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Review.--Simpson's Two Essays.
225 But, waving this argument, how can quired him to discuss some objections we prove that the religion of Jesus has of unbelievers rather than represent at produced more ill effects than good large “ the beneficial effects of Chrisones? In ecclesiastical as well as civilianity on the temporal concerns of history, the baneful consequences of mankind;" these are“ proved from hispride, ambition, and other evil pas- tory and from facis," in a tract of the sions are most duelt upon. When late Bishop Porteus which bears that peace and is attendant blessings prevail, title, these are not usually thought by his- As a specimen of our author's mantorians to be subjects sufficiently in- ner, we extract his remarks on a senteresting to engage ihe public regard. tence in the History of the Decline Now a computation, the truth and and Fall of the Roman b.mpire : exactnes, of which is beyond the limit
“ . By the industry and zeal of the Euroof human faculties to ascertain, cannot peans, Christianity has been widely diffused be a proper ground of human judge to the most distant shores ot Asia and ment and action. As to the allegation Africa and, by the means of their colonies, that a doctrine communicated by God has been firmly established from Canada to for the best of purposes, can never be Chili, in a world unknown to the ancients,' the occasion oi iniquity in any in. Gibbon's Decl. and Fall, &c. Ch. xxv, p. stance, the principle which this ob
535.1 jection assumes, namely, that a divine
“ This observation of Mr. Gibbon was Law or play for the general good cant.tish and Foreign Bible Society ; an institu
made loug before the formation of the Bribe accompanied with any partial evil, tion by means of which the Christian Scripis contradicted by the whole course of tures have been most rapidly and generally nature and Providence, •To say that distributed throughout the earth. The religion is not a restraining motive, very idea of forming a plan for disseminabecause it does not always restrain, is ting those best instructions in pure religion equally absurd as to say, that the civil and good morals that were ever delivered, laws are not a restraining motive '* to all nations of men, in their own respective Eren Lord Bolingbroke has confessed languages, derives its origin from the gospel. the futility of this charge. Indeed,
It is the natural effect of that enlargement nothing can be more palpably unjust of that universal benevolence which is a
of mind which Christianity produces, and than to ascribe any consequence to a characteristic feature of it.
What morte cause which has the strongest genuine effectual means could have been employed tendency to prevent it. Yet whoever for the speedy and universal diffusion of accuses the gospel of producing vice of truth, righteousness and piety in the world; ány kind, adopts this false mode of for refining and exalting the human characseasoning. And no argument can be ter to its highest perfection ; and for pro properly drawn from the conduct of moting the purest happiness of mankind in the professors of any religion, either general, both in the present, and in the for or against the religion itself, unless future life?" (39.) the conduct naturally flows from its We shall next attend to Mr. Simpprinciples.
son's thoughts “on the nature and obliThis is an abstract of Mr. Simpson's gation of the patriarchal, the Jewish Essay on the Effects of Christianity. and the Christian Sabbath.” He apOn a subject so often and so amply peals to Gen. ii. 2,3, as a positive discussed, novelty was not to be ex law given to the first parents of our pected. The author's reasoning is dis- race;" with the view of determining tinguished however by perspicuity, “the fixed periods of time at which elegance, precision, correctness of me- mankind should statedly join together" shod, extent of information and un. in divine worship. Against this poaflected candour. In a small compass-sitive evidence" it would be irrational he has presented us with the substance to place the conjecture that Moses of many bulky volumes : and he em- might have inserted the above order ploys no other weapons against the for sanctifying the seventh day, when opponents of the gospel ihan such as he wrote the book of Genesis, as a are congenial with its mild and gentle · reason for his giving a similar coinspirit, which he seems fully to have mand to the Israelites; especially as unbibed. His design and plan re
+ This reference is incorrect: at least, Morate squiru's Spirit of Isws, b. 24. so far as concerns the chapter, which снар. 2.
should be iv, the first paragraphı. Rus. 226
Review.--Simpson's Two Essays. she seems evidently to have formed (John vii. 22), “that Moses gave his narrative in 'general according to them circumcision, though this rite the series of events." From other was first instituted in the time of considerations also we may fairly infer Abraham, Gen. xvii. 10." To this that he has recorded the precept in the reasoning Mr. S. subjoins a review of just order of transactions, and at the the arguments by which he attempts period of the history in which it was to establish the existence of the patrigiven.
