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Pères sur la Trinité, contre les Tropo. Newbury in Berkshire, in an extract latres et les Socinies, par Mr. Faydit.” of a letter from John Collett, M.D.
"Réfutation du Sistême de Mr. to the Bishop of Ossory, F. R. S.” Faydit, sur la Trinité.”
Dr. Collett died in 1784, as appears Can any of your readers say who from the following notice in the Obiwere les Tropolutres ?. I have in vain tuary of the Gent. Mag. (L. 252). examined the great French dictiona May 12, Dr. Collett, physician at ries to discover them, or the “ Sis- Newbury, Berks, His amiable qualitême de Mr. Faydit." For the sub- ties and eminence in his profession stance of the following account of that deservedly entitled him to that extenecclesiastic, who appears to have re. sive practice which he enjoyed for a ceived the customary recompence of great number of years." His age is a Reformer, I am indebted to Nouv. omitted. Dict. Hist., (1789,) III. pp. 581, 582. Dr. Collett was, probably, of the
L'Abbé Pierre Faydit, a native of family mentioned by Whiston under Riom, in Auvergne, was expelled the year 1747, (Mem. 1753, L. 417,) from the congregation of the Oratory, “ Samuel Collet,” his “ most intiin 1671, for having published a Car- mate Christian friend,” who appears tesian work, de Mente humana. He to have resided “ at Great Marlow," afterwards preached at Paris, against and“ Governor Collet,” an acquaintInnocent XI., in defence of the liber- ance of “ Sir Peter King," then one ties of the Gallican Church. In 1696, of Whiston's “ Council in the Court he was confined at Saint Lazare, for a of Delegates," afterwards Lord Chanpublication, which, according to his cellor. From the memorandum of a biographer, was Tritheistic " il pa- conversation with my excellent friend, roissoit favoriser le Trithéisme”). It Dr. Toulmin, when he visited me at was the first volume of a work entitled Bronnley in 1813, I find that “ Mr., “ Altération du Dogme Théologique James,' a Presbyterian minister at par la Philosophie d' Aristote; ou Newbury,” was a descendant of Gofausses idées des Scholastiques sur les vernor Collet; of whom I may, promatières de la Religion.” Unre- bably, send you some further account. claimed by his restraint at St. Lazare, I wish I could say more of Dr. he was banished by the king to his Collett, especially to gratify your native country, where he died in 1709. correspondent N, to
whom your Besides the work for which he was readers have been so frequently inthus persecuted, Faydit published debted. Remarks on Virgil, Homer, and the
J. T. RUTT. poetical style of the Holy Scripture; Télémaco-manie, a censure of Fene
GLEANINGS; OR, SELECTIONS AND lon, and satirical verses on Bossuet. He also attacked the Memoirs of Tillemont. In “ Dictionnaire Historique des Auteurs Ecclésiastiques,” (1767,)
No. CCCCIX. Faydit is charged with a presumptu Four Mahometan Perfect Women. ous attempt to render a Trinity intel In the book called Al Shihib there ligible. • Il osoit donner ses idées is a tradition that the Apostle of God,* sur ce mystère ineffable qui doit whom God bless, said among men être pour nous un objet de la plus there are many perfect, but among profonde adoration." This presump, women there have been but four; tion is, however, charitably attributed Asia, the wife of Pharaoh ; Mary, to a distempered brain. ** Il fut en- daughter of Amran ; Cadigha, daughfermé à St. Lazare comme un homme ter of Cowalled ; and Fatema, daughdont le cerveau étoit attaqué.”
ter of Mahomet. In reference to your correspond Life of Mahomet, prefixed to Ockent's inquiry, (p. 573,) I find in Phil. ley's Hist. of Sar. Trans. for 1757, (Vol. L. Pt. I. Art.
“ Read Feb. 24," being “ An Account of the Peat-pit, near
REFLECTIONS MADE IN A COURSE
15,) a paper,
66 Still pleased to praise, yet not afraid to blamc."-Pope.
Art. I.-An Analytical Investigation which makes them shudder at its ap
of the Scriptural Claims of the proach. So obstinately perverse have Devil : to which is added, an Ex- been these errors, that pious and planation of the Terms Sheol, Hades learned divines have thought it their and Gehenna, as employed by the duty to place those who disbelieve the Scripture Writers: in a Series of existence of such agents, in the rank Lectures, delivered at Portsmouth, of incoRRIGIBLE ATHEISTs. Notions in the Months of October, Novem- like these are, in fact, the revival of ber and December, 1820,-January, Paganism in the very centre of ChrisFebruary and March, 1821. By tianity. They are a close resemblance Russell Scott, Minister of the High- of the perverse idolatry of the Jews, street Chapel. 8vo. pp. 670. R. in spite of the Monotheism peculiar Hunter, and C. Fox and Co. 14s. to their religion : and they prove that 1822.
