Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Y

Gespondent, Dr. Sones, for the

On Mr. Hinton's Hypothesis of Moral Evil.

465 SIR,

August 1, 1823. upon that pure, permanent and unTOUR worthy correspondent Mr. mixed happiness promised to the

Hinton, has, in your last Num- righteous in the gospel. ber, [p. 378,] favoured your readers It is not necessary to say more at with a very able and ingenious paper present; what is advanced being sufon the “introduction of evil,” in ficient, I trust, to induce your worthy which he contends for the following correspondent, or those who think propositions : "Every being not sub- with him, to enter more fully into ject to moral and natural evil must the discussion.' be infinite.” And that, “it is not

DAVID EATON. in the possible power of Infinity itself, to create a being not subject to moral

London, and patural ill.” That all creatures Sir,

July 8, 1823. have limited attributes, the conse

to quence of which is, “the moral certainty of miscalculation, fallibility, treats so frequently afforded to me, in and error;" and this, without going coinmon with other readers. of your a single step farther, introduces us to miscellany, makes me loth to take what is called “ moral evil.” " And up the pen for the sake of animadthat imperfection or necessary evil, verting on any statement put forth by is the necessary inheritance of all so ingenious an author; but, as libecreated - intelligence.". Something si- rality appears to be one of the Docmilar is to be found in a sermon on tor's leading virtues, I rest assured the Existence of Evil, by the late that he will not only make allowance Dr. Williams, of Rotheram. Mr. H.'s for any difference of opinion which theory is ingenious and plausible: by may exist between us, but also gladly it he not only gets rid, as he sup- allow of an opportunity being afforded poses, of some offensive orthodox to such of your readers as feel intenotions, but also completely excul- rested in the subject, to hear two pates the goodness of God in the sides, and thereby be enabled to judge permission of vice and misery under better for themselves. the divine government, by proving In agreeing with your learned corthat be “could not prevent it, that respondent on the inconsistency which the Almighty could not do impossi- appears in the present authorized bilities." That God permits evil, or translation of Gen. iv. 26, “ Then introduces it as an instrument of pro- men began to call on the name of the ducing greater good, is, indeed, al- Lord,”"I must beg leave to dissent lowed to be “plausible, but by no from two assertions made by him, means conclusive, and rests entirely first, that such is the exact rendering, upon that faith in the infinite wisdom of the original according to the vowel and goodness of God, which those points, and secondly, that regard attributes are calculated to inspire.” being paid to the consonants only, Now, Sir, it forcibly strikes me, as the true version is, “ Then men began it may do some others of your read- to call themselves by the name of ers, that a consequence of the greatest Jehovah.” For, magnitude results from the above In the first case, as far as regards statements, which Mr. H. seems not the points, there is no word whatever to have foreseen, and for which he in the Hebrew answering to men, has not provided, viz. “ If evil is neither is the verb born in the third the necessary inheritance of all cre- person plural; and on the other hand, ated intelligence ;” “ if every being whilst the word men is not to be not infinite is liable to error and evil ;" found in the original if read without how can we be sure of enjoying hap- the points, there is no word or affix piness or perfection in heaven itself? answering to themselves ; neither is For when there, we still shall be cre the verb born in Hithpaël, or the ated beings, and as finite then as we reflective conjugation : independent are now, consequently as liable to of all which, I challenge the Doctor "miscalculation, failure and error.” to produce a single passage in the

I for one could almost adınit any whole Hebrew Bible where the phrase theory or explanation of the origin of his owa xop signifies to call (anevil, rather than have a doubt cast other person) by the name of Jehovah, VOL. XVIII.

30

With due deference I would beg leave which is that of deserting from, or to refer Dr. Jones to his friend Mr. apostatizing. Bellamy's translation of the Hebrew Your reverend correspondent lays Bible, in which, although by an over much stress on the propriety of rensight in the text (pardonable enough, dering the word 1170 shall remain, in you will say, in the stupendous in- which he is certainly backed by the dertaking of a solitary individual to translations which he quotes ; but, translate the Bible afresh from the even admitting that they and he are original) the verb brun is rendered correct, which, from the general conbegun, the sense is fully proved in text and sense, may reasonably be the corresponding note to be the doubted, there does not appear any same as in Levit. xxi. 9, and Ezek. necessity for the etymological conxxii. 26, namely to prophane or pol- jectures in which he indulges, since a lute. Hence, the literal interpretation mere reference to the Hebrew root of the passage under consideration, 173 would have sufficiently warranted both according to the vowel points and his version as far as mere etymology without them, appears to me to be, goes. Indeed, if the reader will turn “ Then he" (sc. Enos) “ caused to to that old standard of Hebrew litera. be prophaned” (or, simply, prophaned) ture, the Epitome Thesauri Linguæ “in calling on the name of Jehovah; Sanctæ Autore Sante Pagnino Lua sense embracing the worship of censi, he will find the following sub idols generally, and not that of dei. voce 173: “ Hinc deducunt quidam fied mortals only, as insinuated by illud,Gen. vi. 3, “ Non erit detentus Dr. Jones.

