Imágenes de páginas

selyting be carried on with apostolic ther candid nor charitable, and still meekness and zeal, I inust dissent; less, it seems to me, do they study the for it is the conviction of my mind, interests of religion. The remarks of that the more earnestly and assidu- ignorant, partially-informed people, ously we labour in this field, the more may be abundantly provoking ; but shall we be respected by those who every individual ought to recollect, that differ from us. This is an age of it is one thing to take notice of every strong excitement: and it is indiffer- personal aspersion, and another to ence, and not zeal, which will bring take every opportunity of rescuing redown contempt and censure. The ligion from undeserved calumny: that Unitarian Minister who will conde- no true Christian ought to grudge any scend to take pattern by a Wesleian labour or effort in the latter ; nor to brother in the unwearied, indefatiga- spare any degree of watchfulness in ble, laborious exertion of body and avoiding such actions as may reflect soul in a religious cause, may meet discredit on his principles. In short, with opposition for a time; but if his what I wish to see among Unitarians, course be marked by mildness, ten- is a larger portion of that spirit of derness towards others, and an earnest zealous charity, which led St. Paul to application of principles to practice, become “ all things to all men, if by he must, he will be finally respected. any means he might save some ;" a It is not from such men as these that greater condescension to the weakthe better part of Calvinists and Me- nesses, tenderness for the prejudices thodists shrink with fear and trem- and regard for the opinions of others, bling ; nor is it against such that most I am quite of the mind of the good of their pulpit invectives are levelled. divine who, when his friend expressed For our bishops, who sit in high some surprise at the meekness with places, and know nothing of labour which one of his flock received a very but the name, for our worldly ones, severe reproof from him, answered, who rather wish Unitarianism to re- “O my friend, when there's love in the main a small and genteel sect, they heart, you may say any thing.” Peohave but little reverence; and often- ple will bear the strongest things from times, I fear, they are kept aloof from those whose hearts they believe to be the plainer sort of Unitarians by the set upon their good. Instead of this, want of conciliation; the lack of at- Unitarians are not sufficiently anxious tention towards the prejudices of their to conciliate. They ought, surely, to education which they meet with among recollect how closely interwoven with

the pious and devotional feelings of It has often struck me, that many numbers are those very tenets against conscientious Unitarians would be bet- which they war. They do not enough ter known and more valued by their separate the pure gold from the dross; Calvinistic friends, if the little caution nor reflect how rooted and built up they do exercise, in their intercourse in the prejudices of education indiviwith them, were not sometimes mis- duals may be found, whose friendly placed. They are hardly explicit regard for themselves and their prinenough when opportunities occur in ciples it is worth almost any labour to stating the grounds of their religious gain. opinions, or rather they shrink from There is another point on which I the trouble of explaining to their would touch, but I feel that it ought neighbours, when subjected to an illi- to be done with delicacy. It is with beral remark, why they hold these reference to the friendships or, at any opinions. They, in short, forget, or rate, combinations which Unitarians do not choose to consider, how often are led to form with others from poli. these remarks have their origin in tical motives. It is so much the part mere ignorance and mistaken zeal for of true Christians to bear their testithe honour of God, rather than from mony, unshrinkingly, against public any real illiberality; and they will not corruption, that we should be careful stay to reason calmly with those who how we say a syllable which might inake them, but content themselves check the career of the upright, evenwith declaiming generally on want of handed politician. But it is surely Christian candour and charity. In possible to serve one's country steathis, however, they are themselves nei- dily and effectually, without connect

[ocr errors]

