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invidious men then cease to accuse the Jews; or let them accuse those multitudes among all nations who have incurred the voluntary guilt of zealously embracing base and foreign, in the room of their own honourable institutions. If we ourselves were not sensible of the superior excellence of our laws, we should fall below that multitude of converts who glory in them." Here it is stated that the religion of Moses and the prophets had at this time universally prevailed among the Greeks and barbarians; that the law of God, like God himself, had pervaded the world; not a country, nor hardly a family existing where its influence was not felt and acknowledged; that those Heathens who had embraced it practised the same virtues, and evinced in support of it the same patience and constancy with the Jews who taught it and died in attestation of its truth. This assertion was made about sixty years after the resurrection of Jesus; and if Josephus meant by the law of God, as he calls it, the Mosaic law, improved and finished by Christ, the assertion is strictly true; but if he meant Judaism in the sense now understood, it is altogether false, not a syllable of it being justified by the fact.

The sanctions of the Jewish religion before the promulgation of the gospel were temporal, its rewards and punishments being till then understood to extend not beyond the limits of the present state. The blessed Jesus drew asunder the veil that hung on the law of Moses in this respect: he brought life and immortality into light, and gave a satisfactory proof of it in his own resurrection. This was intended and represented as a pledge from God of the resurrection of all mankind, as a solid ground of hope in a future state. The notion was prevalent not only in Judea, but in other countries, that the human soul, being immortal, survived its dissolution from the body. Our Lord and his apostles might have adopted this opinion as a powerful auxiliary to the doctrine of a future existence.

But

it as an improper subject of historical testimony. Accordingly, whoever looks into the Acts of the Apostles, will find, that faith in a new life was the principal cause of spiritual Judaism being received by the Gentiles, that the resurrection of Christ was the proof of it; that as he rose from the dead, so all his faithful followers are to rise, thus receiving a new life after the present shall have been suspended during a revolution of ages in the grave. These decisive and characteristic truths are implied in the following important passage of Josephus, where he alludes to the resurrection of Jesus as a mighty proof, oxuçay 15, of another life: "The reward of those, who live in every respect conformably to our laws, is not silver or gold, or a garland of olive, but the testimony, of the truth of which each of us is convinced that, after a revolution of years, we shall receive a better life, our lawgiver having foretold this, and God having confirmed it by a mighty proof. For this reason we stedfastly adhere to, and, if necessary, cheerfully die for them. And I should have been reluctant to write these things, if it had not been proved by facts, and made known to all men, that multitudes in many places have bravely submitted to every species of torture rather than even in words renounce our law." Contra. Apion. L. 2. S. 30.

I shall conclude this paper with two or three inferences; first, that the book dedicated to Epaphroditus, in which Josephus apologizes for the Jews, is really an apology for the Jewish Christians and for the Heathen converts to Christianity; that had no evidence existed to prove Epaphroditus to have been himself a believer, we might hence conclude that he was one; and that in all the other places, where Josephus speaks of Heathens converted to Judaism, he always means Judaism spiritualized and enforced by Jesus Christ.

SIR,

JOHN JONES.

On Dr. Stock's Conversion.
Bristol, Dec. 24, 1817.

OUR

they have declined this aid, thinkingYXII. 665, 666,] has offered

it either unsatisfactory or altogether erroneous. At all events they knew it to be an opinion, and not a fact; and therefore, they wisely considered

some strictures on what he justly styles "Dr. Carpenter's excellent remarks on the letter of Dr. Stock,"

in which he points out what strikes him as an inconsistency. The passage is as follows: "In one paragraph he has, I think, very properly reprobated my friend Dr. Stock's conviction, that he had adopted his new opinions under the special guidance of divine illumination;' but in the succeeding paragraph he says, 'I do not pretend to set bounds to the agency or influence of God. I believe that the Father of our spirits does afford aid to his frail children in ways which philosophy cannot yet explain, to strengthen, to console, and to guide: but I know of no proof that he at present communicates truth by supernatural means.' Now I would ask, what difference does there seem to be between being under the special guidance of divine illumination, and being strengthened, consoled and guided by some inexplicable influence of the Father of our spirits?'"

always manifested by miraculous evidence; and as such evidence has ceased, we have a right to infer that the special or supernatural illumination has ceased with it, and that men are left to the guide of scripture and their natural understandings: but the latter has never been openly manifested; and it is not reasonable to require such manifestation: it is indeed incapable of proof; it is inferred from the moral government of God, whose character the Scriptures represent, in spite of Calvinism, as essentially merciful and gracious.

