Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

REVIEW.INCARNATION OF THE ETERNAL WORD.

475

the case,

page 81.

That he may not, however, be misunder. Mr. Irving, although no direct avowal of stood, in his departure from common lan- any such intention is made. The objects guage and general consent, his sentiments which the author has in view, he thus states are thus expressed in the commencement in the following words :of the first chapter.

“ of the exculpatory explanation of the word “ The operation of the Holy Spirit in the con

sinful, that it is applied to the bumanity of our version of a sinner is not to be regarded as occa

Lord only in a passive sense, that is, I suppose, sional or accidental, but as essential and uniform.

synonymous with 'peccable,' I have not felt my

self called upon to take any notice. For, first, the Conversion to God never has taken place, and

word has no such meaning. Next, if it had, yet never will take place, without it. And if this be it is but saying the same thing in other

some of the principal arguments in support of the

sinfulness of Christ's flesh, are founded upon the words, to assert that his influence is absolutely ne

active meaning of that word. Thirdly. Many cessary to the production of this effect.”—p. 2.

other words, equally offensive, and capable of no But, with all the acuteness which Mr. such explanation, are applied to the flesh of Christ;

so that if the word was altogether abandoned, the Hinton has shewn, we cannot but suspect tenet against which I contend, remains unaltered. that he has used many terms in what may Fourthly. I deny that the word is applicable to

Christ, or, if we must separate bis lumanity from be called a novel sense, and introduced

himself, to the humanity of Christ, in any sense, expressions which, without his own ex- active or passive; I deny that Christ, or the huplanation, have a startling aspect. In manity of Christ, was peccable. Finally. The

charge against the tenet of the sinfulness of this character the following passage will Christ's flesh is, that this tenet is rank Nestorianperhaps appear to most readers : “The ism; and nothing can shew a more thorough want

of acquaintance with the subject, than an attempt means of repentance, therefore, and all the

to escape that charge by attaching to the word means of repentance, are possessed by a sinful' a meaning less offensive than that which sinner without the Spirit; but the posses

it is understood to convey.”—Preface, p. viii. sion of the means of repentance constitutes In the same preface, Mr. Dods tells us, the power of repentance ; therefore a sinner that he had originally intended to give a has power to repent without the Spirit.”- complete view of the theology of the primi.

tive church on the doctrine of the incarnaOn turning to another part of this vo. tion; but that this was abandoned, because lume, we find power ihus defined it would require a work larger than he had “When may it be said that a man has contemplated, or could command time to POWER to perform a given action ? To execute. He therefore found it necessary this we answer without hesitation, when he to direct his attention exclusively to the one possesses the means of doing so,” page 63. point of the sinfulness of our Lord's flesh. This phrase may seem ambiguous, but, on And even on this point he found that he referring to the definition of terms which must confine himself to the writers of the the author has given, we find that his first four centuries, and, even within these meaning and distinctions may without limits, to omit by far the greater number of much difficulty be understood.

the passages which he had marked for How far the author has been successful quotation. in all his speculations, is a point on which From these statements, partially given in his readers will be divided in their opi- the author's own words, and partly in subnions. But on which side soever they may stance only, the reader will be able to pergive their judgments, all must allow that ceive the prolific source whence Mr. Dods this volume contains a goodly portion of has derived his materials, and will cease to original matter, is written in an amiable wonder how his book has been extended spirit, and displays, without any ostentation to its present voluminous size. Under of learning, no contemptible degree of theo- such circumstances, the writer may grow logical research.

weary, but his resources will remain un. exhausted. With a little more time and patience, another and another volume

might be produced, equal in magnitude, if Review.-On the Incarnation of the not in interest, to this which is now under

Eternal Word. By the Rev. Marcus consideration.
Dods. 8vo. pp. 585. Seeley and Sons, In the early stages of his preliminary
London. 1831.

observations, Mr. Dods has risked some

very problematical positions, respecting the This is a formidable volume, and the sub- existence of moral evil, viewed in connexject on which it is written is of the utmost ion with the perfections of God. The truth importance to the permanent foundation of of these he appears to have admitted, as the whole christian system. It is obvious, though they were indisputable axioms; but from several expressions in the preface, that many readers, perhaps, will be led to doubt this work is intended to have a full bearing their legitimacy, and even to suspect that on the denounced heresies of the Rev. their truth is more than questionable :

" The actual existence of moral evil can be own; and from the whole has accumulated denied by none. He who proves that good preponderates over evil, if his proof be sound, does

a mass of evidence, which it would be the something perhaps to remove the unfavourable height of folly either to gainsay or resist. impression with regard to the character of God, This evidence, however, is chiefly restricted which the existence of evil has sometimes produced ; but he bas done nothing to account for the to two points ; namely, that neither original origin of evil. He who proves that, through the me- nor actual sin was included in the nature dium of evil, a degree of happiness and perfection is attained, wbich could not by any other means

of Christ; but beyond these, the force of be reached, may be admitted to have completely his reasoning appears with considerable reconciled its existence with the perfections of

diminution : God, but still he has not accounted for its origin.

