than history, I fear, will warrant:“ If these two parties are so extremely tians through the world: and there contrary, as they pretend to be, what is was none of them printed but what the cause now-a-days that none associate, he kept himself, and be commuaccompany and visit one another with that nicated them only to such as were arity with which the Romanists visit the prepared, which he thought I was, Nonconformists, and the Nonconformists because I was 1. Searching, 2. them? So that it is generally observed in Impartial, and 3. A lover of methe country, that none are so gracinus and thod. I thankı him and heard him Sp sweet upon one another as the rankost Papists and the most noted fanatics."

above an hour in silence, and Sermons vi. 22. after two or ibree days talk with It appears from Baxter, that South himself narrowly escaped being puritan- go no further, but cried, The Lord be ized. This curious circumstance is re- merciful to our infirmities, and so came corded in connection with another not down. But about a month after, they less curious, which the historian of him- were resolved yet, that Mr. S. should self has an evident pleasure in relating. preach the same sermon before the king

“ About that time, Bishop Morley and not lose his expected applause : and having preferred a young man, named preach it he did, little more than half an Mr. S- (orator of the University of hour, with no admiration at all of the Oxford, a fluent, witty salyrist, and one hearers : and for his encouragement the that was sometime motioned to me to le my sermon was printed. And when it was curate at Kidderminster ;) this man being printed, many desired to see what words household chaplain to the Lord Chan- they were that he was stopped at the first cellor, was appointed to preach before time : and they found in the printed the king; where the crowd had high copy all that he had said first, and one expectations of some vehement satyr: of the next passages which he was to but when he had preached a quarter of have delivered, was against me for my an hour, he was utterly at a loss, and so Holy Commonwealth." -Baxter's Lisé. unable to recollect himself, that he could B. I. pt, 2. § 267.

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Unitarians in Transylvania, proof of ignorance, or of the thority Mr. Adam gets bis intelli. closest and most mature investio gence concerning the Unitarians gation, that the Athenians of old in Transylvania, but, from the erected an altar to the “ UNKNOWN nature and publicity of his work, GOD?''

A. Z. it is reasonable to consider his ac.

count of them as being correct : I Unitarians in Transylvania. therefore, draw the following con

West Ham, Esser, clusions from it.
Sir,

Jan. 2, 1812. 1. That these Unitarians are To such as are acquainted with the largest body of Christians of ecclesiastical history, it is well thuir sentiment which we know of, known that the Unitariáns of Po. as no other state in Europe can land, afier their cruel expulsion furnish upwards of 160 congregafrom that country in 1661, did, ma- tions which openly profess the ny of them, settle in Transylvania, great doctrine of the Divine Unity. where their doctrine had been 2. That they have a civil estolerated from about the year tablishment, or, at least, a very 1563. Their numbers, circum- liberal toleration of their religion, stances and doctrine have been as Mr. Narkos is styled “ Profess. from that period, very little known. or of the Unitariun College of I have lately met with a work Clausenburg”. I believe that this called “ The Religious World circumstance cannot be paralleled Displayed, &c. by the Rev. Ro- in the Christian world. bert Adam, B. A. Oxford; Min 3. That from their long settlenister of the Episcopal congregati. ment and present numbers and on, Blackfriars Wynd, Edinburgh, privileges, they have some com. &c.In the second vol. of this mon form of ecclesiastical govern. work, p. 174, this author says ment and discipline, which unites that “An abstract of ibe faith and them as a body, or denominati. principles of the Unitarians of on. Transylvania was published in 1787, with permission of their looked further into Mr. Adam's work, and

* Since writing the above, I have government, by Professor Markos, in vol. ii p. 185, says

“ Transylvania of the Unitarian College of Clau. is the only country in which they (Unitasenburg".

rians are not only to erated, but have In a note, at the bottom of the

their rights aná privileges secured by page, we are inform: d that “this establishment.

express laws, and possess a sort of

Ther church governwork of Professor Marki s is en. ment, in that country, consists of one titled Summa Universæ Chris. superintendent and two consistories. The tianæ sccund um Unitarios in usum laymen, partly of the inspectors or su

higher consistory is composed partly of Auditorum concinnata et edita; perintendents special of the eight dioceses, Cum Privilegio S. C. R. A. Maj. into which the 104 Unitarian churches Claudiopoli Typis Collegii Refore in that country are d.vided. matorum, 1787."

“It appoints persons for all the livings Mr. Adam also says that, the consistory, to which the church disci

and receives reports from the inferior Unitarians in Transylvania have pline is intrusted. The superintendent long had separate congregations, general presides in the inferior consistory, and have upwards of 160 at this the higher. Matrimonial affairs, &c;

but occupies orly the second place in day. I know not from wbal au, arc under the jurisdiction of these courts."

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