« AnteriorContinuar »
guage ; and by way of analogy to to us in Scripture as one God, even as creatures he has let us know some- the soul of man, his mind and his will, thing what God is.
are one spiritual being. Since reason ..“ Among all the creatures that and Scripture agree to teach us the come within the reach of our common nature of God, and inform us who and obvious cognizance, human na- and what God is by this analogy, I ture is the most perfect; and, there think in our inquiries on this sacred fore, it has pleased the great and glo- subject, we ought to follow this anarious God, by resemblances drawn logy so far as reason and Scripture from ourselves, to accommodate the allow us. Now it is evident that a descriptions of himself to our capaci- human soul, in its nature, is one conties. When he speaks of his own na scious mind; and it is utterly inconture in the language of men, he often sistent with the nature of it to have uses the names of human parts, and two or three distinct conscious principembers, and faculties, to represent ples, or natures, in it, that is, to inhis own properties and actions thereby, clude two or three different conscious that he may bring them within the beings; and since we are told that notice of the lowest capacity and the God is one, and God is a spirit, it meanest understanding among the would be something strange if we children of men. Therefore he speaks must believe that God is two or three of his face, to signify the discovery of spirits."-"If there be some distinchimself; his eyes to describe his know- tions or differences in the Divine naledge; his heart to describe his ture, greater than that of relations, thoughts ; his hand and arm to signify modes or attributes, and less than his power and activity; and his mouth that of substances, I know not what to denote his resolutions or revela- name to give it better than that of tions.
· divine powers. Let us therefore sup“But since in the composition of pose the great and blessed God to be human nature there are two distinct one infinite spirit, one conscious being, parts, a soul and a body, and the soul who possesses real, distinct or differ, is much the nobler and more exalted ent powers, which in sacred language principle, it has also pleased God to are called the Word and the Spirit. rise above corporeal images, and to And though this difference or distincdescribe himself, his attributes, pro- tion be not so great as to allow of perties, power and operations by way different consciousnesses, or to make of analogy to a human soul. We distinct spirits, yet these two powers know by our own consciousness, or may be represented in Scripture in a by an inward inspection into ourselves, figurative manner, under distinct perthat our soul or spirit is a being which sonal characters." has understanding, and will, thoughts, “May not the human mind and the inclinations, knowledge, desires and will be represented in a personal manvarious powers to move the body. ner, or as distinct personal agents, at Therefore our Saviour has told us, least by a figurative way of speaking, God is a spirit, and the brightest and though they are but two powers of sublimest representations of God in the same soul ? May I not use such Scripture, are such as bear an analogy language as this : ‘My mind has laand resemblance to the soul of man, boured hard to find out such a diffior a spiritual, thinking nature. culty; my will is resolutely bent to
“As the chief faculties of our souls pursue such a course'? And many are the mind and will, or rather a other common expressions there are power of knowing, and a power of of the same nature, wherein the mind acting, so God seems to have revealed and will are still more evidently and himself to us as endued with two plainly represented as persons. divine faculties, his word or wisdom, “And since human powers are and his spirit or efficient power. It thus represented as persons, why may is by this word and this spirit, that he not the word and the spirit, which are is represented in Scripture as manag, divine powers, be thus represented ing the great concerns of the creation, also? And why may not God be reprovidence, redemption and salvation: presented as a person transacting his and these three, viz., God the Father, own divine affairs with his Word and his Word and his Spirit, are held forth his Spirit under personal characters, since a man is often represented as God does not seem to be described as transacting human affairs with his un- a distinct Spirit from the Father, or derstanding, mind, will, reason, fancy, as another conscious mind, but as an or conscience, in a personal manner?" eternal, essential power, belonging to
“With respect to the term person, the Father, whereby all things are since neither scripture itself applies effected.” it to the Word or Spirit, nor the elder “Thus it appears, that, as outward vor later writers of the church have speech and breath are powers of the confined themselves to the use of this human body, as reason and vital actiterm, I can see no necessity of the vity or efficience are powers of the confinement of ourselves or others to human soul, so the great God in it, when we are speaking of the pure scripture has revealed himself to us distinctions in the Divine nature. And as a glorious Being, who has two eterwhen we are endeavouring to explain nal, essential, divine powers, which, in them in a rational manner, and to condescension to our weakness, he is form and adjust our clearest ideas of pleased to describe by way of analogy them, I think we may use the term, to our souls and bodies; and this he divine properties, or rather divine doth by the terms Aoyos and Ilyevu.ch powers, for this end. Perhaps this in Greek, and in English, Word and word, powers, comes nearest to the Spirit.” genuine ideas of things, so far as we Thus we see that, in the judgment can apply human words to divine ideas, of this great man, the Word and Spirit and this word, powers, makes the dis- are not properly to be regarded as tinction greater than properties, and I persons, but rather as powers belongthink it is so much the better. But ing to the Divine nature. The way in we have several precedents for the use which he explains and illustrates this of both these terms among the ancient point, is highly interesting and instrucwriters."