We may not be permitted to open the “If he had no sin, either original or actual, then sealed book, and to answer the question, whence he was not fallen and sinful, and we draw from cometh evil? But while it standeth before us in

his life, and especially from his death, a knowledge all the undeniable reality of its actual existence, of God which we can never exhaust. If he bad we may be able, with the light of revelation for

either original or actual sin, then indeed he was our guide, to trace it to some of its beneficial fallen and sinful, and in this case we can learn no results, and to see how, instead of unfitting the more from his death, than we can learn from that creature for the manifestation of the divine per. of any other man.”—p. 101. sections, it furnishes the means of a manifestation which never otherwise could have been given.” The positions contained in the preceding -p.7. Mr. Dods seems hardly to be aware,

passages, few will be disposed to contro

vert. Yet it must not be forgotten, that that while, in these positions, he has made Adam, when created, was an entire stranger moral evil necessary to the attainment of both to original and actual sin.

Yet even good, and ascribed to it beneficial results, this state of primeval rectitude did not he has so far annihilated its character, and place him beyond the possibility of sinning. changed its nature. Moral evil cannot be

On this point we should have been glad if the cause of good, without ceasing to sus

Mr. Dods' arguments had been more ener.' tain the name by which it is distinguished. getic, and perspicuously applicable. The God may take occasion to work through its

momentous question-- Was it within the instrumentality, but moral evil can never

reach of possibility, that Christ might have be the real cause of any good whatever. It yielded to the temptations with which he is a fallacy in argument to contend, that

was assailed, and of thus defeating the purdisease should be tolerated, that the skill of medical men may thereby appear to the poses of redemption; or was it absolutely

impossible ?” is one to which we could greater advantage. Moral evil was not

have wished that the author had given a necessary in paradise, to furnish Adam specific reply, supported by the reasonings with all the blessings which his state re

and arguments which he is so capable of quired; neither would it have been neces. sary in heaven, to the consummation of adducing. Let this awful question be set

at rest, and the disputations respecting eternal bliss. The benefits resulting from

peccability” and “sinful,” used in a the interposition of divine mercy when man

“passive” sense, will soon cease to be had fallen, was but a remedy to heal the sufficiently important to demand a volume wounds which sin had made. All good is of nearly six hundred pages. capable of shining by its own inherent

That this work contains a vast fund of lustre, and requires not the agency of valuable matter, on subjects of vital immoral evil to give it either existence or

portance to the christian cause, no one, who, adventitious brightness. On the great subject of his volume, ment doubt. The arguments are power.

examines it with attention, can for a moMr. Dods has been eminently successful. ful, comprehensive, and diversified ; yet we He has proved it necessary, by irrefragable cannot divest ourselves of the idea, that its arguments, that Christ, in his mediatorial innumerable excellences might have been character, should be “holy, harmless, un

retained, although the whole had been defiled, separate from sinners, and made compressed within a much narrower com. higher than the heavens." These essential

pass. qualifications he has guarded by fortifications which cannot be stormed, and the evidence he has adduced would have been

Review.— The Deliverance of Switzercomplete, even though he had declined

land, a Dramatic Poem.

By H. C.

Deakins. all appeal to the primitive writers of the

12mo. pp. 270. Smith, christian church.

Elder, & Co. London. 1831. That he might not, however, be suspected SWITZERLAND, liberty, and William Tell of advancing sentiments which were unknown will never cease to adorn the pages of in the pure ages of Christianity, he has history. The events which gather round brought forward the testimonies of the an- this hero, are of such a nature, as to elevate cient fathers, whose views coincide with his his exploits far above the common ocrur.

477

REVIEW.DELIVERANCE OF SWITZERLAND.

P. 122.

1

[ocr errors]

rences of life. Many others appear in this

TELL.

“ Tyrant, I have-I take the trial! drama to great advantage ; but, as may

GESLER. naturally be expected, the deeds of this "My noble lords, on the third day from this,

We hope to show you good divertisement. patriotic deliverer always shine forth with

Off with the hound to prison.” the greatest lustre.

