« ForrigeFortsæt »
to be necessary to salvation. That such currences the connexions ought not to trifles should estrange from one another, be destroyed; and, in the present inso many branches of one common stance, the preservation of them is family, is an evil which Christianity essentially necessary, to place the Allesurveys with sorrow, and which men of gory in its proper light. liberal minds have attempted to remove.
of these Union PrayerTo accomplish an object so desirable, meetings held in Plymouth, a preacher, Monthly Prayer-meetings have been in connexion with the Wesleyan Meestablished in several towns in this thodists, was requested, about three kingdom, on appointed days; when all, years since, to deliver an address, in a of every sect, who feel themselves dis- place of worship belonging to the Indeposed, have an opportunity of attending pendents. This he undertook ; and in some particular chapel, the other having in the course of his observations places of worship being at that time expatiated at some length on the excelshut. In this manner they proceed in lence of a catholic spirit ; and recomregular rotation throughout the whole. mended those essential truths which all The principal object of these meetings allowed to be fundamental, he concluded is, to bring the pious members of differ- his address in nearly the following lanent communions acquainted with each guage:other ;-to recommend such topics as “ Permit me now to call your attenare best calculated to promote the con- tion to the principles and practice which version of sinners, and the welfare of I have endeavoured to recommend ; the church ;-and finally, to disarm while I place before you an interesting bigotry of its formidable power, or at object, which I will call least to prevent the anti-christian spirit
TRUTH, AN ALLEGORY. of its gloomy empire from extending.
In what light soever we may view “ When Truth, which was a native the influence of bigotry, no man has of the celestial regions, became emever yet had the hardihood openly to bodied, and descended from heaven to avow himself its advocate, unless it visit the habitations of men, it assumed appeared in some imposing shape, which the form of a beautiful cone, Of this concealed its deformity. And we may cone, the base rested on the earth ; charitably hope, that among the diversi- while its summit, rising from an extenties in which the human character ap- sive plain, was buried in the clouds ; pears, we shall search in vain, to find an and on every side it was illuminated individual who would rejoice in behold with rays of the divine glory. The ing its universal establishment.
nations of the earth, struck with a It is scarcely to be supposed, that spectacle so magnificent and splendid, selfishness and bigotry are to be found gazed upon it with astonishment; and among the inhabitants of the celestial being enamoured with its symmetry and regions; or, that there is to be disco- lovely appearance, the more thoughtful vered in these abodes of glory, a single and serious gathered round it from bosom which genuine benevolence does every quarter, by a kind of involuntary not warm. If, therefore, the church impulse. On approaching this singular militant may be considered as emblema- phenomenon, astonishment gave place tical of the church triumphant, nothing to admiration; and this was finally succan be more desirable, with regard to ceeded by: rapture; notwithstanding bigotry, than to promote its excommu. many characters appeared among the nication, if we cannot light up its funeral group, distinguished in their appellapile.
tions by some peculiar features in their In conducting the Union Prayer- natural dispositions. meetings alluded to above, the general “ Amidst this assembly, the Inderule is, for some minister present, who pendents went on one side, the Baptists does not belong to the place of worship on a second, the Quakers on a third, in which they then assemble, to deliver the Episcopalians on à fourth, and the an address on the occasion. Every Methodists on a fifth ; while others stood person knows, that there are times and aloof, suspended between their own inseasons, when a particular representa-credulity, and the charms of that splention of truth will assume an attitude of did object which they were invited to importance, and excite an interest, embrace. which, under other circumstances, it “Pleased with the magnificence which cannot command. Under such con-, operated on their senses, each remained
immoveable in his primitive position, awakened no remorse, soon taught them
with much industry, ingenuity, and care,
“ It is well known, that whatsoever was primitively supplied, retains at approaches nearest to a state of perfec- present but little of its original shape, tion, is most susceptible of a tarnish, consistence, or colour. In other inand is most likely to suffer from the stances, as some features of peculiar effects of violence. In the conflict excellence appeared on the parts of the which took place at the foundation of real cone which had been preserved, this cone, the injuries it received be- but which no art could imitate, several came conspicuous; but this, instead of have been compelled to resort to the causing the contending parties to desist dishonourable expedient, of throwing from committing depredations, which over truth itself a deceitful varnish, no human efforts could repair, only that consistency of colour might appear, stimulated them to renewed exertions, even though it should be purchased at until the cone of truth was divided into the expense of integrity. splinters, and actually rifted from its “ Since this melancholy disaster hapbase to its summit.
