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accuses Modern Unitarians, with rather Sir, Clapton, July 3, 1817. regarding the vicious with pity than HAVE just had great pleasure inz indignation. Can any man otherwise reading Dr. Toulmin's edition of regard them, who believes that they Neal's History of the Puritans, and will suffer much more than they enjoy have sent you a note by the editor, as by their crimes, whatever be the ul- being particularly applicable to the timate result of such sufferings ? He present times. It refers to what Mr. who thus believes, must be ieve, that Neal very justly calls, the “ mad inhe who injures another, injures him- surrection" of Thomas Venner, and a self much more, and consequently is small number of enthusiasts, who ex. an object of the deepest compassion. pected “ a fifth universal monarchy He who would not suffer death, rather under the personal reign of King Jesus than inflict it, is not a practical Uni- upon earıh, and that the saints were tarian This was surely the doctrine to take the kingdom themselves.” of Priestley, and this is the doctrine of I take this opportunity to recomthe Rev. Dr. Smith, in his late work. mend the above work, more particuMen at their ease, with all their na- larly the notes of the late venerable tural wauts supplied, are apt to express and excellent editor, to your corregreat indignation at the conduct of spondent “ Au Old Unitarian"(p. 28-4); others, in opposite circumstances, but he will there see that Dr. T., though their circumstances being changed, an old, very pious, and I believe in miglit alter their feelings, and indig- every respect, most exemplary Unitanation might become pity. As vice rian minister, was as great a lover of, leads to misery, let it not be forgotten, and advocate for liberty, as any of the that it originates in misery. Pain, of Modern Unitarians. If a man may not oue sort or other, is the source of be a good Unitarian Christian, and yet all vice. No one who is happy, can a firm supporter of civil and religious voluntarily injure another. Dr. Smith freedom, we are of all sects the most justly resolves all vice, in its origin, to unfortunate; and I much wish that want, weakness and error. Can any your Correspondent had taken an one shew that this is false? It was a opportunity to recommend his own saying of Mr. Bradbury, who was not slavish principles, without bringing a Modern Unitarian, when he saw any such gross charges against those who one carried to execution, there should differ from him. Bradbury have been carried if it had
“ It plainly appeared on the exanot been for the grace of God; and mination of these insurgents, that they there was as much true pbilosophy, as had entered into no plot with any other religion in that saying.There is many conspirators. The whole transaction a man, who passes through life, in the was the unquestionable effect of the midst of enjoyments, all called imvo- religious frenzy of a few individuals. cent, with the full approbation of his Yet it was the origin of a national own mind, and a high character for burthen felt to this day. At the Coungoodness, as being free from malignity, cil, on the morning after the insurrecand, from his abundance, in a certain tion was quelled, the Duke of York degree beneficient. But let it uot be availed himself of the opportunity to forgotten, that all moral differences in push his arbitary measures. On the character, are resolvable into the de- pretext, that so extravagant an attempt gree of self-devial, voluntarily imposed could not have arisen from the rashby the individual for the good of others, ness of one man, but was the result of or a sense of duty. By this let every a plot formed by all the sectaries and man try himself! And then let him fanatics to overthrow the present goregard the vicious, with pity or with vernment, he moved · to suspend at indignation. Bad morals grow not such an alarming crisis, the disbanding from the Unitarian doctrine, and an of Geveral Mouk's regiment of foot, Old Unitarian, in this particular, brings which had the guard of Whitehall; an accusation, that is, perhaps, not and was, by order of Parliament, to disgraceful to his more Modern Bre- have been disbanded the next day. thren.
Through different causes the motion A, R. was adopted, and a letter was sent
to the king to request him to approve
and confirm the resolution of the Coun- &c. in their nature, degree of publicil, and to appoint the continuance of city, and other circumstances, seems a the regiment till further order. To waste of time and ink to shew: this this the king consented; and as the has been done by Campbell, in his rumours of fresh conspiracies were in- reply to Hume. dustriously kept up, those troops were The gross apprehension of the Mescontinued and augmented, and a way siah's character and office, was comwas prepared for the gradual establish- mon to the evangelists and to the more ment of a standing army, under the learned and enlightened Jews: this name of yurrds. This should be a argument against their competency memento to future ages, how they therefore fails to the ground. credit the reports of plots and con- These natural misconceptions, in spiracies thrown out by a minister, which the wisest scribes partook, canunless the evidence of their existence not affect their evidence as to what be brought forward. The cry of con- they saw and handled, if they were spiracies has beea frequently nothing honest men. more than the chimera of fear, or the That they were honest men, is proved invention of a wicked policy to carry by the very objection of your Correthe schemes of ambition and despot. spondent—that they were reproved by ism._Secret History of the Court and Jesus for their gross and temporal noReign of Charles II. Vol. I. p. 346-7. tions: for the knowledge that they Editor."-VolIV. p 320.
