Imágenes de páginas

Review.-Trial of the Unitarians.

435 imagine the meaning of the paraboli- tion of the Almighty as a paternal and cal illustration. A literal construction benevolent being, we shall only say of a story, which insults the Almighty that we know the low taste of such asby representing him as walking in the sailants. It is the same taste as that of garden in the cool of the day, is, to say the vulgar for murder-stories and dying nothing of the profaneness, utterly in- speeches. We must, however, do that admissible. We therefore think that taste the justice to own, that we consiMoses' account of the Fall is not a pic. der it an evidence of the Fall; for most ture, but a hieroglyph ; like the Apo- certainly our first parents had no taste calypse, many parts of Ezekiel, Da- for murder stories; and the hideousniel, and the other prophets, and our ness of the Fall is most conspicuously Lord's parables. It matters not, that exhibited among the ferocious vulgarraree-show men among, religionists often, as conspicuously as it was in think that they do God service by Cain himself. spoiling the Bible, through literalizing As to Dr. Channing, the author, his iis fine hieroglyphs, and degrading writing is that of a well bred, well beautiful allegories into Chinese dra- tempered man; but the Unitarians, gons. Philosophers hold such persons although they are insufferably arrogant, to be only mountebanks.

are not in general ignorant or vulgar The Unitarians complain further men. They think that they have dis(p: 17) that their theory has been covered the philosopher's stone; and called “ a half-way house to infidelity,” accordingly give themselves airs. and that travellers are recommended not to stop there because the liquors are dangerously adulterated. We ra- The Trial of the Unitarians, for a libel on ther conceive the real case to be this. the Christian Religion ; post 8vo. Pp.312. A man knows that he may walk from THE Unitarians have often tried London to its antipodes (Australia) as themselves, and accordingly have given safely as a Ay on the ceiling. The in a verdict of honourable acquittal ; Unitarians having elevated a huge mi. but that others have not done so is mamic globe, invite him to walk round it nifest. That, however, is of no moin the same manner as he could the

ment; for the modern fashion is, in earth, and promise him egual safety; matters of politics and religion, to take “ No,” says the man, “I won't. "I

no notice whatever of confutation, but shall fall off and break my neck.” to persist in the repetition of the erHaving from conscientious motives

rors : e. g. in political bustles, it is a uniformly vindicated Trinitarianism, known fact, that the grossest calumnies and seen our very phrases quoted in respecting private persons, however this pamphlet, we have felt called false and denied, are nevertheless_reupon to state such a scanty portion of iterated. The motive is obvious. The our reasons, as was suited to our limits.

purposes of the party would be deThe Unitarians are not ladies, who feated, if the objections were admitted. expect it as a compliment due to the Every man who regards his own safety sex,

that we should say “black is should, however, feel a warm and howhite." Therefore we solemnly de- nourable indignation at such flagrant clare, once for all,* with an audibl

proceedings. We cannot, unwilling as voice, and from our hearts-that we we are to wound the feelings of any prefer the Holy Baptismal Trinity, of persons, do otherwise upon questions of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to the principle than act with consistency and ridiculous Unitarian Duality of a mere integrity; and more especially in this King and Prince of Wales-a steam- instance, where denial of the Divinity carriage which they think is to carry of Christ may be reasonably presumed them on as speedily as a Liverpool to induce proselytes to commit the sin railwayer.

against the Holy Ghost.f Every phiWith regard to the charges laid losopher knows, that man cannot unagainst the Unitarians by Calvinists derstand his own nature, much more and other crazy people, concerning that of Deity, and that predication moral preaching, future punishments, upon that subject is gratuitously asand their (the Unitarian) representa- sumptive. Every Christian also knows,

that to add to or diminish from the * We expect to be insulted. - Wherever the Unitarians cannot command, they insult. + We speak seriously.-Rev.