pened, a long period has elapsed, during “ On beholding the fatal effects of which the most celebrated artists of every their own indiscretion, each of the parties party have been employed in polishing, determined to preserve the portion that in painting, in burnishing, and in giving had fallen to their lot; and elated with new lustre to their respective cones. success, instead of being overwhelmed But, notwithstanding this waste of time with sorrow at their folly, they bore in and talent, many vacancies still appear triumph to their respectivc friends, such in each, which no ingenuity has hitherto fragments as they had been able to been able to supply. Even the tints of
The impulse of passion, how- colouring exhibit to an observing eye ever, beginning to subside, was soon certain portions of light and shade, followed by reflection ; which, if it which are evidently of artificial origin;
Review.--Prescience of God.
and the more judicious of each party are entertained, that by attempting to seem to concur in opinion, that the im- remove the impediment, an additional perfections of which all are conscious, | injury will be done to the real cone, but which all have not the candour to which may ultimately prevent that reavow, will never be wholly removed, union of all the parts, which is so until the untempered mortar and arti- anxiously and so ardently desired. ficial varnish shall be totally destroyed. “ Under all these circumstances, the Could this desirable object be accom- final opinion of the wise and judicious plished, they seem fully convinced, that seems to be, that, although some conthe protuberances of one part would siderable masses may be entirely reexactly suit the excavations in another; moved, and the different parts of the and that could every thing be replaced, mutilated cone brought nearer to each the cone would once more reassume other than they have been for many that beautiful appearance, with which years, and that by their mutual approxiall were captivated, when it first de- mation, all may perceive in what ways scended from heaven to visit the abode they originally adhered together; yet, of man.
that no proper cement can be procured, “ Influenced by these enlarged and even if all that is artificial could be percomprehensive views, a few liberai spi- fectly extracted. It is also presumed, rits have embraced with joy the antici- that hereafter, the parts of this cone pation of such a desirable event; but will be taken by Almighty power from the difficulties, which make it rather an the present scene; that they will be object of their wishes than their hopes, washed in the water of life; that the appear insurmountable.
They have parts will then be reunited in the plains found, on making inquiry among their of heaven, and placed under the protecfriends and adherents, that the same tion of angelic guards. And, finally, selfish principles, which originally de- that the wise, the virtuous, the pious, stroyed the ccne, are still at work; and and the holy, of every denomination, that multitudes contend, although per- who have manifested a strong attachfectly satisfied they have not the whole, inent to truth, will also be removed to that they possess a much larger share the celestial regions, and placed among than others, and that their private into the angelic throngs. These, though rests forbid them to make the surrender differing from each other in opinion which such a measure requires.
here, will learn wisdom by what they “ But, unhappily, this is not the have suffered ; and, by a happy congreatest difficulty to be encountered. currence in their views, now more comThere is another of superior magnitude, prehensive than they could possibly be which threatens to lay a perpetual em- in time, will take with pleasure a survey bargo on all such vast, but benevolent of the heavenly spectacle in all its designs. When the untempered mortar parts; and, overwhelmed with admirawas first mixed, so cager was every one tion at the harmonious symmetry which to give completion to his cone, that little it every where displays, will gaze upon or no care was taken to avoid those it, and admire its varied beauties with finer particles of dust which floated in renewed raptare for ever.” the atinosphere. These, however, soon affected the organs of vision; and the awful consequence is, that no indi- Review of “ A Letter to the Rev. George vidual has yet been discovered, blessed Burder, Editor of the Evangelical with sight sufficiently acute and pene- Magazine, in answer to Observations trating to discern, on all occasions, where contained in the Magazines of June and the parts of the real cone terminate, and July, 1818, on Dr. Adam Clarke's where the untempered mortar actually Remarks on the Foreknowledge of begins. Many, however, by the assist- God.” By Verax. London, 28. 6d. ance of glasses, have been able to discover, that some of the finer parts of the artificial composition have entered
PRESCIENCE OF GOD. so deeply into the minute recesses of If the length of this article were to be the cone, as to be placed totally beyond estimated by the pages of the pamphlet, the reach of any instrument which which calls our attention to the subject human ingenuity has hitherto invented. of which it treats, we should hardly be And even should such an instrument justified in extending our observations hereafter be found, serious apprehensions beyond the limits of a few paragraphs.
