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ing lectures on the principles of Unitarianism, at different places, in succession. Among the various plans of co-operation in diffusing religious truth, I have not observed any which exactly corresponds with this. In districts where congregations of our denomination are more thickly scattered than in that from which I write, I know that frequent meetings of ministers, accompanied with religious services, are in use; but the discourses delivered are not in any sense systematic, and cannot be doctrinal without destroying the harmonious character of the association, while varieties of opinión prevail among the members. They, therefore, very properly confine themselves to our common Christianity, or our common principles of Protestantism and Dissent. But in the populous neighbourhoods of Manchester, Sheffield or Birmingham, I should think that a plan similar to that which I have detailed, might be carried into effect with ease and with very beneficial consequences. It would unite the stimulus of novelty with the advantage of a digested scheme; and at a smaller expense of labour to each individual minister than any other method, would secure to the members of their congregations the benefit of a connected view of the evidences and practical influence of their own faith, enforced by all the ability which the association comprised. With best wishes for the increased success of your labours, which I regard as peculiarly valuable by affording a channel for the communication of such suggestions as these, I remain, &c.

SIR,

H

JOHN KENRICK.

Clapton, Feb. 27, 1818. "AVING had occasion, in preparing the volume of Dr. Priestley's Works, now in the press, to consider the alleged Deism of Hobbes and Collins, I naturally referred to Dr. Leland's View of the Deistical Writers. I had perused that work, several years since, with all the confidence in the author's correctness, which has, I apprehend, been general among his Christian readers. I was, however, not a little surprised to find that such implicit confidence had been misplaced. Two instances occur in

my notes to the volume above-mentioned; but it is due, not more to the character of the writers misrepre sented, than to the credit of that religion they have been supposed to reject, to censure, as publicly as possible, any ungenerous reflections on their motives, or any heedless or more culpable misrepresentations of their language, when either can be justly charged to the account of Christian advocates; especially of those on whose authority their fellow-christians have been accustomed to rely. In this view I propose, with your permission, to consider the authorities and arguments on which Dr. Leland has placed Hobbes and Collins among Deistical Writers; beginning with the former, whose case will occupy more than the remainder of this letter.

It is, I think, impossible to open the third Letter in the View, which comprises the " Observations on Mr. Hobbes's Writings," without perceiving that Dr. Leland was unprepared to allow the author he was about to examine, the advantage of an unprejudiced and impartial tribunal. The common vague imputations are thus repeated without the reference to a single authority: “There have been few persons, whose writings have had a more pernicious influence in spreading irreligion and infidelity than his," though it is admitted that "none of his treatises are directly levelled against revealed religion." We have then an approved sentiment concerning "the Holy Scripture" quoted from the author's book, De Cive, introduced however by the remark, that "he sometimes affects to speak with veneration of the sacred writings," thus prejudicing the writer's cause on the threshold of the inquiry, by imputing to him an insidious pretence, even when his language is irreprehensible.

Immediately occurs a charge of a very serious nature: " He sometimes seems to acknowledge inspiration to be a supernatural gift, and the immediate hand of God; at other times he treats the pretence to 'it as a sign of madness; and by a jingle upon the words, represents God's speaking to the ancient prophets in a dream or vision, to be no more than their dreamsing, that he spoke to them, or dreaming between sleeping and waking." II. 57. Ed. 2d. To justify this charge,

Dr. Leland refers to Leviathan, p. 196, where I find a paragraph, of which, as most satisfactory, I quote the whole: "When God speaketh to man, it must be either immediately, or by mediation of another man, to whom he had formerly spoken by himself Ammediately. How God speaketh to a man immediately, may be understood by those well enough, to whom he hath so spoken; but how the same should be understood by another, is hard, if not impossible, to know. For if a man pretend to me, that God hath spoken to him supernaturally and immediately, and I make doubt of it, I cannot easily perceive what argument he can produce, to oblige me to believe it. It is true, that if he be my sovereign, he may oblige me to obedience, so as not, by act or word, to declare I believe him not; but not to think any otherwise than my reason persuades me. But if one that hath not such authority over me, shall pretend the same, there is nothing that exacteth either belief or obedience. For to say that God hath spoken to him in the Holy Scripture, is not to say God hath spoken to him immediately, but by mediation of the prophets, or of the apostles, or of the church, in such manner as he speaks to all other Christian men. To say he hath spoken to him in a dream, is no more than to say he dreamed that God spake to him; which is not of force to win belief from any man, that knows dreams are for the most part natural, and may proceed from former thoughts; and such dreams as that, from self-conceit and foolish arrogance, and false opinion of a man's own godliness, or other virtue, by which he thinks he hath merited the favour of extraordinary revelation. To say he hath seen a vision or heard a voice, is to say, that he dreamed between sleeping and waking; for in such manner a man doth many times naturally take his dream for a vision, as not having well observed his own slumbering. To say he speaks by supernatural inspiration, is to say, he finds an ardent desire to speak, or some strong opinion of himself, for which he can allege no natural and .sufficient reason. So that, though God Almighty can speak to a man by dream, visions, voice and inspiration, yet he obliges no man to be

