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Christineby excited the of a logical dessem at
it is actually gibbeted in public esteem ; | cannot posses infinite prescience, because then, and not till then, can he plead a right 1. Actual existence is the only legitimate to heap upon it the indignities with which source of knowledge; and knowledge, even he has assailed it.
| in the divine mind, cannot exceed the But our author will probably challenge | limits of positive existence. 2. Future us, as he has done the fictitious opponent events, contingent in re, cannot be objects which he has introduced in his prefatory | of certain prescience. 3. The foreknowdialogue, to produce any sentiment or ledge of moral actions is inconsistent with phrase by which an improper spirit has the moral probation of man. 4. The been manifested; we will therefore beg to doctrine is also irreconcilable with the refer him to a few paragraphs in his vo. moral agency of God, with his eternal exlume, observing, that it is not against par- | istence, and his righteous government of the ticular sentiments or phrases merely, but world. against the general tone and temper of his | The first position is thus stated production, that our objection lies.
" It is, I presume, agreed on by all parties, that " It (the doctrine of an infinite prescience) is a
in the order of nature, the knowledge of any fact species of theological vermin that has infested the
or event must always be subsequent to its occur.
| rence ; because the fact or event itself must supsanctuary of the Christian church for many ages ; the worshippers of Jesus had even learned to vene
port the knowledge of its existence. It is true,
indeed, that knowledge must always imply the rate these boary depredators As the hereditary and unalienable tenants of the mansion so that when
actual existence of an intelligent being, 'who is
the possessor of that knowledge; and it is equally any ; person has begun to rid the house of God of
true, that the existence of knowledge must always these nocturnal enemies, by entangling them in the
demonstrate the actual existence of the object of snares of his arguments, or cominitting them at
that knowledge. But we read of foreknowledge once to the faithful jaws of a logical deduction, he
and we believe in the existence of foreknowledge has thereby excited the sympathies of the whole
and especially we believe that the Deity has a Christian world, and drawn down upon his luck.
prescience of future events. How then is the sub. less head a larger quantity of popular indigna.
ject of foreknowledge to be understood, so as to tion than did the cruel and sanguinary Herod,
be in unison with the sentiment at the beginuing when he massacred the babes of Bethlehem.”
of this paragraph ? The purpose of bringing p. xi.
about a future event, and the causation that is to "And let me ask, why this vagabond impostor of
secure the issue, are now in actual existence, and eternal prescience, that has been travelling over
are the real objects of the divine cognizance; but Europe for these fourteen centuries, should not be kicked off the stage, hooted out of town; trans
the future event, which is in reality the object of
his purpose, and therefore the object of his antici. ported beyond the seas, or suspended from the
pation, is expressed as though it were purely an gallows ?-p. 192.
object of perception. And for this reason, although " The notion of an eternal prescience is the most
foreknowledge, in strict philosophical propriety, invidious aud deleterious nostrum that was ever
would be absolutely inadmissible, yet its applica. foisted upon the credulity of the human mind,
tion to an anticipated issue, is perfectly admis. and the most adulterating ingredient that was
sible, and quite intelligible. Causation implies ever introduced into Christian theology."-p. 193.
| issue; and, therefore, the knowledge of a canse, "A believer in the doctrine of an eternal 'pre
implies the anticipation of its effect. For the science is a mere religious griffith.” (griffin)-p:57. will and purpose of the Deity must imply an anti
cipation of the consequent issue, and are a suffi
cient security for its future transpiration : and passages, and similar ones which his vo- |
even if the knowledge of a principle or habit, in lume contains, and he will not, we think, I any being, must imply an anticipation of a conse
quent issue, and if such a knowledge be a suffipersist in affirming that he is not conscious
cient warrant to expect that the issue will afterof any breach of courtesy in any thing wards actually transpire, then there can be no which he has written, nor that he has been
impropriety in designating such anticipations by
the name of foreknowledge. And this, I conceive, guilty of any offence against the claims of to be the legitimate and only sense in which the Christian charity. Should he ever, as we term prescience can be applicable to any actual
knowledge, whether it be human or divine." trust he will, undergo a change of opinion p. 37. upon this subject, he will sincerely regret
It is understood then, that, in strict phithat such sentiments have been ever suf
losophical propriety, the term foreknowfered to escape his pen.