436 Review.-Divarication of the Nero Testament. [May, text of Scripture is expressly forbidden. tician. We shall therefore extract his Both these violations have been coin- Vindication of the Trinity, because it mitted in support of the Unitarian no- will tend to give our readers a comtions, and have been repeatedly exposed plete notion of the mode of argumenta, and confuted. Even Hume has ad. iion proper to the Transcendental mitted that there can exist no contra- school. diction, philosophically, to the doc

“ It is absolutely impossible for man to trine of the Trinity. We are taught, think of oneness-it is a complete nonentity, too, that all Scripiure was written by consisting neither of matter, form, por coninspiration of the Holy Spirit, because nexion of these two elements. Hence, when it should be deemed infallible.

the human mind cogitates, it must think of But the Unitarians say, that they something. But a thing which is composed will admit nothing which is not cog neither of matter por form, is positively nonizable by their own human reason thing. Consequently, the word thing alAre the laws of Providence cognizable ways implies a compound of three elements by any human reason whatever? Does

in one-a triad of principles, or, in fact, a not the very principle of a revealed TRINITY IN Unity. Secondly, if we think religion imply matters to which hu

of a material object, it is quite evident that

it must consist of maller, or parts, which man reason cannot reach? Is the cha

fill up space, and occupy time, that is to racter of revealed religion to be tried

say, the thing must be an object of expeby that of natural religion?

rience, and can only be known by its addressIn short, from this excellent confu

ing the senses ; for instance, a house, a tation, which we warmly recominend horse, a tree, and so on. The materials of to all Christians (properly so called), which the thing consists, as the bricks we hesitate not to affirm that the tenets which compose the house, are the matter ; of the Unitarians tend to alienate the the arraugement of these parts of matter people from belief in the sacred Scrip- constitutes its shape, as round, square, or iures (see p. 295), and that

oval, and is the form of the house. But

this form could not be given to nothing ; “their principles only serve to shelter

hence the necessity of the matter ; and and cover Deists and others, who arraying neither of these can be annulled without themselves under the guise of Upitarianism,

totally annihilating the thing, with this insescreen from public view and public odium

parable condition that these particular the indecencies of a more odious infidelity.

bricks constitute this identical house with There is nothing, indeed, in the system to this determinate form. So that these two captivate the affections of the soul; all is

elements necessarily imply connexion a third; cold and comfortless-composed of unsatis

and the three together, constitute the thing factory quibbles, gross distortions, and

called a house. This reasoning applies to crooked criticism, which, though the coin

the whole of nature, and quite exhausts the of an ingenious mint, is base and worthless;

entire mundane system, which is composed a system it is, that only flatters a false pride of au endless series of triads. Now, as of sophism, at the expense of all that is

matter is divisible ad infinitum, it must conpious, all that is good in philosophy."

sist of an infinite number of parts; and no one part, strictly speaking, can exist by it

self, otherwise the division would not be inDivarication of the New Testament into Doctrine and History. By Thomas Wirg- be connected is two; but if these two parts

finite : the least number of parts that can man, Esq. Author of Principles of Tran.

were not connected, there would not be a scendental Philosophy, and the articles thing. The elements here are two parts, Kant, Logic, Metaphysics, Moral Philo

and their union; making three necessary elesophy, and Philosophy, in the Encyclo- ments, noue of which can be annulled. It pædia Londinensis. Part I. The Four

is quite obvious, that every object of nature Gospels. 12mo, pp. 100.

which fills up time and space, conforms to THE Unitarian body has lately (to this law of a Trinity in Unity. Let us carry use a phrase of Shakspeare) “ been this parity of reasoning to mental things, punched full of deadly holes,” by the

which exist in time only. Thus all matheTrial of the Unitarians," and other

matical figures equally conform to this law:

take a line for instance; it consists of parts works among them. This Cant with

in connexion, and is, in fact, a series of a C, certainly does not imply skill in

triads ; for the smallest possible part of a logic or metaphysics, but Kant with a

mental line must consist of two mathematiK, denotes the fouuder of a German cal points and their union-a triangle must school of abstruse philosophy, whose consist of three lines, united at three points, hierophant in this country is Mr. Wirg- yet forming only one conception. A circle man, a very masterly and subtle dialec. consists of a centre, periphery, and radius

