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- But the whole business about the expression future state, is most egregious trifling. What did Erasmus mean by the expression, “How completely does this doctrine confound all our notions of a future state ?» Did he mean the nature of the future life? Did he mean our notions of such things, as the visions and revelations given to Paul ? No. What then does he mean? Let us ask himself; for there is no shuffling with this writer. His very next sentence tells us what he means by the expres. sion, our notions of a future state. “As it would be absurd,' says Erasmus, “to call this a state of trial, it would be equally so to call the world to come a scene of retribution, &c. Is it not obvious to every candid mind, that the feature of a future state to which Erasmus refers, is retribution according to works? He speaks of the doctrine of retribution, not of the nature of it.
The observation which the Student makes respecting the “inability of man to conceive any thing, in this world, of the nature' of a future state, is nothing whatever to the purpose. He shifts the question from a knowledge of a future state to a knowledge of the nature of a future state.
. I was greatly amused, Mr. Editor, in reading the Student's remarks on my expression, “Do we know any thing of the human mind?” Allow me to inform him, that “every,” not "any," was the word in my manuscript. My questiou was, “ Do we know every thing of the human mind,” by which I meant to argue, that there is something about the human mind that we do not know from itself. I am not sorry, however, that the Student got something to give him a temporary relief; but he must surely have felt himself in a desperate situatior, when he found it necessary to take advantage of this error of the press; for the very second paragraph of my letter might have sufficed to show him that it was a mistake. I beg to add that I wrote “was,” not “were," in the sentence good-na. turedly connected by my friend the Student; and I may here take the opportunity of correcting another typographical error in the following sentence in page 89 of my first leter: “Erasmus did not say, that Locke adopted any part of Plato's doctrine concerning ideas." The word “any'' should here also be every.”
The author alleges that I have mistaken his second remark. It is this: "We should never reason from the future to the present or the past; or, in other words, we should never bring our notion of the world to come to determine, or even, in the slightest degree, to affect questions relating to the present world.” Now I stand" to my charge. I refuse to admit the explanation, . - First, the language employed admits of no such limitation as the author of it has given in his reply. Secondly, the assertion of Erasmus, to which the remark of the Student is a reply, shows that I have not mistaken the * meaning. Either the Student means what I take out of his words, or he' has not met his aptagonist. Thirdly, even in his explanation the Student betrays the same pernicious sentiment. Does he not assert, that the Scriptures ought not to be alleged in proof of the truth or falsehood of a philosophical doctrine? If so, the grossest error that pretends a philosophical origin, is not to be put down by the word of God. Does not this fix the Student's meaning in his second remark? So, Mr. Student, you shall not slip out of my hands by neological explanations.
On the doctrine exbibited in this explanation, there is much ground for remark. The more so, because the dangerous principle on which it is founded, has hitherto been suffered to operate in seats of science, to the . injury of Students of Moral Philosophy. Theories and doctrines under the name of the science of mind, have subverted the Gospel of Christ. Theology, overawed by the imposing air of metaphysical wisdom, has generally stooped to explanations. Her voice, her manner, her gait, manifest an affected imitation of the singularities and crooked neck of Alexander. Even Orthodoxy herself has looked on, without interfering; as if she could not crush the reptile, without unlawfully invading the province of another. I am glad to find that she is beginning to see the proper extept of her own province, and that it is lawful to pursue the King's enemies wherever they take shelter. I refer to an excellent paper on this subject, in a late Number of thc Covenanter. My time and my space will not allow me to enter on the discussion of the question here; I merely throw out a hint to the Ministers and the people of all denominations of Dissenters in this country, that they may take the matter into their most serious consideration. I shal!, however, take a glance at the Student on one or two points. He tells us with all the parade of capitals, that all statements are to be tried BY THEIR OWN PROPER EVIDENCE. What is this to the purpose? Does it mean that a philosophical doctrine is to be received, though contrary to Scripture? If this is not the meaning, the remark has no bearing on the question. Now in a man that professes to believe the Scriptures, does not this imply, that a thing may be philosophically true, and scripturally false; and scripturally true, and philosophically false? On the contrary, that Scripture, being inspired, is not to dictate to pliilosophy, is a position as unphilosophical as it is blasphemous and unscriptural. If the Scriptures are a revelation from God, whatever is contrary to them must be false.. What the subjects are to which their tes. timony extends, is not to be settled by the mutual concession of philosophers and theologians. THEIR TESTIMONY MUST BE RECEIVED IN EVIDENCE, ON ALL POINTS ON WHICH THEY GIVE THEIR TESTIMONY. Forget not, Mr. Editor, to have the whole last sentence printed in capitals; for I am determined that the Student shall not have an advantage over me in any strength that the press can give to my arguments. .