tive, nor could a Unitarian wish to see “ The divine Logos seems to be re- his own characteristic opinions more presented, both in scripture and in the justly stated. Yet we should hesitate primitive writers, as much distinct to say that at this time Watts was a from the Father as the same essence Unitarian; for though we have seen admits of, or as distinct as may be, that he had the root of the inatter in without being another conscious mind. him, yet he had not as yet put forth Now this seems to be something more the characteristic branches. At this than a mere attribute; and therefore time he held the strange opinion that I call the Logos a divine power; imi. the human soul of Christ pre-existed, tating herein both the ancient Jews and was employed by God in the creaand the primitive fathers, who call tion of the world, and he likewise aphim frequently, Lappia and Nous, and proved of the religious worship of Aurauis €8, and particularly Clemens Christ as the Mediator, with other inAlexandrinus, who makes him Ilatpirn consistencies, which we have good reaTIS EVE Gyer. But since God and his son to believe he afterwards abandonco-essential Word do not seem to have ed. Nothing can be plainer than that two distinct consciousnesses, or to be the doctrine contained in the foregotwo conscious minds; this eternal ing extracts, cuts at the very root of Logos can hardly be called a person, every branch of the Trinitarian scheme in the common and literal sense of thé and worship, and must, if admitted, term, as a distinct man or angel, but bring the whole of that luxuriant only in figurative and metaphorical growth defenceless to the ground. language." « The Spirit seems to be another
EUELPIS. divine power, which may be called the power of efficience; and although
P.S. Allow me particularly to reit is sometimes described in scripture
commend that work of Watts's from as a personal agent, after the manner
which I have made the above extracts, of Jewish and eastern writers, yet if
stern writera vet if to the attention of your readers. It we put all the scriptures relating to is fraught with learning and interesting this subject together, and view them remarks. in a correspondent light, the Spirit of VOL. XVII.
ance, will render it difficult or impos
sible to reconcile. THERE are few subjects of greater Let us distinctly understand why a
1 importance to the general inter- Society of Christians is formed for ests of the Dissenting body, than the public worship. Is it not that the Deeds of Trust by which their several members, being agreed in their“ mode places of worship are held. Few sub- of faith,” consider it for their mutual jects are, however, less understood, or convenience and improvement to asless inquired into. In fact, the usual semble together under the guidance course has been to confide the prepa- of a common pastor ? This argues ration of the instrument to an attor- no necessary connexion with a particuney, as a piece of routine; and, it lar edifice. They may assemble on being once®“signed, sealed and deli- the bigh-ways, as the first Christians vered” in due legal form, to consign did; they may use one building this it to the custody of soine faithful Trus- year, and another the next. But a tee, there to abide in undisturbed se- constitution-fixed principles for the clusion until his death imposes on his regulation of their concerns, and acheirs the task of searching among his knowledged by all the members-is papers; and it has been brought essentially necessary to the well-being again to light just in time to be re- of every Society; and no religious newed, before the last of those who Society should exist, nor indeed can were invested with the power of re- be said to exist as a Society, without newing it had followed his brethren it. to the gravet
It will not, however, be questioned, As a mere security for the tenure of that a building set apart for the use our chapels, then, it is highly import- of such a body must greatly contriant that this subject should be looked bute to their comfort and convenience; into; but in another view it appears that, in other words, it may be subserto me of no less importance, and I ain vient to the object for which the Soanxious to draw the attention of Uni- ciety was formed. It is therefore tarian Dissenters in this direction at highly desirable, that every such Sothe present moment, because the in- ciety should enjoy the benefit, when crease of their numbers is multiply- it can be obtained without sacrificing ing the number of congregations in superior considerations. But if some various parts of the kingdom; and of the Trust Deeds are examined, it new buildings are consequently rising will be found that this secondary obup for their accommodation.