ing ourselves with individuals of doubt- as my knowledge extends, than the ful character, or known enemies to reports of the various associations of religion. Granting that all state pro- churches and ministers in the country. secutions for infidelity are unwise and In reading them, from time to time, unchristian ; granting that in inter- the question has unavoidably arisen in course (if we must have it) with per- my own mind, and in the minds of sons of this character, we ought to several of my friends, Why bare we abstain from acrimony and ungentle. no similar association in Londen? ness; still it does seem a plain duty Are we too much divided in opinion, that we should carefully restrict our. too lukewarm or too much immersed selves to necessary intercourse with in secular affairs? I hope and trust such. That if we feel they can do us that each of these questions may be no personal harm, (a supposition confidently answered in the negative. which, by the bye, it seems to me can Let then an individual humbly recomnever be justified by human experience mend that this matter be taken into or Scripture example, we ought to re- consideration. The Independents and member our often-reviled religion, and Baptists have long held periodical for her sake, forbear to associate our meetings of associated churches, and selves with those whose religious or there appears no reason why the Presmoral characters are at war with all byterians should not adopt a measure our notions of piety or of equity. Pan which they, I am told, have found litical men are apt to regard public essentially useful in cherishing a brmore than private character in their therly spirit and in forwarding their friendly intercourse, as if the salva- respective interests. tion of their country were a thing I could name several ministers in (vast as it is) to be put in any sort of London and the neighbourhood who competition with the furtherance of could instantly put this plan in moreligious interests. If it please the tion; and may I be pardoned for spe Supreme Being that even the urath cifying one, the venerable Dr. REES, of man" should praise him-if impor- to whom the Dissenters in general, tant and beneficial changes in the af. and the Presbyterians in particular, fairs of nations are sometimes brought are so largely indebted, and whose about by individuals whom the utmost sanction would probably unite in the stretch of charity will not allow us to association projected, most of the regard with a favourable eye, let us churches of English Presbyterians in admire his dispensations ; but let not the metropolis and the vicinity? us thrust ourselves forward to “do The two other denominations, be evil that good may come;" let us not fore mentioned, hold Monthly Meetdrive back the wcak brother, and give ings, but, considering the small numthe open foe opportunity to speak evil ber of Presbyterian congregations, of our good. Observations of this Quarterly Meetings might be for them kind may perhaps be applied with most expedient. At these meetings, especial force to Unitarian Ministers; each minister in the Union might but laymen are too apt to make scape. preach in rotation; and the services goats of their pastors, and reserve to of country ministers might be frethemselves the liberty of acting as quently and advantageously obtained they please. In such a time as this, To suit the altered manners of society, every Unitarian should reckon himself an afternoon would perhaps be more (not as a motive for ostentation, but eligible than a morning-service. As of wariness) “a city set on a hill.” in the country associations and in May he that “never slumbereth nor those of the London Independents sleepeth” “kcep that city,” and dis. and Baptists, the ministers and their pose us to unceasing vigilance, un friends might partake, after the serwearied zeal and full and fervent vices, of an economical and friendly charity!

dinner. Convenience would probably dictate that the meetings be held in

London on the two winter meetings,

London, and in the country on the two sunimer Sir,

September 30, 1822. ones. Charities of various descripTHERE is no part of your work tions would be promoted by the meaI read with greater pleasure, as far sure proposed, but for obvious reasons


[ocr errors]

pecuniary collections and subscriptions remind any of your readers that in the would be as much as possible avoided improved state of the public mind on these occasions.

with regard to theological controverBut I begin to feel that an anony- sy, the success of such a publication mous writer may be thought presump would depend upon its being tempetuous in these suggestions, and therc- rately as well as ably written. No fore I leave the proposal in the hands argument has now, happily, a chance of our ministers, assuring them only of succeeding, that is not proposed in that, in common I have reason to be a candid manner. And, further, in lieve with many others, I should be the event of a volume of this descripgratified to become, as I subscribe tion being composed, I would hummyself,

bly recommend that an abstract or COADJUTOR. abridgement of it should be drawn up

for popular use, so small and cheap London,

as to recommend itself for gratuitous August 24, (St. Bartholomew,) 1822. distribution ainongst our congrega

tions and neighbourhoods. On the NE great advantage of a publi- whole, it appears to me that the moU cation like yours is its forming ment is peculiarly auspicious for such an opening for the suggestion of any an undertaking, and that an author plan that may appear likely to serve who should perform it well, might the interests of the Christian Church, fairly reckon upon both reputation or of that branch of it with which the and profit as the reward of his labour. bulk of your readers probably are The project is submitted to you, Sir, connected. Allow me, then, to throw because I know of no periodical pubout the hint that there is a vacancy lication atnongst whose readers I yet to be filled up in our theological should be so likely to find the writer literature, and that a thoroughly saw after whom I am anxiously inquiring. tisfactory and universally interesting

P.D. work on the grounds and reasons of Protestant Dissent is still a desideratum. I am not unacquainted with