ignorance breeds dæmons, tiends, imps, “ YT is a singular fact,” (says Dr. &c. &c.," as numerous, and as various, dent of the Scriptures, and a very from putrefactions." * cautious theologian,) “ which has not These remarks may lessen the apbeen sufficiently attended to, that al- prehensions with which some inquirers though the current language of the approach the subject of evil spirits and New Testament seems to intimate a remove the alarm which many Chrisgeneral belief in the existence of ma- tians, far superior to the multitude in lignant spirits in the land of Judea, their religious notions, feel at the disyet there are no instances of the prac- cussion of this topic in popular distical influence of the creed. They courses. The people entertain false were never worshiped; there are no and pernicious opinions and superstimarks of incantations, or the use of tious feelings with regard to diabosuperstitious ceremonies, to soothe lical agency. Is it not desirable that their malice; nor of any supplications they should be well-instructed on this to the true God for protection against point, and does not even piety require them. So that, if their existence was that doctrines which militate against believed, it was a mere inert opinion. the Divine perfections should be exAnd it is as singular a fact, that the posed and confuted ? perverse imaginations of numerous Some persons who may assent to Christians have revived those works of the affirmative in these questions may darkness which the Saviour came to still reply, that the best mode of redestroy. During many ages has the moving error is the establishing of Christian Church not only believed in positive truth. They judge that the the existence, but in the perpetual fortress of superstition may be more agency of such beings. Public pray- easily undermined than taken by storm. ers have been composed, and are con- Fix, they say, in men's minds just tinually repeated, to be delivered from principles with regard to the Divine their malignancy. Credulity has com- Government, and the prejudices that pressed those 'mighty beings, who are inconsistent with these will graonce dared the Omnipotent to arms,' dually fall away of themselves. Plauinto little irksome, mischievous imps ; sible as this plan of proceeding is, and has rendered them as numerous experience does not furnish' many as the flies that meander in the sun. proofs of its efficacy. It is true, that Superstition has consecrated the bells they who plead for letting superstition of our churches, that their undulations alone, that it may die a natural death, may keep these evil spirits at a dis- have seen prejudice after prejudice tance from departing souls; and it expects either to drown the little im
* Theol. Disquis. being Vol. IV. of the mortals in holy water, or to inspire Work on the Passions, Note K., pp. 475, thein with a kind of hydrophobia, 476.
and one species of intolerance after ministry keep back none of the Dirine another wither and perish; but this counsel. Of this class is the anthor of has not been the consequence of their these Lectures. Mr. Scott has been own passiveness, but of the spirited upwards of thirty-four years the pasand fearless labours of others, to whom tor of the Presbyterian congregation, they have never given more than now avowedly Unitarian, 'at Ports“ faint praise,” whom they have never mouth. Those that know him need encouraged, much less assisted, and not be told that during this long pewhom on any failure or extraordinary riod he has been indefatigable and exebullition of popular dislike they have emplary, in the discharge of every been the foremost to censure and con- ministerial duty. He has lived to see demn. Questions of revelation can and enjoy the fruits of his labours. be determined only by an appeal to His congregation has of late increased revelation. The common sense, or numerically, and the thirst for theoloeven piety of the vulgar, cannot rise gical information and zeal for truth above an error while they believe that have grown proportionably among its there are texts of Scripture in its fa- individual members. He has been vour. If their reason or piety and thus led of necessity to preach upon the Bible are at variance, they become controversial points, and hence these unbelievers. It is therefore of great Lectures, the immediate occasion of importance to teach the people that which he shall himself explain : the true doctrines of Christianity are
“ The discussion pursued in the fol agreeable to the sound judgments of the human understanding, and that it cessity than of choice. The author is
lowing sheets was more a matter of neis solely through the misinterpretation accustomed to comply with such requests of the language of Holy Writ that the
as are made with seriousness and decocontrary position has been maintained. rum, to preach on any particular passage
Certain theological discussions are of Scripture immediately connected with more delicate than others, and require the controverted doctrines of the gospel. to be carried on with great prudence. About three weeks before the commenceAmongst these we are willing to placement of these Lectures, he was discoursthe subject of these Lectures, on which jug, on the Parable of the Sower, and prejudice is peculiarly irritable, owing incidentally remarked that the wicked partly, perhaps, to a suspicion that
one did not, as was usually considered, the popular doctrine is not altoge- being as the Devil is described by biş
refer to any such powerful, maliguant ther tenable. Is not this suspicion advocates ; and that Englishmen learned manifest also in the ludicrous associa- more about this supposed potent enemy tions of ideas that are general with of the human race, from Milton's Pararegard to evil spirits, whose names dise Lost, Cruden's Concordance, the and images, if they were seriously be- Assembly's and other Catechisms, than lieved to exist and to be perpetually from the Old and New Testament.' To acting upon the soul of man, would support this assertion, it was observed, raise only emotions of awe and terror? from a late valuable and learned critic, For this last reason, it is very difficult that the word Satan, or Devil, signifies to debate the subject without violating and that no single text, or any number
throughout the Scriptures an adversary," decorum. But whatever call there may be for a careful consideration of afford any proof of the proper personality
of texis, in which these words occur, the best manner of disproving the doc or real existence of any such being as trine, no justification can be set up of Satan, or the Devil, is generally supposed allowing the doctrine to work undis to be. Many plain, distinct passages of turbed upon the public mind, which Scripture, and the general spirit of them would not be a virtual abandonment all, oblige us to understand these terms of revealed truth, as unimportant and figuratively, of an allegorical person, not inefficacious.
