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He may be profoundly skilled in the Greek metres; he may make Latin verses according to the most perfect rules of prosody, while he may be totally ignorant of the original fountain of divine knowledge in the Old Testament, or the system of truth which he swears to explain and defend.
With the Dissenting clergy, the case is not much better. Most of their academies are but apologies for a Theological Seminary. The statement of one fact will amply confirm this assertion. The whole circle of arts and sciences, Greek, Hebrew, theology, pastoral duties, and the composition of sermons, are all taught by two persons, or at most, by three. Who can rise to eminence as a teacher in every conceivable branch of knowledge? But without eminent teachers, there will be no accomplished scholars. Or, if an exception sometimes occurs, it will be in spite of the system of study, and not in consequence of it. Two instructors teaching that which twenty men hardly suffice to do well! Besides, only five or six years are devoted to what are termed in this country academical, collegiate and theological studies, which here occupy and crowd nine years, if not ten or eleven. This mixed mode of study, partly scientific and literary, and partly theological, has never prospered in the United States. The attempt has been made again and again with full faith and fervent zeal, only to be abandoned in despair. Theology is a science. Adequately to master it demands three or four years of undivided and determined study. Preparation to preach
the gospel will not spring up from the ground by accident. The age, the state of things in England demand that the Dissenting clergymen should be well-trained men in all needful discipline, able to meet their most accomplished opponents on equal ground. We would respectfully say to these brethren: It is time for you to change your policy. If you cannot educate your sons at Oxford and Cambridge, if you cannot break down the barrier there, then send them to the Scottish universities or to the London university. If you are unable or unwilling to do this, then transform Homerton academy into a proper bona fide college, and Highbury into a theological seminary, each on perfectly independent grounds, literary and theological. Instead of building up a mixed seminary at Birmingham, lay out your resources in making a strong college, and persuade a sister city to found a seminary exclusively for theology. We verily believe that such a course would accomplish more for your denominations, would give them more intellectual vigor and moral efficiency than fifty of your hermaphrodite
establishments, which are neither one thing nor the other. You may coldly reply that we are ignorant of your circumstances, that we speak at random, and multiply words without knowledge. We answer, that we have honestly formed our opinion from your own confessions and statements, from conversing with your ministers, and from reading some of your sermons.
The condition of scholarship in England, in some of the most important departments, is confessedly low. A late English writer attributes the want of scholarship to the character and tendency of that scholarship itself; to the character, habits and dispositions of the English people; and to the peculiar constitution of the English schools and universities. But whatever the causes may be, the fact is indisputable; in the department of ethical and mental philosophy there is no living writer of note. There has been no contribution to these sciences, of any considerable value, since the days of Tucker and Paley; for Sir James Mackintosh was a Scotchman, and Coleridge's Remains are disjecta membra. Loud complaints have long been uttered against Dr. Paley's system, yet no one has arisen to supply the deficiency. The most that the professor of moral philosophy at Cambridge (who dislikes Paley) promises, is a reprint of Bishop Butler's Sermons on Human Nature, with excerpts from other authors, and illustrative notes from his own pen.
In Biblical Literature, the land is equally barren. This might, indeed, be anticipated from the want of theological institutions. The Biblical Cabinet, consisting of translations from the best evangelical German commentators, has met with very meager encouragement. Bishop Marsh, the commentator on Michaelis, and Bishop Burgess, who was so strenuous an asserter of the claims of the Hebrew language, failed to excite any enthusiasm in their favorite studies. Dr. Lee, of Cambridge, is, undoubtedly, a man of eminent learning, possessing an extraordinary aptitude for the acquisition of languages; but we have not been deeply impressed by the soundness of his judgment, nor by the liberality of his views. Dr. Bloomfield,
ter the lists at all. Among these very few, Drs. Smith and Henderson deserve honorable mention. The English mind seems to have no affinity to the study, or rather a positive antipathy to it. Our attention has just been called to a notice, advertising the Rev. J. Prosser's “ Key to the Hebrew Scriptures,” in which he strenuously argues against the vowel points! The question in regard to their utility appears still to be a disputed topic among our transatlantic brethren. They have but little appreciation yet of the vast stores of erudition (no small part of these stores well digested too) which are to be found in the German language. There is a horror, almost amounting to Gallo-phobia, at the sight of a book bearing the Teutonic impress.* A wretched ignorance of the true principles of biblical interpretation is prominent in the one thousand and one efforts which have been made to decipher the prophetical portions of the Bible. The theory which maintains the personal and visible reign of Christ on earth, before the millennium, embraces not a few distinguished adherents, and is said to be rapidly gaining ground; a theory which would never become popular in a country where sound principles of here meneutics prevailed.
