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ROBINSON CRUSOE AND HIS MAN FRIDAY.
January 135o, I met with an Extract of Robinson Crusoe's Dialogue with his man Friday concerning the Devil; taken from Dt. Kippis's life of De Foc, in his Biographia Britiannica, which its transcriber Mr. Evans, cousiders as “ A curious anecdote respecting the doctrine of Universal Restoration," and on which, relying on your impartiality, I beg leave to offer a few remarks, for insertion soon as convenient.
Were it not for our natural proneness to receive whatever appeare congenial with our views, I should hardly suppose the insertion of that extract could have been judged favourable to the object of your Miscellany, but on the contrary, prejudical to it; on account of its incompetency to furnish any proof for its support Even in Dr. Kippis's own estimation, if not Mr. E.'s also, it is insufficient to ascertain so much 23, whether De Foe's opinion coincided with the doctrine : but if it did.. unless his opinion were infallible, its weight in the scale is a mere feather. The extract merely sets before us an imaginary character, sejoicing in the sentiment; on what grounds remain to be examined: in the interim, permit me to ask, what is likely to be thought of the individual, whose religious opinion can be either gratified or strengthned by so filtilious a testimonial? Or of that system whose advocates can so readily catch at it? for says Mr. E., “ Certain it is, that the honest unsophisticated heart of Friday thought, and rejoiced in the thought, that the mercy of the Supreme Being would embrace the whole creation."
“ Many fine displays of natural sentiment (says Dr. Kippis) occur in Robinson Crusoe's man Friday." How are we to understand the Dr.? Does he only mean to say that natural sentiment is finely displayed in Friday? Or that Friday's natural sentiments themselves are fine? From the extract, the latter seems to be his opinion; to concur in which however, some may possibly hesitate : not only because natural sentiment is' in general, insufficient to determine what is truth; but even, in particular, on account of the figure it cuts in this very dialogue, wherein 'ris certain De Foe has finely delineated its misconception, its dissatisfaction with scripture, and its consequent aptness to imbibe fallacy; with all these circumstances in view, it is truly curious that Friday's natural sentiment should be produced in favour of any doctrine: or that, whatever praise may be due to his honesty of heart, he should be complimented with having an unsophisticated one!
Nev rtheless, it is only by this compliment, paid to Friday at the cxpence of the honesty and truth of all who differ from him, that the extract in question is moulded to serve the Universal Doctrine. It is VOL. IV.
rather strange that a gentleman of Mr. E.'s can dour, should suffer such an insinuation to escape his pen, and tho' it possibly arose from that glow of heart, which sometimes carries nis beyond ourselves, yet, such a manner of expression always wears an ill appearance, as tho' deficiency of argument were supplied by artifice; and, but for this compliment (of which the latter part is groundless, and the whole of it, thro' its insidious complexion, offensive) I dont know, Sir, that I should have troubled either you or inyself with these lines.
Having said, it is certain De Foe has finely delineated the misconception, &c. of natural sentiment, give me leave 10 justify the assertion, by appealing to the extract before us. Friday being informed by his master that God was stronger than the devil, asks; “ If God much strong, much might as the devil, why God not kill the devil, so enake him no more wicked?" What a specimen is here of the misconception arising from natural sentiment! for tho' the idea may be very natural in the mouth of so ignorant a character, still it is exceedingly remote from truth. By this unexpected question, his master is well represented as surprized and embarrassed, from which state, “ having recoverd himself a little, he answers, “'That God would at last punish the devil severely; that he is reserved for judgment and is to be cast into the bottomless pit to dwell with everlasting fire.” Is not this answer truly grounded on scripture? hut with this, it seems, the natural sentiment of Friday remain s dissatisfied, for, says the extract, “ Still, however, Friday not being satisfied, returns upon his inaster, repeating his words— Reserve at last! me no understood. But whiy not kill the devil now? why not kill great ago?" For this Crusoe endeavours to account by replying You may as well ask me why God does not kill you and me, when we do wicked things here that offend him; we are reserved to repent and be pardoned." Now as Crusoe confounds two such different states as that of the devils, whom God spared not, but cast down into hell to be reserved unto judgment, and that of wicked men upon earth whom God, in long suffering, does share that they may repent and be pardoned, here is the fallacy, which the natural sentiment of the ill-taught Friday, presently imbibes; and produces that mighty affe&tionate answer Mr. E. so much admires, “Well, well, that well; so you, I, devil, all wicked, ALL preserve, repent,--God pardon all." What therefore does this conversation exhibit, but a striking example of natural sentiment, finally becoming the dupe of sophistry? which, as it affords the instructive lesson that our religious mistakes are considerably owing to the influence of natural sentiinent, was very improvidently indeed brought forward to corroborate the Universal Doctrine.