archal sabbath. In our author's judgment, “there « The Hebrew Sabbath at the fall can be no doubt, when we consider of Manna," is the subject to which he the general piety of the patriarchs, but now proceeds. Express notice of the that they obeyed the command to wor- actual observance of a seventh day's ship God every seventh day.” It is sabbath," occurs for the first time in true, the history “ does not specify Exod. xvi. 22, &c. any particular instance of this, but “ It appears, however,” says Mr. the conciseness of the narratives of S. “ to be mentioned as a well-known transactions in the earliest ages may institution. This inference he dedueasily be explained. Oral tradition ces from the context. would first be employed. Afterwards, Following the order of the history, when either hieroglyphical or alpha- he next treats of “the Jewish sabbath betical writing came into use, an in- commanded at Mount Sinai.--Exod. sertion of particular instances of what xx. 8--11."; with which Deut. v. 12 was a regular practice would naturally, -15. must be compared. On this be omitted. In subsequent parts of article of the decalogue he observes, the Jewish avnals, and for a very long that, “ though it is a ritual law, yet it period, there is no mention or intima- is one of those ten select commandtion of the Sabbath. For a much ments which were first delivered by longer space their sacred books are Jehovah himself, to all the people of silent concerning the observance of Israel assembled together in the most the rite of circumcision,* which un- solemn manner;" that “it is the only questionably, continued to be practised. ritual ordinance in these tables ;" that But " though there is no express ac- " there are, however, ritual circumcount” of the regular appropriation of stances peculiar to the law for a weekly the seventh day to divine worship in Sabbath as promulgated at this time; the patriarchal ages, there are many and that it was a special sign of the passages that allude to, and imply such covenant between Jehovah and the a custom. Such, in the opinion of Israelites. Hence it is noticed with some learned men, are Gen. iv. 3, and singular distinction in the Mosaic law, Job i. 6. ii. 1. Universal attention is introduced with the emphatical word, was paid in those early times to weeks remember, and, in its nature and of seven days: and Mr. Simpson tendency, was a direct and powerful thence infers the high probability of means of promoting the principal de meu's having “habitually met for signs of the Jewish dispensation; it being social worship on every seventh day.” a memorial that the irue God was the
He is aware, indeed, that to ihe creator of all things, a mark of his foregoing arguments may be objected having selected the posterity of Jacob what is said, (Nehem. ix. 13, 14.) for his own people, and, at once, a “From Sipai thou madest known unto preservative from idolatry, and an inthem thy holy sabbath.". The He- strument “of cherishing and improve brew term here rendered to make ing the knowledge, love and practice known, he therefore translates as fol- of pure religion and virtue, both in lows ; didst manifest to them in a per individuals and in the community." culiar manner." And in this sense he The most interesting section of this also understands Exod. xvi. 29. “The Essay, is devoted to the consideration Lord hath given you the Sabbath," of the Christian Sabbath, or the and Ezek. xx. 12. Thus Christ says Lord's day appointed by Christ and
his apostles." Here Mr. S. makes Mr. Simpson refers here to Kennicott's some preliminary reinarks, intended to Dissert. p. 156, ed. 2. The reference should have been to Kennicott's Two Dissert. Jesus, " as the great Messiah of God,
prepare his readers for admitting that &c. otherwise the Dissert. &c. ' may be confounded with those on the state of the asserted his claim to a dominiop over Hebrew text.
the sabbath," For the truth of this
Review.--Simpson's Two Essays.
227 statement our author appeals to Matt. He points out the valuable ends to be xii. 8. Mark ii. 28. Luke vi. 5; which answered by such an observance of texts he understands as referring, spe- the day, corresponding with that on cifically and exclusively to Christ. which Jesus, our Master, rose from And he judges it inconsistent with the dead, and finishes his undertaking the habitual prudence of our Lord to by a reply to the objection, that pub suppose that he would have frequently lic worship and rest from the common endangered his life, by correcting the business of life one day in every seven, abuses of the sabbath, if such an ordi- occasions such a frequent suspension nance was to cease when the kingdom of labour, as to injure both the rich of the Messiah was established. Our and the poor." In'a devotional and Saviour, in the opinion of the Essayist, moral view "a discontinuance of reguauthorized his apostles to change the lur pullic acts of Christian piety, and day on which it was kept from the of public instruction from the scripseventh to the first day of the week. tures” would be exceedingly injurious. This he conceives him to have done “ Nor would either individuals or the after his resurrection, though “the community derive any worldly advanbrief narratives of the evangelists do tage from the uilditional labour of the not particularize every single precept poor on the first day of the week." that our master gave relative to religion This position the enlightened author and inorals, even before his crucifix- arzues from a comparison of the geneion." The accounts of his instructions ral stock of labour with the rate of after his resurrection, are still more wages and from the average measure concise. He sometimes taught by of human strength: his reasoning here, symbolical actions, instead of giving is highly satisfactory to us; and we verbal precepts. To this incthod he cannot but pronounce it at once inhad recourse as to the sabbath day. genious and convincing. For example, the Jews being habi We are far more desirous of giving tuated to instruction by visible repre a faithful epitome of the sentiments of sentation, he chose, by the clear and Mr. Simpson than of declaring and decisive action of his repeated presence vindicating our own. So much howvrith his apostles at the time of their ever has been said and written on the assembling on the day of his resurrec- subject of the latter of the essays contion, the first day of the week, to tained in this pamphlet, that our readers authorize and countenance them in will, probably, expect the present artiappointing and appropriating this par- cle of review to be something more ticular day, instead of the Jewish Sab- than analytical. bath, on the seventh day, for the wor For the most part, we agree in the ship of God. There are passages in the conclusions of the worthy and jucliciNew Testament which prove that it was ous writer. But we have always heso employed by the apostles and the ear- sitated, and still hesitate, to employ, liest believers : the most credible au- such language as The Christian Sabthors likewise bear testimony to the Bath. The object of the investigacontinuation of the practices of assem tion and controversy before us, is to bling on the first day of the week for ascertain whether a salbatical institupublic worship, and of then partaking tion be obligatory under the Gospel ? in the Lord's Supper and making chaa Now it is not a little remarkable that, ritable collections for the indigent. except in cases which refer, evidently Accordingly, this day was soon distin- and immediately, to the observance of guished by the appellation of the Lord's the seventh day by the Jews, the word day.
