« AnteriorContinuar »
faculties ; and to corporeal exertions, even THE LATE REV, ROBERT HÅLL'S OPINION the sternest necessity is not able to reconcile
AND ARMINIAN bim. Thus the sluggard passes his days PECULIARITIES. useless to the world, and unhappily to him. self. Should such a man reach the utmost [A Letter from the Rev. Robert Hall, Leicester,
to the Rev. W. Bennett, on his Treatise on the verge of life, his grey hairs cannot be looked
Gospel Constitution.] upon as a crown of glory, but only as the
DEAR SIR, testimony of a long and useless career : his
January 18th, 1810. offspring, if he have any, cannot behold their I ought sooner to have acknowledged to aged sire with that unmixed reverence and you the great pleasure I derived from the affection, which, under ordinary circum. performance you were so kind as to give stances, would, in the eye of the world, and me at Northampton. I have read it with in their own breasts, be considered a most as much attention as I am able; and sacred and imperative duty; nor can the though the subject is involved in so much world at large look upon him in any other difficulty, I admired the perspicuity with light than as an incumbrance to, and a which it was treated, so as to be within the dead weight on, society.
limits of an ordinary capacity. There is a But though idleness in secular matters is precision and comprehension in the choice bad enough, so bad that every effort should of terms, and a luminous track of thought be made to root it out of the mind, yet, pervading the whole, which, according to my when we take a higher view, and survey it apprehension, has scarcely been equalled, in relation to our spiritual interests, surely and never exceeded, in the discussion of such we shall see plainly its pernicious and points. I do think you have steered a destructive tendency. No idle man can be happy medium between the rigidity of a true Christian. It is possible, indeed, Calvinism and the laxness of Arminianism, for a man to be diligent in his secular pur- and have succeeded in the solution of the suits, without having a proper sense of his grand difficulty—the consistency betwixt religious duties. A variety of motives may general offers and invitations, and the urge a man to exertion, all of which may speciality of divine grace. This interesting be incompatible with the doctrines and question is handled with masterly ability. precepts of the gospel ; such as an eager I am particularly delighted with your exdesire to amass wealth, an inordinate ambi- plicit statement, and vindication, of the estion to rise to an elevated station in society, tablished connexion between the use of for the sake of obtaining the praise and instituted means, and the attainment of flattery of the world, and an innate love of divine blessings, and the consequent hyposway.
Such motives as these, I repeat, thetical possibility of the salvation of all may urge a man to diligence, who has no men, where the gospel comes. On this just knowledge of his moral and religious point, the representation of Calvinists has duties. But no man can practise his reli- long appeared to me very defective; and gious duties aright, who at the same time that, feltered by their system, they have by neglects the duties which his station im- no means gone so far in encouraging and poses upon him.
urging sinners to the use of prayer, reading The sacred scriptures, which command the scriptures, self-examination, &c. as the us to work out our salvation with fear and scriptures justify. They have contented trembling, instruct us likewise to attend to themselves too much with enjoining and our several duties in life, and to fill our inculcating the duty of faith, which, howa respective stations with credit and advantage. ever important and indispensable, is not, I The good man has a proper sense of the apprehend, usually imparted, till men have value of time; and this sense of its impor- been earnestly led to seek and to strive. tance, and the reflection that one moment Here the Arminians, such of them as are lost is lost for ever, enables him, through evangelical, have had greatly the advantage divine assistance, whatever inclination he of the Calvinists, in pleading with sinners. may have formerly felt to idleness, to keep Your great principle of the design of reto the post of duty, and to attend sedulously ligion, in every dispensation of it, being to the duties of his calling, as consequent intended as a pursuit of the plan of divine on, and subordinate to, Christian faith and government for exercising the moral powers practice.
and faculties of creatures, is good and noble, Edenhall.
