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osity of those who wish to learn the sentiments of so great a man upon a topic which involves the happiness of a large portion of suffering humanity
• Some of the Tracts in the First Volume were written for the press; but the Contemplations, Moral and Divine, which compose the Second Volume, were published not only in their native primogenial simplicity, but even without his knowledge : these, accordingly, never received the finishing touches of the judicious author. This fact accounts for the inaccuracies which abound in the copies that are already extant. Every exertion has been used, and it is presumed with success, to ascertain the genuine reading, and convey the true meaning of the author. The subjects are common themes, but such as are acknowledged to be of the greatest moment in the life of man: as it may be said of things in the natural world, those which are of the greatest benefit, are the most obvious and familiar. The matter, however, of his Meditations does not partake of this character ; for, as he was a man who thought closely and deeply upon every subject, so his writings, and especially those which cost him the least effort, discover a genius, an energy, and an originality su.' perior to common writers. Though, as it has been suggested, he . wrote these without effort, yet he had maturely digested the subject, "which, as a scribe instructed unto the kingdom of Heaven," he treasured up in his heart, and produced out of this treasure of his heart and the abundance of it. His style is admirably adapted to the matter. It is significant, perspicuous, and manly; his words are spirit and life, and carry with them evidence and demonstration. These writings are indeed invaluable, they are a transcript of the soul of Hale himself. They furnish a lively and striking representation of his learning, wisdom, piety, and virtue, which shone in his life with sịch transcendant lustre, and raised him to the highest emi.
If I might select one part in preference to another, it would be perhaps the subject of the Great Audit, where, in drawing the picture of the Good Steward, he is describing himself passing his solemn and awful accounts. In this volume will be found two treatises written
the same subject ; viz Afflictions. There is, however, little room for apprehension, lest the latter treatise may prove tedious to the pious reader who has perused the former.
His Meditations upon the Lord's Prayer are truly excellent, and must leave a deep impression upon every mind which entertains a relish for sincere religion, piety and devotion.
• His shorter Medilations were written when the author was upon his journeys, and at seasons in which he was much interrupted by the Bociety of those about him.'
Mr. Thirlwall's observation in the next passage has been made before, but it well admits of being repeated :
• It has been considered as no small advantage to the cause of the Christian religion, that she has found, among her ablest and most zealous defenders, those who cannot be supposed to have espoused her interest, but from a conviction of her truth. Whenever the deist
ventures to impute to the clergyman motives of selfishness, he is confounded and silenced by the names of Newton, Boyle and Locke. The learning, genius, independence, and disinterestedness, of these laymen, have always furnished a decisive answer to the objections of the infidel. May it not be esteemed a cousiderable advantage to the cause, to include the name of Flale in the list of these illustrious champions ? His admirable sagacity, and strict impartiality in the search and discovery of truth, his care and diligence in considering and examining the reason and evidences of religion, all conspire to at. tach a peculiar importance to his testimony, and enhance its value, ta' give an additional confirmation of the truth to the b-liever, and check the rash presumption of the sceptic. Men who might peruse with a prejudiced eye, the writings of those whose profession im. mediately enjoins them to exert their abilities in the defence of the Gospel, may be prevailed on to pay them a serions attention, merely by the authority of one, whose natural constitution, learned profes. sion, and worldly interest, raised him above suspicion ; by the respect which the fame of his solid judgment and discriminating powers must command; and, above all, by the constant strain of piety, virtue, and usefulness, for which his life and literary labors were so eminently distinguished.'
Merited praise is bestowed by Mr. T. on the character of this great judge as drawn by Serjeant Runnington, which is here quoted. It is an able, and on the whole a faithful account of the venerable author whose compositions are here submitted, to the public.
We must warn our readers against forming too high anticipations from these performances, which boast so illustrious a name. Let it be recollected that the dignified writer was not an author by profession, and that many of these productions underwent no revisal. Though he possessed an understanding sound and acute, and a large mass of useful information, we are not to expect in his works any traces of those rare attaina ments, those vast stores, and that mighty genius, which distinguished the compositions of a Bacon. In the pages here presented to us, we are not surprized by originality, nor charmed by ingenuity : but the refections are important, and the expressions are forcible. The instructions which are communicated bespeak a mind addicted to observation, accustomed to discriminate, and habituated to precision and method; while they deeply impress the reader on account of the professional eminence, the experience in affairs of this world, the integrity and worth, of their illustrious author. This has been very much our own case in turning over these papers : we found that observations, which would have been trite in other compositions, were interesting in those now before us; and it every instant occurred to 'us, that the counsels to which we were attending were those of the assiduous, the upright, the picus, the unassuming Sir Matthew Hale,
Art.X. A Defence of the Christian Doctrines of the Society of Friends,
against the Charge of Socinianism; and its Church Discipline vindicated, in answer to a Writer who styles himself Verax : in the Course of which the principal Doctrines of Christianity are set forth, and some Objections obviated. To which is prefixed a Letter to John Evans, the Author of " A Sketch of the Deno. minations of the Christian World," and Strictures on the Eighth and Ninth Editions of that Work. By John_Bevans, junior.