were so comes from their own candid T. 'H. JANSON. statement. P.S. Your Correspondent, Cautabri- If we believe the testimony of these giensis, (p. 346,] has fallen into a very honest men, we must believe that the general error, in attributing the stanzas facts which they relate were matters on Madame Lavalette's conjugal virtue, of notoriety. The apostles appealopenly to Lord Byron; they were written by to the senses and recollections of the a friend of mine, who is one of the people: “ Jesus of Nazareth, a man Society of Friends, and were sent by approved of God among you by mirahim to the Examiner, signed with his cles, wonders, and signs which God initials B. B. : it is curious that they did by him in the midst of you, as ye are placed in most of the editions of yourselves also know.” Lord Byron's Poems. B. B. once pub
('hristianity was promulgated by lished an anonymous volume under the preaching. The gospel histories were title of Metrical Effusions, with a De- successively composed amidst contemdicatory Sonnet to Mr. Roscoe, which poraries, who might have contradicted is, I believe, now out of print; and he their story. The records were read in is at this time publishing a quarto Christian societies as registers of pubvolume of Poems, of which a very licly received facts. limited number will be printed, price
Paul was not one of those who were One Guinea : if Cantab. or any of reproved for grossness of apprehenyour readers are desirous of seeing sion; he was a learned man, invested more of his poetry, I shall be happy with authority, prejudiced against the to forward any names to him as sub- Christians; yet he became a Christian scribers
and a zealous apostle.
Luke, his secretary, was not one of Sir,
March 26, 1817. the reproved historiaus ; yet Luke re[p. 96,) inquires, “why should striking with those which Matthew that degree of credit be extended to recorded, or which Peter dictated to the historiaus of Jesus, who, we kuow, Mark. were frequently reproved by him for In attestation of the facts thus their gross and inadequate apprehen- preached and thus recorded, the sion of the nature of the Messiah, and evangelists and apostles, and Jewish the quality of his dispensation, which and Gentile converts, braved shame, is withheld from all other historians” persecution and death. Is this com(with respect to supposed miracles) ? mon testimony?
That the miracles to which the Au indirect evidence to the miraevangelical historians bear witness, culous agency of Jesus is afforded by differ from the doubtful and supersti- the early corruption of his religion, tious tales of cures of the king's evil, which ascribes to him a superhuman
nature. The Gnostics, with their ce- the gospel laws of morality, because lestial pre-existent spirit and phantom they conceive them to have a divine humanity; the Cerinthians, with their sanction. They who question their incorporation of the celestial and hu- divine authority, are not so unanimous man natures; the ancient Platonizing in admitting their self-evident truth. fathers, with their incarnate second Some cavil at their want of philosoGod, bear witness to something ex- phical precision ; others at their just. traordinary, and out of the course of ness or fitness. Truth then is not its nature in the acts of Jesus. The own evidence. Jewish converts, familiar with the The writer's scepticism seems founded signs wrought of old by Moses and on an idea that the object of Christ's other prophets, and with the ascen- mission was to teach morals. The sion of Elijah, continued Unitarians Christian covenant was prepared from like the aposiles before them ; but the the very infancy of the world; anGentiles were ready to exclaim “ Deus, nounced by prophets; and hailed with Deus ille!" This is unaccountable on triumph by those who “saw the day the hypothesis of mere moral reforma- of Christ," which had been appointed tion; it is unaccountable on any other “ before Abraham was." What was theory, than that of actual signs and this day of Christ? What were these wonders performed through Jesus in prophecies, and wherefore this exultathe sight of men, by the finger of tion?_That a reformer was to arise ? God.