The letter of Verax is, however, but | ing on the foundations of philosophilittle more than a single step by which cal and theological fabrics, those who we ascend an eminence, from whence are interested in the welfare of the we are led to take a survey of one of the buildings take the alarm; when immemost important and interesting objects diately “ the trumpet sounds, and their that can offer itself to the mind of man. legions swarm abroad.” That these are By the question which is agitated in the natural feelings, no man acquainted pamphlet before us, our views are with human nature will attempt to deny. directed, not merely to the examination An edifice, which has required ages to of physical events, but to the origin, raise it to a splendid spectacle, and on progress, and final termination, of hu- which have been employed artists of man actions. These we are led to the most respectable talents, to give it connect with the Prescience of Al- polish and apparent uniformity, we may mighty God; and, consequently, if that naturally suppose, will be zealously mode of connexion against which Ve- defended by all who have found shelter rax writes be fully admitted, we can- within its walls; and, consequently, not but conclude, that the final result every attempt to shew that the foundaof all actions and things, is nothing more tion is not invulnerable, ought to be or less than a necessary effect, produced resisted with the most determined resoby pre-established causes, moving on- lution. ward, in a regular concatenation, from The observations made by Dr. Clarke, the primary mover, God, to the ultimate soon excited the notice of a writer for issues of all, which will be ingulfed in the Evangelical Magazine, who, cometernity.
municating his sentiments to the editor, The primitive occasion of this pam- sent an extract from the Commentary phlet, may be found in several passages for insertion. This, on being introof a much celebrated Commentary, now duced, was immediately followed by publishing, by the Rev. Adam Clarke, a train of remarks; the critic being LL.D. Dr. Clarke has been long determined “ to accompany the poison known to the world as a highly respect- with the antidote, and to make the ed preacher in the Wesleyan Methodist latter so effectual, that the poison connexion ;-as a man of great eru- should be neutralized, and become dition, unwearied application,-and harmless." The animadversions on as one, whose originality of genius is the extract which was sent, first apalways conspicuous in his varied and pear in the Number for June, 1818: voluminous writings.
they were continued in July, and were In the commentary of Dr. Clarke, on intended to be concluded in August; the second chapter of the Acts of the but some circumstances intervening, Apostles, his attention was naturally they were postponed until the month of turned to the subject of the Divine Fore- February, 1819, in which they appear knowledge, or the Prescience of God: to be closed. and, in the investigation of this impor- In the meanwhile, the pamphlet tant but mysterious subject, he has before us, which is signed Verax, made stated his views with the most luminous its appearance; avowedly in behalf precision ; and, as might naturally be of Dr. Clarke's sentiments, and in direct expected from a man of his talents, opposition to those which were making with a degree of originality, which, in their periodical appearance in the numsome respects, deviates from the beaten bers of the Evangelical Magazine. Of track in which polemical divines, and this pamphlet a formal review was pubspeculative philosophers, generally per- lished in the Number for January last; form their march.
and in the following month some addiThe public need not the pen of a tional strictures were inserted, in an Reviewer to inform them, that origi- article which immediately preceded the nality, either of thought or expression, concluding observations on Dr. Clarke's is always viewed with much suspicion, commentary. Such appears to be the and received with a proportionable history of this controversy; if what has degree of caution; and that censure thus far passed before us, may be digniis a tax which every man must pay, fied with this formidable name. either to the bar of criticism, or to Among the various articles, in which the exactions of popular observation, Dr. Clarke has at once given offence to for being eminent. In all questions, the conductors of the Evangelical Mawhich only seem to have a remote bear- | gazine, called the debate into existence, 17
Review.- Prescience of God.
