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Inconsistencies of Writers on Future Punishment.
467 strictly applicable in many cases, and the contrary, is far more probable. especially to the plans and operations There is evidently a climax here emof divine wisdom, in nature and provi- ployed-pain and death, not the dence, of which we are not competent threat only, but the infliction-for we judges; yet, is not to be urged by experience them both--these, sawe : itself, in this particular case, since, as that is they are instruments in the we have before endeavoured to illus- divine hand, for the most important trate, and as it hath been often shewn and salutary purposes. But, they do from reason and seripture, the Deity not save, all: therefore, a wise and in the exercise of this attribute, acts gracious Creator, who originally de by known and established rules, and sigued his rational offspring for hap"will do nothing by his right of piness and for himself, must have sovereignty, but what is unquestion- other means, salutary and medicinal, ably agreeable with the other perfec- in future worlds, to accomplish his tions of his nature."* ,
benevolent purposes ; and in this Further remarks might be made, view, Gehenna, or the punishments or upon those passages of Dr. Young,' the invisible state, will be instrumenwhich the reader's judgment will tal, under the same divine direction, supply: and, upon the whole, we of producing those necessary moral have reason to conclude, that the qualifications, and that alteration of admired author was ashamed of the character, in another period of existpopular system of future punishment, ence, which the former failed of and adopted this method of secretly accomplishing in the present. exposing it, apprehending, perhaps, But whatever were the real senti-, tliat the times in which he lived, were ments of this great writer, of one not ripe enough for a more open con- thing we may be certain : that, as all fession. How far this was consistent the attributes of the Deity, are coeval with Christian simplicity, is a question with his Being, and cannot be sepa-. which we do not now enter into; but," rated from it; so, they will continue surely, had he firmly believed it, he to be exercised throughout everlasting would never have taken such pains, ages. As he has been from all in reality, if not in appearance, to eternity, infinitely wise, powerful, demonstrate the contrary, and, in boly, just, and benevolent; so, he immortal strains, to perpetuate the will be to all eternity the same, in glaring defects of his own system! every part and period of his universal
If this be thought a hasty and un- dominion. “If I ascend up to heawarrantable conclusion, let the poet ven, thou art there !” of this, there speak for himself, in other parts of can be no doubt: but, are heaven and his great work, the “Night Thoughts,” earth alone the spheres of thy divine one specimen of which shall here activity? by no means. “ If 'I make suflice.
my bed in hell," or, in the invisible “ Who, without pain's advice, would e'er state of punishment, “behold thou be good?
art there also !" Thou art there, as Wbo, without death, but would be good in an avenger of the impious, as vain ?
punisher of the incorrigible transgressPain, is to save from pain; all punishment, or. But, in what sense, great God ! To make for peace; and death, to save from art thou an avenger, or a punisher? death :
Is it to seal them up under a sentence And second death, to gnard immortal life! of misery, commensurate with thing By the same tenderness divine ordain'd,
own existence, without any possibility That planted Eden, and high bloom'd for of restitution and recovery? Are they man,
prevented from repenting, by an act A fairer. Eden, endless in the skies !Great Source of Good alonc, bow kind in
of thy sovereign will, or wilt thou , all!
never accept of their repentance? Hast In vengcance kind! Pain, death," Ge
thou appointed them to be monuments henna save.""
of thine infinite power, trophies of
thine everlasting vengeance, or, perIt will be said, the poet only meant, petual arguments of happiness to the that the threat of Gehenna saved: but saints in glory? Where were then,
the exereise of thy mercy and benevo• Wisheart.
lence, which thou hast taught us - to
A is in danger of being wounded
488 J. in Reply to the Writer of the Obituary of Dr. Powell. consider, as well as thy holiness and firmity of your own minds. Say, wirke justice, as over all thy works? Where respeet to the highest and purest conwere then the exercise of thy long. ception you can attain to,-ihis is not suffering, which, with respect to some God! God is infinitely more than of thy creatures, hath been in this this! If I could conceive him, then world scarcely experienced? Hast he were not God, for he is incomprethou not sent thy well-beloved Son hensibly above all that I can either into the world, “ the second Adain, think or conceive !"* the Lord from heaven," to restore the ruins of the first,“ to seek and to Sir, save, that which was lost?" And LTHOUGH I am the party who shall his original intentions, and thine through hin, be finally frustrated? and not your very able Correspondent, Hath not thine holy apostle assured us, T. S. (394) by my venturing to enter ibat “not as is the original offence, the lists with him, yet as I think good so is the free gift?" O Lord! all humoured discussion has a tendency to things are possible with thee! We throw light upon every subject, and cymorit the condemned criminal, as none can be much inore important well as the accepted saint, into thine than the liberty or slavery of mankind, hands, fully persuaded, that though as regarding its well-being in every thou wilt reward us infinitely beyond point of view, physical, moral and our deserts, thou wilt punish us only religious, I am sorry he has declined in proportion to our denierits : that to entertain and instruct your readers " thou wilt be justified when thou by any further explanation. But speakest, and overcome when thou though I cannot obtain any additional art judged !" Rom. iii. 4.