Now, Sir, I can see no inconsistency whatever, nor any parallel in the two cases put by your Correspondent. "The special illumination" is evidently the effusion of the holy energy or spirit of God which was shed upon the apostles; and all who believe in the Comforter as a personal agent, among whom Dr. Stock has now enlisted himself, believe that his agency did not cease with the Jewish age, (the original word rendered in the common version world,) but that he acts with equal efficiency, though with less visible effect, at the present time. It is this illumination to which Dr. Stock refers: but the aid which Dr. Carpenter adverts to as afforded by the Father to his frail creatures, cannot be called a special or a supernatural aid; for it is that secret mental influence, prompting to good or warning from evil, which God is conceived to vouchsafe to us in the ordinary course of his providence; and which might have been extended to an Aristides or a Socrates: and it is even cautiously contra-distinguished by Dr. Carpenter from the special influence of the Spirit's illuminating energy, which operated by the communication of truth. Surely there is a marked difference between a miraculous guidance to truth and a providential support in despondency, consolement in affliction, and incitement to good resolutions. The former was

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Your Correspondent proceeds to say, that "Dr. Stock, as he imagines, does not suppose that truth itself had been communicated to his mind, but that he had been in some unaccountable way guided by the spirit of God to the right understanding of the truth already revealed in scripture." It may be asked, what difference is there between communicating truth and guiding to the discovery of truth? As to the question, "Has then Dr. Stock professed to have received more extraordinary influence than Dr. Carpenter allows?" I have shewn that he certainly has; and that these influences are clearly distinguished: the one supernatural, partaking of the immediate extraordinary agency of a supposed divine being operating on the mind to enlighten it, or what is equivalent, to guide it into light; and the other natural or providential, as inferred by philosophy. Dr. Carpenter in the words quoted disclaims a belief of supernatural illumination being now employed to communicate truth, or guide to truth; and the aid and guidance which he does conceive the Father of our spirits to employ are distinct from his miraculous or extraordinary operations, and are quite of a different nature, and respect different objects from the assistance and direction extended to Peter or Paul.

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Of Dr. Stock's re-conversion I cannot entertain the same hopes as your respectable Correspondent. Let an enthusiast," says Locke, "be principled that he is actuated by an immediate communication of the divine spirit, and you in vain bring the evidence of clear reason against his doctrine." Besides, if I mistake not, the original or implanted principles of Dr. Stock, whatever fluctuations

his mind may since have undergone, were Calvinistic: and he has merely recurred to the still uneffaced or revived impressions of his childhood. "The spirit of superstition has walked into the desert seeking rest and meeting none has returned to his first abode and found it swept and garnished: and he has taken to him seven spirits more powerful than himself, and they enter in and dwell there." The Bristol theological public has been edified by polemic pamphlets of all sizes, from Trinitarians, Antinomians, "white, black and grey, with all their trumpery." Dr. Carpenter, you will be happy to hear, is not yet buried under the mass of papers." The Trinitarian or Triunitarian cause, (I know not which of these barbarous terms be the more orthodox,) had never, I believe, such a van-guard of miserable skirmishers. In their estimation of Dr. Carpenter's scriptural knowledge and ability, we are reminded of the Lilliputian savans, who, with considerable geometrical labour, contrived to measure the altitude of Gulliver's shoe.

SIR,

JOHN BUNCLE.

