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Jews meant by the allegorical name matron, it is not easy to understand, and our author's attempt to explain it of the marriage between the human and divine natures in the Messiah, and of the Messiah's participation of his Father's dwelling and glory, as a queen shares those of the king her husband, will only excite a smile. Our author's reasoning on this passage is as follows: "Jehovah is said to have gone before his people in the cloud and pillar of fire, (plainly me ning that the visible sign of his presence went before them,) Sohar explains Jehovah here as meaning the Matron, (a fanciful and figurative expression by which some of the Jewish writers seem to have denominated the visible sign of God's presence,) but the Matron is elsewhere explained of the Shechinah, (by which expression the visible sign of God's presence with his people is certainly meant). Now Jewish writers have sometimes spoken of their expected Messiah as the Shechinah, therefore the writer of the book Sohar understood the Messiah by Jehovah, Exod. xiii. 21, and believed him to be truly God." By such reasoning any doctrine might be established.
The third extract from Midrasch Tehillim only shews, that in the writer's estimation it was correct and proper to describe what was done by the Messiah as done by God, since the Messiah could only perform his will and act by his power. Schoettgenius's own observation on R. Huna's eight names is sufficient, namely, that "Jehovah our righteousness" is evidently one name, and there has probably been another name lost which would make up the number. Now "Jehovah our righteousness" is a name of the kind which occurs so frequently in Scripture as Immanuel, Maher-shalal-hashbaz, &c., not intended to express the nature of the individual, but some circumstance to happen in his time or through his instrumentality. That it was thus the Jewish writers understood this name is manifest, from the comments of R. Joseph Albo and Kimchi, as quoted by our author above. In Echa Rabbathi, fol. 59, col. 2. What is the name of the King Messiah? R. Albo ben Cahana said: Jehovah is his name.
There is a direct and acknowledged reference to Jer. xxiii. 6, which explains the meaning, he is Jehovah our righteousness, for as Kimchi has it, In his days, the justice of God shall be established amongst us. In Midrasch Tehillim on Ps. xxi. 1. (God calls the King Messiah by his own name. But what is his name? Answer. Exod. xv. 3, Jehovah is a man of war, but this is said concerning the King Messiah.) The meaning is, that where God represents himself as a warrior, he does so in allusion to the victories which he would give to the Messiah, whom the Jews expected as a conqueror; but what can be clearer than that God, who calls the Messiah by his name to do him honour, and express his purpose of giving him success, is his superior in nature? We have but one passage more, that from Bava Bathra, and surely I need do no more than remark, that the Just and Jerusalem are in precisely the same state with the Messiah. The reference to Jer. xxiii. 6, shews the way in which the writer understood the Messiah to come under the name of God.
I think I have shewn that Schoettgenius has not proved from their writings that the Jews expected their Messiah as Jehovah, or ascribed this name to him as expressive of his Deity or Divine nature; and he has certainly nothing stronger to produce respecting any of the other names which can at all be considered as implying superiority of nature. I may, if I can find time hereafter, send you a few observations on the rabbinical sense of the phrase Son of God, as well as on the phrase Word of God, in the Targums, and on the Spirit of God being the Spirit of the Messiah. In the mean time I must venture to contradict Mr. Gurney's assertion respecting the doctrine of the Targums, and I conclude by reminding your readers that Justin Martyr, the earliest defender (and that not in the sense of modern Orthodoxy) of the divinity of Christ, complains much of the Jews as misunderstanding and perverting the Scripture, and represents Trypho as asserting that "all his nation expected the Messiah as a man born like other men,"-a testimony as to the opinions of the Jews,
clear, disinterested, because strongly opposed to the writer's wishes, and antecedent in time to all the Jewish writers above quoted; of course strongly confirming the view of their meaning which I have given.