information respecting his political Learn, therefore, to refine, spiritu- allusions, I have at least leamed one alize and elevate all your notions and very agreeable fact, that it is possible conceptions of God: rise in your con- to animadvert on the writing of a man templation from those perfections and of benevolent character, and to bring excellencies that are in the creatures, forward opposite opinions, and yet to and mount up by degrees to a know- meet with politeness and liberality, and ledge of his nature by these several to have such contrariety of opinion helps, and conceive of him by these ascribed to its real motive, a wish to divided excellencies, since you cannot elucidate the truth with every desire conceive of him in the simplicity of not to give offence, and being encouhis own being and undivided essence. raged by such generous treatment, I Even when you endeavour to frame will once more trouble you, Mr. Editor, the highest notions of the Almighty, with a few remarks, some of them there will be a similitude of soincthing applicable to the letter of T. Si trustcorporeal in your fancy; therefore, ing to your editorial discretion to lay what is offered to your imagination, them aside, if you think the insertion should be purified by your reason. had better be onnitted. Endeavour to refine every representa
Since the French Revolution, many usion of God, by separating there- persons, who have been spectators of from in your idea, whatever is un- it, and have been disappointed at its worthy of hin. Labour to have your conclusion, are so terrified at every disapprehensions still more purified, and cussion connected with the rights of to rise higher and higher in your con- the people, that they appear to be ceptions of him. Remember, that willing tacitly to suffer a despotism, whatever God is, he is infinitely, so! even if it were like that of Turkey, Conceive of hiin, as excellent without rather than advocate any innovation ; any imperfection; as great, without whereas the events of the last twenquantity; as perfect, without quality; ty-five years should teach us a great as every where, without place; as moral lesson, that making timely reTowerful, without members ; as wise, forms, is the way to prevent great and without reasoning; as light, without sudden revolutions, or in the great darkness: and when you have risen to Lord Chatham's words, "reform yourthe highest, conceive him to be yet selves from within, or you will be infinitely above all this, and humbly acknowledge the weakness and in
J. in Reply to the Writer of the Obituary of Dr. Powell, 469 -reformed from without with a ren- removal of the Inquisition in Spain geance." We have the opinion of would be a safe and wise political Ålgernon Sydney, “in his Discourses experiment. But if I understand your on Government,"* that nothing but Correspondent, T. S. rightly, he seems abuses and corruption can make a to hint that a kind of passive obedience people wish for change : he remarks is most becoming to the wise and that the inhabitants of a country never virtuous, and that it is not advisable wish for, nor will exert themselves to for them to exert themselves to restrain procure any great change in the bad government, or indeed any great government so long as it is conducted evil; for he remarks, p. 229, “ It with tolerable equity and moderation ; seems to be the plan of Providence to but all history, gives proof that courts restrain and check one class of crimes will always become more and more and delinquents by the counteraction corrupt, unless they are constantly of another;" but might not such a checked by the influence and control principle as this lead us into a state of the people.
of the most dangerous apathy if carried I am quite aware, as indeed who to its full extent? The excesses of the is not, that the present system of French Revolution appear to have had choosing representatives to serve in in many respects the same effects
upon parliament is very faulty and product- the liberties of the present generation, ive of much disorder, as your Corre- as the fanatical excesses of the Puritans spondent, T. S. ironically infers, page had upon the religion and morals of 395; yet these abuses might no doubt the English people in that day; in be removed, and perhaps all the diffi- both instances a re-action has been culties remedied 'by another plan of produced and a strong disposition to collecting the votes: but I am afraid run into the opposite extreme; for that the lovers of, and gainers by after the period which has been ironicorruption, amongst whom I certainly cally called the reign of the saints, do not include T. S. are glad to per- followed in quick succession the reign petuate these evils, as a preventative of the sinners : but I have always against a more complete representation thought that a very great proportion of the people, as these election excesses of the crimes, that were committed are brought forward as shewing the by the French, are to be ascribed to evil dispositions of the people; but I the sanguinary manifestoes of the surbelieve that very many of the vices of rounding despots, and their entrance the governed, are caused by the selfish- into France at the head of immense ness and consequent mišrule of the armies, which turned the nation into governors.