a real one. Such as do not consider themselves
“ In the course of the ensuing week, “ set for the defence of the gospel,” the Author received a letter from an ocmust admire the courage of those who casional hearer, who appeared to be very having, as they think, discovered the mind of God in the Scriptures, step “ The Rev. John Simpson, of Bath : forward on every proper occasion to Essays on the Language of Scripture, proclaim what they know, and in this Vol. 1. p. 159.”
Review.-Scott's Lectures on the Devil.
much shocked at these assertions, feeling dered devils. This fact may also be asfully persuaded that much more had been certained from their Apocryphal books; advanced than could be maintained on for not a syllable about any such beings scriptural authority, and expressing a is to be found in the other books of the strong desire to hear certain passages Old Testament. To translate the word explained, if that could be done, con- daiwy devil, is to mislead and deceive sistently with the assertions which had the mere English reader of the New-Tesbeen made. Agreeably to the wish of tament Scriptures; since neither the the writer, an early notice was given of Chaldeans, nor any other nation of antithe commencement of the intended dis- quity, had any such being in their relicussion, when a large and attentive con- gious systems as that which "Christians gregation assembled, and continued to do have been long accustomed to consider so during the whole course.”-Advert. the Devil to be ; nor had the Greeks or Pp. v. vi.
the Romans any such deity or being in The Lectures are Twenty-four in
their mythology. Pluto, indeed, reigned
supreme over all the inhabitants of their number.
infernal regions, but he was a very harmLect. I. is upon the Serpent in Pa- less and inoffensive being: he had nothing radise, the text Gen. iii." 13. Mr. of the Devil in him.”—Pp. 7-9. Scott here explains the mythology of the Persians and Hindoos, who deified
The Lecturer contends that there is the principle of evil, and shews that not the least authority from the words there was no such principle admitted of Moses to represent the serpent into the Mosaic system, nor conse
that tempted Eve as the Devil, or as
With Dr. quently, any employment for a malig- possessed by the Devil. nant being. He says,
Conyers Middleton and Dr. Geddes,
and, it might be added, Dr. Price, he we do not find that the Jews considers the account of “the fall of ever entertained any ideas concerning a man” an allegory. The following reseparate principle of evil, or a malignant marks upon its moral design are exspirit, until they returned from their cap. cellent : tivity in Babylon. In the early part of that captivity, we find them adhering to " Whether this apologue were intended the belief that Jehovah was the source of to designate the placidity of a pastoral, eril as well as good. This appears from or the activity of an agricultural life, as Ezek iii. 20; • Again, when a righteous the history of Cain and Abel appears to man doth turn from his righteousness be symbolical of the transition from veand commit iniquity, and I lay a stum- getable to animal sacrifices; or, whether bling-block before him, he shall die ; its design were to shew that, uvder the because thou hast not given him warning, Mosaic dispensation, no evil principle, no he shall die in his sin, and his righteous- malignant being existed, either as the ness which he hath done shall not be opponent of God, or the enemy of man. remembered, but his blood will I require kind, the reason for employing a serpent at thine hand. During their long abode as one of the actors in the fable, is eviin Chaldea, however, they adopted many dent, to render more conspicuous the opinions which were not to be found in folly and absurdity of serpent-worship, their Scriptures, and acquired many ha- which had become very prevalent among bits which were not inculcated in them, the Heathen nations. The Chaldeans and for neither of which can those Scrip. were very much addicted to this ridicu. tures be made answerable. The more lous worship, and to divination in conlearned men among them adopted the nexion with it. Perhaps Lev. xx. 27, may philosophical opinious of the Greeks, be a reference to this kind of idolatry. among whom they lived in Egypt and There were several species of serpenis elsewhere ; and then they began to iu- held sacred by the Egyptians, among troduce these Heathen notions into the whom the Israelites had lived. Hence Mosaic system, as may easily be ascer Moses is induced to hold up the serpent tained from those books which are called as an object of degradation, and pot of Apocryphal, and which were written after religious worship. Instead of ascribing their return from the Babylonian capti- divinity to it, he represents it as the vity. It was among the Chaldeans that seducer of innocence, and points out, in the Jews appear to have learned to attri. strong terms, the inveterate enmity which bute certain diseases to the influence of subsists between this class of reptiles and evil spirits, or the ghosts of wicked men, the human race, as well as all the aniand who were desiguated by the term mals of the field. The serpent is evidently (Camuwves) dæmons; and which the trans- here introduced with a view to inspire Intors of the common version have ren- the Israclites with a horror of such de.