Lanrumney, January 18, 1818. HE speculations of Mr. Malthus,

most able and satisfactory animadversions of your Correspondent T. N. T., who, by the publication of his letters on this subject in your Repository, has rendered a lasting and highly important service to the cause of truth, political and religious.

The system of Mr. Malthus, as fur. nishing an easy means of accounting for the ill effects of mis-rule without implicating its authors and supporters, is become very fashionable with a certain class of politicians in this country; and the speciousness of his mode of treating his subject has made many converts. The misapplication of the principles of this system to account for the tremendous increase of pauperism and burdens of the poorrates in this country, appears to be a subject deserving the farther attention of your most able and enlightened Correspondent. In a pamphlet which I have in the press, and which will be published in a few days, on the

subject of the Poor-laws, I have been compelled to allude to the principles advocated by Mr. Malthus, but a conviction of their being without foundation in truth or nature, and the perception of their mischievous tendency and application induce me to express a hope that T. N. T. will make still more public his concise but full and triumphant refutation of these heart-chilling principles.

With the sincerest respect for your important exertions for the diffusion of religious and moral truth, and in the hope that their usefulness will be additionally and greatly extended by the rapid increase of the circulation of your invaluable Miscellany, I remain,

JOHN H. MOGGRIDGE.

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of this paper to inquire, whether this judgment be equitable.

One observation may guide us in our examination, viz. that approbation of an action does not always imply approbation of the reasons on which it is founded. I admire the step taken by Archbishop Sancroft and the nonjuring clergy at the Revolution, though I hold the principles on which it proceeded to be extremely erroneous and pernicious. In fact, it is impossible to behold a strict adherence to the dictates of conscience without reverence; at least in those cases where conscience requires acts of disinterestedness, humility and self-denial. This is a spectacle which the human heart is formed to admire; whether we resolve our admiration into sympathy, into the pleasure taken in beholding moral consistency and uniformity, or into the lower principle of approbation of that conduct in our fellow creatures which lays the surest foundation for our own advantage, as far as we are connected with them.

The motives by which men are led to any great resolution are commonly mixed, and in so large a body as the Ejected Ministers, there were probably many individuals who were swayed by some sentiments of dubious character. There is not a virtue which may not be exercised under the influence of some passion or prejudice which robs it of its merit, But though no one is ignorant of this, we all love virtue, and place confidence in the virtuous.

If it be allowed, therefore, that many of the ever-memorable two thousand were actuated by some reasons which in the present day appear weak, and that few of them were guided by those great general principles on which their posterity justify their own nonconformity, it will not follow that, in their peculiar circumstances and with their habits of thinking and feeling, their self-denying conduct was not maguanimous and entitled to the highest praise.

Kneeling at the sacrament, the sign of the cross in baptism, bowing at the name of Jesus, and other ceremonies of the same class, may be mere trifles, but their insignificance, though a good reason for not imposing them upon Christians, is none for submission to them in opposition to the judg

ment. To comply with any rite which is regarded as unscriptural and superstitious in its tendency, is hypocritical in a Christian. Any contempt that attaches to the frivolousness of the rite, belongs not to him that resists, but to him that would enforce it. The imposition can be designed only, in the wantonness of power, to exact obedience at the expense of conscience. If one sacrifice of this kind be made for the sake of peace, another may be demanded, and where is compliance to end? Principiis obsta, is the only safe maxim, with regard to such unjust and tyrannical demands.

Whilst the Ejected Ministers scrupled, for various reasons, to submit to these ceremonies, they protested against the right of the supreme power to make them compulsory. The Conferences at the Savoy, in which, according to our present notions, we must pronounce the Presbyterians sufficiently yielding, turned chiefly upon this point. It is indeed the hinge of the controversy between conformists and nonconformists. To admit the imposition of the cross in baptism or any other frivolity upon human authority, is to give up religion wholly to the magistrate to be moulded by him at his pleasure; for he has only to represent any imposition, however grievous, as a thing indif ferent, in order to stand justified upon this principle in its rigorous enforce ment. But it is not the amount of the tax upon conscience, but the right to tax conscience, that is in dispute. Hampden's portion of ship-money was inconsiderable, but had it been less, and as small as it could be, resistance of payment would have been equally the part of enlightened patriotism, because the power that could assess him without the consent of the Commons, in the lowest possible sum, could, at its arbitrary will, strip him of all his property, and even overturn the constitution. In the present instance, a power to cause the knee to bend before bread and wine, would be equivalent to the power to constrain the prostration of the body before an idol, in short, a power to annul the plainest commandments of Almighty God.

