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THREE CRANES, THAMES-STREET.- Independent, Extinct.

thinking that the holy scriptures contained any thing like a system of the principles of true philosophy; and looked upon those places of scripture which, at first sight, contradicted the sentiments of the present philosophers, as expressed by way of allusion, and accommodation to bare outward appearances. He being educated in the system of philosophy, that is now generally embraced by the learned world, was strongly attached to it, highly delighted with it, and received it in all its parts, without any abatement, as the only true system, and was satisfied with it. But, upon a serious recollection, he found himself embarassed with some difficulties he could not easily remove. This put bim upon a fresh inquiry, and he was at length prevailed upon seriously to ask this question in his own mind, Does Revelation speuk exuctly, and philosophically true, in natural things ? At his first setting forward to answer this question, he had all those objections in his mind, which are generally made against scripture philosophy; and could vot be persuaded to believe that revelation was intended to contain philosophy in it, until he had actually found it there, to his great pleasure and satisfaction. As he proceeded in this search, he felt the extreme force and influence of prejudice; and for this reason cannot but suppose that the same prejudices will arise in the minds of others who have had the same education. This he looks upon as a necessary consequence of such an education, rather than any fault in those that have been thus instructed. And, therefore, accounts himself as under peculiar obligations to make allowance for this influence in others, because of what he has felt in his own mind."*

The difficulties he above refers to, as having embarassed him, related chiefly to gravitation. “If any inquire (says he), why it is that the heavenly bodies (the planets), tend towards the sun ? and why our bodies tend towards the earth ?" The answer is, That all matter has in it a principle

• Pike's Philosophia Sacra. Preface.

THREE CRANES, TIIAMES-STREET.- Independent, Extinct.

of attraction, or gravitation, which operates according to such and such laws. But what is the cause of this gravitation, the philosophers either cannot explain at all, or are very much disagreed in the explication. The great Sir Isaac Newton himself, and other ingenious authors after him, have attempted to give an intelligible account of the cause of gravitation, by supposing nature to be filled with particles of matter that are in themselves either repulsive or elastic. But still, how it is possible for particles of matter to have in themselves these properties, is professedly unknown.--Thus finding myself, and them, at an entire concerning the cause and continuance of matter in nature, I was induced to a further search. And where should we go when reason fails, but to revelation. By this, we are directed to turn our eyes and thoughts to the material heavens. Here we have the powers, properties, and constituent parts of the heavens revealed; here we are taught the manner in which the heavens operate upon themselves, and upon all other matter; here likewise we are taught to conceive of all natural causes and effects as mechanical; and thus are freed from any perplexities about hidden qualities; and a large field is set open for the most pleasant, curious, and profitable inquiries."*

The manner in which he conducted these inquiries was this: he first read the scriptures over from beginning to end, with an entire uncertainty of mind, whether they were written upon the principles of true philosophy or not; but with a resolution, if possible, to determine the question. In order to this, he noted down all the passages that at first sight seemed to be of a philosophical nature. In making this collection of scriptures, he took great caution that no proper passages should be omitted, as well as that no improper ones should be introduced. He, in the next place, attentively looked over these several texts of scripture ; consulted

• Philosophia Sacra, p. 7, s.

THREE CRANES, THAMES-STREET.- Independent, Extinct.

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the original ; and gave a literal translation. In doing this he took all imaginable care, that no force should be put upon the text, but that it should be represented according to the exact natural idea. When all this was done, his mind was still in some suspense, but to reduce it to a greater certainty, he sorted the texts. The passages that speak of the heavens and the earth, he found to be very numerous; and, therefore, in order to methodize them, raised the following inquiries : What effects are ascribed to the heavens? What properties are attributed to them? What are the parts of which the heavens are composed? And, how do these parts operate on one another, and upon the earth ? These questions he severally put, and gave answers solely from Revelation. (says he), if upon such a'diligent, and I hope faithful search, it be found, that no one philosophical passage is contrary to philosophical fact, then the scripture is plainly vindicated from that reflection which is cast upon it, as if it spoke false in natural things. And farther, if it appears, that these numerous quotations from scripture, do actually exhibit the principles of natural philosophy, do really assign the true causes of motion in nature, and give us a clue to philosophize upon with safety and success; all these things unite to confirm the divine authority of scripture. Then its allusions to naure will be seen to be exceedingly beautiful ; and many spiritual truths will be illustrated. And surely all this must be very desirable to those who love the word of God."*

If the preceding account of the Philosophia Sacra, be considered long, our apology is the importance of the subject, and its being but little understood, or attended to by persons in general. Besides it seemed a necessary part of Mr. Pike's history to trace the origin, and state something of the nature of those principles that distinguished him from other

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THREE CRANES, THAMES-STREET.- Independent, Extinct.

writers. The ingenious and intelligent manner in which his book is drawn up, recommended him to the wise and learned, and the candour and respect with which he treats his opponents, are greatly to his honour. This ought the rather to be mentioned, because the narrow and illiberal spirit displayed in the writings of many Hutchinsonians, places them in a less amiable light. (N) Mr.