THOMAS IRELAND. and gives continuity and harmony to the *** The author informs us, that the pre- whole scheme. I 'lent your book to B, ceding essay was composed for his pupils, commonly called 'Squire B, who is much and divided into short dictates for their pleased with it, and only wishes you had accommodation.
expressed yourself more fully in favour of
THE SOUL DOES NOT SLEEP.
the general extent of Christ's death. I think take its flight into the open fields of heaven, you have asserted it by implication, though it will then be bare to the impressions of I wish you had asserted it unequivocally; objects; and why should not these impresbecause I am fully persuaded, that it is a sions, which affected the nerves that moved, doctrine of scripture, and that it forms the and affected the vehicle and soul in it, only consistent basis of unlimited invitation. affect the vehicle immediately, when they I think the most enlightened Calvinists are are immediately made upon it, without the too reserved on this bead, and that their interposition of the nerves? The hand which refusal to declare, with the concurrent testi- feels an object at the end of a staff, may mony of scripture, that Christ died for all certainly be allowed to feel the same by men, tends to confirm the prejudices of the immediate contact without the staff. Nay, Methodists, and others, against election and why should we not think that it may admit special grace. With this small exception, of more objects, and the knowledge of more if it be an exception, your work appears to things, than it can now; since, being exme entitled to the highest approbation and posed all around to the influences of them, applause; and I cannot but hope that it it may be moved only by visible objects, will have an important effect in bringing just at the extremities of the optic nerves, by good men nearer together, than which I sounds at the auditory, &c. but because as know nothing more desirable. Wishing it were all eye to visible objects, all ear to you much success in every labour of your audible, &c. ? And why should we not hands, I remain, dear sir, with high es- think this, the rather because the soul may teem, your affectionate brother,
be also perceptive of finer impressions and ROBERT HALL. ethereal contacts, and consequently of more
kinds of objects, such as we are now inca
pable of knowing? And then, this being ON THE EVIDENCE FROM SCRIPTURE, THAT so, why should we not presage, that other
THE SOUL, IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE endowments, as faculties of reasoning and DEATH OF THE BODY, IS NOT IN A STATE the like, will be proportionable to such OF SLEEP, ETC.-NO. III.
noble opportunities of knowledge ? There (Continued from p. 175)
seems to be nothing in this account impossiIn reflecting upon the opinion of the soul's ble, and therefore nothing but what may be."* sleeping between death and the resurrection,
The principal passages of divine revethere will be found an obvious contradiction lation upon which the sleeping system is in terms, at which every philosophic mind erroneously founded, are—“Many of them must stumble in limine. If the soul is the that sleep in the dust of the earth shall immaterial part of man, and if sleep is a
awake,” Dan. xii. 24" And the graves suspension of the functions performed by opened, and many bodies of the saints which the material organs of his body, then sleep slept arose,” Matt. xxvii. 52.—“ David, cannot be applied to the soul.
after he had served his own generation by It has indeed been said, that sleep affects the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid to the mental as well as the bodily powers;
his fathers, and saw corruption,” Acts xiii. but this is a gratuitous assumption, a petitió 36.-“ Now is Christ risen from the dead, principii. What are dreams ? Should it and become the first-fruits of them that be answered, that when we awake, we are
slept,” 1 Cor. xv. 20.-“We shall not all not always conscious of having dreamed; sleep, but we shall be changed,” ver. 51.it may be rejoined, Neither are we conscious,
“ If we believe that Jesus died and rose at night, of what we have been thinking again, even so them also which sleep in through the day. Should the various organs Jesus, will God bring with him," 1 Thess. through which sensations are communicated iv. 14. Let us now try these by the ordeal to the soul, by being suspended in sleep, of unprejudiced criticism. be any hinderance to its operations, this ob- The word sleep has a variety of meanings struction will be removed at death.
in the sacred oracles. When applied to “ If it be demanded why any one should the death of the righteous, it is generally imagine that the soul may think, perceive, intended to convey the comfortable truth, and act after death, when it doth not do that they as willingly and contentedly lay this in sleep, &c. the answer is, because aside this mortal life at death, as a fatigued these enclosures and impediments which traveller retires to sleep at night. In this occasioned the forementioned intermissions, sense, the word sleep is in the Holy Scripand those great limitations under which it tures applied to the bodies, and not to the labours at all times, will be removed with souls, of the righteous. Hence, if in this its enlargement out of the body. When it shall, in its proper vehicle, be let go, and * Wollaston's Religion of Nature. $ 9. 2D. SERIES, NO. 5.-VOL. I.
case it can be applied to an individual, and this verse evidently proves that the apostle historical narration ascribes sleep to his body, applies sleep only to the body of David, and not to his soul, at death, then we may which has, ages ago, by its own decomposing legitimately apply the same to others in a tendency, mingled with its kindred earth. similar situation.