But the Student may exclaim, can any thing be more reasonable than that every statement should be tried by its own proper evidence ? Granted. But what is the proper evidence of any statement ? Every thing that can be brought fairly to bear on the subject. If philosophy says she las something to allege against the statements of Scripture, I will hear her.. I will admit all her self-evident truths, and all her facts. But if she pretends to deduce from these any thing contrary to Scripture, I will tell her she must be mistaken; for that the God of nature cannot contradict the God of revelation. If Scripture is the word of God, it cannot be contradicted by evidence of any kind. Pbilosophists may indeed allege the testimony of philosophy, when it is their own misinterpretation of her language. On the other hand, if the truth of Scripture is admitted, it is a contradiction in terms to suppose that any thing contrary to Scripture can be true. The Student thinks that he has made a line of demarcation between the contending parties, which will keep them from quarrelling, by keeping them from meeting. I undertake to keep them at peace, on the ground that there cannot be any real contradiction in their testimony. Their ignoraut interpreters may differ ; but the heavenly messengers themselves have no variance. .
“The divine," says the Student..“will not allow the philosopher to dictate what is to be received, or what is to be rejected, of the Scriptures,”
&c. If it is granted by the philosopher, that the Scriptures are a revelation from God, it is an absurdity to speak of what is to be received, or what is to be rejected. But if the philosopher is an infidel, the divine must allow him to bring every argument against the truth of the Scriptures, tbat any source of evidence can fairly afford. What is the proper evidence of Scripture ? Every thing that can be brought to bear on the
“It is perfectly obvious to me,” says the Student, “that till this principle be mutually conceded, both by the divine and the philosopher, a war must be waged between them,”.&c, Does not this suppose that there is a real contradiction between the revelation of God in his works, and the revelation in his word? If not, the way to peace is to sturly the testimony better on both sides, assured that the contradiction is only in the ignorance of the interpreters. The author's sentiment is a pure absurdity. It implies, that two witnesses may tell the truth, yet contradict each other.
The explanation which the Student has given of the offensive terms which he used, with respect to the Synod of Ulster, I regard as a specimen of gross dishonesty. No man of honour would attempt to take himself off on such grounds; and I am certainly not the defender of any Minister of the Synod who can receive the apology he has made. Let any one just read the language in which the Student, in several piaces of his Review, speaks of the clergy, and say if it is possible to understand it in a sense agreeable to his explanation. If you will conciliate the Ministers of the Synod, Mr. Student, you must recant, not explain. .
And the catechism too-aye, the catechism is an incomparable cate. chism! Many after this will be ready to give me credit for having made the Student more Orthodox than they expected. Does he, however, in his praise of this book, make any reference to its distinguishing doctrines ? Read what he has said of it, and recollect about the tràcts' manner, not matter. Now when I praised the catechism, every one must have seen it was because of its exhibition of the “peculiar doctrines of the Gospel,” Is it honest, then, in the Student to express an agreement with me on this point, when we are not speaking on the same subject ?
In my justification of Erasmus, the Student represents me as making certain expressions "equivalent to certain others. Look again, Mr. Student. I have not said that the one expression is equivalent to the other. Without justifying or condemning the expression, I spoke only as to the author's meaning. In this I will appeal to Erasmus himself, and every candid interpreter of his language, He speaks also of my making a “difference between ideas and their attributes.” Has he not already received a sufficient lesson from me about Plato's ideas? Plato's ideas had attributes as truly as the Student's soul. Were they not eternal and immutable ?
Has not the Student virtually recognized me as victor, by omitting the chief måtter of his ground of attack on Erasmus? Does he not stand convicted of gross ignorance of the opinions of Plato, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Reid, -or of gross misrepresentation ? On these points he has not dared to look me in the face. With respect to what he has noticed, has he been able to parry any one of my thrusts ? I have lowered his tone, and obliged him to explain—and such explanations !! A single sentence I have not been obliged to retract, alter, modify, or explain. I have now dissected the Student, and, lo, the phenomenon! 1 have found that he has no brains.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.
A LOVER OF TRUE Philosophy. [The above has been abridged to the extent of more than two pages. We are sensible of the injustice thus done to the author; but the distaste of our readers for Metaphysics obliged us to insist on it.-Edit.]