ject, this matter of convenience, has Hitherto a great error has been assumed the place of the first; that committed, by confounding in the same the affairs of religion, as a congregainstrument the tenure in the building tional concern, are absolutely supand the constitution of the Society as- planted by an anxiety that the prosembling therein. Where the build. perty in the building shall not be ing is held in trust for the Society, alienated. Thus, in one place, the this is sufficiently objectionable ; be. choice of the minister is altogether in cause a power is conferred on the the hands of the Trustees ; in another, Trustees, which is in a great ineasure the members of the congregation are permanent and irresponsible; and fre- not permitted to exercise a choice quently interferes with the free exer- until the proprietors have agreed to cise of their judgment by the Society recommend, and other restrictions at large, with respect to such concerns are devised, by which some or all of as should be altogether subject to the congregation are prohibited from their regulation or choice. But where enjoying any substantial right of memthe building is the property of indivi- bership beyond those of attending pubduals, whether they form a part of the lic worship, and contributing towards congregation or not, the objections its support. become infinitely more formidable ; To say nothing at the present moinasmuch as differences may arise ment of the prejudicial effects which which the jealousy, so easily excited must ensue from such a system as between interests obviously separate, this, on the zeal, or, when any cause and probably supposed to be at vari- for excitement occurs, on the temper of the parties, whether they retain or chapel should be a matter of separate are excluded from immediate influ- agreement between the heads or deleence in their general concerns, I would gates of the congregation on the one ask, what can be more hostile to the hand, and the trustees or proprietors principles of dissent? What is it but of the building on the other. Where another version of the mode in which the building is private property, the clerical appointinents in the Establish- terms will require an annual rent for ed Church are filled ? In the latter, the chapel entire, or for pews sepaindeed, the power is often lodged in rately; where it is held in trust for a the lands of individuals, or of bodies, particular class of worshipers, it may who have no other connexion with the be lent to people of that class in conpeople immediately interested; and sideration of their keeping the preperhaps some cases as extravagant mises in repair, or of their paying a may be found amongst ourselves; but sum equivalent to the repairs; and in as far as relates to those inembers of either case, other conditions may be the congregation, be their numbers prescribed as to the duration of the greater or less, who have no voice in occupancy ;-it may be for a year, for the election of their minister, the two years, or while certain doctrines principle is one and the same. To are taught therein. In short, this spethem it can make no difference by cies of arrangement is susceptible of whom the appointment was made every security that can be obtained by they had no share in it; and if they any other; and I am not aware of any deem it a duty to attend public wor- disadvantage which can possibly result ship, they are subject to precisely the from it. same inconvenience as the unpretend- It is true, difficulties may in some ing followers of the hierarchy.
cases present themselves in the terms But it is contended that this system in which certain clauses of old Trust is necessary to secure the property in Deeds are expressed; but I suspect the chapel for the use of Unitarian that, the spirit being willing, other difworshipers and from the invasion of ficulties of the same nature, and quite interlopers of every description. If equal in magnitude, have in many inno other means can be pointed out stances been surmounted; and I ain by which this object may be fully ac- confident that a willing spirit would complished, and which are at the not fail to remove such as we now same time altogether free from the contemplate the possible or probable objections which so decidedly apply to existence of. But be this as it may ; these, it may be admitted that there the argument has no force in relation is something in the argument. But to those chapels which are now buildif it can be shewn that other means ing, or which may hereafter be built. are within our reach, and only require 1 am fully aware, Sir, that the printo be called into operation, it must, on ciple which I contend for will meet the other hand, be acknowledged, that with objectors; for old habits and old among Dissenters, rational Dissenters, prejudices do not like to be disturbed ; who, claiming for themselves the ut. but I do not think it necessary to anmost freedom and independence of ticipate what may hereafter be adjudgment, owe it to their own consis- vanced ; I am satisfied with this entency neither to withhold nor to in- deavour to place the subject in a clear terfere with the right of others to point of view, in the hope of leading exercise the like freedom and inde- to a further discussion. pendence,-it must, I say, be acknow
J. B. ledged, that every restraint on the individual rights of the members of a congregation, and more especially on Book-Worm. No. XXVIII. that most important right, a voice in the election of the pastor, ought in
June 8, 1822. stantly to be removed.