a great military camp, and excited the T. S. observes, p. 394, 5, that your most violent animosities amongst men Correspondents and yourself, Mr. of all parties; and in the end, turned Editor, are calmly though strenuously their attention from the love of liberty employed in the investigation and to that of ambition and conquest. diffusion of useful knowledge; but can And thus, in the present day, after any one suppose, that we should at the dreadful struggle of the French this time be freely writing, or you, Sir, for liberty, has followed a time remarkpublishing our religious and political able for high monarchical declarations, opinions, if it had not been for such in which the divine right of kings has patriotic men as Pym, Russell, Hamp- again been openly arowed and acted den and Sydney, who struggled in the upon. And even in this land of comcause of freedom and paved the way parative freedom, I think many perfor us! How is it'in Spain and sons attend the Established Church Portugal ? and yet we are informed who are not at all attached to its that Mr. Gibbon, who had been principles, and do not believe in its friendly to freedom before the French doctrines, because they fear that if Revolution, doubted after that event they attended a Dissenting place of whether so great an inyovation as the worship, they would be ranked
amongst the disaffected and jacobini* A work that I caruestly recommend cal. To conclude, Sir, although no every person to read, as one of the very person can more regret than I, the best treatises that was erer written upon excesses which have been committed this subject.
.by had men under the assumed bag. VOL. XI.
Mr. Rutt on his projected Edition of Dr. Priestley's Works. ners of civil and religious liberty, yet I as a justification of my project, and from cannot respect. freedom or religion tiae respect to those who would have united less, because ambition, knavery and with me, to offer that tribute to Dr. hypocrisy have used these sacred Priestley's memory, which has always maines as cloaks to cover their own been considered as paid by the publicadesigns.
tion of a correct edition of an author's
diy expectations of success in this I have read the extracts from "Old- project were always inoderate. Expefield's Representative History of Great rience has stili furiher restrained theio. Britain and Ireland," in the Supple.
I must now leave the question to be ment to the Monthly Magazine for determined by the Unitarians, and July, which I would recommend to shall never be likely to regret, whatevery person who wishes in learn the ever may be the result, that I have contrue state of our representation, and nected niy name with such an attempt
. has not an opportunity of seeiug the
I remain, Sir, your's, valuable original.
J.T. RUIT. P.S. A young friend who, though
a lawyer, has noi, like Blackstonc, bid Sir, Claplon, Aug. 4, 1810.
farewell to his muse, and who is much I
OBSERVE, at page 386 of your more conversant with Shakspeare than
last Number, a letter from a gen- myself, has referred me 10 a passage in ternan who was first known to me as As You Like It, from which W'atts apone of the earliest encouragers of my pears to have taken a hint for the lines projected Edition of Dr. Priestleys which I quoted (p. 391). It is in the Thcological Works. Ou Mr. Cordell's 2d Scene of the 3d Act, where Orlando concluding proposal, the result of great in a soliloquy exclaims : good will to iny design, it does not be. “O Rosalind ! these trees shall be m's coine mne to make any remark, except
books, that he is correct in stating that I intend
And in their barks my thoughts I'll to proceed with the undertaking, if two
character; hundred subscriptions can be procured.
That every eye, which in this forest I now think it proper to add, that no
looks, copies will be printed, except for sub. Shall see thy virtue witness'd every scribers. Thus their copies will not be
where. depreciated, as they might apprehend, Run, run, Orlando ; carve on every tree, by a number being reserved for sale. The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive sbe."
