Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

there is a God. The arguments for clusion was reserved for the excluthis conviction are so multitudinous, sively enlightened inquirer of the that it would be impossible to state | 19th century. them here, even if it were necessary. The enemy of Christianity is aware

After assenting to the belief in a that if he impugns its doctrines, and God, the next question which arises derides its moral obligations, he must is, What are his attributes ? And here, substitute a more perfect system in its unassisted reason, if she is candid, stead; for the folly of overthrowing will confess, that she is blind ;-that an institution which has served as a her utmost efforts cannot find out guiding star for ages, without an God ;-that her most arduous exer- adequate substitute, is too grossly tions cannot find out the Almighty to palpable to require refutation. To perfection. In spite of all that has obviate this, he resorts to the very been written to prove the contrary, source he affects to despise, and preChristianity, and Christianity only, tends to illumine mankind with rays has imparted to the modern infidel which have shed their brightest lustre, that light, which he impiously uses on regions from which he is a selfagainst the source which supplied it. | banished exile. The only fair way to decide the ques- The Deist receives as an elementary tion is, to examine the opinions of principle of his religion, that truth, those nations not professing Chris- which has the whole human race for tianity. Ask the Mahommedan, or its witnesses, namely, that conscience the Hindoo ?-question the inhabitants passes judgment upon all our actions, of the arid desert of Africa, or the and either soothes us to complacency trackless wilds of America ? Their by approving them, or goads us with answers will invariably be a tissue of remorse by condemning them. Now inconsistency, contradiction, and ab- | if this sentence were never biassed by surdity. If we turn our eyes to the passion, partiality, or prejudice, its period antecedent to Christianity, the decisions would be infallible, and we result obtained will be similar. might obey its mandates with the cer

To account for the fact, that the an- tain conviction, that we were fulfilling cient philosophers were unable to dis- the will of our Creator. But where is cover the attributes of God, it is as the virtue that has not been degraded serted, that a decisive improvement into vice? where the vice that has not has taken place in the human mind, been deified into virtue? Whole nafrom the experience and discoveries | tions have united in renouncing the of a long course of years.-Now, most indispensable of all moral obligathough inventions have multiplied, tions—honesty ; it is true the example and science has advanced, proving that must be sought for in the uptutored the progress of intellect has been in savage; but let it be remembered, the many respects commensurate with original sense of rectitude was as the progress of ages, yet the works of strongly implanted in his breast, as in God which are the only means by that of the polished and civilized which man can judge of his attributes, European; nay, it is recorded in the were as open to the examination of melancholy annals of human atrocity, the ancient philosopher as the modern that there are in existence, beings, sceptic. Time has wrought no change / who regard the total annihilation of in them. It is true, that labour and the social compact, as a deed which continuous research have discovered the caprice of appetite will justify. the purposes of many of them pre-! It will be said, perhaps, thai viously unknown; but this does not | Deism acknowledges the immorta invalidate the argument, it only im- / lity of the soul; and therefore dis parts confirmation to what was before claims the consequences I have ime coniecture. The nature of the Su- / puted to it. Whatever religion has preme Being was a subject to which the belief in the existence of a God they attacbed as much importance as for its foundation, must admit the im we can possibly do; they employed mortality of the soul; for as man their acutest reasoning faculties, in | invested with the power of se! endeavouring to become acquainted destruction, if the material substang with it; faculties at least equal to which composes his frame, were no those of modern ages, and yet we animated by an immortal spirit, say, that a just and satisfactory con- would possess the power of ex

ance

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

guishing life independently of the will the Atonement, in your last Magazine, of his Creator; though, at the same col. 448, allow me, Sir, a few strictime, he has no other control over tures thereon. matter, than that of being able to The term which we translate Atonechange its form, On the contrary, in ment, in the Hebrew language is, Coconsequence of the immortality of the pher; as a verb it literally signifies to soul, the suicide has only power to cover, and as a noun, a covering: wherseparate spirit from matter, and is ever the word is used, it always imequally as incapable of destroying plies something in discord or disthe one, as of annihilating the other. union. In relation to the offended