tanquam in vagina spiritus meus ;" With regard to the Doctor's version but I venture to submit that the of the opening of the sixth chapter of sense which Dr. Jones gives to this Genesis, he will perhaps also pardon passage, namely, that the principle me if I again prefer "Mr. Bellamy's of life should not remain in man, but translation to his, where both actually that his days should be shortened to differ. It will be seen that the Doctor one hundred and twenty years, is not virtually follows Mr. B. in his version authorized by the narrative. Even of the phrase Drobe sa, although supposing that the account of Cain's his adoption of the plural Gods, does violent death, prior to the occurnot appear to be sanctioned by a rences narrated in the sixth chapter single passage in the whole Bible, of Genesis, may not bear upon the aud notwithstanding Mr. Bellamy's case, surely the number of deaths text again exhibits a mistake in the detailed in regular course by Moses, fourth verse, in printing “ children in the fifth or preceding chapter of of God” for “ children of the God;" Genesis, cannot warrant that legis. but I cannot persuade myself that lator's putting us something new into Dr. Jones is fortunate in his choice the mouth of Jehovah the words here of the word marauders for OSDs, quoted. The number of years morewhich Mr. Bellainy has rendered apos- over fixed by Dr. Jones for the days tates, and which in the LXX, is given of man, appears at variance with by yoyártes, i. e. earth-born. As re- history and experience. Thus in the ference only is made to gross idolatry very same book, in which, according in the preceding verses, and nothing to the Doctor, man’s days are limited savouring of violence or violent pro to a hundred and twenty years, we ceedings is intimated therein, (for the are afterwards informed that several Doctor will hardly pretend that be. of the patriarchs of the second order, cause the children of the God admired between Noah and Abraham, lived the daughters of Adam, therefore above four hundred years, and none they made a violent seizure of them, under one hundred and forty; and a meaning by the bye which assuredly whether we consult the average rate does not attach to the original nps,) of the life of man or the utmost I must own, I, for one, feel inclined extent of his duration in “our deto side with Mr. Bellamy, whose generate day,” we shall still find ourquotation of different passages, e. g. selves either below or above the Micahı vü. 8, and 2 Kings xxv. 11, Doctor's standard ; for in the former appears conclusive as to the significa- case we dare hardly reckon on more tion frequently given to the root boy than sixty ar seventy years, and in

[blocks in formation]

the latter we know that within a publishing their Yearly Epistle. But, very recent period some have lived Sir, when I compare it with various to the age of a hundred and sixty, communications which have appeared and upwards. Hence, Sir, I appre- in the Monthly Repository, respecting hend that the whole of the latter the doctrines of that people, I am clause of the third verse of the sixth surprised at the difference between chapter of Genesis, relates to some the statements of some of your corthing, very different from the mere respondents, and what now seems to duration of man's temporal life. be the avowed creed of the Quakers.

Ere concluding these hasty remarks, I thought it had been hinted by some, I cannot refrain from slightly advert- whose acquaintance with the Friends ing to what Dr. Jones bas said re- could not be doubted, that their real specting angels, by which he under- tenets were those of Unitarianismn, stands a race of supernatural beings that many had actually confessed it, or spirits, and to whom he says, the and that we were likely ere long to Jewish Scriptures apply the term see them advancing in a body as the Diabs 'sa, sons of God, On this advocates of “ rational religion.” and other subjects of a similar nature, With such statements, how am I to it might perhaps be as well to remain reconcile the contradiction apparent șilent; but the Doctor and your read- in the Yearly Epistle? (which you

have ers will perhaps once more pardon no doubt correctly copied). Here me if I candidly own that in the they come forward, publicly acnumerous passages of the Old and knowledging their belief in the DiNew Testainents which I have been vinity of the blessed Saviour,“ who able to consult respecting the Dirbo before the world was, condescended, of the original, or the aryenes of the in order to effect our redemption, to Septuagint and the New Testament, come down from heaven, and take I cannot find one to which any idea upon himself the nature of man.” of a spirit or supernatural character The Yearly Epistle, I believe, is conseems to be attached. It is, in fact, sidered as the voice of the whole one of those terms wbich it were to body; but, perhaps you, Mr. Editor, be wished might be wholly exploded can give some explanation of the from our translation of the Bible, as enigina which has puzzled, Sir, your no where bearing in the original the constant reader, meaning we now assign to it, and A FRIEND TO THE QUAKERS. the retention of which only serves to throw an air of romance on what is,

Clapton, in the strictest parlance, the word of Sir,

July 4, 1823. God.