Be it moreover remarked Crusoe's adswer is not only very deceptive, by blending together the case of devils in hell, with that of wicked men upon earth, but even the case of the latter is very imperfectly stated. “We are reserved to repent and be pardoned," as tho' the repentance and pardon of wicked men here, were an end absolutely certain, unto which their being reserved, is an inseparable mean. Thus every thing of future punishment (whether oudless or limited) being quite lost sight of, Friday of course naturally infets, “. All wicked, ALL presetve, repent
-God pardon all." This inference therefore, by asserting too much, asserts just nothing
It may now be requisite to assign some reason for De Foe's putting such an exceptionable answer into the inouth of Crusoe; and if the lesson above inentioned were not his design, there is hút another which may prove satisfactory to every one, i.e. attention to charakter. Crusoe, in instructing the ignorant savage, is not intended to represent a minister of the gospel, but merely the plain well-disposed seaman; who, pressed and puzzled by his man's out of the way question, is doing the best he can : under these circumstances, and in an off-hand answer too, his falling into inaccuracy and fallacy, is as happily conceived, as the 'eccentric natural sentiment is, which is displayed in Friday. In this point of view De Poe shines as an author. But, to suppose (with Er. K.) he possibly intended “ covertly to insinuate that there might be a more merciful distribution of things, in the final results of divine providence than he dared at that time openly to exhibit," is not only to suppose him an indifferent logician, but also very unfortunate in the choice of his characters-The puzzled mistaking seaman, and the ignorant Indian, so much resembling the blind leading the blind, do very ill suit such a purpose; and can stamp no validity on the sentiment.--But if, on the other hand, we for a moment imagine that he intended to expose the fallacy of the doctrine, or to satyrize both its teachers and disciples too, would it not have been difficult for him, consistent with christian charity, to have struck out a more suitable, or mortifying an expedient?-But as such a design as this would certainly prové unsatisfactory to De Foe's peculiar admirers, we will drop it, hy saying in our turn, perhaps it may be going too far to assert he had any such intention.
Had these strictures been made on an anonymous piece, there are many inducements which would have made me gladly avail inyself of the opportunity of letting this be anonymous too but since the case is different, I feel it incuinbent on me to act otherwise, and therefore, Sir, with all due respect 10 Mr. Evans and youreself, subscribe myself
Yours in the gospel of truth,
QUERY ON SCARLETT'S TESTAMENT.
LOOKING over Mr. Scarlett's Testament, I observe the Greek word
baptizo is uniformly translated immerse. If this is the true idea of the Greek word, would it not have been more proper to have rendered Math. iii. 11. (and similar places) “ 1 indeed immerse you in water," instead of saying “ with water?". To say, I dip you with water is not proper.
ACCOUNT OF THE INQUISITION.