“ Now is Christ risen from the dead, In the history of the martyrdom of St. and become the first-fruits of them that Stephen, we are informed, that when his slept,” 1 Cor. xv. 20. These being also brutal murderers had accomplished their the words of St. Paul, we have a decisive diabolical purpose, “ he called upon God, proof that he does not mean the souls of saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And believers fall asleep at death; for in his he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, epistle to the Philippians, ch. i. 2, he says Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And that he had “ a desire to depart, and to be when he had said this, he fell on sleep,” with Christ.” This explanation will also Acts vii. 59, 60. From this short account apply to 1 Thess. iv. 14. It must then of the violent death of this protomartyr, it appear evident to every unbiassed mind, may be fairly inferred,
that the passages which are brought forward 1. That his violent death is called a sleep. to support a gloomy system, are glaringly 2. That he died in the full persuasion misapplied.
T. R. that the Lord Jesus Christ would immedi
Huggate, March, 1831. ately receive his soul.
3. That as his soul was immediately received by Christ, the sleep which is mentioned could only apply to his body.
(By th, Rev. J. Y ung.) These inferences may safely be used as formula, to which all those passages, upon “ Such things I've heard and read of, but before which the sleeping system rests, may be Gave nu full credence to them ; and e'en now brought and measured.
Yet I doubt no more :
And in believing them, dare not deny that sleep in the dust of the earth shall
The hand of Him who balances the spheres, awake,” Dan, xii. 2. Bodies when laid in And guides the swallow's emigrating flight, the dust soon become decomposed, and the
Is in them ; who out of seeming evil,
And evil's self, (for some brief while allow'd,) different particles frequently get scattered Elicits lasting good."
RECORDS. at an immense distance from each other; and should the soul be sleeping with them,
"Seven hundred years ago, and upwards, it must be divided with these particles, and when as yet the die was not cast, or the lead to the unphilosophical notion, that the fatal arrow drawn which pierced the heart soul is divisible. And should any animal of Harold, on the plain of Epiton, and deincautiously swallow any of these particles,
termined who should be the masters of our to which a portion of the soul is annexed, happy isle, whether those in whose veins we should have a fraction of a spiritual the hot blood of the Danish race flowed, or substance united with the brute. This ab- those whose cooler, though not less fierce, surd conclusion cannot be avoided by say- temperature was of Norman extraction:" ing, that the soul sleeps in a separate state,
Thus far I had proceeded in my profor the passage expressly mentions “thé jected piece, intending to furnish a sketch dust of the earth.” Here the abettors of the of the fortunes of William Henry Joceline, system are reduced to the dilemma of either or some one at least of the renowned De maintaining the absurd position of the soul Percies, the brave progenitors of a long line being divisible, or acknowledging that the of noble lords of Petworth, from whom passage refers merely to the body.
descended 'the coronet which now adorns “ And the graves opened, and many
the brow of the eighteenth lord of that parabodies of the saints which slept arose,"
disiacal domain-George O'Brien Wynd. Matt. xxvii
. 52. We make no pretensions ham, earl of Egremont, when a gentle but to satisfy the fruitless inquiries of those who familiar rap at my study door, broke off my ask,-Whose bodies were those that arose ? cogitations, and, permission being given, a Where were their souls between the periods beloved friend, of the cacoethes scribendi of their death and resurrection ? What order, entered. Glancing over my manubecame of them afterward? We have merely script, which lay before me, he exclaimed, to observe, that the text applies sleep exclu
“ Seven hundred years ago ! why, in the sively to their bodies.