| ledge does not apply to the Divine Being ; But it is time we notice the argumenta
but that when the Deity purposes a future tive part of the volume; for, says the au
event, though that event may be referred to thor
a very distant period, it is an object of “ Give me leave to suggest, that it may not be, perchance, the fierceness of my spirit, or the harshness of my expressions, but the hardness of my arguments, that gives so much displeasure. for it is commonly the policy of a defeated dispus tant, rather to complain of the spirit of his oppo.
istence, viz. such things as he has deternent than to acknowledge the force of his argu mined shall hereafter exist; if, therefore, mentation." - P. xiv.
every event which transpires in the universe The principal objections which are in should be the object of divine purpose, this volume urged against the doctrine of then every event is the object of his fore. Divine prescience, as generally received, knowledge; in other words, the Deity may be thus briefly stated :--The Deity possesses infinite prescience.
362 ---------.. ....... ...................oracor...........
refuse to submit themselves to the authority of a
rule, or the process of measurement; they shrink says
from the touch, and vanish from the sight; they " It has, Indeed, been frequently argued, that are ever changing in their forms; they are ever some things may be certain to an infinite intelli. flitting on the wing ; they ride on the fiery pe. gence, which are contingent to us ; an argument gasus of a lawless will ; they are created by every which is perfectly tenable, and is as perfectly excitement of our passions, and are flung in my. irrelevant. That some things may be certain to riads from every scintillation of the human fancy." an infinite mind, which are not so to any finite in. -p. 53. telligence, is intuitively evident ; but that an infinite mind can anticipate with certainty, an issue Without asserting that the mind of man which he himself has made to be contingent, is the
is “ a spiritual machine," it must be ad. very point in dispute; a point which has been round. ly and repeatedly asserted, but which no person has
mitted, that it is under the control of cer. hitherto even pretended to prove."-p. 52. tain laws and influences. This government,
What has been roundly and repeatedly like that which regulates the wind, which asserted we know not, but this we beg 1 bloweth where it listeth," escapes human leave to say is the point in dispute, Is any cognizance; but the Almighty Maker of thing contingent to the Deity? And this both, is doubtless intimately acquainted point Mr. Jones has by no means cleared with it; and He who “ stilleth the noise of up. We “argue" not only that “ some the sea, and the tumult of the people," things," but that all things, which are con accurately knows every volition of the tingent to us, may be certain to an infinite human mind, and anticipates with infinite mind. It is granted in a former quotation, precision every future movement of the that some things, namely, those which God , apparently “lawless will.” Man is an determines to bring to pass, are not con- accountable being, therefore he is a free tingent to the divine mind. It devolves, agent. That this will, however, is “ lawtherefore, upon our author to shew that less,” Mr. Jones will not attempt to prove such events are not contingent in re, and and that that which determines the will, that all other events are. For instance, it cannot be the object of the Deity's intimate was divinely determined, because it was and perfect knowledge, is more than he divinely predicted, that Cyrus should be will take upon himself to affirm; if, there. the future liberator of the captive Jews; fore, it cannot be proved, that the mode consequently, the circumstances connected of the mind's operations, and the secret with this conqueror's history could not be springs of action, and the nature and concontingent in re, otherwise they could not sequence of every volition, are not unhave been objects of divine prescience. known to the Almighty, then the doctrine How will it be proved that all other events, of a divine universal prescience cannot be in reference to which revelation contains no disproved. predictions, are in themselves contingent, In prosecuting his inquiries respecting and therefore are not foreknown by the the prescience of the Deity, Mr. Jones Deity ? Mr. Jones may say, as he has seems to have been too much guided by done in reference to Old Testament pre- earthly analogies, the propriety of which dictions concerning the advent of the Mes- | we more than doubt. The distance besiah, that he has “ no doubt whatever that tween finite and infinite being infinite, it is the Deity revealed the sum total of his always hazardous to reason from the creaknowledge;" but his opponent may have ture to the Creator, and more especially so, doubts, and here the matter ends. All the when we attempt to contemplate their remetaphysical reasoning which the writerspective modes of existence. With our employs about “ abstract possibilities," is own intellectual operations we are but very perfectly futile. It proves too much, and partially acquainted ; and as to those which therefore proves nothing. The Deity can. belong to Deity, we know just nothing. not determine, without laying himself open This scantiness of knowledge, should on all to disappointment, to bring any event to occasions teach us reverence whenever we pass, because that event is itself contingent; approach this awful subject-a lesson, it is it has connected with it abstract possibili- to be regretted, that Mr. Jones has not yet ties, that is, it may, or it may not be. fully learned.