P. 293.


1831.] Review.-Bp. of Chester's Practical Exposition, &c.

three necessary elements, none of which can professional men make, without such
be annulled. This law holds with all mental aids ?
operations, as substance and properties in The purport of this work is given in
connection constitute a thing; cause, effect, the title; and it would be below its
and the necessary dependence of the one on

merits to say that it is not as well ex-
the other; for that is no cause which has

ecuted as intended. We shall take
pot produced an effect, and there can be no
effect without a cause : so that all mental

our extract from a difficult text, that
things obey this law. We have only to as- regarding submission to injury, and re-
cend one step higher in the scale of reason- turning evil for good. It shows the
ing, and carry this notion of a trinity in imperious necessity of judicious com-
unity to the infinite, and the Christian doc- ments.
trine will be fully displayed.”

“ Public justice, public duty, and in
“ Infiuite nothingness is a ponentity. many cases, important private interests,
Therefore, if the mind of man is to be oc-

must of course make exceptions to the latter cupied with a rational thought, it must of those rules. Christ himself appealed to think of an infinite something; but this

the law against the injustice with which he must consist of some infinite parts, or it was smitten. One of the officers which would be an infinite nothing. Now the

stood by, struck Jesus with the palm of the least possible number of infinite parts that hand, saying, "Answerest thou the High can be united is two, but unless these two

Priest so? Jesus answered him, “If I are connected by a third, they could not

have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; constitute an infinite something. Hence, but, if well, why smitest thou me (John even in the infinite, the same process of rea

xviii. 22) ?' And St. Paul thought it not soning is required to constitute a thing, inconsistent with his Christian patience to namely, three elements united in one, or a ask, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man Trinity in Unity.-pp. xxii.-xxv.

that is a Roman, and uncondemned (Acts The plan of this work, from which xxii. 25) ?' So likewise with respect to the term

“ Divarication is used, is, the same Apostle proves to us to show, that

that this duty is iutended to have limits, “ by disencumbering the principles of the and to be practised with such discretion, as Christian religion from historical facts, their

not to injure the morals of individuals, or universal adoption is facilitated;"

the welfare of the community; when he lays For the author says, by way of axiom, should eat his own bread ;' and that if

down a general maxim, that every man

any will not work, neither should he eat.'
“ Historical facts may be doubted, but “ Still it is certain, that impressions
that true religion being of a spiritual nature, strong like these : resist not evil ; let thy
must be independent of historical facts.". cloak be taken from thee : yield to those

who compel you unjustly: give to him that
asketh thee :-expressions like these would

not be used, if the danger were not the other
Practical Exposition of the Gospels of St.
Matthew and St. Mark, in the form of tient, when suffering wrongfully, loo eager

way, namely, that we should be too impa-
Lectures, intended to assist the practice of to seek compensation, too tenacious in
Domestic Instruction and Devotion. By maintaining supposed rights, and too apt to
John-Bird Sumner, D.D. Lord Bishop of look about for reasons why we should not
Chester. 8vo, pp. 622.

give to him that asketh.
IF things are hard to be understood,
illustrations are indispensable ; and The Characters of Theophrastus illustrated by
this is sufficient to show the utility of Physiognomical Sketches, to which are sub-
comments. Indeed, no man who has joined Hints in the Individual Varieties of
not an interest in concealinent of the Human Nature, and general Remarks.
real meaning, will object to them, un- 12mo, pp. 154.
less it be some conscientious person GOOD sense,” says Stuart,
who dreads the comment, lest it should sists in that temper of mind which
be more regarded than the text. Hu- enables its possessor to view at all times
man error may thus, he thinks, super- with perfect accuracy and coolness all the
sede Divine authority. This is howe various circumstances of his situation,
ever only a matter which may, but so that each of them may produce its
does not necessarily mislead ; and it due impression upon him, without any
does not appear from Coke upon Lit- exaggeration arising from his own pé-
tleton, and similar works, that the culiar habits. But to a man of ill-re.
Law of the land has ever been seriously gulated imagination, external circum-
perverted; and what blunders would stances only serve as hints to excite