HAVE read with much interest in your current Number, (p. 585,) Mr. Johnston's remarks "On some recent Hypotheses of the Origin of Evil." Many of them are conclusive; but essentially differing in opinion with him upon a particular point of practical import, I propose suggesting a few hints for his future consideration. Does he not, with many others, assume too much, and only sanction a popular prejudice, when he says, to reconcile the free agency of man with the strict and unlimited omniscience of the Deity, appears to our finite minds an impossibility, a contradiction in terms"? Every individual introduced into existence is placed in circumstances over which, in the first instance, he has no controul. Thence, however, to infer, he must always continue so, is a mere gratis dictum. Whether to be born or not is no object of choice; but is this a reason WHY introduced into being the subsequent development of our powers, when duly improved by ourselves, and matured, should not enable us to make elections? The infant, at birth, hungry and requiring food, would of itself presently perish; the faculties nevertheless as yet in embryo, when subsequently developed enable the child not merely to eat, but also to choose food the most suitable and agreeable to the palate and constitution.
tion. Thus, whatever ensues, neither unknown nor unprovided for, it opposes no obstacle to the exercise of the attribute of foreknowledge.
The Deity knows precisely what is, that a capacity is given of doing either right or wrong; but to contend upon account of the Divine foreknowledge of the ultimate result, that we must choose the one, and could not have chosen the other leaves no alternative, and is in effect to deny we can do either; thereby rendering the Divine prescience a nullity, it having no cognizance of nonentities. Compelled to act in one way rather than another, our privilege of choice ceases, and at the same time accountableness. With your valued and ingenious correspondent I perfectly agree, "That to reconcile the Necessarian hypothesis with moral accountability is equally impossible and absurd;" but differ from him in toto, when he considers it "a contradiction in terms to reconcile the free agency of man with the strict and unlimited omniscience of the Deity" believing that to do so is neither absurd nor impossible. Convinced of the practical importance of a meet elucidation of the point at issue, you will, I trust, pardon this intrusion. The above considerations are submitted to the candid inquirer, who possibly upon reflection may, with me, be of opinion, that the commonly-alleged inference of the incompatibility of the free agency of man with the Divine foreknowledge, is an assumed dogma of highly injurious tendency, as, if proved to be true, it must sap the very foundation of morals, by being utterly subversive of the moral relation, or at least of such a view of it as is consistent and compatible with the Christian doctrine of a future state of retribution.
Upon the supposition (apprehended to be correct) of the Creator having placed us in circumstances in which a real choice of action is given, not at birth, but subsequently attainable by our own exertions, it will be no impediment to the Divine foreknowledge, that either the one or the other of two given results takes place, however opposite in their nature and quality, as of right and wrong: for instance, the Creator having provided for the alternative-a fact fully confirmed to us by the Christian revela4 0
a catalogue of French books, sold by "Louis de Wainne, à Bruxelles," which is annexed to Actions Héroiques et Plaisantes de L'Empereur Charles V.," the Approbation to which is dated 1674, I find the following articles:
"Apologie du Sistême des Saints
Pères sur la Trinité, contre les Tropolatres et les Socinies, par Mr. Faydit." "Réfutation du Sistême de Mr. Faydit, sur la Trinité."
Can any of your readers say who were les Tropolatres? I have in vain examined the great French dictionaries to discover them, or the "Sistême de Mr. Faydit." For the substance of the following account of that ecclesiastic, who appears to have received the customary recompence of a Reformer, I am indebted to Nouv. Dict. Hist., (1789,) III. pp. 581, 582,
L'Abbé Pierre Faydit, a native of Riom, in Auvergne, was expelled from the congregation of the Oratory, in 1671, for having published a Cartesian work, de Mente humanâ. He afterwards preached at Paris, against Innocent XI., in defence of the liberties of the Gallican Church. In 1696, he was confined at Saint Lazare, for a publication, which, according to his biographer, was Tritheistic ("il paroissoit favoriser le Trithéisme"). It was the first volume of a work entitled "Altération du Dogme Théologique par la Philosophie d' Aristote; on fausses idées des Scholastiques sur les matières de la Religion." Unreclaimed by his restraint at St. Lazare, he was banished by the king to his
ive country, where he died in 1709. Besides the work for which he was thus persecuted, Faydit published Remarks on Virgil, Homer, and the poetical style of the Holy Scripture; Télémaco-manie, a censure of Fenelon, and satirical verses on Bossuet. He also attacked the Memoirs of Tillemont. In "Dictionnaire Historique des Auteurs Ecclésiastiques," (1767,) Faydit is charged with a presumptuous attempt to render a Trinity intelligible. Il osoit donner ses idées sur ce mystère ineffable qui doit être pour nous un objet de la plus profonde adoration." This presumption is, however, charitably attributed to a distempered brain. "Il fut enfermé à St. Lazare comme un homme dont le cerveau étoit attaqué.”
