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of possibility, by which it can be di- | may be admitted to coexist, without minished. The knowledge of God creating any confusion in our ideas. must always include certainty in its Although it were admitted, that God own nature, whether the action or foresees how every event or action event be considered as contingent or will happen, it does not thence follow, necessary.
that he foresees how it must happen; But the questions which have been because the same infinite discernment agitated, do not terminate with the that perceives how it will happen, still simple inquiry, whether the certainty of perceives with equal clearness, that it the divine knowledge, necessarily im- may happen otherwise. The possibility plies certainty in the action or event, of its happening otherwise, is not which is known to infinite discernment. therefore destroyed, even by the supWe are told, that “ Arminianism re- position that he discerns it will not quires some effort, either to get rid of otherwise happen. And consequently, foreknowledge, or to show that it does although the divine knowledge always not involve all the consequences of includes certainty in its own nature, Calvinistic decrees." (Evan. Mag. this does not necessarily imply cerp. 49.) Such is the task assigned to tainty in the event. Certainty of knowall
, who hesitate to adopt the conclu- ledge, is therefore perfectly consistent sions which are presumed to flow from with uncertainty in the ultimate issue an admission of the foreknowledge of of all contingent actions. God.
There is no mode of reasoning with Among the methods which have which we are acquainted, that will been adopted, to identify, in their enable us to perceive, how must happen, effects and consequences, the decrees can be inferred from will happen. Will and foreknowledge of God, there is happen, always leaves the possibility of scarcely one which assumes a more an action or event happening otherplausible or imposing aspect, than the wise, within the reach of possibility; following. It has frequently been as- and while this latter possibility reserted, that “if the Almighty God fore- mains, we are at a loss to conceive
an event or action, then that how must happen can ever make its apevent or action must happen in the pearance with any degree of consistmanner, time, and place, in which it is ency. God sees all actions and events foreseen; otherwise his foreknowledge, as they really are. If, therefore, as by being contradicted by fact, will be we have already attempted to prove, found to be erroneous.” To this asser- he has made some actions and events tion we would reply, that with regard contingent, he must view them as to contingent actions or events, no ne- such; and consequently, while these cessity appears that this must be the actions and events retain their con
If God had foreseen that any tingent nature, no knowledge how action or event must thus happen, then they will terminate, can render it abthe conclusion would have been inevit-solutely impossible for them to termiable ; but this is not included in the nato otherwise. To derive must happen, proposition. The divine discernment from will happen, is to attempt an inperceives how an event or action will ference which the premises will not happen; but how it can be inferred support. It is to introduce a species from hence, that therefore it must so of certainty, which the premises do happen, is founded upon a connection not include, and to preclude the simbetween will and must, which we have ple possibility, that an event or action yet to learn.
may happen agreeably to the essence The same Almighty Being, who per- of its own nature. Hence, as the preceives how an event or action will hap- science of God does not necessarily pen, foresees it, with respect to all presuppose the certainty of all these contingencies, under the possibility actions and events which are disthat it may not so happen; and his dis- cerned, this prescience is perfectly cernment of this possibility, that it may consistent with the volitions of moral not thus happen, is not less certain, agents, even upon the supposition that than his discernment that it will hap- human actions are contingent. pen as he foresees it. The discern- The critic in the Evangelical Magament how it will happen, and how it zine, p. 49, assuming this fact, which may happen, are equally clear in the we have dared to question, has made eye of infinite knowledge; and both the following observation. “If God
foresees every thought, temper, word, Verax is but little more than a single or action of men, from all eternity, step by which we ascend an eminence, then all things are certain, and no de- from whence we are led to take a surcree can make them more so.” On vey of one of the most important and what principle this conclusion is interesting objects, that can offer itself founded, we confess ourselves at a to the mind of man.” It was not our loss to determine, unless it be that intention however, to lose sight altowhich we have presumed to contro-gether of the pamphlet which first exvert, and which, if our arguments are cited our attention. Many of the conclusive, we have proved to be fal- subjects to which we have adverted, lacious. Why a conclusion of so are introduced and discussed by the much moment as that which we have author, in whose pages they appear in just quoted, namely, “ then all things varied lights. But as this article is are certain, and no decree can make already extended to a length, which them more so," should be permitted nothing but the momentous nature of to rest on nothing but bare assertion, the realities brought under examinawe can scarcely conceive. It seems tion, can justify, we shall forbear to to add confirmation to the truth of our select from his pamphlet any passages previous observations, respecting the for animadversion; and for such quocertainty of knowledge, and the certain- tations the reason will be less impety and uncertainty of events.