On the arrival of the third day, we are Among the acts of wanton despotism introduced to the following scene, in which which disgraced the oppressors of the Merta, the wife of Tell— Tell-Gesler the Swiss, the tyrant Gesler had ordered a

tyrant—and Werner the son of Tell, sustain pole bearing a hat on its summit to be their respective parts. erected as his representative, in the market

MERTA'S PRAYER. place, to which all who came near it were

“O Thou, within yon azure sky unseen,

Who mad'st the round world and its host of stars, compelled to do homage. Tell comes to Who dost, as thy sun dries the streams, dry up the place, ignorant of the mandate, and, on The widow's and the orphan's tears-dost heal

Man's lamentations with thy Holy Spirit; hearing some mysterious expressions from

Thou of all power! who, on thy winged throne, the townsmen, inquires the meaning, and Need'st not the light of sun or crescent moon,

Thou who dost look within the sea's great heart, receives the following information :

Rousing the sleeping storms! who rend'st this "Why then, I thus unriddle thee my riddle :

globe Yon mighty pine-pole and its mightier hat

With earthquake or with fire, who only look'st, Are by our tender master stuck up there,

And all things rush upon thy sigbt, prepared That all his loving subject-slaves may kiss, Thy holy ordinances to obey ; Whene'er they pass that pole, their mother earth! Have mercy on us ! Dost understand me?"

“ As thou didst stay Tell (starting furiously.)

The patriarch's uplifted knife, when poised

For his son's bosom,-turn, O turn aside “Now, by my father's resting-place I swear,

The arrow of yon tyrant from our child; And by my mother's quiet tomb I vow,

And with a whisper wing it on its way, And by the sacred heaven that looks upon us,

Unerring to the mark. Save him, great God, And by the stars that sanctify the night

Support us through this dreadful trial-kour, With their celestial glories, I will hurl

As thou didst the associated three Yon hooded bully to the earth! 1 bend !

Through the consuming flames uninjured. No! were ten thousand Geslers in my path,

My boy! Telli O be God's Spirit on ye ! And thrice ten thousand Austrians at their back,

The triune and triumphant presence aid ye! I'd trample it on earth, or perish !"-p. 107.

One kiss, my child ! Having delivered this speech, Tell

Nerve, nerve my heart, o heaven!

O God! I'll say no more, my heart will burst, rushes to the pole, shakes it violently,

(With sudden energy.) and hurls it to the earth. The townsmen Courage, my boy! the Lord is thy protection!

On to the post of hononr, boy! away! raise a shout; but the soldiers appear,

Thy father's life is in thy footsteps, child. seize Tell, load him with chains, and com- Away! O heaven! I can no more.

TELL. mit him to prison. Information of these

Count, tyrant, art thou ready? transactions is communicated to Gesler,

GESLER, who orders the captive hero to be brought Slave, look to thyself. Inspect his arrow's point,

See it be sharp. before him, to hear the following sentence :

[ocr errors]

TELL.

Infernal monster! demon! art tbca ready? "Hear now, audacious man, thy puuishment!

GESLER. Thou hast án only boy.-In three days hence,

Measure one hundred paces-take this apple, It is a general festival : take thou

And on the boy's head piace it!
The choice of instant death, unshrived and sinning,
Or on thy fair child's head an apple place,

(The crowd murmur.)

GESLER, (fiercely.)
And with thine arrow, at one hundred yards,
Cleave it in twain, or die on that festal day.

Insolents, what mean ye? dare ye murmur ?

By heaven, our trusty swords shall cut ye down. What sayest thou ?" TELL.

Guards, let the pris'ner have

The sun full in his face ! "Thou purple-mantled tyrant ! I accept

Tell (to Werner.)
The trial thou hast offered ;-—but, bethink thee !
Should my boy fall, his blood will rise to heaven,

Come hither, boy! they say man cannot look

Death or the sun in the face? I say he can. Rise in the sun a crimson exhalation,

Thou shalt look death, and I will look the sun: Shrouding thee from the dwelling of thy God!

WERNER. Bethink thee, Count, of the sin thou'lt commit,

I will do both for thee, father. of the great curse of after-ages on thee ; Upon the records of eternity,

TELL. The name of monster will be written of thee : Thanks, generous boy, my noble-hearted child, And upon that great day, when heaven itself Thou hast thy mother's smile: God bless thee for it, Shall melt, and earth like a scroll be shrivelled, Plant one knee on the ground, one foot before thee. And the green plains be rolled up like leaves Be tirm, and fear not. Let thy prayers aloud Enclosing the vasty Alps within them;

Ascend to heaven-One kiss. And when the sun shall tumble from his throne,

(He embraces him, and seems for And his benighted orb reel rayless round,

a moment deeply convulsed.) And when the stars shall crumble into chaos, 'Tis over, the bitterness of death is past. And for a moment He bimself appears,

