Page images

mentioned” (p. 22) "his Arian friend's man" had said, incorrectly, (p. 14,) preface to Mr. Stennet's book of that “those in the Arian scheine Hymns," in which he had inferred, nerally triumph when Christ is somefrom Pliny's Epistle to Trajan, that times spoke of as mere man, as if that “ the Christians of that time sang bespoke him to be nothing more.” songs or hymns to Christ as God,” Incorrectness should, however, be exlaments, in a note, that he should cused, for “ these letters were not de" afterwards renounce that important signed for the press; the author was article, and continue so to his death." far enough from such a thought; but I had the curiosity to look into Sten- they having been perused by divers net's Hymns for the Lord's Supper, gentlemen, that were called good 3rd edition, 1713." After an “Ad- judges in this controversy, the author vertisement to the Reader," there is has been prevailed on, by their imporThe Preface by another hand,” writ- tunity, to do violence to his inclinaten chiefly “in vindication of the tions, and suffer them to come practice of singing the praises of God abroad.” Having, however, done what as a part of Christian worship.” The he thinks“ sufficient to convince writer describes himself as one who gainsayers," as to those “that are “ laboured under the prejudices of fond of engaging in controversies--he education to the contrary.” At the does not design to reply to any thing end of the preface, in which are nu- they may object;" having discovered, merous quotations from the New Tes- after disputing through nearly 100 tament, all in Greek, there is “a pages, that “ disputes are endless, and hymn written by the same hand, upon not his province." his being convinced that singing is a “ That Jesus Christ is God by nam part of divine worship.” The “ Coun- ture, of the same essence with the try Gentleinan” qnotes, incorrectly, Father," is the proposition” which not, I hope, with design, his friend's the “Two Letters” are designed to translation of Pliny, whose Latin is prove. Some of these proofs would, in the margin, for, in the preface, the probably, be rejected, as insufficient, words relied upon are, “ to Christ as by our more cautious Trinitarians. a God,” the proper sense of Pliny, However easily a Country Gentle who, familiar with the Pagan deifica- man” might be satisfied, a practised tion of heroes, and of favourites of polemic would not, I apprehend, venfortune, who were no heroes, would ture to argue, as in the conclusion easily misunderstand the language of of this preface, that if there is a grateful praise for blessings received God the Father, it necessarily infers, through the mediation of Christ, which that he has a Son that is God also; must, then, have abounded, as it al. or the epithet Father, is impertinent ways ought to abound, in the worship and superfluous ;" and again, “ that of the Christians.

if there is God the Father, there must I have observed very little out of be God the Son, or he must be a Fathe way of modern Arianism in the ther without a Son, which would be quotations from the MS., except that an absurdity.” the writer appears to have adopted Yet if the « Country Gentleman” Biddle's notion respecting the Holy was no great clerk, he was not a conSpirit, as he is said to take much fident and pitiless distributor of divine pains to prove the Holy Ghost to be a vengeance on supposed heretical pracreature, though with degrees of exvity, such as too many great clerks cellency superior to other creatures." have proved themselves.

He was Also, the author of the MS., having "not one of those who damn to hell put “ the doctrine of the Trinity all that differ from himn in this point, upon a level with Transubstantiation," though he would not be one of them, the “ Country Gentleman” describes nor choose to take his lot amongst the latter (p. 17) as a God made by them.” He may also put to shame, a creature, which,” he adds, is unless they are shameless, our Chris. downright nonsense, as well as blas- tian persecutors, who still “ery ha phemy, and is very near of kin to vock," though they have already that Arian position, that a creature brought an indelible stain upon the can create principalities, angels and character of British freedom, and have worlds." Yet the " Country Gentle. done more than infidelity could ever

[ocr errors]