(N) As it is possible some of our readers may be unacquainted with the nature of the Hutchinsonian system, we will briefly state, that its distinguishing feature is a supposition that the Hebrew scriptures contain a perfect system of natural philosophy, theology, and religion. So high an opinion did Mr. Hutchinson entertain of the Hebrew language, that he thought the Almighty must have employed it to communicate every species of know. ledge, which his followers discover, accordingly, in the Old Testament. They lay a great stress upon the evidence of Hebrew etymology, and strongly enforce the study of that language. What is called the religion of nature they abominate, as an usurpation of the religion of Christ, and no better than Turkish honesty. Being fond of analogical reasoning, they consider not only the types and figures of the Old Testament, but even every thing in nature, to have a symbolical reference. The Hutchinsonians are strenuous advocates for the doctrine of the Trinity, which they illustrate by their philosophy of fire, light, and air. In natural philosophy, they differ from Sir Isaac Newton, in his method of proving a vacuum, and on the subject of gravitation. Inert matter they consider to possess no active qualities. Hutchinson, and the earlier writers of his school, are remarkable for excessive bigotry, and violent abuse of their opponents. All who thought not exactly as they did, both in philosophy and theology, they stigmatized for Atheists or Deists, Socinians or Arians. Because Sir Isaac Newton, and Dr. Clarke, explained the motions of the planets in a different manner to Mr. Hutchir.son, these illustrious men were charged with a serious design to overturn the Christian religion, and establish in its room, the worship of the Heathen Jupiter, or the Stoical Anima Mundi. Bishops Pearson, Bull, and other able defenders of the Christian faith, were charged with Arianism, on account of their explaining differently from Mr. Hutchinson, the filiation of the Son of God. This he applied solely to his mediatorial office. In cons sequence of the revival of Hebrew learning, the sentiments of this writer are supposed to have gained ground considerably of late years. Among those who embraced his system, of late years, we might mention the names of Bi. shop Horne, Romaine, Parkhurst, and the late William Jones, men, who for religion and learning, were not surpassed by any of their contemporaries. Those who wish for a further account of Mr. Hutchinson's opinions, we sefer to an Abstract of his Writings; to Forbes'. Thoughus on Religion i and to Jones's Life of Bishop Horne, ed edit.

THREE CRANES, THAMES.STREET. - Independent, Extinct.

Pike's book has long been scarce, and fetches a high price.

In the year 1755, Mr. Pike published a small treatise, entitled, “ A Form of Sound Words : or, the Assemblies Catechism analyzed, explained, and recommended as a most compendious and methodical Body of Divinity.” It came to a second edition in the following year, and was recommended by Thomas Bradbury, John Guyse, Thomas Hall, Richard Rawlin, and William King, five ministers in considerable repute among the Independents. As the “ Form of Sound Words,” was composed upon strict Calvinistical principles, it is not surprising that it gave offence to the Anti-Calvinian party. The champion who stood forth to the attack, was the Rev. Caleb Fleaning, a Divine of some learning and acuteness, but no great depth, and a zealous Socinian. The title of his piece was, “ No Protestant Popery $ in a Letter of Admonition to the Rev. Mr. Samuel Pike, &c.” 1756. To this pamphlet of Mr. Fleming, an answer was written the same year, by Mr. John Dove, a member of Mr. Pike’s congregation. It was entitled, “ Remarks upon a Pamphlet written by the Rev. Mr. Caleb Fleming, in a Letter of Admonition to the Rev. Mr. Samuel Pike, &c. With some Strictures upon the Remarkables in Mr. Fleming's Scale of First Principles. Addressed to the Reverend the Doctors of the Sarbonne.” Mr. Dove was an acute and intelligent man, and a good scholar; but his pieces, which are numerous, abound too much with that vulgarity of style, and licentiousness of language, that disgrace the controversialist. (0) It is rather unfortunate for

(o) Mr. Dove was by profession a tailor, and on account of his knowledge of the Hebrew language, received the appellation of“ The Hebrew Tailor." He was a respectable man, and on account of some services he had rendered to one of the city companies, of which he was warden, it was voted that a portrait of him should be placed in their hall, and an engraving taken at their own expence. It was executed in mezzotinto, by Watson. Mr. Dove died in 1778.

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