and induced Verax to appear in his earthly analogies. The Almighty God defence, there are two points, in which can have no successive existence. He nearly the whole may be said to be is above the mutations of time; and, compressed into an essence. In the with all his perfections, fully and exclufirst of these, Dr. Clarke states, that sively“ inhabiteth eternity.” As his " The foreknowledge of God is never existence had no commencement, so he spoken of in reference to himself, but cannot be farther removed from it in in reference to us ; that in him, pro- any one period of his being, according perly, there is neither foreknowledge to our ideas of periods, than he is at nor afterknowledge; that omniscience, another ; he can therefore make no ador the power to know all things, is an vances in age ; and consequently, he is attribute of God, and exists in him, as not older to-day ihan he was yesterday; omnipotence, or the power to do ali and, on the same principle, he is not things.” The second is, *" That God's younger to-day than he will be toomniscience does not imply in it a ne- morrow. Hence, as the progressions of cessity to know all things;" or, to use time can have no application to him, his own words, “ That although God is nothing can be future, and nothing can omniscient, he is not obliged in conse- be past; so far as what we denominate quence of this, to know all that he can past and future are viewed in reference know, any more than he is obliged, be- to himself alone. Whatever we denocause he is omnipotent, to do all that minate past, must certainly be considerhe can do."
ed as having been once present, though On the former of these points, the it now is not; and what we call future, critic in the Magazine declares, that we must conclude to be something that “ It is difficult to conjecture what the has not yet arrived. In this light all commentator means, by asserting that such events and actions must be conthe foreknowledge of God is never sidered with regard to ourselves; spoken of in reference to himself, but such, we cannot doubt, that the Alalways in reference to us, for it is un-mighty beholds them. The terms afterdeniable, that this attribute is, in the knowledge and foreknowledge, are sacred scriptures, applied to God as ex- therefore highly proper in relation to us; pressly as any other of the divine per- but to a Being, with whom nothing can fections.” (p. 235.) This remark ap- be either past or future, terms afterpears to us exceedingly strange. The knowledge and foreknowledge are toquestion is not, whether the attribute tally inapplicable. To him, it is only which we denominate foreknowledge is perfect or simple knowledge, from which applicable to God, but whether the term the relative ideas of after and fore, or foreknowledge, by which it is expressed, past and future, are necessarily excan, when applied to Deity, convey an cluded. It is on this ground that Dr. adequate idea.
Of the attribute itself, Clarke has established his position, and Dr. Clarke entertains no doubt; but it appears perfectly tenable, and inagainst the expression he has some volved in no obscurity, although the weighty objections. Unfortunately, how- writer of the article in the Evangelical ever, the writer in the Magazine, regard- Magazine says, “ it is difficult to conless of these distinctions, proceeds with jecture what this commentator means.” his remarks, as though the attribute Why this position of Dr. Clarke itself, and the term by which that attri- should be thought to deny an attribute bute is usually expressed, were so inse- of Deity, the writer of this critique is parably connected together, that the at as great a loss to conceive, as the doubts entertained respecting the term, critic in the Evangelical Magazine necessarily involved the attribute also; could possibly be, to conjecture Dr. and as though they must inevitably Clarke's meaning. Before any inference stand or fall together. If this distinc- could be drawn, which would charge on tion, which Dr. Clarke had evidently in the learned commentator the denial of a view, had not been overlooked, no in- divine attribute, the critic should have considerable portion of the animadver- proved, that the term foreknowledge, as sions which have been made, might distinguished from simple knowledge, have been wholly spared.
when exclusively applied to the divine Whoever contemplates the nature Being, is an attribute essential to his and mode of the Divine existence, must nature. If this can be done, we conbe fully convinced, that we cannot ceive it must be by including successive reason respecting God from any finite or duration in the mode in which God No. 1. VOL. I.