A Synopsis of the Scripture Proofs of The Trinity; with
a Reply, to the objections against that Doctrine, contained in Sermons by the Rev. Joan MITCHELL, of Newry, by the Rev. DANIEL BAGOT, A.B. Chaplain of St. Patrick's.
Church, Newry, p. p. 175. We owe an apology (and we regret that we owe it so long) to Mr. Bagot, for our apparent neglect of his valu. able work.
Mr. Bagot commences with a definition and demonstra. tion of the doctrine of the Trinity, from which we make a brief selection.
" The doctrine of the Trinity (or Tri-unity) is this, that the Scriptures reveal to us one BEING as the Supreme God, and that this Divine Being subsists in a plurality of PERSONS, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
“To demonstrate this doctrine it will be necessary to establish the following propositions :
“1. That there is but one God.
“3. That there are three Persons mentioned in Scripture, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, to whom this plurality is confined.
“4. That the essential attributes of Supreme Deity are ascribed to these three persons, in consequence of which we must believe the Supreme , Deity of each.
“And 5. That we believe the Deity of each person in consistency with the unity of the Divine Being; or that, in other words, we believe the doctrine of the Trinity. “We shall endeavour to prove each of these propositions in order.
“1. THERE IS BUT ONE GOD. “ Deut. vi. 4, “The Lord our God is one Lord,' “ II. THERE IS A PLURALITY IN THE DIVINE NATURE.
“ Gen. i. 26, “And God said, let us make.' Isaiah, vi. 8, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us.' “IV. THE ESSENTIAL ATTRIBUTES OF SUPREME DEITY ARE
ASCRIBED TO THESE THREE PERSONS, IN CONSEQUENCE
of Supreme Deity are ascribed to the Father, for the Deity of the Father is admitted by all Christians.
“ (2.) The essential attributes of Supreme Deity are ascribed to the Son in the following passages :
« The TITLES
“ In John, i. 1, "God.' Romans, ix. 5, “Over all God, blessed for evermore. Titus, ii. 13, “The great God.' I. John, y. 20, “The true God.'
“ETERNAL EXISTENCE is ascribed to Christ, in Heb. xiii. 8, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.' Rev. i. 17, 'First and last.' Rev. i. 8, “The Almighty.'
"Math. xviii. 20, Where two or three are gatlvered together, there am I in the midst of them. Math. xxviii. 20, 'Lo, I am with you al. ways.' Eph. i. 23, 'Filleth all in all.'
ic The Worship peculiar to Supreme Deity is referred to Christ, John, v. 23, “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father,' Heb, i. 6, 'Let all the Angels of God worship him.'
“The Supreme Deity of Christ is also indefinitely implied in the following passages, viz. :
“ John, x. 30, I and my Father are one.' “Coll. ii. 9, "In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.'
“ Phil. ii. 6, “Being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God.'
(3.) The essential attributes of Supreme Deity are ascribed to the HOLY Ghost in the following passages :
“John, i. 13, ‘Believers are said to be “born of God." j. 5 8 , They are said to be born of the Spirit.'
« In Acts, v. 3, he is said to be God against whom Ananias lied (see verse 4.)
“In I. Cor. iii. 16, he is said to be God whose temple believers are. , “ IMMENSITY and Omnipresence are ascribed to the Holy Ghost, in “Psalm, cxxxix. 7, Whither shall I go from thy Spirit,'' &c.
ETERNITY is ascribed to the Holy Ghost, in Heb. ix. 14, The Eter. nal Spirit.'
OMNISCIENCE is ascribed to the Holy Ghost, in I. Cor. ii. 19, “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
“He is united with the Father and the Son in the baptismal form (Math. xxviii. 19.) and in the apostolic benedictions (II. Cor. xiii. 14.)"
“We would now.conclude this selection of evidence by collecting it into one general argument, viz. :
“The only way by which we can ascertain the God of the Bible is by that revelation of the titles, attributes, works and honors of Deity which the Bible presents, and therefore he must be God with whose person these characteristics of Deity are associated : but as we have shown that they are ascribed to three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, the conclusion is evident, that we must consider each of these persons as truly God.”
Mr. Bagot next proceeds to examine, with care, Mr., Mitchell's several objections, and then to refute them in succession. This he has effected with candour of state. ment and cogency of argument. We could wish, however, that Mr. Bagot had answered sermons by sermons.