lieve he hath so done to him that pretends it, who (being a man) may err, and (which is more) may lie."

In this passage there does not appear any thing to warrant Dr. Leland's accusation of the author, and, indeed, it is difficult to understand how the letter-writer could suppose that Hobbes there "represents God's speaking to the ancient prophets." He is evidently describing a modern pretender to immediate divine communications, a character not uncommon in his age, one who was not satisfied to believe "that God hath spoken to him in the Holy Scripture, by mediation of the prophets." This view of Hobbes's design is confirmed by the succeeding paragraphs, which shew " by what marks prophets are known," and that "the marks of a prophet, under the old law," were "miracles and doctrine conformable to the law." The following passage of the paragraph, which concludes the chapter, is pointedly to the same purpose: Seeing, therefore, miracles now cease, we have no sign left whereby to acknowledge the pretended revelations or inspirations of any private man, nor obligation to give ear to any doctrine, farther than it is conformable to the Holy Scriptures, which, since the time of our Saviour, supply the place, and sufficiently recompense the want of all other prophecy; and from which, by wise and learned interpretation and careful ratiocination, all rules and precepts necessary to the knowledge of our duty both to God and man, without enthusiasm or supernatural inspiration, may easily be deduced."

66

The next evidence of Hobbes's Deism, is the following: "To weaken the authority of the sacred canon, he endeavours to shew, that the books of Moses, and the historical writings of the Old Testament, were not written by those whose names they bear; and that they are derived to us from no other authority, but that of Esdras, who restored them when they were lost." P. 57.

To support this charge, which is not very charitably introduced, Dr. Leland refers to Leviathan, pp. 201, 202, 203. The author there employs the same arguments which have been used by some acknowledged Christians, especially respecting the Penta

teach. He however, subjoins, that "though Moses did not compile those books entirely, and in the form we have them, yet he wrote all that which he is there said to have written." As to the supposed restoration of the books of the Old Testament, Hobbes says, "If the books of Apocrypha may in this point be credited, the Scripture was set forth in the form we have it in by Esdras, and may appear by that which he himself saith." He then cites at length the passages in 2 Esdras xiv. 21, 22, and 45, 46, adding, “and thus much concerning the time of the writing of the books of the Old Testament."

Dr. Leland describes this opinion, which Hobbes proposed, entirely on the authority of Esdras, as "a supposition, in which he hath been since followed by others on the same side, and very lately by a noble Lord," referring to his own "Reflections on Lord Bolingbroke's Letters." Thus he leaves his readers to understand that this reliance on the authority of Esdras had originated with Hobbes, from whom Bolingbroke adopted it. Yet the Letter-writer, from his acquaintance with christian antiquity, must have known, that the same deference to that apocryphal authority had been paid by "many of the ancient fathers, Irenæus, Tertullian, Clemens Alexandrinus, Basil, Jerome, Angus tine and Chrysostom." To the writings of all these fathers, in this view, Dr. Prideaux has referred; adding, however, his opinion, that "the fourteenth chapter of the second Apocry. phal Book of Esdras," is "a book too absurd for the Romanists themselves to receive into their canon." His own Theory is the following:

On the return of the Jews from the captivity, Ezra "collected together all the books of which the Holy Scripture did then consist, and disposed them in their proper order, and settled the canon of scripture for his time. He added, in several places throughout the books of this edition, what appeared necessary for the illusstrating, connecting or completing of them; wherein he was assisted by the same spirit, by which they were at first wrote." Thus this learned author accounts for "the several interpolations, which occur in many places of the Holy Scriptures. For,"

VOL. XIII.