name of sober reason, wander so far for a “David, after he had served his gene- subject, while facts, ration by the will of God, fell on sleep, Thick as autumnal leaves which strew the brooks and was laid to his fathers, and saw cor
In Vallombrosa,' ruption," Acts xiii. 36. The last clause of crowd you round, as if to court your
attention, or solicit the exercise of your My curiosity was excited to know who ready pen? An affected attachment for and what this singular being might be—for the antique is ridiculous, and if writing, not singular he appeared—and it was at length merely for the amusement, but the benefit gratified. Ile remained not long below, of others, why not fix on themes best cal- but, folding round him his cloak, which he culated to accomplish your object, both had partially thrown off, he ascended the from their modern date, as well as their ladder, and walked the deck : there I joined applicability to the present and common him, and soon found him to be a social affairs of life?”
and communicative person, above what his There was a spice of raillerie in my forbidding exterior would have indicated : friend's manner, of such original character, nay, there was a degree of vivacity about as conveyed correction, or something very him, an elasticity of spirit, which, like some like it, to my mind, of the folly of my ori- tuneful instrument, only required touching ginal purpose, much more effectually than to send forth cheerful notes. the most profound and logical disquisition By the time we had reached the pier could have done, although proceeding from head where we were to disembark, we found a more serious mentor, or pompous, sage ourselves old friends, having been schoolprofessor of casuistry. Perhaps," he fellows. We put up at the same inn, and, continued, “ your port-folio is exhausted; entering into free conversation, the way by if so, for once stoop to become my ama- which we had been led, and the providential nuensis, and, with your assistance, my rough interpositions we had experienced, in contale may at least become passable. Inection with our present views and future admit, indeed, my statements will be prospects, engaged us so fully, that hours second-hand; as, however, I received them had passed away before we were aware of from the mouth of the individual concerned, it. I had before learned that he had entered I can pledge myself for their correctness.” the ministry; and, adverting to the pleasure The necessary preparations having been which an individual must enjoy, of enlarged made, my friend began as follows :- mind and devoted spirit, who is so engaged,
A less number of years than that at when success attends his labours, he replied, which your tale commences, even after you with an animation I shall not soon forget, have removed the ciphers from it, have “Yes, sir, the delight is heavenly! the exalted passed, since my tour, with which you are views and holy triumph of the apostle, in acquainted, was performed. Leaving the reference to his ministerial character, are place in which I had taken up my abode strikingly beautiful, and strictly correct on the preceding night, at an early hour, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all I embarked on board a steamer, one not saints, is this grace given, that I should preach inferior either in size or accommodation to among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches many of which the metropolis of our own of Christ.”. But he had also to suffer as country boasts. On entering the cabin, I well as to enjoy, and the greater part of his found many who, like myself, were bound sufferings evidently arose from his official across the mighty waters. There was, as is calling-hence, referring to other ministers, usual in such conveyances, a medley of he inquires, Are they ministers of Christ ?personages, whose countenances, costumes, “I speak as a fool, I am more: in labours and conversations, furnished ample material more abundant, in stripes above measure, both for the pen of the satirist and the in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft, &c.” pencil of the painter. I had not long been —2 Cor. xi. 23—28. And now, as then, seated before an addition was made to our a thorn is sometimes given in the flesh, party, by the entrance of a person enveloped lest pride should exalt, and the condemnain a large travelling cloak. He bowed, and tion of the devil ensue. “Yes, sir," he silently took his seat immediately opposite continued, “even to the present day, the where I sat. I perceived on his counten- fact is experienced, the servant is not ance evident traces of sorrow, which gave to greater than his Lord. If I am not wearyhis dark complexion a thoughtful cast that ing you, a few words relative to myself will interested me. His eye was generally exemplify the statement I have made, and buried beneath a scowling brow, that was serve to act as a beacon to others, while it. however occasionally lit up by a fire which tendscircumstances struck out. A smile did but
• To assert eternal providence, seldom illume bis physiognomy, and, when
And justify the ways of God to man." it did, it was neither of pleasure nor of Having assured him he would oblige me scorn, but evidently of pity, occasioned by by the statement, he thus proceeded :the engagements or conversation of his “The call of friendship induced me, a fellow-travellers.