The same argument which over- party, it signifies to pacify, to render throws the morality of Deism, has a him propitious. (See Gen. xxxii. 20. ; similar effect when applied to its faith ; Ezek. xvi. 63.) When applied to sin, for when reason is left to her own it signifies to cover or expiate, to make unassisted light, she obscures the doc- satisfaction for it. (See Psa. xxxii, 1.; trine of the soul's immortality with Levit. xvi. 30.) When the term rethe mists of error, and disguises it spects the sinner himself, it implies his with the extravagancies of falsehood. | being covered or protected from punIs this then, I would ask, a religion, ishment, and is rendered à ransom deserving, by its innate excellence, to or atonement for him. (See Exodus supersede Christianity? Is a system xxi. 30.;-xxx. 12, 15.) This seems which commences in doubt, and ter- to be the plain unforced meaning of minates in uncertainty, to erect itself the word Copher. on the ruins of truth, and the wreck When we look into the Greek verof virtue? God forbid. The attempts sion of the Old Testament by the Seto subvert an institution so fraught venty, we find it translated by a term with good as Christianity, will only which imports propitiation. This view reveal its beauties more completely, of the subject would certainly be by contrasting them with the defor- solidly founded, if the Apostles, who mities of a religion, which has human wrote in Greek, were found to make reason only for its origin and guide, use of the same term, in reference to M. RANDOLPH. the death of Christ. Now, what is the

fact on this subject? it is, that the

Apostles do constantly make use of On the Atonement.

the same term when speaking of the

death of Christ, as the Seventy do in MR. EDITOR.

reference to the legal sacrifices. The SIR,-You will agree with me, that plain inference that I would draw the doctrine of the Atonement stands from these statements is, that the at the foundation of the Christian Atonement has the same bearing toscheme; and any error here, is like wards every character; independently poison at the fountain, it vitiates all of his attainments in sanctification, the streams. Being, Sir, of vital im- I regard it, as the grand moral expeportance, it becomes imperative that dient by which God renovates the our views be correct and scriptural; fallen nature of man; by which their not partial, and garbled, cut, and full sanctification is accomplished. shaped, in relation to a system of When our attention is arrested by divinity, originated as the old systems that moral phenomenon, man, it is but of philosophy were. It is evident, / a very scanty view that we take, if that much of the divinity of the pre- we suffer the mind to be detained sent day is of this cast; and is fairly upon his state, and contemplate the referible to some of those corrupt remedy only in reference to that state; moral impulses of our nature, that our relation to the Deity is of paraimpress a general character, and mount importance, it being a relation prompt to a selection and arbitrary of guilt and condemnation. The aparrangement of truths of a particular plication of the Atonement is, in the feature. To unfold these latent first place, to his relation, in which it springs of human nature, that exert effects a complete change; it is this their influence in the moral depart- | that admits of the substitution of ment of the character, is not my in-Christ as a propitiation for sin. If tention; but as these rellections were the sacrifice of Christ was so comsuggested by Mr. Cooke's article on plete in its own nature, as to render

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

God propitious; if it did expiate, body are brought into full harmony guilt, if it does cover the guilty sin- with the divine nature ; and not that ner's head; if he is protected thereby harmony itself. from the penalty of everlasting mi- I believe it is generally admitted, sery, I contend that the Atonement is that Christians, whatever be their atcomplete, irrespective of the state of tainments, may with scriptural prothe believer: to his demoralized state priety use the Lord's Prayer in their it stands in the relation of a cause, addresses to God: in that petition we the efficiency of which is proved, by crave forgiveness of trespasses; the its having removed the curse off his fully sanctified make use of this guilty head; and will ultimately, in prayer to what then does their faith the hand of the divine Spirit, effect a revert, as the foundation of their exconsummate change also in his moral pectation of mercy; to what can it condition.

look with hope, but to Christ, the hope But shall we attribute imperfection set before us in the gospel ? As John to the Atonement, when only the full writes in his 1st Epistle, i. 8. “ If we effects of it, in application to the say that we have no sin, wo deceive sinner, are pot developed? or shall we ourselves, and the truth is not in us. mistake its definito nature, by a com- If we confess our sins, he is faithful mon figure of speech, which names and just to forgive us our sins, and to the effects for the cause, and reason cleanse us from all unrighteousness. upon the subject under that erroneous If we say we have not sinned, we notion ? To what must it conduct us make him a liar, and his word is not but false conclusions ? This is speci- in us."-Chap. ii. 1. “My little chilfically my opinion of Mr. Cooke's per-dren, these things write 1 unto you, formance: in canvassing what he has that you sin not. And if any man advanced, he will allow his brother, sin, we have an advocate with the freedom to justify his own views, father, Jesus Christ the righteous. though he may, by so doing, denomi- | And he is the propitiation (or atonenate his as error.