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he adds, "that there are such interpolations is undeniable, there being many passages through the whole sacred writ, which create difficulties that can never be solved without the allowing of them." Prid. Connect. Pt. i. B. v. Ed. xi. II. 476, 491, 492.

From this statement it appears, that the only question between Hobbes, who followed Esdras and the fathers, and Dean Prideaux, who disputed their authority, was, respecting the extent to which Ezra had been supernaturally assisted, either to amend or to restore the Old Testament Scriptures. It is obvious, that neither of these opinions could afford a just ground for the charge of Deism. Dr. Leland must surely have forgotten how he had attempted to sustain that charge, in the instances have already adduced, when, in his preface, (p. xi.) he said, of the writings he had examined, "great care has been taken to make a fair representation of them, according to the best judgment I could form of their design."

*

This communication has extended farther than I expected, from the large quotations by which I have thought it necessary to sustain a charge of incorrect, if not of unfair conduct, against such a writer as Dr. Leland. I must reserve what I purposed to allege, further, till another opportunity.

SIR,

BE!

J. T. RUTT.

Oundle, March 19, 1818.

EING a lineal descendant of one of those excellent men, "of whom the world was not worthy," I was, in course, highly gratified by the able vindication of their character and views, as to civil and religious liberty, given in the two last Numbers of the Monthly Repository, [pp. 15-18 and 89-91].

As you solicit "biographical notices" from any of your readers respecting the Students of Dissenting Academies, &c., I wish it were in my power to communicate something of that kind, which might be deemed worthy of the attention of your readers. I have, however, scarcely any thing to impart but what is merely genealogical.

My great-grandfather, Mr. Joseph Chadwick, M. A. of Eman. Coll.

Camb. is very respectfully noticed in the Nonconformists' Memorial, as ejected from Winsford, a college living, in Somersetshire, though he had a numerous family of children, and had only £30 per annum of his own property for their support; and in such strait circumstances, it is pleasing to find it recorded of him, that he was "a very cheerful man, as well as strictly conscientious and pious." My father being a younger branch of the family, no remains of my excellent ancestor ever came to my hand, except only "A few short Counsels and Directions," almost entirely practical, drawn up for two of his sons on their leaving home, in order to be apprenticed and trained up for their future comfortable subsistence and useful

ness.

Of my ancestor's family I could never learn any particulars but the following: One of the daughters, named Esther Stephens, was married and settled at Culmstock, Devon; another daughter was married to Mr. Cooke, of Wiveliscombe, Somerset, whose grandson went to Jamaica, sixty or seventy years ago, whose descendants, I believe, now rank among the principal inhabitants of that island. Of the sons, James and John, to whom the "Counsels" were given, I never heard any thing farther. Another son, Thomas, was my grandfather, a Dissenting minister, resident in Tauntou many years, who kept a large grammar-school there, under whom many respectable men among the Dissenters were educated, preparatory to their academical studies, and amongst others, the late venerable Mr. Towgood, of Exeter, who expressed himself to me, concerning him, in terms of high respect and esteem, seventy years after he had left the house of his early instructor, (in 1715). My grandfather died about the beginning of the year 1727, leaving two sons: 1. Thomas, a respectable trades. man in Taunton, in the woollen manufactory, who had an only son, Joseph, who died a bachelor at Tiverton, about twenty years since, and four daughters, all unmarried, and all, I believe, now deceased. 2. Joseph, my father, educated for the ministry under Mr. Grove, as mentioned in your list; but he was never settled with any congregation, having been

necessitated, on account of ill health, in early life, to decline the pastoral office, though he lived to his 81st year a very retired life, and died at Taunton, his native place, Feb. 25, 1785. The only remaining male descendant is, it is highly probable, the present writer, born at Trull, a small village, about a mile from Taunton, Sept. 19, O. S. 1751, so that, in a very short time, as far as appears, our line will become quite extinct, though, it is hoped, that a name will remain, in celestial estimation, "better than of sons and daughters."