In reference to your correspondent's inquiry, (p. 573,) I find in Phil. Trans. for 1757, (Vol. L. Pt. I. Art. 15,) a paper, "Read Feb. 24," being "An Account of the Peat-pit, near
Newbury in Berkshire, in an extract of a letter from John Collett, M. D. to the Bishop of Ossory, F. R. S." Dr. Collett died in 1784, as appears from the following notice in the Obituary of the Gent. Mag. (L. 252). "May 12, Dr. Collett, physician at Newbury, Berks. His amiable qualities and eminence in his profession deservedly entitled him to that extensive practice which he enjoyed for a great number of years." His age is omitted.
Dr. Collett was, probably, of the family mentioned by Whiston under the year 1747, (Mem. 1753, L. 417,) "Samuel Collet," his "most intimate Christian friend," who appears to have resided “at Great Marlow," and "Governor Collet," an acquaintance of "Sir Peter King," then one of Whiston's "Council in the Court of Delegates," afterwards Lord Chancellor. From the memorandum of a conversation with my excellent friend, Dr. Toulmin, when he visited me at Bromley in 1813, I find that “Mr. James, a Presbyterian minister at Newbury," was a descendant of Governor Collet; of whom I may, probably, send you some further account.
I wish I could say more of Dr. Collett, especially to gratify your correspondent N, to whom your readers have been so frequently indebted.
J. T. RUTT.
"Still pleased to praise, yet not afraid to blame."-Pore.
ART. I.-An Analytical Investigation
T is a singular fact," (says Dr. Cogan, who was a diligent student of the Scriptures, and a very cautious theologian,) "which has not been sufficiently attended to, that although the current language of the New Testament seems to intimate a general belief in the existence of malignant spirits in the land of Judea, yet there are no instances of the practical influence of the creed. They were never worshiped; there are no marks of incantations, or the use of superstitious ceremonies, to soothe their malice; nor of any supplications to the true God for protection against them. So that, if their existence was believed, it was a mere inert opinion. And it is as singular a fact, that the perverse imaginations of numerous Christians have revived those works of darkness which the Saviour came to destroy. During many ages has the Christian Church not only believed in the existence, but in the perpetual agency of such beings. Public prayers have been composed, and are continually repeated, to be delivered from their malignancy. Credulity has compressed those mighty beings, who once dared the Omnipotent to arms,' into little irksome, mischievous imps; and has rendered them as numerous as the flies that meander in the sun. Superstition has consecrated the bells of our churches, that their undulations may keep these evil spirits at a distance from departing souls; and it expects either to drown the little immortals in holy water, or to inspire them with a kind of hydrophobia,
which makes them shudder at its approach. So obstinately perverse have been these errors, that pious and learned divines have thought it their duty to place those who disbelieve the existence of such agents, in the rank of INCORRIGIBLE ATHEISTS. Notions like these are, in fact, the revival of Paganism in the very centre of Christianity. They are a close resemblance of the perverse idolatry of the Jews, in spite of the Monotheism peculiar to their religion: and they prove that ignorance breeds dæmons, fiends, imps, &c. &c., as numerous, and as various, as the animalcula which are produced from putrefactions."
These remarks may lessen the apprehensions with which some inquirers approach the subject of evil spirits and remove the alarm which many Christians, far superior to the multitude in their religious notions, feel at the discussion of this topic in popular discourses. The people entertain false and pernicious opinions and superstitious feelings with regard to diabolical agency. Is it not desirable that they should be well-instructed on this point, and does not even piety require that doctrines which militate against the Divine perfections should be exposed and confuted?