salbath has no place in the New Towards the conclusion of the Es- Testament. In this discussion no say, Mr. Simpson puts these questions, passage of Scripture is so important as " Though there is no express verbal Coloss. ii. 16. Let no man judge you precept for a sabbath on the Lord's- in meat or in drink, or in respect of an day, can arguments be found equally holy day, or of the new moon, or of strong with those which have been the Sabluth days !" produced, for the religious observance It becomes us to notice Mr. Simpof any other day of the week by Chris- son's translation of a sentence froiu tians? Are not these reasons snifi- Justin Martyr (Apol. 1st ed. Thirlby, ciently clear and powerful to sway the p. 98). According to the Essayist, this judgment and to direct the conduct?" father “aflirms that he obserred tile
928 Review.-Miss Williams on the Persecution in France. SUNDAY SABBATH, &c.". The words vines who have declined to speak conin the original are, ton de Tou ojalor cerning the Christian SABBATH ! ημεραν κοινή πανlες την συνελευσιν
Our readers will permit us to add, ποιουμεθα, κ. τ λ. In the 97th
that J. D. Michaclis* looked on the page Justin makes a stateinent to the Sabbath day as an ante-mosaical insti. saine effect. From neither of the tution ; yet believed that, among the passages do we learn that these carly Jews, and in its original purity, it Christians observed the first day of the was not intended to be a day of rigour. week sabbatically, but only that they
In concluding this article, we must then assembled for the purposes of so- again offer our humble tribute of recial religious worship and instrnction. spect to the memory of the author of Mr. S. iherefore would, on re-consi- these Essays. Il pense et fait penser. deration, have forborne to speak of He was himself a diligent inquirer the Sunday SABBATH.
after religious truth; and he excites This investigation, assuredly, is not and assists inquiry in others. unimportant; the different opinions of men concerning the proper result Art. II.-On the la:e Persecution of of it having a strong influence on their the Protestants in the South of practice. Wecould wish to nioderate
France. By Helen Maria Williams. between the contending parties; cach
8vo. pp. 79. Underwoods. 1816. of takem ; we think, has somewhat The tide abrese name stands in tion, and failed of doing justice to the an early advocate of the French Revoviews and reasonings of their antago- lution. She has resided for many years nists. On the one hand, we plead at Paris, and may therefore be supfor the consecration of no scanty por- posed to take a lively interest in the attion of the Lord's day to social wor
fairs of France, and to be qualified to ship, &c. : on the other, we are of describe them correctly and to discuss opinion that the strictly sabbatical ob- them satisfactorily. Last year, she servance of it is not enjoined by either published a “ Narrative of the Events the precepts or the spirit of Christiani. which have lately taken place in that ty. There is great force in the argu-' country," in which, to the surprise ments brought by Mr. S. to establish of every body, she stood forward the the position that from an early period apologist and even panegyrist of the of the world mankind were in the Bourbons. Some passage or passages habit of dedicating every seventh day were quoted from that work in a pubmore immediately to the public ho- lication advertised in the English mage of the Creator: we are convinced Newspapers, and referred to under the that it was the custom of Christians character of “ H. M. Williams's Con. in the apostolic age to assemble for session," meaning, we suppose, her this purpose on the first day of the allowing the existence, in France, of week, or the Lord's day; and such religious persecution: Startled at this is the nature of man, such the state statement, she has written this pamof society, that, in Mr. Simpson's phlet in the form of a letter as a supplelanguage, “the usual habits of labour ment to her “ Narrative." Froni the and amusement on other days, if con- title we expected at least more infortinued on a day appropriated to reli- mation. There is enough, however, gious objects, would prevent or dimi. to shew that the accounts published by nish the good effects of public dero- the Dissenting ministers of the perse tion and instruction, by diverting the cution of the Protestants are correct, mind to a quite different train of ideas." or rather that they are below the These, we take leave to say, are our
truth; though not enough to exonerate sentiments, and our practice is agree- the French Court from the suspicion able to them. At the same time, no
of conniving at these iniquitous and thing which rests solely on deduction detestable proceedings. should be represented as a doctrine or In the language which is now fainstitution of revealed religion: nor
shionable at Paris, Miss Williams should he who observeth the Lord's refers to Buonaparte as “ the tyrant" day sabbatically, condern him who in that manner observcth it not. If weight • Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, be allowed to names, we could enu- (Translated by Dr. A. Smith) Vol. iii. 156, merate some of highly respectable dio &c.