Of the collateral branches of our family I could never gain any information. All that is certainly known is, that my great-grandfather, the ejected minister, came out of Lancashire; and Sir Andrew Chadwick, of London, who died in 1768, came out of the same county (or his ancestors). Sir Andrew would have purchased a commission in the Middlesex Militia for my cousin Joseph, about 1760, but his mother, fearing it would be injurious to his morals, prevailed on her son to decline it. After that, Sir Andrew took no more notice of the family, though he had no children of his own, and died possessed of very great wealth, all which went to the government, no legal heir being found. It is very remarkable, that the family coat of arms were the same; and a gentleman of Taunton, who had seen Sir Andrew, declared there could be no doubt of the consanguinity, the family resemblance was so striking. Sir Andrew said, not long before his death, "that he did not know he had any relations in the world, but if he had any, they were in the West of England." Now, our family were the only persons remaining of the name in the West. What a pity, it seems, that rich men who have no families do not themselves make the proper inquiries, seeing their means are so ample, as to enable them, if within the sphere of possibility, to obtain satisfactory and beneficial results.

The MS. of "Counsels" would occupy but three or four of your pages, if you might think it proper for insertion in the Repository. I am willing to believe it will not be excluded; for though my worthy ancestor recommends, in the first place, the attention of his children to the Bible

and the Assembly's Catechism, nothing more is said about the latter in his Directions, which are all, as I have said, of a practical and moral kind.

Mr. Palmer has published, in his second edition, Noncon. Mem. some extracts, but I should prefer, though it may seem childish, the publication of the whole, as an agreeable relic of ancient piety and morals. If you grant this request, by mentioning it in your next Repository, I would send you a copy soon after, and, I remain, in the mean time, with sentiments of high respect, and fervent wishes that the Divine blessing may signally attend your indefatigable endeavours to promote the sacred rights of conscience, and the most enlarged views of civil and religious freedom,

SIR,

JOSEPH CHADWICK.

March 10, 1818.

AY I request a place in your

grace to one sinner, with so stupendous a sacrifice as to lead all others to despair; neither does it imply a purchased pardon, nor any of the ideas just recounted: a sense may be assigned to the word, and to others of like import, entirely free from every such implication. That in the mediation of Jesus there was an atonement for sin, properly signifies, that that mediation was expressly calculated to manifest the righteousness of God in connexion with the extension of gospel grace; and, therefore, that it was in consideration of this, as a necessary provision, that such grace was extended. By the righteousness of God, I mean that character in which he is the rewarder of the virtuous and the punisher of the wicked, according to his grand scripture attribute, the rewarder of every one according to his works. The forgiveness of sin is indeed always a lovely and gracious

M Miscellany for sugges. waving of the stricter part of this

tions on a very important, though much contested subject? I am, Sir, one of those who feel unconvinced of the scriptural evidence of the proper deity and pre-existence of the Lord Jesus, and who disapprove of much that passes current concerning the nature of his mediation. Yet, when I compare the views of Unitarians in general, on this point, with the word of God, I cannot but suspect that, according to the custom of men, those who are avoiding one extreme are running into the other. Very scripturally indeed, as appears to me, do they protest against a deal that we hear about inflexible justice, satisfaction, substitution, imputation, sacrifice and the like; doctrines that seem ready to subvert the plainest principles of scripture and common sense. But leaving these grosser ideas, is it scriptural to deny, plainly and blankly, that in the mediation of Jesus there was any thing properly of a propitiatory or atoning nature? Surely an atonement for sin does not necessarily imply a rendering God merciful; or the accompanying of the extension of

We respect the piety and good sense apparent in the Counsels, as abstracted in the Noncon. Mem.; but we must submit

to our worthy Correspondent, that they are principally confined to objects of juvenile instruction. These, though highly important, are not exactly suited to the design of our publication. ED.

character, while in the other, his grace overfloweth all our deservings. But it is only to the humble and penitent that his justice relents; and it is my object to maintain, that in connexion with this mercy, as exercised in the mediation of Jesus, the display of that more awful character is expressly provided for as an important and necessary object. Having distinguished my doctrine from unscriptural opinions on one side, I must turn for a moment to the other, to guard against a misconception, to which the subject is equally liable: I mean that of supposing, that by propitiation or atonement, we are only to understand the means by which reconcilement is brought to pass. This, indeed, is refining the doctrine till it is entirely lost and evaporated. If that which is merely the mean of enlightening the mind and changing the heart is to be called a propitiation, because it leads to reconcilement with God, then, indeed, the Bible is a great propitiation; and so is also the Holy Spirit, without which no religious impression can be finally effectual. In this view also, eloquent preaching and convincing writing are propitiatory, for they are also fruitful means of reconcilement

with God. But, in truth, there is a proper difference between the means of reconcilement and an atonement.

Atonement is the ground or occasion of reconcilement, not the means: the

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