Some persons who may assent to the affirmative in these questions may still reply, that the best mode of removing error is the establishing of positive truth. They judge that the fortress of superstition may be more easily undermined than taken by storm. Fix, they say, in men's minds just principles with regard to the Divine Government, and the prejudices that are inconsistent with these will gradually fall away of themselves. Plausible as this plan of proceeding is, experience does not furnish many proofs of its efficacy. It is true, that they who plead for letting superstition alone, that it may die a natural death, have seen prejudice after prejudice
* Theol. Disquis. being Vol. IV. of the Work on the Passions, Note K., pp. 475, 476.
and one species of intolerance after another wither and perish; but this has not been the consequence of their own passiveness, but of the spirited and fearless labours of others, to whom they have never given more than faint praise," whom they have never encouraged, much less assisted, and whom on any failure or extraordinary ebullition of popular dislike they have been the foremost to censure and condemn. Questions of revelation can be determined only by an appeal to revelation. The common sense, or even piety of the vulgar, cannot rise above an error while they believe that there are texts of Scripture in its favour. If their reason or piety and the Bible are at variance, they become unbelievers. It is therefore of great importance to teach the people that the true doctrines of Christianity are agreeable to the sound judgments of the human understanding, and that it is solely through the misinterpretation of the language of Holy Writ that the contrary position has been maintained.
Certain theological discussions are more delicate than others, and require to be carried on with great prudence. Amongst these we are willing to place the subject of these Lectures, on which prejudice is peculiarly irritable, owing partly, perhaps, to a suspicion that the popular doctrine is not altogether tenable. Is not this suspicion manifest also in the ludicrous associations of ideas that are general with regard to evil spirits, whose names and images, if they were seriously believed to exist and to be perpetually acting upon the soul of man, would raise only emotions of awe and terror? For this last reason, it is very difficult to debate the subject without violating decorum. But whatever call there may be for a careful consideration of the best manner of disproving the doctrine, no justification can be set up of allowing the doctrine to work undisturbed upon the public mind, which would not be a virtual abandonment of revealed truth, as unimportant and inefficacious.
Such as do not consider themselves "set for the defence of the gospel," must admire the courage of those who having, as they think, discovered the mind of God in the Scriptures, step forward on every proper occasion to proclaim what they know, and in this
ministry keep back none of the Divine counsel. Of this class is the author of these Lectures. Mr. Scott has been upwards of thirty-four years the pas tor of the Presbyterian congregation, now avowedly Unitarian, at Portsmouth. Those that know him need not be told that during this long period he has been indefatigable and exemplary in the discharge of every ministerial duty. He has lived to see and enjoy the fruits of his labours. His congregation has of late increased numerically, and the thirst for theological information and zeal for truth have grown proportionably among its individual members. He has been thus led of necessity to preach upon controversial points, and hence these Lectures, the immediate occasion of which he shall himself explain :
"The discussion pursued in the fol
lowing sheets was more a matter of neaccustomed to comply with such requests cessity than of choice. The author is
as are made with seriousness and decorum, to preach on any particular passage of Scripture immediately connected with the controverted doctrines of the gospel. About three weeks before the commencement of these Lectures, he was discoursing on the Parable of the Sower, and incidentally remarked that the wicked one did not, as was usually considered, being as the Devil is described by his refer to any such powerful, malignant advocates; and that Englishmen learned more about this supposed potent enemy of the human race, from Milton's Paradise Lost, Cruden's Concordance, the Assembly's and other Catechisms, than from the Old and New Testament.' To support this assertion, it was observed, from a late valuable and learned critic, that the word Satan, or Devil, signifies and that no single text, or any number throughout the Scriptures an adversary,' of texts, in which these words occur, afford any proof of the proper personality or real existence of any such being as Satan, or the Devil, is generally supposed to be. Many plain, distinct passages of Scripture, and the general spirit of them all, oblige us to understand these terms figuratively, of an allegorical person, not
a real one.'
"In the course of the ensuing week, the Author received a letter from an oc
casional hearer, who appeared to be very
"The Rev. John Simpson, of Bath: Essays on the Language of Scripture, Vol. 1. p. 159."