effect, to dishonour “the worthy name I quoted in p. 326, col. 2, President by which they are called.”. As to Edwards, as providing for the elect “the Arians,” (p. vi.,)“ who are in in heaven, as a relish of their own a very dangerous mistake,” he is for enjoyments,” the sight of their near“ calling for the woril to convince est and dearest connexions on earth, them, but not for the sword to destroy writhing in the indescribable torments them;" because “ fire and faggot, of their eternal damnation. I have fines and imprisonments, are the en- since found that the President was gines of hell and Rome, but tend no- thus anticipated by a divine of the thing to convince any one of the truth Church of Scotland :as it is in Jesus, who never suffered “No pity shall then be shewn to the least injury to be done to any them from their nearest relations. that rejected his doctrine, except the The godly wife shall applaud the jus. Gadarenes, who preferred their hogs to tice of the judge, in the condemnalieaven ; and, therefore, he justly suf- tion of her ungodly husband : the fered the Devil to take possession of godly husband shall say amen to the them, but did no harm to these vile damnation of her who lay in his wretches themselves.” In this spirit bosom : the godly parents shall say once argued St. Athanasius ; and it Hallelujah, at the passing of the were well could he gain the attention sentence against their ungodly child: of those Christian persecutors, who and the godly child shall from his heard unmoved the dictates of truth heart approve the damnation of his and freedom from Hume and the late wicked parents, the father who begat lamented Ricardo. “The Devil,” says him, and the mother who bore lum.” the orthodox Saint, when suffering un- Mr. Thomas Boston, who died mider Arian persecution, “ does there- nister of Etterick, in 1732, is the aufore use violence, because he has a thor of this description, in his celebad cause, and the truth is not in him. brated Calvinistic treatise the Four. Jesus Christ, on the contrary, uses fold State. (State IV. Head IV. Sec. only exhortations, because his cause 9.) Well might my friend Dr. Southis good.” (See “A Sermon, on Jan. wood Smith (from whose Illustra30, 1732,” in Gordon's Tracts, 1751, tions, p. 381, I have quoted the pasII. p. 294, Lardner, IV. 281, 282, sage) say of such theologians as BosIX. 212.) Lactantius, as quoted by ton and Edwards, that “there are Lariner, thus concisely settles the persons in whom system has so question : Nec potest aut veritas completely subdued the feelings of cum vi, aut justitia cum crudelitate humanity, that they have brought conjungi ;” a decision which may teach themselves to view this horrid picture us what the Christianity must be, to with a steady gaze, to contemplate it which a persecutor can successfully with complacency, nay, even to affirm appeal as “ part and parcel of the that it is beautiful and glorious.” law of England;" whether that oracu- A description of hell-torments is, lar dictum proceed from a Hale or a I suspect, among the sober-minded Jeffries, a Bailey or a Best.

of those who believe in the endless To return, once more, to the au- misery of the non-elect, no longer a thor of the MS. and the Country favourite topic as it used to be when Gentleman,” of whom I wish any of that awful subject was treated from your readers may give a further ac- the pulpit and the press with horrible count. Both the disputants appear minuteness and a most presumptuous to have held a common faith in a confidence. Yet even of those rash supposed natural religion, on which intruders on futurity, very few proso many pages had been expended, bably can be found, who proposed, till the necessity of revelation became like Boston and Edvards, to consumvery fairly a question. Thus, as Dr. mate the bliss of heaven by a contemEllis well observes in his “Knowledge plation of the torments of hell; and of Divine Things,” (1771, p. 12,) “ a those torments hopelessly endured, zeal for natural theology had well perhaps, by nigh destroyed all religion, and Dr.

“ husband, father, wife, Clarke fell a sacrifice to Tindal by And all the dear companions of our life." the very weapons he had put into his In the same page 326, according to hands."

a favourite distinction of the moderate Calvinists, I have mentioned he doth predestinate to his children.” “ preterition or reprobation,” though Institution, (1634) p. 462. it is, indeed, scarcely any thing but I have been very desirous of noa distinction without a difference, or ticing, before the conclusion of your according to Wesley's explanation, present volume, a passage (p. 55, col. “God did not damn them, but decreed, l) in the Obituary of Dr. Aikin. They vever should be saved ;"

I was the arbitrator chosen by the

other party in 1806, and have still a Though Bishop Burnet, in his Ex- distinct recollection of Dr. Aikiu's paposition, would prepare the 17th Ar- tient investigation of the subject in ticle for an Arminian subscription ex dispute, and of the anxiety he disanimo, because “ it does not make covered to perform the duties, not any mention of reprobation ; no not indeed of an advocate or a partizan, in a hint.” Calvin understood this of which he was incapable, on such subject better, and maintains the ri- an occasion, but of an equitable judge gorous consistency of his horribile such as an arbitrator should always decretum against the moderates of his consider himself, however, on comday; deciding, at the same time, that mencing an inquiry, he may be, unathe non-elect will comprise a large voidably, prejudiced in favour of the majority of the human race, a deci- party who appointed him. I well sion, against which humanity has re- remember that when the examinations volted in the gentle bosoms of many were closed, and we had met to disfollowers of Calvin, though it was cuss the merits of the question, Dr. worthy of a Christian persecutor who Aikin postponed the discussion, that could conscientiously betray his cor. he might re-examine some alleged respondent Serretus into a prison, fact which he apprehended that he glory in his destruction, and insult had too hastily admitted. his inemory. Calvin thus writes : These representations I have con