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]



REVIEW.-Godwin's Thoughts on Man. [May, his own thoughts; and the conduct he like man, that there should not be pursues has in general far less reference both impulses and motives, and neither io his real situation, than to some ima- Liberty or Necessity, properly speaking, ginary one in which he conceives him- apply io the case. Suppose, as in that self placed: in consequence of which, before us, a man inclined to commit a while he appears to himself to be acting robbery, but not doing it from fear, it with the most perfect wisdom and con- is plain that there exists a collision of sistency, he may frequently exhibit to motives; and that there must be a others all the appearances of folly.".. power of choosing between these mo

Thus Stuari, who here clearly illus- iives is also plain, from one man comtrates the moral causes of most of those mitting theft, and another avoiding it. particularities of character which Admitting then, that there must be a Theophrastus describes as obtaining in motive, it is not a necessary one, beGreece in his day, and which mutatis cause necessity admits of no choice mutandis may be substantially found whatever ; if it did, it is no longer nein our own. The valuable part of this cessity, and the dispute, in ourjudgment work is however the lighi which it is, as to man, a mere inapplicable lothrows upon Greek manners and cus- gomachy. Besides, we doubt, with toms, and modes of thinking. If the Dr. Wheeler,* whether a rational notes of Casaubon are much valued by being can be otherwise than so constius, who use his edition, those of the tuted as to have a will to choose right present translation are better suited to

or wrong; and if he does so by one an English public.

motive superseding another, that is a The book is embellished with cu

question merely implying a mode of rious caricatures; and all the matter is. agency. novel and curious.

Another passage (by the way with

out acknowledgment from Voltaire) is Thoughts on Man, his Nature, Productions,

and Discoveries, interspersed with some “ Either God, according to our ideas of particulars respecting the Author. By benevolence, would remove evil out of the William Godwin. 8vo, pp. 471.

world, and cannot ; or he can, and will not. MR. GODWIN is unquestionably Jf he has the will, and not the power, this a man of genius, and as such, an idio- argues weakness; if he has the power and syncratic. In the works of such men, not the will, this seems to be malevolence." we expect both real light and mere

p. 417. phosphorescence, both reason and pa- That God can, if he will, is a posturadox. There are all the characteristics late not to be disputed; but arguments of these in the work before us, but the drawn from power, can never be conmost sleepy reader cannot peruse it clusive, because there may be reasons without desiring at least to keep awake; why that power is not thought fit to for he will be sure in the end to see be exercised. Matter, as matter, can far better into the nature of man, than have only communicated properties. he did before. Upon certain subile According to Scripture, and analogous metaphysical points, we do not howe testimony, man had originally the ever think that Mr. Godwin has been

utmost moral perfectibility of which successful. These points are Liberty and his conformation was susceptible, was Necessity, and the existence of Evil

. a guileless adult infant, and'if there be Mr. Godwin is a necessarian, be- particular conformations, the commucause he says (p. 226), that as every nicated properties must be adapted to event requires a cause, the human will them, a rule which nature seems to is guided by motives, and therefore is have observed in regard to all beings not free. Now the question is not whatever. And can malevolence exist whether the acts are free, only whether in God? Certainly not, because there the motives are so ; but it is certain is no such thing as evil; and the blunthat one motive may be made to super- der of Voltaire originated in his igsede another, as e. g. a man does not norance that evil is merely a privative commit a robbery, because he is afraid of good, and that privatives have only of being hanged for it. Wherever

a nominal being. The inattention to there are passions, there must be im. a like distinction, that life may undergo pulses; wherever there is reason, there different material exhibitions, but canmust be choice. It is utterly inconsistent with the existence of an animal * Theologic. Lectures, i. 126.


Review.-Godwin's Thoughts on Man.

439 not be extinguished, and that death is stood in need of a protector and champion. only the privative, seems to have led The Knights, on the other hand, were Mr. Godwin into a manifest error in p. taught to derive their fame and their honour 419, vix that the immortality of the

from the suffrages of the ladies. Each sex soul, and the doctrine of future retribu

stood in need of the other, and the basis of

their union was mutual esteem. tion, is mere assumption.