rious, since the price, being no more It is by blending together the cer- than two shillings and sixpence, tainty of every event and action, with places it within the reach of most perthe certainty of the divine foreknow- sons who feel an interest in the conledge of them, that so many difficul- troversy. ties appear to have been generated, Of its aggregate importance, it will respecting this interesting and mo- be sufficient to observe; that in the mentous question. But these dis- Evangelical Magazine, it has undertinct certainties, have no necessary gone an examination in the pages of connection with each other. Let us two successive numbers; which we now suppose, that some actions and scarcely suppose would have been the events are certain, and that others are case, if the writer of the article had equally uncertain. There can be no- not thought it someway deserving his thing contradictory in admitting that notice. Being written in favour of God could give existence to beings, Dr. Clarke's sentiments, and avowedly capable of actions which should issue in opposition to the animadversions in such events ; nor in allowing that his which appeared on those sentiments infinite discernment should foresee the in the Evangelical Magazine, it is not result of both. Under these circum- to be expected, that Verax should stances, nothing can be more evident, have found in its pages the most hosthan that God must see all as they ac- pitable treatment. To the argumentatually are; namely, some as certain, tive parts of his pamphlet, the writer and others as uncertain. But his seems to have paid a scrupulous atknowledge neither gives certainty to tention; but it is highly probable, the er, nor uncertainty to the that many besides Verax, will think latter. Simple discernment must his reasonings are not wholly concluleave things exactly as they would sive. have been, independently of it. It Of the spirit in which Verax apcannot alter the nature of an event, pears to have written, the critic makes much less can it furnish evidence, much complaint; and we have no that those events and actions are cer- doubt that all his judicious friends tain, which God had made contingent. would rejoice to find that the charge And consequently, even though we was unfounded.
There, are very few were to allow that “God foresees occasions in which the caustics of every thought, temper, word, or action acrimony will not ultimately injure of men, from all eternity,” it will by the cause they were intended to serve. no means follow, that “ then all things The world is too much enlightened to are certain ;” much less can it be in transfer any additional weight to arferred, “ that no decree can make gument, either from the severity of them more so.”
that language in which it is delivered, We have said in the commence- or from any corrosive expletives with ment of this article, that “the letter of which it may be accompanied. Who
Verax is, the writer of this article and his grace. I trust he has given knows nothing: but should our pages you to know his name; but I thought meet his eye, these hints may be ser- I perceived, when I was with you, the viceable to him on some future oc- disadvantages of your situation and casion.
connections, in a place which abounds (To be concluded in our next.) with temptations, and is nearly des
titute of the means that are greatly
useful in building up a believer in his LETTER OF THE LATE REV. JOHN NEW, most holy faith. We had not then an TON, OF OLNEY, TO HIS FRIEND IN
opportunity for free conversation, and I
deferred it in hopes of seeing you soon [Never before published.]
at Olney. But I trust the Lord has As this letter was addressed to a near been your teacher, and sanctified the relative of the Lady by whom we have scenes you have passed through since been favoured with a copy, she wishes, we parted, and especially your present from motives of delicacy, that the indisposition; so that now you are name may be suppressed.