ment) for our sins; and not for ours Mr.Cooke considers the Christian's only, but for the sins of the whole having attained to full sanctification- world.” This, I think, is the scriptural brought to a complete conformity to application of the Atonement; whothe image of Christmas imbodying the ever looks for forgiveness, or desires import of the term Atonement: but if I to be at one with God, must look for the above explication be correct, it it through faith in the advocacy of must be the effect of that dostrine be- Christ, who is the righteous advocate, lieved ; it is the belief of the truth of because he is the propitiation oratoneChrist's death as a sacrifice for sin, ment. The Apostle writes these truths, and his resurrection as a proof of the that they sin not; thus we see the insufficiency thereof, that produces a tention of the revelation of God; it 19 renovation in the man: “ Who his to reunite to bim, from whom sin has own self bare our sins in his own separated us; and this grand truth, body on the tree, that we, being dead the propitiation, or covering of the to sin, should live unto righteousness, guilty by expiation for sin, is, in to by whose stripes ye were healed.hand of the Divine Spirit, the moral

The scriptures uniformly represent remedy which cures the diseased the believer as identified with Christ: soul. crucified with him; risen with him ; Mr. Cooke's error appears to be an complete in him: hence, he is vir- exclusive application of a term to en tually, at one, in harmony, with God, fects, which properly designates as much so as Christ is. This ap- cause, and is only idiomatically apo pears to be the relation in which God plied in the sense he uses it. 11 views the sinner in Christ. It is the stances of similar application are very work of Christ, his Atonement, that common; as, when we say, what is has established this relation, the be- your faith? by which we mean, w lief of which becomes the grand moral | are the doctrines you believe? not, means of regeneration. The Atone- is faith as an operation of the mi ment then, in its application to the and in popular language. We fully sanctified believer, must ever place an article in the sun, wh imply that sacrifice, by virtue of that is meant is, place it in 1 which, through faith, his soul and Instead, therefore, of saying W

at

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Cooke, “ that the idea attaching to | hyena? or the ferocity of the bull-dog, this term (atonement) implies, that a or blood-hound ? unless we admit that propitiatory offering has been made, Adam possessed prescience also. If, whereby this reconciliation is effected," therefore, the Hebrew names of the (that is, atonement effected ;) I would | brute creation be characteristic of say, that the idea attaching to this their present propensities, it is a selfterm is, as a consequent, that the be-evident proposition that the Hebrew liever therein shall see Christ as he is, was not the primitive, but is a deand be made like him when he shall rived language; and that those names appear.

were not given them in Paradise, but I am, Sir, your's, &c. at a subsequent period. That the

AMICUS. Hebrew therefore was the vernacular Sunderland, May 18, 1821.

language of Paradise, or that the

names Adam gave the different aniOn the Intuitive Knowledge of Adam.

mals, had any relation to their re

spectivo qualities, seem to be the MR. EDITOR,

mere waking dreams of pseudo-phiSir,- It seems to be an idea generally

losophers, drawing conclusions withprevalent, that Adam possessed in

that Adam possessed in- | out premises, as we have no scripture tuitive knowledge, as a constituent authority whatever on which to ground part of his character, essential to his such hypothesis. As a corroborative nature ; and that he exercised it in evidence, that neither Adain nor Eve giving names to the different animals possessed intuitive discernment in which God caused to appear before Paradise; Eve, when tempted by the him for that purpose. And it is far- serpent, knew not that he was a diather believed, that those names were bolical agent, beguiling her to deexpressive of their respective quali-struction. Neither does it appear ties. Consequently, he must have that Adam perceived the internal had the faculty of infallibly discern- I change Eve had undergone, when she ing spirits also. But I would ask the offered him the forbidden fruit--that contenders for these opinions, how do the image of God was defaced, and they know that Adam ever possessed the image of Satan stampt upon her. intuitive knowledge, and this spiritual We must therefore conclude, that as discernment? Should they reply, that he was altogether ignorant of the Hebrew was the vernacular language effect produced in her by disobediof Paradise, and that the name each ence, so far from intuitive discernanimal bears is, in that language, ex- ment being an essential property of pressive of its peculiar qualities, and his nature, enabling him to give apconsequently, that Adam must have propriate names to animal creation intuitively discerned those innate qua- according to their respective qualities; lities, to enable him to give each an if he really did give them such suitable appropriate name characteristic of its names, (of which, however, we have nature, as he had not yet seen that no evidence,) it was by those names nature in operation; I would first being impressed on his mind, by the observe, that we have no data whereby | Almighty, just, perhaps, as the struoto fix on the Hebrew as the primæval | ture of the tabernacle, its furniture, language; and it seems probable, that utensils, services, &c. were on the Whatever it might have been, it was mind of Moses, to whom the Lord lost at the general confusion of tongues, said, “ See that thou make all things or, at least, subdivided into various according to the pattern shewed to dialects, in which the original was thee in the mount,” or, as David, for

the building of the temple, &c. “ All As Adam named the animals be- this (said David) the Lord made me fore the Fall, those names could have understand in writing by his hand no possible relation to their subse- upon me, even all the works of this quent depraved nature. When all pattern." Unless some such similiwas harmony, innocence, and love, tude as this be admitted, we must How could Adam designate the future conclude, that he named them as his blood-thirsty nature of the tiger ? own fancy directed. how characterize the ravening wolf?