But eternal prescience, affirms our au Such branches of the divine foreknowthor, is incompatible with the free agency | ledge as suited his purpose, he has readily of man, and consequently with his moral admitted, and incorporated in his theory; probation.
but with equal temerity he has rejected “ Contingencies are identified with all moral others, apparently for no other reason, than agency, whether created or uncreated ; and every
simply because they would not quadrate attempt to subject them to the rules of a rigid certainty, or reduce them to the regular propor with his hypothesis. "He, however, seems to tions of physical causes and effects, would be
have forgotten, that the modes of reasoning nothing better than an outrage on human liberty, and a libel on the moral government of God. They
ferent channel, might be brought to bear, is not improbable, that what we would with equal force, against nearly the whole censure as intolerant, the author imagines system of revealed religion; and by the to be a pious contention for the faith once hand of infidelity his weapons have thus delivered to the saints. been wielded.
Of the Priesthood of Christ, Mr. Wilson But notwithstanding the reprehensible takes a very comprehensive and luminous Alippancy, great want of modesty, sovereign survey, examining with acuteness this imcontempt of what he opposes, and trium- portant subject in various lights, and phant exultations in imaginary victories, to pursuing with unremitting ardour its interwhich allusions have already been made, esting ramifications, in their numerous we readily acknowledge that Mr. Jones has branches, bearings, and appendages. In uniformly manifested a vigorous intellect, accomplishing this task, a considerable and an independent spirit of inquiry. mass of materials was already prepared Many of his arguments are constructed with to the author's hand, both by preceding considerable ingenuity, and directed with and contemporary writers, on which acan equal proportion of masculine force. count his claims to originality can be but In all his reasonings, acuteness is every- partially urged. Of this valuable ingrewhere prominent; his thoughts are never gredient, it, however, has a respectable sluggish, and through the most formidable portion, and when the views of others are fences, by their instinctive energy, they fre adopted, they are so interwoven with the quently force a passage.
result of his own inquiries, that the But, unfortunately, amidst these bright texture throughout appears unbroken and displays of mental prowess, and unremit entire. Surveyed under either of these ting dexterity, Mr. Jones has sometimes aspects, it is a work which evinces much connected legitimate reasonings with un labour, associated with an extensiveness founded data; and at other seasons con- of research, and a perseverance of effort, ducted his process of argumentation to which are alike creditable to his industry conclusions that cannot be contemplated and his talents. without astonishment. We know not that With the varied import and different any able opponent will accept his challenge relations in which the terms sacrifice, to the field of controversy, which he so atonement, expiation, and shedding of freely offers; but should such an antago blood, are used in the sacred volume, nist arise, our author will probably find to Mr. Wilson seems intimately acquainted, his cost, that many of his positions are not and their doctrinal as well as moral altogether so invulnerable as he seems to results, he follows out with ingenious perimagine.
spicuity. To all who seriously inquire To drive Mr. Jones, however, from the | into the nature and scriptural import of ground on which he has pitched his tent, propitiatory sacrifices, vicarious sufferings, will not be the work of any common and expiatory atonement, this volume assailant ; and should one of this descrip will furnish much valuable information. tion, urged on by the fever of long esta The reader will learn, that under every blished orthodoxy, dare bim to the combat, previous dispensation, all the sacrificial he may learn, when this knowledge will rites had an allusion to him, without the be too late to be serviceable, that it is not | shedding of whose blood there could be so difficult to seize a Tartar, as to escape | no remission of sin. Towards this object from his iron grasp.
the author invariably steers his course,
yet always keeping within the soundings REVIEW.–A Dissertation on the Origin,
of his creed, to which he has an eye in the Nature, Functions, and Order, of the
ultimate application of his laborious invesPriesthood of Christ, By John Wil
In the commencement of his preface, son. 12mo. pp. 470. Holdsworth.