That a new system of morals was to Your Correspondent quotes Luke be promulgated ? Incredulus odi. ix. 49, as a proof that the power of Jesus, indeed, taught the love of God working cures was common to others, and man; but he taught more: he and was therefore no evidence of a di- confirmed the free pardon of “ his rect communication from God to Jesus. God and our God," his “ Father and The reference is unhappy. “ Master, our Father," on the condition of our we saw one casting out devils in thy ceasing to do evil and learning to do name.” It was on an appeal to the well." If he had not divine authority name of Jesus, accompanied, no doubt, for this joyful message, what is its with faith in him as the Christ, that value? Does it demand assent by God poured out his energy in the intrinsic truth and fitness ? Will such healing of lunacy.
an assurance, proceeding from a sage To call Newton a messenger from and benevolent moralist, supply a balm God, seems little better than playing to remorse, or an opiate to despair ?
What is meant by a But neither was this the grand obmessenger from God, is an immediate ject of Christ's mission. It is said, and extraordinary messenger: and the that Jesus taught none but natural only test of a divine commission is, doctrines. Is the resurrection of the a power to suspend the ordinary laws dead a natural doctrine ? of nature by the working of miracles. Jesus was sent to lay down his life
But it is asked, why such a super- that he might receive it again. He natural exertion of power should have was sent to revcal the stupendous been necessary? And it is urged, mystery that the grave should yield up that if the doctrines of Jesus were true, its dead. Was not a supernatural intruth is its own evidence, and needs no terference of Deity necessary for such proof. This position is contradicted an object as this? But, it may be said, by all human experience. Mankind we knew that the soul was immortal; are not disposed to embrace truth. In Plato knew it; Deists recognise it: on despite of philosophy, they are not what proof? All the phenomena of even agreed as to " what is truth." our nature are against it. The na
If Jesus be only a moralist and re- tural immortality of the soul the very former, raised up, like Socrates, in the existence of a soul at all independent ordinary course of God's providence, of the corporeal organization of man, what is to render his precepts obliga. is mere hypothesis : it rests on contory? They who acknowledge the jectural philosophy; it stands on heasuperoatural character of his mission, then inventions; it is disowned by however they may differ as to its de- Scripture. “ Dust thou art, and sign, or as to the person of the mes- unto dust shalt thou return :" but senger, agree in their submission to “ the dead shall be raised incorrupti
ble, and we shall be changed." This see also many depraved characters of is the Bible immortality, and this Jesus whose possible correction and amend. revealed. How could he reveal it, but ment there is a moral certainty, were from direct intercourse with God? occasion allowed and proper means How could it be proved, but by his applied: yet they are cut off from life. own resurrection ?
There is in fact no character so de. If the evidence for the resurrection praved, as that a philosopher would be of Jesus be true, we must accept the hardy enough to pronounce the depraevidence for Jesus himself having also vity incurable. Is it credible that our raised the dead by the power of God Maker, who saw us before we were directly imparted to him. If it be formed in the womb, would deny his not true, we shall lie in the grave; creatures those means of amelioration death is an eternal sleep; and immor- hereafter, which the circumstances in tality the dream of poets and the ro- which they were placed denied them mance of philosophers.
here? If Jesus were “ the best and wisest But is not the justice of the Creator, of men," it must be believed that he no less than his beuevolence, imhad direct communication with God, peached, by either hypothesis of eterfor he himself declares so. If he de- nal conscious pain, or lingering anniclared so falsely, he was an impostor; hilation? Man is the work of God's and although he might be the wisest, hands. In creating him, he foresaw he could not be the best of men. The that he would err; yet he created him. ascribing the cures of Christ to any In foreseeing the existence of moral other means than supernatural agency, evil he therefore willed it. Even on whether magical, as with the ancient the ignorant supposition of a personal sceptics, or medical, as with the mo evil being, derived from the allegorical dern, constitutes the blasphemy against language of Scripture, moral evil could the holy spirit.
only exist by God's permission; and C. A. E. this is equivalent to his will. Isaiah,
however, speaks of God from authority,
as the creator of evil as well as good CONSTANT READER,” (p. in the mysterious, but beneficent dis
TANTApril 21, 1897;
101,] does not seem aware, pensations of his providence. “ I make that vengeance, as it respects God, peace and create evil: I, the Lord, can only be used ju accommodation to do all these things." xlv. 7. May we human speech and comprehension; not then, with reverence and humility, so resentment, repentance, and many inquire, whether it is just to have other terms. As to his question, “ are created man in the first instance liable not all punishments vindictive?" I to error ? Or, in the second, to conanswer decidedly, no.—Does a father sider him, when erring, as an object of punish his children from a spirit of vengeance? Is the justiceof the Creator vengeance? Such a father is account reconcileable either with the theory able for this indulgence of his evil pas- of everlasting misery, or of painful sions. A good father punishes to re- destruction ? form, God is said to pity us,
From abstract reasoning we are, father pitieth his own children." however, referred to Seripture. The Eternal torment, as“Constant Reader" passages and terms referred to, are by acknowleges, does not consist with the no means conclusive; they are at most attribute of benevolence: but neither ambiguous. The original word for could annihilation answer any other torment and punishment, means in its end but that of vengeance, and venge- primitive sense, a touch-stone; and imance is inconsistent with the character plies therefore question, search, corof a father.