John Cooke. the subtle fox? the voracious croco-1 Dublin, No. 6, Upper Ormond Quay, alle? the restless rapacity of the

May 14, 1821.

absorbed.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

| whole party, as if they had been just MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE AND TIMES

liberated from long confinement, inOF LEONARDO ARETINO.

dulged so profusely in joy, that it (Continued from col. 500.)

might justly have been said that they In the mean time, the hopes enter- had revived their youthful days. The tained by pious Christians, of the ter-country house in question, is situated mination of the schism grew daily nearly half way between Lucca and more faint. Instead of heartily con- | Pisa, on the right bank of the river curring in such measures as were Serchio, in a most delightful spot, likely to promote peace and union, excellently calculated for the enjoyeach of the rival pontiffs stadiously ment of rural amusements. For the adopted every artifice, to throw upon ground, gently swelling into a hill, his competitor the odium of the con- and commanding a view of the plain tinuance of dissension. In a letter below, is connected with mountains addressed from Siena to Roberto which abound in covers for game. Ruffo, a man of considerable learn- Whether then you are fond of hawking, Leonardo, like an affectionate ing, hunting, coursing, or fishing, or servant, endeavoured to exonerate in whatever way you wish to sport, his master from the charge of eyasion the variety of surface, with the addiand prevarication. But his arguments tion of the river, affords you plenty of are feeble; and at the close of his diversion. epistle, he finds it necessary, in vin- “Onour arrival, however, we neither dicating the good dispositions of Gre- | wished to hunt the boar, nor to shoot gory, to derogate from the soundness the stag, nor to pursue the hare, por of his understanding. “Our pontiff,” | yet to hawk. We were attracted by says he, “ is in his nature upright and the incredible pleasantness of the sincere--but the good and candid are river, whose crystal waters, overhung but too liable to be deceived by dis- with poplars, flowed gently between honest men; and some persons, who its verdant banks. Here we threw off look up to him for promotion, have, our upper garments and shoes, and by the exercise of flattery, crept into began to fish with the greatest eagerhis confidence. These inspire him ness. In the course of our amusewith groundless fears, and sometimes, ment, we played like so many boys notwithstanding his honourable in--we shouted like so many tipsy tentions, divert him from the path of revellers, and disputed like so many rectitude. So indignant are the pub- madmen. The good archbishop was lic at large on this occasion, that I politely attentive to all his guests; and dread the occurrence of some disturb- although the gravity of his function ance."

precluded his joining in our sports, When the mind is harassed by yet by the mirthful satisfaction of care, even trifles, which beguile the his countenance he evinced, that, as a sense of uneasiness, acquire impor- spectator, he enjoyed our diversion. tance. In the midst of his anxiety, From the river we adjourned to a plenLeonardo was so highly delighted by tiful supper of fowl and fish, and other a day spent in rural amusements, that delicacies, together with abundance of he could not forbear from expressing wipe, Having supped heartily with his satisfaction in the following lively an appetite whetted by our labour, we terms, in a letter addressed to his took a ride among the corn-fields, and friend Ruffo,

meadows, and trees, whose branches " The pleasures of yesterday ba- were weighed down with fruit. After nishes the recollection of past, and we had in this excursion spent some the dread of future calamities, which time, some in singing, and others in are excited by the distractions of the sportive conversation, we returned to times. Accompanied by two of my the river, which we had crossed at a most intimate friends, and a consi- ford ; and taking our stations op the derable number of acquaintances, all sand, we surveyed some brawny counbent upon pleasure, I visited the try fellows, who stripped themselves country house of Alamanno, arch- and wrestled for our diversion till ten bishop of Pisa. The archbishop him- o'clock at night, and entertained us self was our conductor; and the not a little with their falls, and their

rolling in the mud. Such was the * Leon. Aret. Epist. lib. ii. ep. 17. general outline of our amusements,

« ПретходнаНастави »