“ The effect of this was to give a tone of To relieve these unpleasant differ

imagination to all their intercourse. A man ences of opinion, we extract the fol.

was no longer merely a man, nor a woman lowing philosophical and beautiful illustration of the effects of “ Chivalry;" deference. The woman regarded her pro

merely a woman. They were taught mutual as the best known to us.

tector as something illustrious and admi“ Its principle was built upon a theory of rable; and the man considered the smiles the sexes giving to each a relative iin- and approbation of beauty as the adequate portance, and assigoing to both functions reward of his toils and his dangers. These full of honour and grace. The Knights modes of thinking iutroduced a nameless (and every gentleman during that period in grace into all the commerce of society. It due time became a Knight) were taught, as was the poetry of life. Hence originated the main features of their vocation, the the delightful narratives and fictions of ro• love of God and the ladies.' The ladies, mance; and human existence was no longer in return, were regarded as the genuine cen- the bare naked train of vulgar incidents, sors of the deeds of Knighthood. From which for so many ages of the world it had these priociples arose a thousand lessons of been accustomed to be. It was clothed in humanity. The ladies regarded it as their resplendent hues, and wore all the tints of glory to assist their champions to arm and the rainbow. Equality fled and was no to disarm, to perform for them even menial more ; and love, almighty, and perdurable services, to attend them in sickness, and to Love, came to supply its place. dress their wounds. They bestowed on them By means of this state of things, the their colours, and sent them forth to the vulgar impulse of the sexes towards each field hallowed with their benedictions. The other, which alone was known to the former Knights, on the other hand, considered any ages of the world, was transformed into slight towards the fair sex as an indelible sonjewhat of a totally different nature. It staia to their order; they contemplated the became a kind of worship. The fair sex graceful patronesses of their valour with a looked upon their protectors, their fathers, feeling that partook of religious homage and their husbands, and the whole train of their veneration, and esteemed it as perhaps the chivalry, as something more than human. first duty of their profession, to relieve the There was a grace in their motions, a galwrongs


avenge the injuries of the less lantry in their bearing, and a generosity in powerful sex.

their spirit of enterprise, that the softness “ This simple outline, as to the relative of the female heart found irresistible. Nor position of the one sex and the other, gave a less, on the other hand, did the Knights renew face to the whole scheme and arrange. gard the sex, to whose service and defence ments of civil society. It is like those are they were sworn as the objects of their permirable principles in the order of the rate- petual deference. They approached them rial universe, or those grand discoveries with a sort of gallant timidity, listened to brought to light from time to time by supe

their behests with submission, and thought rior genius, so obvious and simple, that we the longest courtship and devotion nobly wonder the most common understanding recompensed by the final acceptance of the could have missed them, yet so pregnant

fair. with results, that they seem at once to put a

“ The romance and exaggeration chanew life, and inspire a new character into racteristic of these modes of thinking, have every part of a mighty and all-comprehen- gradually worn away in modern times ; but sive mass.

much of what was most valuable in them “ The passion between the sexes, in its has remained. Love has in later ages never grosser sense, is a momentary impulse been divested of the tenderness and considemerely; and there was danger that, when ration which were thus rendered some of its the fit and violence of the passion was over,

most estimable features. A certain desire the whole would subside into inconstancy in each party to exalt the other, and regard and a roving disposition, or at least into in- it as worthy of admiration, became inexdifference aud almost brutal neglect. But tricably interwoven with the simple passion. the institutions of chivalry immediately gave A sense of the honour that was borne by a new face to this. Either sex conceived a the one to the other, had the happiest deep and permanent interest in the other. effect in qualifying the familiarity and unreIo the unsettled state of society, which cha- serve iu the communion of feelings and senracterized the period when these institations timents, without which the attachment of arose, the defenceless were liable to assaults the sexes cannot subsist. It is something of multiplied kinds, and the fair perpetually like what the mystic divines describe of the

« AnteriorContinuar »