W HEN I proposed, ten years ago, Let us then proceed in our inquiry. V to become your occasional I have already said that the constitu- correspondent, I took the precaution tion of the Society and the tenure in of claiming for my lucubrations, the the chapel ought not to be confound- liberty which, I acknowledge, you ed. In fact, the occupation of the have always allowed me, to pass free
ly, as inclinatiou might lead, or the ingenious men,” at length procured occasion might require,
“a present of twenty guineas," in << From grave to gay, from sportive to acknowledgment of the poet's com
In those days a poem was no sooner In this Number I shall invite your
finished than policy was engaged to readers, not unseasonably, to the Šum
select a patron. Johnson relates that mer of Thomson; offering to their
“ Thomson, having been some time acceptance the result of a comparison which I made, when I had some lei
entertained in the family of Lord Bin
ning, was desirous of testifying his sure for such amusements, between
gratitude by making him the patron Summer, in the edition of the Seasons which is in every one's hands, and
of his Summer; but the same kind. the first edition of the Poem, pub
ness which had first disposed Lord lished separately under the following
Hinc Binning to encourage him, determined Title:
him to refuse the Dedication, which “ Summer. A Poem. By James
en By James was by his advice addressed to Mr. Thomson.
Dodington, a man who had more
power to advance the reputation and « Jam clarus occultum Andromedæ Pater fortune of a poet.” Ostendit ignem. Jam Procyon furit
Thomson, though he declines “to Et stella vesani Leonis,
run into the common track of dedicaSole dies referente siccos.
tors, and attempt a panegyric,” and «« Jam pastor umbras cum grege languido,
though he is aware of “a certain geRivumque fessus quærit, et horridi
nerous delicacy in men of the most Dumeta Sylvani; caretque
distinguished merit, disposing them to Ripa vagis taciturna ventis.
avoid those praises they so power
fully attract,” yet ventures to pub“ London: Printed for J. Millan, lish the discovery he has made, that at Locke's-Head in New Street, near his patron possesses “a character, the upper End of the Haymarket. in which the VIRTUES, the GRACES MDCCXXVII.”
and the Muses join their influence;" A Dedication follows, “to the and that his "example has recomRight Hon. Mr. Dodington, one of mended Poetry, with the greatest the Lords of his Majesty's Treasury, grace-an art," he adds, “in which &c.” The poet, lately arrived from you are a master,-one of the finest, his native Scotland, at the great Bri.
and consequently one of the most intish mart of talents, had dedicated dulgent, judges of the age;" worthy Winter, in 1726, to Sir Spencer to be transmitted to future times as Compton, from whom, according to the BRITISH MÆCENAS.” Johnson, “ some verses which cen- In 1730. on the publication of the sured the great for their neglect of Seasons, in a connected form, this
prose adulation was commuted, as it
has been in all succeeding editions, . Carm. L. iii. Od. xxix. thus trans.
for eleven lines of flattery in verse, lated by Francis :
imputing to the patron, among other « Andromeda's conspicuous sire
high qualities, Now darts his hidden beams from far;
"Unblemish'd honour; and an active The Lion shews his madn’ing fire,
zeal And barks tierce Procyon's raging For Britain's glory, liberty and man."
star, While Phoebus, with revolving ray, Such was the Dodington of à Brings back the burnings of the thirsty grateful, or rather an expectant Bard, day.
who predicts in his Dedication, as to «« Fainting beneath the swelt'ring heat,
the many virtues” of his patron,
that “posterity alone will do them To cooling streams and breezy shades The shepherd and his flocks retreat,
justice." Instructed by that invaluaWhile rustic sylvans seek the glades. ble dissection of a court, “The Diary Silent the brook its borders laves,
of the late George Bubb Dodington, Nor curls one vagrant breath of wind Baron of Melcombe Regis," posterity the waves."
has done, and will continue to do him