8vo. Pp. 300. 58. 6d. Boards. Phillips and Fardon, &c. TH "He doctrines and discipline of the Society of Friends, come
monly called Quakers, have lately been matter of considerable discussion : but, as the opinions of this respectable body have been set forth in no authorized formula, it is not easy to arrive at any decisive conclusion respecting the fixed tenets of what may be termed the Quaker Church. Though we may ascertain the belief of the old friends, and of some of the existing members of this fraternity, we are at a loss for sufficient evidence to mark the extent and limits of their faith,
As Mr. Bevans's book is sent forth without the sanction, or imprimatur, of the Morning Meeting, it is only to be regarded as the representation of an individual; to which, however honestly given, the assent of the borly, of Friends is not pledged ; and it is possible that some of his brethren may not. confer on it their entire assent. . He produces numerous authorities to prove that the first Friends were not what we call Unitarians : but supposing him to have proved his point, are the modern Quakers bound to adopt the entire language and sentiments of the founders of their church ? Is a belief in the Trinity, or in a threefold division of the Godhead, an indispensable article of a Quaker's creed; and is their doctrine of the inward light adopted by all, with no variance of inter. pretation? If their faith be definite and uniform, what restrains them from publishing their Creed ex cathedrà? Till of late, we were led to believe that this body were united more by the benevolence and primitive simplicity of their system, than by abstruse speculative dogmas; and that they cautiously shunned those rocks of controversy, on which other churches have imprudently split. We intend not to insinuate that, under the gárb of Quakerism, infidelity found shelter : but we apprehend, ed that their profession of faith in Christ included that variety of sentiment, which commonly prevails among a society of unfertered believers. Though the majority of Friends may
be what are called Orthodox, is Orthodoxy, essential to Church, Communion?
In opposition to the statement of Verax, Mr. Bevans, as an orthodox Friend, adduces numerous quotations from the writings of Penn, Barclay, Pennington, and Claridge, to ma.
wifest their belief in the Trinity, and consequently in the Divinity of Christ; and he asserts that the first friends no more denied either the Trinity, or the Divinity of Christ, than Calvin has done.' They certainly did not deny it, but they express their belief in terms which do not imply an adoption of the rigid trinitarian hypothesis. Ove specimen must suihice, Richard Claridge says of William Penn, that he
refused not the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, as it is declared in the Scriptures of Truth, but the notion of three distinct separate gersons, and that he owned the Scripture Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." In the same passage, we are informed that William Penn “distinguished between the Scripture redemption and the vulgar doctrine of satisfaction.” These explanations will not convince a discerning reader that Penn was a staunch orthodox believer, but rather excite a contrary opinion.
In the chapter on the Scriptures, Mr. B. accords with his brethren in considering the Spirit of Christ revealing itself in the heart of man, as the primary, infallible rule of Christians, and the Scriptures only as the secondary ;' and he asserts that from Hannah Barnard was not required an ayowal inconsistent with this principle : but it is fair to ask here, as we have suggested before, if the primary rule be at variance with the secondary, or if the Spirit revealing itself in the heart dictate a suspicion of the truth of certain parts of the testimony of the scriptural record, how is a Quaker to act? Mr. B. tells us that the Society to which he belongs do not believe in the organic inspiration of the Scriptures; yet he contends for their being the only fit outward judge of controversies among Christians. It is difficult, however, to conceive how that can be a fit judge to settle controversies, which is not supreme. If there be a higher. tribunal, the parties will not be satisfied till the cause be removed thither.
Some of the principles of Hannah Barnard appear to be deistical, and we are not surprised that the Society should refuse to afford them their sanction : but the Friends seem to be embarrassed in their argument, by the admission of their primary and secondary rule. Barclay himself says that "the Scriptures are not the principal ground of all truth and know. ledge, nor yet the adequate rule of faith and manners"; and on this admission how stand the proceedings against H.B.? What difference is there between a rule that is not adequate and an inadequate one ; and if a person pleads the testimony of the inward spirit of truth in excuse for rejecting a confessedly inadequate record, how can the Quakers on their own principles proceed to judgment? When Barclay asks, "what should become of Christians if they had not received that Spirit by which
they know how to discern the true from the false?” (in allusion to the contest about the genuineness of the second Epistle of Peter, James, the second and third of John, and the Revelation,) docs he not afford a licence for scepticism in this respect? Mr.Bevans, however, will maintain that Barclay does not apply the terms true or false to the present canon of Scripture. In answer, it is only sufficient to ask him whether the above mentioned books form a part of the Canon ? Certainly the quotations which he makes from the fathers of the Quaker church do not fully establish the point for which they are adduced.
The charges against Hannah Barnard are most strenuously defended by Mr. Bevaus ; who regards her refusal to admit the divine commands for the wars of the Jews on the Canaanitea, as a denial of the divine mission of Moses and Joshua. H.B. however, we are told, did not dispute the facts, but only the divine commands; in which she has been countenanced by many christians, in order to obviate the objections which info dels have levelled against this portion of the history of the 0. T. We have no inclination for becoming a party in this controversy; and we shall only remark that it is somewhat sine gular that the Quakers, who are the most magnanimous opposers of war, should partly ground their ejectment of an individual from their communion on her refusal to attribute one of the most sanguinary wars ever waged to the express injunction of the Father of Mercies. They make a distincțion, we find, between the old and the new dispensation: but, as God is immutable, could be give orders under the former which would be inconsistent with his perfections under the latter?
Mr. B. succeeds better in his animadversions on Verax's justification of H. B., when he proceeds to the charges, of her want of faith in some important articles of the N. T. Her refusal to acknowlege the miracles, and her expressed disbelief of the resurrection of Christ, amount to a proof of Deism, which disqualified her from being a preacher to a Christian spciety. Mr. B.'s vindication of the authenticity of the Gospel history, especially that part which relates the miraculous conception, evinces much reading; and it shews that the Society of Friends endeavour to be critically acquainted with the sacred records.' We recommend these pages to the consideration of Verax, and the introductory letter to that of Mr. Evans, who is accused of giving an unfair account of the Quakers: but, as the language of the Society of Friends on some of the points : here agitated is peculiar, the controversial reader will probably find it difficult, in certain cases, to ascertain its precise inport.