“ Multi, ac si invidiam a Deo re- sidered as becoming my respect for pellere vellent, electionem ita faten- the memory of Dr. Aikin, though tur, ut negent quemquam reprobari; quite unnecessary to sustain, either sed inscitè nimis, et pueriliter. Quan- among his acquaintance, or before do ipsa electio, nisi reprobationi op- the world at large, the reputation of posita, non staret. Dicetur segregare his character for just discernment and Deus quos adoptat in salutem : for- strict integrity. tuitò alios adipisci, vel sua industria

J. T. RUTT. acquirere, quod sola electio paucis P.S. I can bear testimony to the confert, plusquam insulsè dicetur. “eccentricity of character of Dr. Quos ergo Deus præterit, reprobat: George Edwards, (p. 179, col. 1,) neque alia de causa nisi quod ab from the recollection of a conversation hæreditate quam filiis suis prædestinat, I held with him in 1792, in company illos vult excludere.Instit. L. iii. with some literary and political assoC. xxxii. S. 1.

ciates. Yet I suspect that you were The old translator thus gives the misled, in imputing to him that very sense of Calvin : "

Many indeed, as extraordinary dedication. though they would drive away the Mr. George Edwards, the celebrated malice from God, do so grant elec. naturalist, in 1751, prefixed such a tion, that they deny that any man is dedication to the fourth volume of reprobate : but they do too ignorantly his “ History of Birds.” It is quoand childishly: for as much as elec- ted, at length, in Biog. Brit. V. 554, tion itself could not stand unless it where Dr. Kippis remarks, that it were set contrary to reprobation. God was without doubt, very piously is said to sever them whom he adopt- designed, but that the wisdom of it eth unto salvation : it should be more cannot be commended. Such an asthan foolishly said that other do either sumption,” he adds, with his usual by chance, or by their own endeavour sense of propriety, “is too great for obtain that which only election giveth any human creature, and the few into a few. Therefore whom God pass- stances of the kind that have occurred eth over he rejecteth: and for none in the history of literature have always other cause, but for that he will ex- been justly disapproved.” clude thein from the inheritance which

Portsmouth, coveries, and by some useful publiSIR,

December 5, 1823. cations which were well receired; and THE suggestion of your Reviewver, also in an uncle who was for some had the power of death, in Heb. ii. 14, tlements in the East Indies, and whose was the law, appears to me to lead to conduct was an honour to his station ; a just and rational interpretation of he, in early years, imbibed those the passage.

Of this I was some sentiments of religion and virtue which months ago convinced, by reading laid the foundation for the exercise of Mr. Belsham's most valuable and that probity and goodness for which lucid translation and exposition of he was distinguished through his whole Paul's Epistles. He has, I think, life. In his youth he was tractable in his note on this verse, satisfactorily and orderly, fond of learning, and shewn that the LAW was the diabolos rapid in his progress in it. The know. to which the author referred. Had I ledge of the classics and other branches not lost the recollection of the admi- of literature he acquired under Dr. rable paper on verse 16, in the Theo. Ward, afterwards professor at Gresham logical Repository, Vol. V. quoted by College ; and Mr. Weston, who kept Mr. Belsham, I should not, in all an academy at Greenwich. From the probability, have been led to adopt place last mentioned, he went to Triso untenable an interpretation as that nity Hall, Cambridge, in April 1725, of heathenism; at least, beyond the to finish his classical education. Some unavoidable haste necessarily attend time in the year 1727, he went to ant on the weekly preparation of the Leyden, in Holland, to study under lectures.

the celebrated Boerhaave, and to quaWhen your correspondent N. (p. lify himself for the study of physic. 573,) made inquiries after Dr. John After attending the usual course of Collet, of Newbury, I expected that lectures in that university, and apample information would be afforded proving himself to his superiors by him from some of your readers in his application and progress, be took that town. As that has not been his Doctor's degree on July the fifth, done, permit me to offer an extract 1731. Quitting Leyden, he visited from the account given of him by his several cities and towns on the contiintimate friend the late Rev. David nent: stayed for some time at Paris in James, in a Sermon preached at order to avail himself of the advanNeibury, May 28, 1780; so that my tages which that city afforded for imfriend Mr. Rutt (p. 650) must have provement in the practical part of been misinformed respecting the year dispensing medicine, as he afterwards of the Doctor's death. The widow of did in London. Being thus qualified Dr. Collet's brother is still living at for discharging the duties of a phy. Newbury, and is I believe in posses. sician, several places were proposed sion of the Doctor's books and MSS.* to him by his friends in which his RUSSELL SCOTT. knowledge and skill might be exer

cised. After some deliberation he Dr. John Collet was descended fixed upon Newbury, and came here of a reputable family. He was born in July 1733, having a few days beon the fifth day of July, 1708, in fore been admitted a licentiate by the London, Blessed in a father whose college of physicians in London. reverence for revealed religion was