Mr. W. observes, “The following work London. 1829.
is professedly didactic. The object of it ALTHOUGH there are some branches of is to give a merely doctrinal view of our this work, in which sectarian fury “grins Lord's Priesthood, and to exhibit the horribly a ghastly smile,” in the main subject in such a light, as, without the aid object of its professed design, we find of formal application, may disclose to much to approve, much to admire, and thoughtful readers its various practical much to recommend. Of intrinsic excel- bearings.” In its general character the lence it contains an ample sufficiency to volume is in perfect accordance with this atone for the gloomy bigotry with which / avowal, though not without some manifest some of its pages are disfigured ; and it exceptions. Among these, one not the
Review.-Rankin's Translation of Bull on the Deity of Christ. 366
- least remarkable, is his unwillingness to | public estimation during the period in
permit his reasonings “to disclose to the which he flourished; and though the thoughtful reader the practical bearing" | lapse of time, by introducing new publiof the extent of the atonement, “ without cations, may have caused his writings to the aid of a formal application.” Hence, be less generally read than .formerly, it to supply, this apparent deficiency, and has neither detracted from their excellence, to place the dogmas of his creed fully in nor diminished their author's fame. the reader's face, though with regard to In the memoir which is prefixed, the sufficiency he allows that “Christ died leading events of the bishop's life are for the whole world,” yet he contends recorded with much fidelity, and arranged that “in decretive intention, he died only in such a manner, as to give to the narfor those who are actually saved," p. 211. rative and incidents, of which it is comTo state these sentiments, Mr. Wilson
posed, a degree of prominence proporhas at once deviated from his professed tionate to their intrinsic and relative intention as quoted from his preface, and importance. To this is appended numerather stepped aside from his obvious rous testimonials in favour of the hishon's track. The arguments employed in favour writings and character, from many celeof the doctrine advanced, have long since brated individuals belonging to the church been worn thread-bare in the common of England, to the dissenting congregations, service of the sect, and we are again and to the Romish communion. All insulted with the common juggle, that these testimonials we think might have « Christ' died for the whole world," been well spared, his character being simply because his merit for this purpose too 'exalted either to require or derive was all-sufficient, while the immutable any assistance from such adventitious design and irrevocable decree of God sources. was, to withhold all efficacious influence, The work itself, which Mr. Rankin has without which it could have no appli. | translated, is both historical and argucation. Such delusive expressions can mentative. It records the testimonies of only be intended to conceal, in a part of the primitive fathers for the first three his creed, those deformities
centuries, in favour of the Divinity of " Which to be hated, need but to be seen.” | Christ, and meets on fair didactic ground But, for all those peculiarities to which the objections of those by whom this we have adverted, the excellences which essential truth of Christianity was opposed this volume contain make an ample com- during the preceding period. To say pensation. To the sacred writings the that bishop Bull was intimately acquainted author frequently appeals, and his pages with the subject which he thus undertook abound with strong and masculine argu. to illustrate and defend, is only to repeat ments. He has set the priestly character what every one knows, who is acquainted of Christ in a strong and commanding with his writings and his name. He has light, and his work may be perused with placed this doctrine in a perspicuous and a high degree of interest and profit by
commanding light, and indisputably proved, orthodox Christians of all denomina from the most unequivocal testimony of tions.
the fathers, that in all the primitive churches
it was uniformly received and cordially Review.— The Opinion of the Catholic believed. Throughout the whole work
Church for the first Three Centuries, on he displays much argumentative acuteThe Necessity of Believing that our ness, and great diligence of research. . Lord Jesus Christ is truly God. Of the creeds of the primitive church, Translated from the Latin of Bishop of the most ancient that is known to be Bull, to which is prefixed a Memoir extant, of that called the Apostles', and of of his Life. By the Rev. Thomas the ancient oriental creed, he has traced Rankin. 8vo. pp. 310. Rivington. the history, and furnished an analysis. London. 1825.