TR.

: fast approaching when this and other incongruities are likely to be disposed that Mr. Lindsey closed his “Hisof, when the lover of truth and the torical View," published in 1783, Christian may expect to find many with the case of Mr. Ross; whose of those stumbling-blocks removed “ declaration" as it “stands upon which have long annoyed him, and record in the books of the Presbytery when our version of the Holy Scrip- of Stranraer," he has thus quoted: tures shall be purged of anomalies ), Andrero Ross, minister of the and inconsistencies, which although gospel in the parish of Inch, (for the sufficiently in unison with the style exoneration of my conscience, more of an oriental tale, it is consolatory particularly with respect to the terms to know are not to be found in the of ministerial communion enjoined by original Hebrew.

this church,) hereby declare, that I J. J. firmly adhere to the fundamental prin

ciples of the Protestant religion, SIR,

namely, that the Holy Scriptures of N

(page 405,] I observe with plea. only rule of faith and practice; that sure, that you have again brought the exercise of private judgment is before the notice of your readers, the the undoubted right and duty of every respectable society of Quakers, by Christian, and of every Christian

The time, however,
appears M not

appear to have recollected

IN

66

minister, and that it is the best means “ See the very different sentiments, of discovering the true sense of Scrip- expressed in a Serinon, entitled, “A ture; that the Lord Jesus Christ is Defence of the Subscriptions reappointed the sole head and lawgiver quired in the Church of England :' of his church, and the only Master in preached before the University of religion. And I also declare, that I Cainbridge, on the Commencement reject all doctrines and practices that Sunday, 1757. By W. 8. Powell, are inconsistent with these principles, D. D. Fellow of St. John's College.” as witness my hand this third day of The Editor professes to have reJanuary, 1776.

ceived “the original letters” from “ ANDREW Ross." “ an intimate friend,” the son of the Mr. Lindsey has added, " to the elder brother of the nephew in the honour of the parishioners of Inch, correspondence, “under an engagethat they unanimously presented a ment" to conceal “the names subpetition, dated April 24, 1775, to scribed to the letters," and not “ to the Presbytery of Stanraer, praying date them.” The initials of the uncle that their minister might be allowed are J. M. and those of the nephew, to continue among them upon his own who is called Harry, are H. M. terms, and attesting his excellent. There are two of the letters, the first unspotted character, and faithful, la- and the concluding, from the uncle, borious discharge of his duty among who “a few days after he wrote his them.'

second letter, was seized with a vioThis petition which Mr. Lindsey lent disorder, which soon carried him has given, at length, as it “ stands off.” His nephew, who wrote six in the minutes of the proceedings of letters, “ died within two years after the Presbytery,” tbus concludes: him.” That this was a real corre

They think that every church spondence, I see no reason to doubt, should leave its members free to search though it be impossible now to ascerthe Scriptures, and not to bind them tain the date of the letters; except down for ever to one sense of them. that they were written after 1736, In all these points they agree most when Warburton's “ Alliance between cordially with their minister, and will Church and State" first appeared ; be happy, extremely happy, to live for the nephew (p. 94) refers to that with him upon these terms.

work as the “ most unnatural and Give me leave to hazard a conjec- monstrous, most senseless, and bowture that the “letter on subscrip- elless production, that ever the brain tion," inclosed in the letter “ from of man was delivered of.” If the Dr. Benson to Mr. Towgood,” formed notes be not by the Editor, (and he afterwards a part of the following does not appear to claim them,) the publication.