testable worship, with a contempt and thirty-four times, in which it is employed, hatred for such foolish and abominable fourteen are to be found in the first and idolatry."-Pp. 17—20.
second chapters of Job. As all these
refer to the same point, they may be conThe Ilnd Lect. on Job i. 6, is de- sidered as one example: twenty will then signed to shew that no such being as remain. In five of these twenty, the the Devil, according to the popular term is, in the cominou version, rendered opinion, can be found in the Old Satan, thereby meaning the Devil. Three Testament. The introduction to the of these five relate to the same persons, dramatic book of Job is here fully (Tatnai, &c.,) aud therefore may be conexamined, and the whole book is pro- sidered as one : the other two are to be nounced an oriental fiction, invented found in 1 Chron. xxi. 1, and Psalm cix. like our Lord's parables for the sake 6;. Here are, then, your instances in
which this term is, in the common verof moral instruction.
sion, applied to the Devil. In the fol“ The poem, however, is beautiful and lowing passages, Numbers xxii. 22; 1 sublime ; full of piety and devotion, of Samuel xxix. 4; 2 Samuel xix. 22; 1 resignation and submission to the Al Kings v. 4, xi. 14, 23, 25; Psalm xxxviii. mighty Ruler of the universe; and it was 20, lxxi. 13, cix. 4, 20, 29, it is rendered admirably calculated to oppose the ido- by adversaries ; and in Numbers xxii. 32, latrous worship of the Sun and the Moon, to withstand ; Ezra jv. 6, accusation; and which was then prevalent among the in Zech. iii. I, to resist. After this stateChaldeans and Phænicians (ch. xxxi. 26, ment, can any thing more be necessary ?" 27). Hence it appears to me, that we -Pp. 44, 45. are justified in considering the first two chapters as an allegorical lesson, which
In Lect. III., Mr. Scott examines is explained and enforced in the poem several detached passages in the Olditself, teaching that as Jehovah created Testament Scriptures, which are supthe world and all its inhabitants, so all posed to inculcate or imply the exthe occurrences of life are under his sole istence of the Devil. The text is 1 direction and at his entire disposal, with. Kings xxii. 21, and this upon investiout the intervention of any being what- gation is declared to be an allegorical ever, to occasion or to promote what are termed the evils of life. These arise from Saul, 1 Sam. xvi. 14, is next con
vision. The evil spirit that troubled the operation of second causes, under the sidered, and is regarded as nothing appointment and controul of the great First Cause of all. So far, therefore, is
more than the violent workings of the this introduction from countenancing the several strong passions of the mind, opinion of an evil, malignant spirit acting anger, hatred, disappointment, jeain opposition to God, that it inculcates à lousy and revenge, which produced doctrine the very reverse ; instructing us, insanity, or at least, temporary menfrom the example of Job, to look to God tal derangement. The explanation of as overruling all things for good to those two passages in the Pentateuch folwho worship him in humility, who serve lows, which we shall quote: him with sincerity, who submit to his appointments with piety, and who acqui “ In Deut. xxxii. 15, we find Moses esce in all his dispensations with meek. complaining that the Israelites forsook ness and patience; that whether the Lord God and despised the author of their give, or whether he take from us, we salvation : hence, he says, “ They promay be always disposed to bless his roked him to jealousy with strange gods;' name.”—Pp. 40, 41.
i. e. by worshiping them. By their abo
minations they provoked him to anger Having gone through all the pas. (ver. 16). They sacrificed to D'70%) sages in the Old Testainent in which shcdim, to dæmons ; agreeably to the the term Satan occurs, the Lecturer Septuagint, which renders the word by gives in the conclusion the following ĉaimonios; indeed, it cannot mean devils, summary of the inquiry :
since neither the Canaanites, nor any “From the preceding investigation it other nation, sacrificed to or worshiped appears that there are no traces whatever any such being as the Devil.
They sato be discovered of the Devil in the crificed unto dæmons,' says Moses, (rer. Scriptures of the Old Testament, under 17,) 'not to God; to gods whoni ibey the term Shatan, which Christian divines knew not; to new gods that came newly have assumed to be used as one of his up, whom your fathers feared not.' These
We have seen that it uniformly were evidently the idols which were signifies enemy, or adversary, or oppo- worshiped by the various nations of the pent, or accuser ; and that out of the Canaanites. The whole passage speaks