waiting with resignation and peace, “ DEAR SIR,
whatever it shall be his good pleasure “ How is it that our intercourse has to appoint. been broken off? When I left Li- If this is the case, you are happy verpool, you gave me hopes that I indeed ; and though we should meet should either see or hear from you no more in the present world, we shall
I continued waiting till I have a glorious meeting, when we heard you were gone to Montserrat, join the general assembly of the and I believe it was long after your redeemed before the throne. They return before I knew of your arrival. are now singing to the praise of the To be plain; from your long-continued Lamb that was slain, who loved them, silence, I was afraid you had dropped and washed them from their sins in the correspondence from choice. I his own blood. They are now admiracknowledge the sense of our pasting his sovereign grace, that he was friendship should have constrained me pleased to pluck them as brands out at all events to write ; but, then, a of the fire, and to make known to continued round of business, which them his great salvation, at a time makes it difficult to answer the letters when they were altogether careless I receive, has prevented me from time about it, and insensible of their danto time. I had a letter a few days ger. And surely you and I, if persince from Mr. Walley, (I believe the mitted to join them, shall have abunonly one I have had from Liverpool dant reason to sing and to admire for a year and a half past,) in which he with them. You know what a wretch mentions you, and informs me that I was; how I trampled upon God's you are very ill. This rouses me to commands, abused his patience, and break through forms, and to write despised his gospel; yet I obtained immediately
mercy. You, likewise, my friend, Indeed, my dear friend, I have not were once a stranger to the love of forgotten you, nor is my regard aba- Jesus, and the power of his blood. I ted. I remember with pleasure the hope you can now say, his name is agreeable conversations we have had precious, and that, in love to your together, and have often rejoiced in soul, he has cast all your sins behind the hopes that they were not unprofit- his back; and that he has given you able. Mr. Walley says, he under that peace in the paths of holiness and stands that you are comfortable with faith, which you were utterly unacrespect to the views you have of a quainted with when you walked in the better world. This is good news way of your own heart. indeed. May I soon see it confirmed I pray for the restoration of your under your own hand, if you are able health, and that you may yet live to to write. Mrs. Newton and myself visit us here again, if it is the Lord's are both anxious to hear of you ; and will. I love you too well, to think of I hope we shall both pray, that the parting with you without concern. Lord Jesus may be pleased to confirm But may we be always resigned to his you in the faith, which is his own gift, appointments. If he is pleased to and to open to you increasing and take you to himself, and to exchange transforming discoveries of his glory your present state of conflict, for a
mansion in his kingdom, the loss to For my own affairs, I am in a fair your friends will be your unspeakable way of becoming as eminent as Thogain. I pray, threefore, that his name mas a Kempis, or John Bunyan; and may be glorified in you, whether by you may expect, henceforth, to see my life or by death; that you may be sup- birth-day inserted among the wonderported, while here, by the sweet con- ful events in the Poor Robin's and solations of his Spirit; be enabled to Aberdeen Almanacks, along with the commit all your concerns into his faith- Black Monday, and the Battle of Bothful bands; and that, when the hour of well Bridge. My Lord Glencairn, and dismission shall arrive, you may de- the Dean of Faculty, Mr. H. Erskine, part, like Simeon, rejoicing in his sal- have taken me under their wing; and, vation; and that the present dispensa- in all probability, I shall soon be the tion, whatever may be the event, may tenth worthy, and the eighth wise be sanctified to all your family. man of the world. Through my Lord's
Mrs. Newton presents her affection- influence, it is inserted in the records ate respects to you and Mrs. - - We of the Caledonian Hunt, that they sympathize with her, and with all your universally, one and all, subscribe friends, and beg to be remembered for the second edition. My subscripsuitably to them. I shall hope to tion-bills come out to-morrow, and hear from, or of, you soon. May the you shall have some of them next Lord Jesus, the good Shepherd, be post.— I have met in Mr. Dalrymple,
We are still favoured with of Orangefield, what Solomon emphahealth and peace; and find Olney in tically calls, “ a friend that sticketh all respects a comfortable settlement. closer than a brother.” The warmth - Believe me to be, dear Sir, your with which he interests himself in my affectionate and obliged friend and affairs, is of the same enthusiastic servant,
kind, which you, Mr. Aiken, and the JOHN NEWTON. few patrons that took notice of my Olney, the 31st August, 1769.
earlier poetic days, showed for the poor unlucky devil of a poet.
I always remember Mrs. Hamilton and Miss Kennedy in my poetic pray
ers; but you both in prose and verse. Sir,
May cauld ne'er catch you, but a-hap; The following letter of Burns, the
Nor hunger, but in Plenty's lap. illustrious Scottish bard, has recently
Amen! come into my possession. It has
Robert BURNS. never been printed ; and if you think
Edinbro. 7th Dec. 1786. it will at all amuse the readers of the Imperial Magazine, it is at your service. Your's, &c.
MUNGO PARK. Liverpool, May 12th, 1819.