GESLER.
He, the omnipotent, to judge the world!
My murdered boy will rise 'gainst thee in wrath,

Guards, strike the prisoner's fetters.
And thou wilt perish,

Present your spears, and form half rampart,

round him." GESLER,

[Tell takes his place-the boy has "No doubt, good moralizer, wert thou judge !

the apple laid on his head-Merta Bnt think not, by hypocrisy, to turn.

and the three younger children Our firm resolve-Choose, or thou diest!

fall on their knees ; she throws

1

her arms around them, and bows mediately connected with the missionaries,
her head-a dead silence prevails but also on many others, on which correct
and while Tell is adjusting his information might have been easily ob-
arrow, and during the fight of it, tained. This is the more inexcusable when
Werner exclaims.)
WERNER.

his errors refer to the harbours, shores, and Nerve thou my father's arm, O Lord! protect bays which he describes; and also the My mother! shield her with thy almighty love? o bless my sisters, holy God!

more dangerous, since the misrepresentaBless, bless my father!”

tion may deceive others, and be attended [the arrow flies-the apple is split, with fatal consequences.

a loud shout arises of “He's safe,
he's safe." Tell clasps his son to

Von Kotzebue's work having been trans-
his breast, and sobs aloud ; then lated into English, some of our leading
falls on his knees, and prays for a
few moments in silence. He then journals readily availed themselves of his
turns, and sees his wife senseless unfriendly remarks on the labours of the
on the ground. He rushes to

missionaries; and, without questioning the her, and, leaning over as he half supports her, exclaims,

truth of his statements, exulted in the disTELL.

covery, that the natives had rather been Merta, our child is safe--the apple's split : The lightning of the Lord did point my arrow ;

injured than benefited by the introduction Werner is safe.-p' 172.

of Christianity among them, This book, The preceding extracts cannot fail to and these exultations, falling into the bands place this dramatic poem in a favourable of Mr. William Ellis, who had been a reattitude. The concealed arrow dropping sident in these islands nearly ten years, from beneath Tell's mantle, the develop- were examined by him with much surprise; ments which followed the discovery, the

and the result is, the appearance of the commitment of Tell to prison, his escape,

“ Vindication" now before us. and the death of Gesner, are events both In this work, he follows Mr. Kotzebue pathetic and interesting. Yet we cannot through his numerous allegations, and adforbear thinking, that, on the whole, the duces an overwhelming multiplicity of inpoem is lengthened out beyond what the stances to prove that, as an author, he is materials will fairly justify. Hence, some unworthy of credit, and that those who portions become tedious, and we pass have praised his production, have done so from page to page with scarcely any at the expense either of their integrity or occurrence to relieve the monotony of the their understanding. A few references will

fully illustrate these assertions.

In Von Kotzebue's map of Matavai vil

lage and bay, Port Papeite and Motunta Review.-A Vindication of the South

are placed to the eastward of Point Venus, Sea Missions from the Misrepresenta- when, in fact, both these places are situated tions of Otto Von Kotzebue, Captain in seven miles to the south-west ! the Russian Navy, with an Appendix. The tides in this part of the Pacific inBy William Ellis. 8vo. pp. 164. West- variably present a remarkable phenomenon. ley, London. 1831.

At noon and midnight it is always highOtto Von KOTZEBUE may be a good sea- water; and at six in the morning, and at man, and a very able navigator; but if he six in the evening, the tides are at their has not been more succ on the watery lowest ebb. With a circunstance so very element than in his descriptions and his- peculiar, it would be natural to suppose torical observations respecting the South Sea that every circumnavigator would be intiIslands, and their inhabitants, it would have mately acquainted; yet, on this curious been creditable for his reputation if he had fact, Von Kotzebue observes as followsslept among the bears of the arctic circle, “ Every noon, the whole year round, at the moor had never attempted publicity beyond highest, and falls with the sinking sun till midnight.” the boundaries of his native land.

From this assertion it would As an adventurous voyager, transiently

appear,

that touching at the islands of the Pacific, it these islands have only one tide in twentywas not to be expected that his informa- four hours, which all who have visited them

know is not the case. On this fact, Mr. tion could be very extensive; but common prudence might have suggested the pro

Ellis makes the following observationspriety of silence on subjects which he

“ Kotzebue must have paid little attention to the

tides, for, instead of continuing from noon to fall could not accurately examine, nor, per- with the sinking sun till midnight,' after six o'clock haps, fully comprehend. Unfortunately, midoight; '80 that, instead of being highest at noon however, for his reputation as an author,

and lowest at midnight, the whole year round, the

tide is highest at both these times, and lowest about he has neglected that salutary caution, and sunrise and sunset every day. So uniform and well

. committed himself, not only on topics im- throughout the islands, during the whole year, the

scenes.