rective suffering As to the word The dealings of Providence with rendered everlasting, it is limited or respect to criminals in this life, and extended by the word in connexion the peculiarities of human character with it, and is sometimes used in the strengthen the probability that fu- same sentence to designate measured ture punishment is remedial. Such and infinite duration : the punishment is the tendency of all the penal con- may therefore be for a period of ages, sequences attached to vice and im- the life for ages without end. As to morality in the present world. We the “second death," a phrase which,
it must be observed, cannot by any dispersed tribes of Israel may prefigure be made to express an eternity figure the restitution of the reformed of living torment, it does certainly wicked. seem to justify the doctrine of extinction of being: but to make the parallel Principles of Government. complete, as the first death is followed [In these times of political deby a resurrection, so should the second generacy, we esteem it a duty to use death be followed by restitution to our influence to awakeni men's minds life.
to the true principles of government, “ The worm that dieth not, and the and therefore insert the following adfire that is not quenched," do not ne- mirable passage from Stonehouse's cessarily imply either eternal conscious series of Letters, entitled, Universal torment, or lingering anvibilation. Restitution further Defended, printed This allusion to the cast out carcases at Bristol, in 1768, Let. VII. It conof malefactors, and to the fire in the tains a compendium of Mr. Locke's valley of Hinnom, for the consuming Treatise on Government. The author refuse of the city of Jerusalem, may is replying to an argument for the imply that the instruments of salutary necessity of the doctrine of reprobawrath will not cease their agency, till tion from the destination of the mighty their purpose be effected: and this pur- men who are doomed in the book of pose may be, not the destruction of the Revelation to be mightily tormented. being of the wicked, but only of their
Ep.) sinful patures. The declaration of TOW as to the expression mighty Jesus, “ every one shall be salted with
we shall fix its import fire," seems to contain a reference to upon this very principle, as follows, purifying chastisement.
i Cor. xi. 3, “ Christ is the head of The parable of the adversary (a every man;" but, whereas men are plaintiff) dragging the debtor before fallen or apostate creatures, and therethe judge, by whom he is cast into fore subject to vicious appetites and prison, may illustrate this question. passions, which will prompt them to It is said, “Verily, thou shalt not come fall foul on, and oppress each other; out thence, till thou hast paid the their Lord has authorized them to uttermost farthing.” I cannot regard form themselves into societies, or asthis parable as conveying only a rule sociations, for their mutual protection of life, or a lesson of worldly prudence. from injuries foreign and domestic : It seems to me an evident allegory of and the men chosen of them, and conour relatiovs with God: and the ad-stituted from among their brethren versary at law is the emblematic evil to be administers to this their proone, or sin, who is represented as tection, are called mighty: they are having a suit against us at the bar of mighty in that they are supported by the Almighty Judge. If this be so, the united force of the whole society, the final restitution is at once proved. occasionally contributed, with a view
If this interpretation be rejected, we to preserve to the society, who are may still contend that if definite pu- their constituents, the free use of their nishment be not absolutely expressed in rights, liberties, and prerogatives, Scripture, it may be inferred from it. and the uninterrupted enjoyment of God's mercy is said “ to endure for the products of their labours. And I ever;" he is said “ not to keep his dare assert, that in this appointment, anger for ever:” he is said " in judg. they are justly and innocently mighty. ment to remeniber mercy:" and finally, But you object, that the mighty men it is said, that “ God is love." These of whom I speak are invested with their declarations cannot be true, if eternal authority from God: and that these torment be true: but can they be are so, is also true. It being insisted true, even on the mitigated hypothesis upon by us that every people and of destruction ?
nation, even all whom the blood of • It is well observed, by Hartley, Christ has purchased, are Christ's that the Jewish nation appears to be absolute property, and to be cona type of the general human race, sidered as his vassals or peculium; With the Jews the angry visitations and that this vassalage is not partial, of Providence are clearly remedial. but, by the exactest law of justice, The prophesied restoration of the absolute, unlimited, and without ex