With the exception of such as fill To Colonel Montgomery, Coilsfield, by exalted stations on the great theatre Kilmarnock.
of the world, there are few names beHonored Sir,
fore the public, which have excited a I have paid every attention to your more general interest, than that of commands, but can only say that, this extraordinary, but we fear, unforwhich perhaps you will have heard tunate traveller. During a long seabefore this reach you, that Muirkirk son, although no accounts had been lands were bought by a John Gordon, transmitted from him, some faint hopes W. S. but for whom I know not; were cherished of his safety, even Mauchlands, Haugh Miln, &c. by a while serious doubts were occasionally Frederick Fotheringham, supposed entertained of his being no more. In to be for Ballochmyle Laird ; and formation at length communicated Adamhill and Shawood were bought tidings of his death; accompanied for Oswald's folks. This is so imper- with circumstances, which gave to the fect an account, and will be so late melancholy event the fullest confirmaere it reach you, that were it not to tion. Subsequent accounts have tenddischarge my conscience, I would not ed to corroborate the report, which we trouble you with this ; but after all think, every one would rejoice in findmy diligence, I could make it no sooner ing a satisfactory reason to disbelieve. nor better.
How far the following particulars may
TO THE EDITOR OF THE IMPERIAL
A NOBLE INSTANCE OF DIGNIFIED
be deserving of credit, we take not bouring under a severe indisposition. upon us to state.
They seem better He had, however, formed a resolution calculated to awaken our hopes, than to make his way to Tombuctoo. If he to suppress our fears ; and rather give should determine to persevere, and us an opportunity of believing it pos- should finally succeed in his attempt, sible that he may be still alive, than we may hereafter expect some further furnishing any convincing evidence in accounts, which will either confirm his favour of the fact.
present statement, respecting Mungo A gentleman of Liverpool, who has Park, or again throw us back on that a brother residing at Juddah, on the destiny which, we have too much reaRed Sea, has lately received from him son to fear, has overtaken this entera letter, dated December 13th, 1818, prising traveller. in which, on the authority of another, it is asserted that Mungo Park is still alive.
“ On my landing at Juddah," he observes, a place where I did not Fermanagh Assizes, Ireland. expect to hear an English word, I was The only trial that excited much of accosted by a man in the complete the public attention, at these assizes, costume of the country, with, was that of Patrick Durnim, who stood you an Englishman, Sir ? My answer indicted for the murder of Andrew being of course in the affirmative, ap- Somerville, in July last. This trial peared to give him pleasure beyond acquired much interest, from a most expression. Thanks and praises to atrocious effort to deprive the prisoner God,' he exclaimed, 'I once more of his right to a fair and impartial hear an English tongue, which I have trial. The prisoner was a Catholic, not done for fourteen years before.?" the deceased an Orangeman. To sus
It appears, that the name of this tain the indictment, the prosecutor stranger is Nathaniel Pearce, a native had entirely failed to make out a case of this country, who was left behind amounting even to manslaughter. In by Lord Valentia, and who has been point of law, it was clearly a case of mentioned by Mr. Salt, in the account justifiable homicide ; and when the of his travels in Abyssinia. Pearce, counsel for the crown were about to it seems, has spent the fourteen years close, a person named Alex. Aiken, a of his singular exile in Abyssinia, dur- yeomanry officer, and master of an ing which period he has been princi- Orange lodge, stepped upon the table, pally in the service of the various to offer testimony of what he was chiefs of the country. His own ac- pleased to call the prisoner's confescount is stated to be both amusing and sion, saying, that he had told him deeply interesting. According to his that he (the prisoner) “ had murdered declaration, Mungo Park is still in ex- the deceased.” istence; and actually resides in the The learned Judge (Mr. Serjeant city of Tombuctoo, where he is de- Joy) here interposed.
He first comtained by the chief. He is not, how- manded the witness to be silent. He ever, kept in custody from any princi- then rose from his seat on the bench, ple of hostility, but from their know- and warmly addressed Mr. Aiken to ledge of his value for his skill in sur- the following effect:gery and astronomy. By the people, Sir,- In the evidence you have Pearce says, he is almost idolized. given on this trial, you have solemnly They view him as an angel sent down sworn that you are a perfectly disinfrom heaven to administer to their terested witness; whereas to my wants. He is anxious to make his es- knowledge, both your words and accape, but finds it impossible. “ What” tions have evinced the contrary. On say the people, “ do you think we are my coming into Court this morning, so foolish, as to part with so invaluable you, well knowing that the prisoner a treasure? If you go away, where was to take his trial at its sitting, for are we to find another, possessing so a capital offence, and that the penalty much knowledge, or who will do us of his conviction would be the forfeitso much good?”
ure of his life: you Sir, fully apprised Pearce, at the time when he com- of this, in a manner perfectly intellimunicated this information, was un- gible to me, and for an object which well, and had for some time been la-li could not misunderstand, endea