INNOCENT the Third, a Pope as enterprizing as he was successful in
his enterprizes, having sent Dominic, with some missionaries, inta Languedoc, these men so irritated the Heretics they were sent to convert, that most of them were assassinated at Toulouse, in the year 1200. It was then he called
for aid temporal arms, and published against them a crusade; granting, as is usual with the Popes on similar occasions, all kinds of indulgences and pardons to those who should arm against these Mahometans, as he stiled these unfortunate men. Raimond, Count of Toulouse, was constrained to submit. The inhabitants were passed on the edge of the sword, without distinction of age or sex. It was then he established that scourge of Europe, THE INQUISITION : for having considered that, though all might be compelled to submit by arins, there might remain numbers who would profess..particular dogmas, he restablished this sanguinary tribunal solely to inspect into all families, and examine all persons who' they imagined were unfriendly to the interests of Rome. Dominic did so much by his cares and continued pursecutions, that he firmly established it at Toulouse. "
It was as late as the year 1484 that it became known in Spain. It was also to a Dominican, John de Torquemada, that the court of Rome owed this obligation, As he was the confessor of Queen Isabella, he had extorted from her a proinise that, if ever she ascended the throne, she would use every means to extirpate heresy and heretics. Ferdinand had conquered Grenada, and had chaсed from the Spanish realms multitudes of ortunate Moor. A few had remained; who, with the Jews, he obliged to become Christians : they at least assumed the name; but it was well known that both these nations naturally respected their own prejudices; rather than those of the Christians.
Torquemada prétended that this dissimulation would greatly hurt the interests of the Holy Religion. The queen listened with respectful diffidence to her confessor; and, at length, gained over the ring to consent to the establishment of this barbarous tribunal Terquemada, indefatigable in his zeal for the holy seat, in the space of four ieen years that he exercised the office of chief inquisitor, persécuted near eizhiy thousand persons, of whom six thousand were condemned to the fames !
Voltaire attributes the taciturnity of the Spaniards to the universal horror such proceedings spread He says A general jealousy and suspicion took possession of all ranks of people : friendship and sociability were all' at an end! Brothers were aíraid of brothers; fathers of their children,
Let us contemplate a slight sketch of that DESPOTISM which, with the destruction of the Bastile, we hope is extinguished throughout Europe.
During the pontificate of Sixtus the fifth the Inquisition was powerful and rigorous in Rome. Muretus, in writing to De Thou the historian, says"! we do not know what becomes of the people here. Almost
every day, when I rise I hear, with an alarming surprize, how such an one has disappeared. We dare not whisper our suspicions : the Inquisition would e immediately at our doors."
Taverner, in his Travels, ioforms us, that a man of letters, who had fallen into the hands of the inqu sitors, said, that nothing troubled him so much as the ignorance of the inquisitor and his council when they put any question; so that he inclined to believe that not one of them had really read the Scriptures!
Dr Grainger aifords us a curious piece of information. He assures us, that in his remembrance, a horse, that had been taught to tell the spots upon cards, the hour of the day, &c. by significant bokens, was, together with his owner, put into the inquisition for both of them dealing with the devil! The man who teaches a horse, in the present day, will be much better paid than the philosopher who instructs his scholars.
The Inquisition have chosen to punishi heretics hy fire, in preference to any other punishment; because (Bayle assures us) it is to elude the maxim, Ecclesia non novit sanguinem; which they conceive to be observed in these punishments; as burning a man, they say, does not break his bones, or shed his blood ! ~Religion has her quibbles as well as Law.
Although we imagine that the fires of this terrible tribunal are extinguished, its ashes may yet kind e. It was only as far back as the year 1761, that Gabrie Malagrida, an old man of seventy, was burnt by these evangelical executioners. His verbal process was printed at Amsterdam, 1762, from the Lisbon copy. And for what was this unh. ppy Jesuit condemned? Not, as some have imagined, for his having been concerned in a conspiracy against the King of Portugal. No other charge is laid to him in his verbal process, but that of having induiged certain heretical notions, which any other tribunal than that of the Inquisition wou d have looked upon as the delirious tancies of an old fanatic. Will posterity believe that, in the eighteenth cen'ury, an aged visionary was led to the stake, for having said, amongst other extravagancies, that—" The holy Virgin having commanded him to write the life of Anti-Christ, toid hin that he, Malagrida, was a second John, but more clear than John the Evangelist: that there were to he three Anti-Christs, and that the last should be born at Milan, of a Monk and a Nun, in the year 1920; and that he would marry Proserpine, one of the infernal furies."
It was for such rayings as these the unhappy old man was burnt; which, I repeat once more, was not forty years ago!