So far as I can ascertain their amount, the sul'scriptions already received do not ened' by this verse of Watts, which
My friend's conjecture is strengthexceed sixty. Of reported sul"scribers, immediately follows that I quoted: who have not yet paid their subscriptions, there appears to be about thic “ The swains shall wonder when they same number. Should i hose subscrip
read, tions be paid, and eighty more be acldled
Inscrib'd on all the grave; to them, by Vovember next, so as to
That heav'u itself caine down and bled,
To win a mortal's love." complete the number of two hundred subscriptions, which is now scarcely to The Reviewer (p. 405) has, perhaps, be expected, I purpose, immediately, to understood too generally the difficulties put the first volume to the press, and occurring to Dissenters, on attempting to bring out the edition with all the to place their sons al public schools. accuracv and dispatch in my power. Unless my memory serves me very ill,
Should it appear by November next, there were no inquiries but of a literary which will coinplete one year since kind, when I entered St. Paul's School I first proposed the subject, in your in 1771. I observe in Knight's Life work, that the subscriptions have not of Colet (p. 36-4), among the founder's amounted to two hundred, I shall statutes, that he bade the children learne think myself justified, to the promoters first alore all the catechizo in linglishe; of the undertaking, in abandoning it, but this rule I apprehend had been and will immediately return their sub- long neglected, as well as that which scriptions. Their names, by your leave, enjoined the reading specially Cristen Ishall, in that case, record in your pages, autors, that wrote theire wisdome with
REFLECTIONS MADE IN A COURSE
Mr. Belsham's Notes on the Epistles of Paul.--Gleanings. 471 clean and chaste Laten. In the 6th and proceeding from his lips, was not with7th classes, which were those I passed out effect in the great work of the abothrough, we indeed repeated the Church lition of the slave trade. catechism, in Greek, as a school exer- The Monthly Magazine Correspondcise; and thus the children of Non- ent, who signis himself T. H. S. and conformists were frequently uttering dates Nottingham, Juue 20, 1816, ex: falsehoods, though in a dead langnage, plains himself as follows: about supposed benefits from pretended “ If instead of the silly castles in the godfathers and godmothers.
air which principally cover the earthenThere are other difficulties, not pe- ware in present use, there were a wise caliar 19 Dissenters, but which must, saying or an immutable truth on every I think, occur to any parent, educated plate and tea-cup and saucer; what á in a public school, who has since ac- fund of sententious wisdom might be quired a conviction that moral habits introduced into every fainily, particuare of nore value than classical attain- larly the middle and lower classes of ments.
society. What admirable topics for
conversation would thus be introduced, Sir,
August 5, 1816. and what useful and early a sociations I HAVE been informed that Mr. would be formed - It seems to me Belsham has, in a state of readiness
that this system of communicating for the press, Notes by himself on the moral instruction, would be much suEpistles of Paul. As one of the many through the medium of tracts.”
"perior to that of communicating it admirers of his most excellent works illustrative of the meaning of the writers of the New Testament, especially with
GLEANINGS ; OR, SELECTIONS AND reference to the doctrines abont which Christians are so much divided in opinion, I most sincerely hope that, if my information is correct, he will be in
No. CCLXVIII. duced to add to the important services which he has already rendered to the
Improvements in Moral and Political
Science. gond cause which he advocates, by
“ It is chiefly in judging of questions publishing them for the benefit of the public.
coining home to their business and Such a work is a great desideratum. mankind astrav; and of such associa
bosows,' that casual associations lead It would form a valuable addition to
tions how incalculable is the number the late excellent Mr. Kenrick's “ 11lustrations of the Gospels and acts of arising from false systems of religion, the Apostles ;" and coming from the absurd plans of education! The con
oppressive forms of government, and masterly pen of Mr. Belsham, it would be purchased and read with avidity. and mathematical discoveries of former
is, that while the physical Mr. Belsham will, I trust, favour the public with inforination on the subject, the historian, like masses of pure and
ages present themselves to the hand of through the medium of your
native gold, the truths which we are Repository.
here in quest of may be compared to D.D.
iron, whích, although at once the most Nric Mode of Diffusing Knowledge.
necessary and the most widely diffused
of all the metals, commonly requires a CA
CORRESPONDENT in the discriininating eye to detect its exist
Monthly Magazine (Aug. 1816), ence, and a redious as well as nice prosuggests 4 new, but not extravagant cess to extract it froin the orc. mode, of disseminating useful and im- “ To the same circunstance it is portant truths. It may be applied to owing, that improvements in Moral other articles of manufacture besides and in Political Science do not strike earthenware, and to other articles of the imagination with nearly so great carthenware besides those which he force as the discoveries of the Mathespecifies. The watch-seal with the matician or of the Chemisť. When engraving of the negro in the attitude an inveterate prejudice is destroyed by of supplicating mercy, with the words, extirpating the casual associations on " Am I not a man and a brother!" which it was grafted, how powerful is