Here he continued from that time till shewn by his diligent study of its dis- his death, except about six years

which he spent at Brentford and Ux

bridge. In what manner he has de. Should your correspondent be de- meaned himself during his residence sirous of obtaining more minute information respecting the Dr., I think it prohable I might obtain it from a friend of • My late esteemed friend Mr. James nine at Newbury, who was accustomed was a native of Wales; and was not, I in carly life to accompany her mother am persuaded, related, as supposed in and aunt one evening in each week to the page above-referred to, to this genread and to converse on the prophecies: tieman, either by consanguinity or afthe Dr. was always the reader on these finity. occasions.

R. S.


" when

among us, how virtuously, unblaine, argument drawn by Orthodox Churchably, and usefully, most of you are men for the Trinity, from the word sensible. His skill and success in Elohim? his profession were indicated by hiş

D. extensive practice for a great number of years. From the natural benignity GLEANINGS ; OR, SELECTIONS AND of his temper he was ever ready to REFLECTIONS MADE IN A COURSE afford every assistance in his power to relieve the afflicted, and that without regard to distinctions occasioned

No. CCCCX. by outward circumstances. The poor

The British Solumon. in a thousand instances have experienced his humanity and compassion,

In the Funeral Sermon preached by not only in removing their pains, but Bishop Williams, (Keeper of the in granting supplies to their indigence.” Great Seal,) and entitled, “ Great

"Exclusive of his peculiar pro- Britain's Solomon,”. we are told, that vince as a physician, his knowledge His Majesty was in hand with a was various and his reading exten- translation of the Psalms, sive."

God called him to sing Psalms with

the angels.” This discourse is a comEvesham,

parison of James with Solomon, but Sir, December 9, 1823.

to the manifest disadvantage of his HAVE now before me two editions

Judaical Majesty, even in wisdom and of the Latin Primer, by the Rev. eloquence. As for conduct, "Every Richard Lyne, Rector of Little Pethe action,” (saith the Bishop of Lincoln,) rick. The one, which is the fourth edi..

was a virtue, and a miracle to extion, 1806, after the following lines empt himn from any parallel amongst from Lucan, has the adjoined observa. the modern kings and princes.” Now tions : (p. 41 :)

on reading this serinon, the question

naturally arises upon the Right ReEstne Dei sedes, nisi terras ct pontus, verend Lord Chancellor's motive for et aer,

all these praises, since, whatever doubt Et Cælum, et virtus ? Superos quid might exist as to the other particulars quærimus ultra ?

in the King's life, one passage was Jupiter est, quodcunque vides, quocunque undenied, viz. that be was naturally moveris.

dead and going to be buried, if not “In this example, ‘Superos,' though actually under ground at tlie time. in the plural number, may like the Why then should the Bishop so squanHebrew Elonim,' be rendered in quer his commendations ? The next English by a word in the singular sentence explains it: “Of all Christian number, God.' That the sublime kings that ever I read of, he was the poet intended here only that one Spi- inost constant patron of churches and rit, which fills all space, is evident church-inen.”. His successors were from the words ' Dei' and JUPITER,' therefore to be shewn how it would both spoken of the same Divine Being, fare with them in this world after though in a different number from their decease, if they followed his that of 'Superos.'

steps; they would be praised for a In the other edition, which is the few weeks, instead of being suddenly seventh, 1820, the above observations forgotten. His Lordship further shews are omitted. Was it from an appre- what became of the King's soul : hension of their militating against the

“ Severed from the dregs of the body, it doth now enjoy an eternal dreaming

(qu. eadem sequitur tellure repostas) • " Amoug his papers there are se

in the presence of God, environed no veral manuscripts on different subjects,

more with lords and knights, but some of which may possibly, at one time with troupes of angels and the souls or another, be submitted to the eye of of the blessed, his forerunners." the public."

(Edinb. Rev. XXXIX. 36, 37, Note.)

« PreviousContinue »