,

REVIEW.MEMOIRS OF MR. CHARLES-NO FICTION.

479

time between evening twilight, and midnight, is de- and practice, in which he instructs by presignated by a term expressive of its advancing height; and the hours from midnight to the appearance of the cept and example; and both private indi. morning star, are distinguished by terms descriptive viduals, and those who fill public stations, of a corresponding fact."-p. 7. Von Kotzebue asserts

may find in its pages much that is worthy

of imitation. “ Here are neither ants, musquitoes, nor any of the tormenting insects so common in tropical climates;

So far as the biographical sketch has no destructive worm nor serpent; even the scorpion, of been given by Mr. Morgan, from his own which a small sort is to be met with, loses its poison."

resources, the character of his friend is On this, Mr. Ellis has the following re- placed in an equally amiable light. To, marks

wards his latter days, Mr. Charles seemed Centipedes are large and pumerous, and their bite prepared to leave the world, and to be could remain in Tahiti from the 14th to the 24th of ripening for glory. The account of his March, and frequently on shore, without discovering

death is pleasing and highly satisfactory. the myriads of musquitoes and ants that swarm in every place, it is not easy to imagine. Few visitors He appears to have met the last enemy with remain a day on shore without the greatest annoyance from both. So numerous are the ants, that the resi- calmness and christian fortitude, and to dent foreigners can only secure their food by having the place, on which it is deposited, surrounded by

have expired in the full assurance of faith. water."-p.8.

The lives of such men are deservedly On the manners, customs, and general recorded, for it is to these that we are character of the inhabitants, Von Kotzebue indebted for nearly all that is experimenis equally unfortunate; and the numerous tally and practically valuable in christian instances in which he has been detected, biography. throw an atmosphere of suspicion over other portions of his work, in which it is Review.-No Fiction, a Narrative foundpossible his statements may be correct. It is, however, in the missionary department

ed on recent and interesting Facts. By

Andrew Reed. 12mo. pp. 440. Westley that he appears to the greatest disadvantage, and here Mr. Ellis enjoys an unmolested

and Davis, London. 1831. triumph. But we cannot follow him in his for a considerable time this work appearvictorious march. This, to every readered without its author's name, and obtained who wishes success to the missionary cause, a very extensive circulation. To this, the will appear in every page, on a perusal of interesting occurrences detailed in the narthe Vindication. We must conclude, by rative, and its title of “No Fiction,” most observing, that a more complete refutation essentially contributed. At length the of glaring error, deviations from truth, and Lefevre of the tale, provoked at the unof misrepresented facts, has not been pre- warrantable liberties taken with his characsented to the public for many years.

ter and conduct, on finding himself an object of notoriety within a large circle of

bis own and of the author's acquaintance, Review.—A brief Memoir of the Life and broke from his cerement, avowed his name

Labours of the Rev. Thomas Charles, to be Francis Barnett, published a memoir A.B. By the Rev. Edward Morgan, of his life, drew the veil from “No FicM.A. 12mo. pp. 450. Seeley, Lon- tion,” and exposed the nakedness of the don. 1831.

land. No Fiction having thus been disThis is not a life of adventure, of exploit, covered to be far more fictitious than its of incident; of hazard and escape, but the author had taught the public to believe, personal history of a pious minister of the soon lost a considerable portion of the gospel, active and zealous in his Master's reputation it had gained, and fell at once cause, and remarkably useful in his day and full fifty per cent. in the estimation of all generation, to multitudes who were favoured who had been captivated with “ No Fiction, with his ministry. A considerable portion a narrative founded on recent and interesting of this volume is composed of extracts from facts.” Mr. Charles's diary, in which he delineates, Independently, however, of the question, with much plainness and simplicity, the whether fact or FICTION be the predomió commencement and progress of his serious nant feature in this work, all must allow impressions, the dealings of God with his that it possesses more than an ordinary share soul, and his call to the ministerial work. of merit, and displays the author's talents

No one who peruses these extracts, can, to great advantage. In each department for a moment, doubt the sincerity of Mr. the character is well sustained; the digresCharles. Fidelity appears in every sentence; sions are diversified and appropriate, and, and all his letters bear testimony to the throughout the whole, the interest that was consistency of his character. The whole first excited, is kept alive, and rendered volume is a body of christian experience powerfully attractive.

« AnteriorContinuar »