We make these observations in no spirit of ill-will or uncharitableness. Our English brethren are doing themselves great honor in many of the branches of natural science, and in East Indian philology. But in most of the departments of literature, common and sacred, they fall far below their old reputation, and their present capabilities. They must go to work, and master the German language, and be willing to sit at the feet of the continental scholars. Instead of crying out incessantly against German neology and mysticism, let them patiently study, we do not say the philosophy of the Germans, but their great histories, their profound oriental disquisitions, their learned commentaries on the Bible; and then, if they please, let them impregnate these productions with the homely good sense and sterling honesty and sober piety of England. They will be the wiser and the better, and the world will thank them.
her great manufacturing districts. In this way alone can she put down Chartism, and every other form of turbulent democracy. In this course only will she
accomplish salutary, peaceable reforms in church or state. England has most solemn duties now to be performed at home. She has no time to waste in bickering. Her nobility and gentry, her merchant princes and her geat landed proprietors have a vital and an untold interest in this work of evangelizing the whole country. Their rights will be as chaff before the whirlwind when once a million of uneducated Chartists are in motion. The universities must adopt needed reforms, and show a warm sympathy in the well-being of the whole people, if they would preserve their charters untouched and their walls undesecrated." Ministers at the altar must aspire after a profounder scholarship, a more radical acquaintance with the word of God, a deeper knowledge of the science of theology. While physical researches are pushed farther and farther, it must not be forgotten, that mental and especially moral subjects are of higher moment, and demand a more earnest atte ation.
A NOTICE OF THE Rev. Dr. Woods' REVIEW OF “ AN ESSAY
ON CAUSE AND EFFECT, IN CONNECTION WITH FATALISM AND FREE AGENCY :"-Ain. Bib. Repos. Jan., 1840, Vol. III. pp. 174—193. Ibid. July and October, 1840, Vol. IV. pp. 217—242, and 467-485.
By the Author of the “Essay."
The writer of the above mentioned Essay on Cause and Effect,* did not design to enter the lists in any theological or metaphysical controversy, but rather to excite other and more competent minds to engage in the discussion. As this aim has been so happily accomplished, and the matter is fairly in the hands of others, fully competent, the writer will notice Dr.
* This “Essay" appeared in the Repository for October, 1839, p. 381.
Woods' articles only so far as is needful, either to explain misconceptions, or to suggest topics for farther discussion.
A great part of Dr. Woods' remarks are based on the supposition, that the article he criticises teaches, that emotions and desires are not under the control of the will. An article on this subject in a preceding number of this work,* exhibits the writer's views more at large, and it is supposed that nothing there presented is inconsistent with any thing advanced in the Essay on Cause and Effect. The appalling deductions made by Dr. Woods, it will be seen, do not result from any thing actually presented, but merely from a misapprehension.
Most of the remaining part of Dr. Woods' criticisms are based on another misconception of the ideas expressed in the original article. But in order to present this part of the subject clearly, the writer asks attention to the following definitions and remarks, which are either expressed or assumed to be true, in the article on Cause and Effect.
Power :-a simple idea, gained when any change takes place.
Power is spoken of in several relations, as the following illustration will show. A man may have all the power
and skill needful to swim, and yet may not be able to exercise this power for want of the appropriate fluid. In this case, he has power in one sense, and no power in another; that is, he has constitutional power, but not actual. But
the man has power to secure the appropriate fluid, then he has actual power, in case he performs a previous act, and no power if he does
Before he performs the act he has indirect actual power, and after it is performed, he has direct actual power. In these relations, therefore, it can be asserted, that a man has and has not power to swim. He has power in one sense, i. e. indirect actual power. He has not power in another sense, i. e. he has not power, until he performs a previous act. This distinction between actual and constitutional power, and between direct and indirect actual power, is very important in this discussion.
Impossible signifies without power.
Impossible, absolutely, signifies that there is no power any· where to make a given change. For example:
God exists. A thing cannot be, and not be at the same time. These propo
* An Essay on the Power of the Will over the other Facul. ties:-Am. Bib. Repos. October, 1840, p. 378.