Review.Viss Williams on the French Persecution.“ 229 from - whose oppression the world is appears to them an unequivocal proof that". freed ; yet she confesses (we can use it was an organised religious persecutin, no better word) that under him and There is something so strange to all our “ amidst all the various phases of habitudes and feelings, so horrible in the the French Revolution, the star of sound of religious persecution, that we religious liberty had moved calmly in cannot help doubting the fact, though it be its aiajestic orbit and cheered despair.
committed at our very doors. We were fur
a long time incredulous, and, what added to ing humanity with a ray of celestial our incredulity on this subject, was, that radiance. Ainidst the violations of this persecution should have taken place every other principle," she says, “the while the country was in possession of the domain of conscience appeared to be Protestant powers of Europe, by either of consecrated ground, where tyranny which it might instantly have been crushed.” feared to tread." No sooner, how. Pp. 6-8. ever, did the legitimates, in the popular phraseology, regain the ascen.
Miss Williams, with the rest of the dancy, than religious persecution burst world, is incredulous no longer. But out in all its horrors : an odd syınptom, why did not the Protestant powers of surely, of deliverance from oppression ! Europe interfere? They were too Let the fair author speak for herself. busy, says our author, in a subdued
tone of sarcasm ; and “no French ar* The French Protestants had, during &
existed." Even Napoleon's army, long succession of years, been seen with then, would, if in existence, have brow crect in the senate, in the legislature, the speedily crushed the persecution. The army, at court, in every ceremonial of state Protestant powers were unconcerned holding their equal rank and marshalled beside their Catholic brethren.
spectators while the knife was held to " But what became of the dream of per- the throats of their fellow-protestants; sonal security, and the proud consciousness but, it should have been added, that of undisputed rights, when the ear was the troops of Austria, a Catholic powsuddenly appalled by new and strange ex. er, did on one occasion step beyond clamations. We are despoiled, we are their coinmission to check the crusad. devoted to slaughter, we are the victims ers of the south. A little of the same of our profession of the faith of our fathers virtuous irregularity on the part of the
of that faith once delivered to the saints! Duke of Wellington and Lord Cas
“ The persecutors of the nineteenth cen- tlereagh would have effectually kept religious belief ; they have not, in the in- under the French bigots both in the dulgent spirit of their predecessors under court and the country. Lewis xiv. proposed the alternative of
In a long passage, forming a conLa messé ou la mort, Repent, or perish; siderable part of the pamphlet, 100 become Catholics, or we kill you; they oratorical to be instructive, Miss Wilhave proceeded at once to execution : their liams' pencils a rapid sketch of the victims were marked, and they have plundered varying fortunes of the French Proand murdered as their fury directed, where testants from the Reformation to the ever, they found Protestant property, or per- Revolution. She relates that during sons professing the Protestant faith. • Nor was it now on the inhabitants of under the latter term, the Catholic
the momentous period comprehended villages, such as the abodes of the obscure and disseminated Vaudois, that these hors clergy made overtures to the
Protestors were inflicted; the citizens of opuleut tants for a junction of the two church. towns and their popular vicinages, have es! The proposal came to nothing, become the martyrs. Nismes has been the though the Catholic prelate chietiy centre of this desolation, from whence it concerned was complaisant, and the has spread iuto the country around, even Protestant minister who treated with to that which has been noted as the citadel him was flexible.
« We were acof Protestantism in France, the mountains quainted," says Miss Williams, “with of the Cevénnes.
the flexibility of our Protestant friend" “ From whatever cause this violence Is M. Marron the person here intendo proceeded, the Protestants alone have been ed? and is there here a sly allusion to the victims. Were it a local insurrection his flexibility on a later occasion
? against property or lives, such as sometimes
Instead of an alliance between Ca. has desolated parts of France during the Revolution, the assailants would not have tholics and Protestants, one of a dif. been so discrimninute in their choice. It is on ferent description took place between Protestants only that their rage has fallen ; and Buonaparte and the Pope, which pro. the selection of the professors of this faith duced the celebrated Concordat. VOL. XI.