letters must have been written later, “ Some Letters, which passed be- for there is a note on bowelless, refertween a Young Gentleman, designed ring to the canons of criticism," for Holy Orders, and his Uncle, a (Can. vi. Examp. viii.) which did not Clergyman, concerning Conformity to appear till 1748. the Church of England. With an Had I leisure, and were your pages Appendix, by the Editor." 1758. less occupied, I would readily give This anonymous editor I have sup some account of the arguments for posed to be Dr. Benson, partly from Nonconformity contained in these the circumstance of my having this letters. The nephew was evidently correspondence in a volume contain- an Unitarian, perhaps of Dr. Clark's ing other pieces by Dr. B. and which school, and the uncle probably an a former possessor (who was, I be- Hoadlean, who had found some li. lieve, a Dissenting minister of Marl. beral associates, inquiring clergymen, borough, named J. Davies) has let- in his neighbourhood. One of their tered Benson's Tracts.” In the free conversations mentioned, (p. 52,) Editor's Appendix, (p. 161, note,) after appears to have impressed the nequoting from Whichcot, " to profess phew, in whom, as Johnson says on and not believe, this is high dissimu- another occasion, they kindled a lame lation, and a horrible indignity put which burned but dimly in themupon God,” he adds,

selves.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Gleanings.

469 Should Mr. Manning know any tion of the Divinity. What leads to thing of this publication, he will, I ignominy ought to be feared much dare say, obligingly inform you. more than what conducts to poverty.

The answer to Powell's Sermon,” He who abandons fortune for justice, (p. 324,) was, I suppose, contained ought to be looked upon as the best in the “ Serious and Free Thoughts citizen; but those whom their violent on the present State of the Church passions hurry on to evil, men, women, and Religion,” published in 1756, citizens, simple inhabitants, ought to according to Mr. Manning, in his be admonished to think of the gods, Life of "Mr. Towgood. I have a and often to bear in mind the severe pamphlet dated 1772, and entitled, justice they exercise against the guilty: ** A Calm and Plain Answer to the let them have constantly before their Inquiry, Why are you a Dissenter eyes the hour of death, that fatal hour from the Church of England ? By the which awaits us all, that hour when author of the Dissenting Gentlemen's the recollection of faults brings reLetters to White."

morse, and the vain repentance of not Should Mr. Manning oblige your having made all our actions subserreaders with any explanatory notes on vient to equity. the “ Letters of Voltaire," I beg

“ It therefore behoves all men to leave to reinind him that besides what conduct themselves at each moment occurs at the beginning of the “ Trai- of their lives as if this moment were té sur la Tolérance," all the judicial the last; but if an evil genius excites proceeding on the Calas family are them to crime, let them take refuge detailed in the “Continuation des at the foot of the altars ; let them Causes Célèbres." (Amst. 1771.) I pray to heaven to remove far from have only the fourth volume, which them this evil genius ; let them espeends with the execution of Calas in cially throw themselves into the arms March 1762, and the disposal of his of worthy people, whose counsels will family. This volume will be much bring them back to virtue by repreat Mr. M.'s service.

senting to them the goodness of God J. T. RUTT. and his vengeance.”

There is nothing in all antiquity GLEANINGS; OR, SELECTIONS which can be preferred to this plain

but sublime passage, dictated by reason and virtue, stripped of enthusiasm,

and of those gigantic figures which No. CCCCVI.

good sense rejects.-Voltaire, Histoire Preamble to Laws of Zaleucus. Générale.

I would here call upon all moralists and legislators, and ask them if they

No. CCCCVII. have said any thing more noble or Corruptions of Christianity the Armore useful than the exordium of the

moury of Unbelief. laws of Zalcucus, who flourished before The Israelites went down to the Pythagoras, and who was the first Philistines to sharpen every man his magistrate of the Locrians.

ax, (1 Samuel xiii. 20,) and unEvery citizen ought to be per- believers in Protestant countries are suaded of the existence of the Divinity; wont to resort to Rome to whet their It is sufficient to observe the order and sneers at the Christian religion. Alharmony of the universe, to be con- most any deistical book would furnish vinced that chance cannot have formed examples of this artifice. The followit. Every man ought to have command ing is from Gibbon, (Decline and Fall, over his soul, to purify it and to remove 8vo. Vol. VIII. p. 123, note 14,) from it all evil, persuaded that God who was always pleased when he cannot be served by the perverse, and could escape from the gravity of his that he is unlike wretched mortals historical text to play the buffoon or who take delight in magnificent cere worse in his notes.-“ Gregory, the monies and sumptuous offerings. Vir- Roman, supposes that the Lombards tuc alone, and the constant disposition adored a she-goat, which they were to do good, can please him. We accustomed to sacrifice to the gods ought, then, to seek to be just in of their fathers. : I know but of one reprinciple and in practice : by this ligion in which the God and ihe victim incans we shall obtain the approba. are the same.

AND REFLECTIONS MADE IN A COURSE OF GENERAL READING.

« AnteriorContinuar »