This branch is replete with useful inforAlthough this volume has been for some mation, not only to young students in time before the world, it is only of late divinity, but to numerous members of the that it has fallen into our hands. Its con church, who repeat their creeds weekly, tents are briefly expressed in the title, without knowing either their origin, their but its pages must be examined by all antiquity, or the occasions that called who wish to make themselves acquainted them into existence. On the bearing of with its intrinsic worth.
these formularies, and on the various The name of Bishop Bull is well known topics which they embrace, the author has throughout Europe. It stood high in manifested much learning, and evinced
368 ocorror................................ ........
history of Greece to the end of the year 479.
before the christian era, when the Persiaus were plaining such expressions as appear obscure, compelled forever to abandon their long-cherislied and paraphrasing others that seem to be hopes of crushing liberty in its birth-place." involved in perplexity.
preface, p. v. In the translation, the author's ideas Herodotus has, prior to the present are communicated in plain and perspi- translation, appeared twice in an English cuous language, and his references to dress ; first by Littlebury, about a century authorities are preserved with scrupulous since; and more recently by Beloe, whose accuracy. The sentences are neither translation has passed through several tedious nor involved. The diction through editions. Not altogether satisfied with out is distinguished by an energetic sim either of the preceding, Mr. Taylor has plicity, which aims more at the commu- repaired to the fountain-head, and drawn nication of thought, than at the parade of his present volume from the Greek original. brilliant expressions. This treatise of | By adopting this method, he has avoided bishop Bull was deserving of such a most of the errors into which his predetranslator as it has found in the Rev.
cessors had fallen, though he candidly Thomas Rankin.
acknowledges that he has diligently availed
himself of every kind of aid that has come Review. - Herodotus, translated from within his reach. the Greek for the use of general
It cannot be denied, while we admire Readers, with short Explanatory Notes. | the easy and flowing style of this venerable By Isaac Taylor. 8vo. pp. 792. father of history, that it excels chiefly in Holdsworth. London. 1829.
narration, being somewhat deficient in con
| ciseness and force, as to sentiment and Among the poetical emanations of genius
us remark. In many parts of his history, he which adorn the world, the Iliad of Homer,
: | deals much in the marvellous; but this sanctioned by prescription, occupies the
relates almost exclasively to such events as foremost rank. To this honour few will
occurred prior to the age in which he lived ; presume to dispute its title; and he who
and on several occasions he has more than should have the temerity to attempt it,
intimated his doubts as to the authenticity would be unable to withstand the brilliancy
of the incidents which he records. Of of its inherent excellence, and the frown of
these materials he was nothing more than hoary grandeur which it has derived from
the collector; and from his scanty means antiquity. The exalted character which
of obtaining more probable information, lie Homer has acquired among the bards,
was compelled to use those which had been Herodotus claims among the prose writers
transmitted to him through the medium of of the world. Each of these is pre-eminent
tradition, and other similar channels of in his station, and both are encircled with
communication. Against such narrations literary glories that can never fade.
and incidents as fell within the range of The writings of Herodotus, having stood
his own inquiry, no charge of any magthe test of more than two thousand years,
nitude has ever been brought. In addican derive no advantage from any observations that may be made on them in the
tion to this, it is a remarkable fact, that
his chronology, according to the canons of nineteenth century of the Christian era ; }
Newton, requires less correction than that and neither the justice nor the malignity of criticism can detract any thing from their
of any subsequent Greek historian. These
circumstances offer a powerful apology for sterling merit and intrinsic worth. Under
those distant branches of his history, which these impressions we readily concur with
wear the garb of fable. Mr. Taylor in the following prefatory ob
In the arrangement of his matter, servations.
Herodotus is exceedingly irregular and dis" The fruits of his industry we have before cursive. Of method he seems to have had us; and it may confidently be affirmed, that,
no accurate conception, having sometimes after every exception has been admitted, which the most sceptical criticism can substantiate, been drawn off from his primary purpose there will remain in the nine books of Herodotns,
to follow other subjects, which, as entire a mass of information, more extensive, important, and instructive, than is to be found in any histories, he has introduced by way of ether writer of antiquity. Unaffected, unam
parenthesis, before he resumes the original bitious, mellituous, perspicuous, in his style : bland, candid, and gay in his temper; laborious
narrative. These are blemishes which in his researches; judicious for the most part in his decisions ; and apparently free from sinister
| period in which he flourished; and it is intentions and national prejudices, he holds up a mirror, in which is seen, without obscurity or distortion, the face of nature, the wonder of art, the revolutions of empire, and the character of statesmen. This great writer brings down the in