short time since, to take my place on board
a packet boat, in which I proceeded to the put up. There I deposited my luggage, Humber. The morning was raw and damp, and, as I had at least three hours upon my affording strong indications that one of those hands, according to the information I had depressing days would follow, which are received, before the packet would leave, I not unfrequent in our country in the month determined to avail 'myself of the opporof February. Immediately on getting on tunity to examine those parts of the town board, I hasted below to escape the chilling which I had not previously seen. I accord. haze, which fell thickly, and a piercing wind, ingly sallied forth, and, after viewing the which blew from the coldest point of the chief divisions, and fatiguing myself with compass. Neither the size nor nature of my ramble, returned to the pier a short time the accommodations afforded, nor the num- before the appointed hour, to inquire after ber or character of the passengers already my conveyance. You may better judge of on board, is necessary to be distinctly my perplexity than I can describe it, when stated. It is sufficient to observe, in re- I inform you, that the information I had ference to the former particular, they did received as to the time of leaving was innot in any sense rise above mediocrity, but correct. The vessel had sailed upwards of might perhaps fall some degrees below it; an hour already. There was now no poswhile, as to the other, nearly every sitting sibility of leaving Hull for the place of my place was occupied prior to my appearance. destination, until the following day: the The greater part of the passengers were resi- only resource left me, to preserve myself from dents in the town we were leaving, and, as that torment to an Englishman, ennui, was far as I can remember, were made up of a to endeavour to forget my disappointment, pretty equal proportion of the sexes; if, and reconcile myself to my circumstances. however, superiority in point of number Having rested my body awhile, and could be claimed, it was without question amused my mind with the occurrences of found on the feminine side.
the day, I walked round the spacious “I am an admirer of female eloquence, docks, and, with mingled emotions of aswhen properly managed, and like those who tonishment and national pride, gazed upon possess an ear for music, without any know, this comparatively small maritime rendezledge of the science, am frequently pleased vous, which seemed silently to proclaim to where I do not understand it: but when the the mind, the extent of commerce, and charms of a lady's speech descends to flippant means of wealth, with which our country is loquacity, it becomes both unpleasant and favoured. But a more exalted feeling offensive. Often have I experienced, that thrilled through my bosom, while I looked what I should decidedly have preferred, has upon a sight, honourable alike to the pious been the thing I have not possessed. So it of Hull, and the land of my birth-a place was at the period to which I now refer. For for prayer floating upon the waters, for the there was one, a smart, piquant, forward accommodation and welfare of those who Miss, who possessed the gift of utterance go down to the sea in ships ;' and, as I read most wonderfully, who could and did dis- with unutterable delight in ample characters, course with deafening volubility. I had "SEAMEN'S FLOATING CHAPEL,' I men. frequently heard, and doubt not have fre- tally exclaimed, “The abundance of the quently used the proverb, “ What cannot be sea shall be converted unto thee.' cured, must be endured.” I was now, as “From thence I again visited some of the indeed I often have been, called upon, not principal parts of the town, and, attracted to philosophize abstractedly upon it, but to by the pleasantry of a public auctioneer, I practise it philosophically. Four hours and entered his sale-room, purchased a few a half, or five hours, of such confinement, articles, and then basted to the inn at which appears almost an endless period. Yet it I intended to take up my night's abode. did end, and we reached in safety the an- Not wishing to mingle with an indiscient sea-port of Hull, and a most welcome criminate company who might visit the separation of companionship instantly took house, I cheerfully accepted the invitation place.
of the hostess to take a seat in what was “ My first inquiry on landing was, at evidently a species of sanctum sanctorum whal hour, and from what place, the steam to the place. I now took such refreshment vessel by which I was to proceed, departed. as was necessary, and then enjoyed, what On each of these interesting particulars, in. has always been grateful to me in an hour stant information was given, and, bearing on of relaxation, a gambol with a sweet child, my arm my travelling cloak, and in one the heir of mine host. So passed the evenhand my umbrella, and in the other a small ing, until at an early hour I retired to my portion of game, I entered the house of chamber to seekcall pointed out to me, at which passengers • Tir'd nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep.'