Eichhorn's Account of the Book of

Genesis. the publications on this subject by Towgood, Wilton, Palmer and Robin

(Concluded from p. 540.) son; not to name other writers who

$ 420. have treated the subject incidentally. Of certain Peculiarities which characThese authors are, and I hope long

terize each Record. will be, read with great interest by TF the Book of Genesis be divided inquirers: but I cannot help thinking 1 according to the respective records that a volume might be drawn up bearing different appellations of the much better adapted to the vindi- Almighty, and the portions belonging cation of Dissent, in the present to each be exhibited in opposite costate of parties, than any which I have lumns, it will be found that each reyet seen. Such a work should discuss cord is characterized by certain feaonly the capital objections to National tures peculiar to itself. Churches, and should contain, in par. The record bearing the name of ticular, an argumentative answer to Jehovah exhibits its genealogies in a the specious plea for the patronage cosmographical point of view, whilst (suspicious term!) of religion by the that under the name of Elohim proState. The exceptions to the Liturgy ceeds chronologically. Hence the of the Church of England would descendants of Noah are described in naturally form one chapter, but the former (see ch. x.), according to the time is passed when liturgies of the countries (as they were then themselves would be considered a known) over which they had spread sufficient ground of Dissent. And to themselves ; whereas in the latter, they make the proposed work generally are enumerated according to their geuseful, it should consist of those ar- nerations ; see ch. xi. 10-26. Again, guments in which Dissenters agree, in the former, the geography of the not as Unitarian or Trinitarian Dissen- world subsequent to the deluge is deters, but as Dissenters. I need not scribed; whilst in the latter, we find as a substitute for it, a chronological ac- and Jacob, ch. xxv. 23; and, to parti count of the genealogy of Shem. In cularize one beautiful instance more, the record of Jehovah, a geographical the parting blessing of Jacob to his sketch of Abraham's posterity, by sons, ch. xlix. Hagar and Keturah, is introduced be The author of the same record tween the life of Abraham and the seems also to have partaken of that history of Isaac; see ch. xxv, 1-6 and fondness, so common to ancient wri12–14; whereas that under the name ters, of giving etyinological explanaof Elohim, defers the account of the tions of names. Accordingly we find flood until it has given a genealogical him explaining in a similar manner and chronological account of the ante- the names of Cain, ch. iv. 1 ; of Babel, diluvian world from Seth downwards; ch. xi. 9; and of Noah, ch, v. 29, &c see ch. V.

Nay, in all probability, his predilecIt appears further to have been a tion for such explanations led him, in point of some consequence with the certain cases, to give an etymological author of the record of Jehovah, to colouring to the whole narrative, a trace the history of inventions : thus circumstance which cannot fail to renhe enumerates prior to the deluge, the der it proportionately obscure to us; rise of agriculture and rearing cattle, e. g., ch. iv. 26, comp. ch. vi. 1, 2. the invention of music and the art of At the same time, it must be owned extracting metals from their ores; that the author of the record of Elowhich ultimately led to the fabrica- him occasionally displays a similar tion of deadly weapons in the family fondness, as may be seen in his acof Lamech; see ch. iv. 17-24: again, counts of the different births which the same record notices, as subsequent took place in the house of Jacob, ch. occurrences to the flood, the origin of xxx.; although it must also be replanting vineyards, ch. ix. 20—27; of marked, that his etymological atfollowing the chase, ch. x. 8,9; of tempts do not reach higher than the erecting pyramids, and even of speake flood, or even beyond the time of ing different languages, ch. xi, 1-9, Abraham. &c. &c.

For the rest, it is uiterly impossiThe chief object of the record bear. ble, at present, possessed as we are of ing the name of Elohim, appears to both records in a mutilated state only, be that of relating the family history and in an order very different from of the Israelites. Hence it traces the that in which they were originally posterity of Adam down to Abraham, drawn up, to pronounce with full cerboth before and after the flood, in that tainty on the object which guided the particular line only which was more views of each writer, a point which immediately connected with Abraham; can, for the most part, be best ascernamely, in the former case from Seth, tained by an examination of complete and in the latter from Shem; giving passages and the narratives of particubut a very cursory sketch of the rela- lar facts. Nevertheless, as the comtions of Abraham, ch. xi. 27, et seq.; piler of both records in the Book of and that too, on the sole ground of Genesis uniformly adopts that as Isaac and Jacob becoming in the se- the basis of his work which is the quel more intimately related to them most copious, availing himself of the by intermarriage.