There are other points of view in which the case of the Ejected Ministers requires no argument whatever;

to state it is to pronounce their justification.

For example, the Act of Uniformity required such of them as had not received episcopal ordination to be re-ordained by a bishop. Now, to have submitted to this demand, would not only have been at variance with their confirmed opinion of the office of bishop and presbyter, as laid down in the New Testament, but would also have been a confession that their previous ministry (in a great number of persons, the ministry of a long and active life,) had been a continued irregularity and usurpation. How could they stoop to this degradation, without forfeiting, besides their own approbation, the esteem and confidence of their respective flocks, on whose estimate of their characters depended the success of their labours!

Again, the Act of Uniformity extorted a public declaration from all the clergy of unfeigned assent and consent, to all and every thing contained in the Book of Common Prayer. So extravagant is this demand, the size of the book and its multifarious contents, the work of men of different minds, in periods when contradictory principles prevailed, being considered, that many subterfuges have been discovered by casuists, in order to evade the plain meaning of the law; and without these, it is not probable that any considerable number of men, even in these lax times, could be found to conform openly to the church. But no such expedients occurred, or would have been allowed, to the clergy in 1662. The meaning of the legislators was certain; and an artful course had been adopted, with regard to the Presbyterians, which reduced them to the alternative of nonconformity or deep dishonour: they had been drawn into public controversy just before the Act was passed, and pressed to explain and defend their objections to the ritual and rubric of the church: they were then dismissed, and the statute compelled them to abide, as honest men, by their previous declarations, or to subscribe their own indelible disgrace. Nor was this all: the Book of Common Prayer, to which entire assent and consent was to be acknowledged, was referred to the bishops for revision and correction; and it is an historical fact, that the

new edition was published only on the eve of Bartholomew Day; so that very few of the clergy could possibly have read the book, which they were obliged to profess before God and man to approve in every iota.

The

Once more; by the Act of Uniformity, the clergy were compelled to subscribe and declare, that it is not lawful, upon any pretence whatsoever, to take arms against the King, i. e. the Presbyterians amongst them were required, as the condition of retaining their benefices, to acknowledge themselves rebels in resisting the illegal exactions of Charles I. and, in opposing his attempt to govern without a Parliament. This was an unexampled act of tyranny. most arbitrary rulers had been hitherto content with enforcing obedience and submission, and had never entertained the wish to force their slaves into the hypocrisy of asserting that, in their consciences, they loved tyranny and hated freedom. Had not a considerable body of our ancestors opposed this execrable doctrine and profligate demand, is it too much to assert, that the constitution of England would have been broken up and buried under a despot's throne! The Revolution of 1688, which in fact and in theory declared passive obedience and non-resistance to be contrary to the spirit of the constitution, was in reality a justification of the memorable 2000, who, twenty-six years before, had, with immense sacrifices, maintained the true constitutional principles.

On either of these grounds, but especially the last, the Two Thousand Confessors, stand justified and honoured in the eye of reason. Their splendid example has associated non

I use the words constitution and constitutional, to express those fundamental political principles to which all the great acts of the English people, whenever they have stood forward to check or reform their government, are referable. The constitution is the Lex non scripta, which all our great statesmen have acknowledged and revered, the leading feature of which is, that ours is a commonwealth, under a

monarch of our choice. constitution the whole body of existing To make the statutes is a modern legal refinement; a symptom of bad times, and a plea for bad measures.

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