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SPIRIT OF THE FOREIGN THEOLOGICAL JOURNALS AND REVIEWS.
From the Eclectic Rericw.
represented as unjust to visit him with punish1. Four Sermons : Two on Man's Accountable
The cause of religious liberty is under small ness for his Belief (second edition); and Two obligations to such backers as these. If we must on the Responsibility of the Heathen: with choose between the Romanist, who contends an Appendir, containing Strictures on an
that unbelief is a crime, and therefore ought to Article in the Westminster Review.
By be punished; and the liberalist, who contends Ralph Iardlar, D.D. 12mo. pp. 192. Price
that it ought not to be punished, because it in3s. Od. Glasgow. 1827.
volves no moral delinquency; we must pro2. The Nature and Entent of the Christian
nounce for the former. But there is, happily, no Dispensation, with Reference to the Salra.
occasion to embrace the political blunder of the bility of the Heathen. By Edward William one, as the only alternative to the moral blunder Grinfield, M.A. 800. pp. 462. Price 12s. of the other. Our position is, that man is not London. 1827.
accountable to man for his moral character, er3. The Balance of Criminality; or. Mental rights of others, and renders him a political
cept so far as his conduct infringes upon the Error compared with Immoral Conduct ; offender; that moral delinquency is not the addressed io Young Doubters. By Isage legitimate subject of human legislation, but Taylor, Minister of the Gospel, Ongar. 12mo.
such acts of delinquency ouly as come under pp. 178. Price 3s. 6. London. 1823.
the description of political crimes. 4. Discourses in Vindication of the Christian
Whether unbelief be voluntary or not, criFaith, and on the Responsibility of Man for minal or not, it will, we presume, be at once adhis Belief. By Isaac Barrow, D.D. To milted, that the state of a man's heart towards achich is prefired, a Preliminary Essay, by his Maker must involve accountability of the the Rer. Alexander Keith. 12 mo. pp.lxrri.
most awful kind. If his heart be not right 215. Price 58. 6d. Edinburgh. 1828.
with God, his character must be, in the most
important respect, deeply criminal. " If there Trat “Man, for his religious opinions, is be not sin in this enmity;". Dr. Wardlaw justly answerable to God alone," and that to God he remarks, “ there is no sin in the universe ; nor is answerable for his opinions, and will have to is it even possible that a conception of sin can answer, are propositions so perfectly in har be formed by the human mind.” But can a mony with each other, that the assertion of man's not loving God, his being at enmity the former almost of necessity involves the ad. against the law and will of his Maker, render mission of the latter. And yet, strange to say, him obnoxious to human laws? Can his disit has been deemed by some modern advocates position of heart, although decidedly vicious of religious liberty, the best way of establish- and criminal in the highest degree, be treated ing the “great truth," that man is not account. as an offence cognizable at a human tribunal? able to man for his belief, to deny that hc He is a bad man; ought he to be punished is, as regards his belief, a free or accountable simply for being such ? No; man, for his reagent. In order to prove that mental error ligious delinquency, as well as for his religious and unbelief are not legitimate objects of civil opinions, is answerable to God alone. A man punishment, it has been contended, that they may be not merely impious, but immoral; he are not morally blameworthy or criminal. This may bo guilty of the basest ingratitude, the argument seems almost to imply, that, if moral | most hardened selfishness, the most reckless demerit did attach to error or unbelief, they profligacy; and yet, not violating the laws would then become legitimate objects of penal which protect the rights and property of others, restriction. Mr. Brougham's position is, that he may not be politically an offender. Will it man “has no control," over his belief, and be said, that he is not accountable for such therefore ought not to be called to account for conduct, because, by a human tribunal, he is it at a human tribunal. The expounder and not punishable? It is obvious, that legislative defender of his doctrine in the Westminster restrictions and penalties cannot reach to many Review, labours to prove, that the infidel is, or acts of the most flagrant criminality. In other may be, the most virtuous man, the most meri. words, the moral government of God cannot be torious as respects the honest way in which he administered through the medium of political deals with evidence : and on this account, it is institutions. It was never intended, that civil Rel. Mag.-Vol. II.
No. 7, -A