other in cases only where something The record under the name of Je. may have been omitted in the former, hovah inserts, as often as possible, and only inserts both when they ap. fragments of poetry, those earliest his pear at variance with each other, we torical documents of all nations. Thus inay, with some degree of certainty, it contains the beautiful address of speak as to the brevity or prolixity of Lamech to his wives, on the invention each, in particular narratives. Ac. of the sword in his family, ch. iv. 23, cordingly, we may safely assume that 24; further, the commencement of an in the record bearing the name of Jeapostrophe on Nimrod, ch. x. 9; the hovah, the lives of Abraham and curse of Noah, as a supplement to the Isaac were more circumstantially, but, previous account of the origin of on the other hand, those of Jacob and planting vineyards, ch. ix. 25-27; Joseph more briefly detailed than in the oracle respecting the birth of Esaú the record of Elohim. Agreeably to

my views of the matter, the record of gratitude for the interesting discoveJehovah noticed little more of the life ries detailed in the foregoing Sections, of Joseph, than his adventure with respecting the true contents of the Potiphar's wife, ch. xxxix. ; the dying Book of Genesis, the spirit of party request of Jacob to his son Joseph, will in all probability continue for anoch. xlvii. 28-31; and its fulfilment, ther score of years to treat the whole ch. 1. 1-12. On the other hand, the with indignation and disdain! With record under the name of Elohim, what degree of propriety, however, though brief and incomplete in its ac- may be inferred from the following count of the lives of Abraham and observations: . Isaac, contains a very circumstantiall . According to my views of the narrative of those of Jacob and Joseph, subject, the hypothesis laid down rerelating with great minuteness the va- specting the Book of Genesis tends rious occurrences which took place very considerably to heighten its cresubsequent to the departure of Joseph dibility. Was ever an historian known from his paternal home, and concealto have gone so religiously and coning nothing which in any way tends scientiously to work with the mate. to heighten his reputation. It de- rials once selected by him as the com*scribes the brilliant part which he piler of the Book of Genesis ? Fully acted in Egypt, ch. xli.- xlvii. ; ad- convinced himself of the genuineness verts to the address of his dying fa- and truth of his records, he gives them ther, so eminently honourable to him, to his readers exactly as he found and to the rights secured to both his them ; certain, that whilst on the one sons, ch. xlviii.; and quotes the noble hand no undue attempt was made by declaration made by Joseph to his the assistance of false tints and a high brethren, after his father's death, ch. colouring to extort admiration, the 1. 14—26, &c. Lastly, the record of unadorned simplicity of their real Jehovah concludes with an account form could not fail, on the other, to of Jacob's death and burial, ch. I. 14; insure the respect and veneration of whereas the other einbraces a narra- every one. tive of the adventures of his descen- 2. The benefits, further, to be reapdants in Egypt, after the death of Jo- ed from the discovery in question, by *seph, at a period when the services he the historian, the commentator and had rendered Egypt and the privileges the critic, cannot but be of the great. granted to his relatives on their taking est moment. The lover of history is up their residence in the land of Go- no longer bound in his researches into shen, had long been forgotten; and antiquity to follow the accounts of a even extends into the first chapters of single writer; he has the advantage the Book of Exodus.

of consulting two authorities where a [Desunt $ 421.

repetition of the narrative occurs, and

can safely presume that, even in cases The Records contained in the Book of which appear to involve variations,

Genesis are the Productions of dif- both agree in the main. No longer at ferent Writers. ;

obliged by a twofold account of the § 422.

saine occurrence, which he has hitherof the Source from whence the Re. to fancied proceeded from one and the cords in the Book of Genesis are

same pen, to render the trifling variataken.

tions of minor incidents consistent by

a series of artful túrns, or subtle hypo$ 423.

theses, he may now regard those very of the Arrangement of the Records differences as proofs of the indepencontained in the Book of Genesis.] dent character of each distinct record, § 424.

and draw the most favourable conclu.

sions from their mutual consistency Of the Benefits resulting from the

in matters of moment. foregoing Discoveries, respecting

3. As to the commentator,-the sethe internal Construction of the paration of both records under the Book of Genesis.

guidance of enlightened criticism, will Instead of testifying its bounden obviate a host of difficulties which he VOL. XVII.

4 K

« AnteriorContinuar »