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Scriptural Examination of Original Sin. cause him to suffer more than is out of the Scriptures, he told them necessary and salutary.' “ His days that “ forasmuch as we are the offare determined, the number of his spring of God in whom we live, move, months are with thee, thou hast ap- and have our being, we ought not to pointed his bounds that he cannot think that the Godhead is like unto pass, turn from him that he may gold or silver, or stone graven by art, accomplish as an hireling his day" and men's device, that God overlooked Corrupt nature, he replied, is produced the times of ignorance but now comby natural generation, for all men mandeth all men every where to existed in Adam, and all fell in him. repent.”. I thought that if some had So then, may it please your reverence, preached to these Heathen they wonld moral evil is propagated, like the king's have begun with the total deprarity of evil. I thought a fame nourished by human nature, as the cause of all fætid oil, and glimmering in a dirty their idolatry and vices; that they lamp, might kindle a thousand gems would have shewn them the need of a of light, as pure as the flame of an Saviour by teaching their utter helpaltar produced by the lightning of lessness as dead sinners; that they heaven. I had no conception before would have taught them that they had that moral qualities were animal secre no hearts to understand and obey the tions. I read the four Gospels, not a gospel; and that therefore it was in word nor a hint did I find in them to vain to preach it to them, that such countenance this strange opinion of sinners have no business with it, and corrupt nature, but much, completely that in consequence (the consistency to destroy it. Man is addressed there of these people is complete) they have as a free moral agent, and as no Christ to offer them. accountable being ; his reason and Others more inconsistently would conscience are addressed, his sins are teach them the universal corruption of laid at the door of his inclinations, nature by the fall, and yet spur on “Why do ye not of yourselves judge these dead sinners to faith, repentance, that which is right;"
and all the moral duties enjoined by darkness rather than light, because Jesus Christ; that, instead of God's their deeds are evil;" " ye will not “winking at" (overlooking) the ig. come to me;" “every one that doeth norance of these idolaters in times evil hateth the light neither cometh to past, they were all born so ignorant the light, lest his deeds should be re- and sottishly opposed to the true God, proved, but he that doeth truth as to be by nature not the objects of cometh to the light, that his deeds his forbearance but of his abhorrence! may be made manifest that they are that it was yet their duty to love this wrought in God.”. “The hour is God, and to serve him perfectly, coming when all that are in their which as they neither could, nor graves shall hear the voice of Jesus would do, they must perish everlast Christ, and shall come forth, they ingly; yet if they believed and did that have done good unto the resur- what they by nature could not believe rection of life, and they that have and do, they might be saved; that done evil to the resurrection of dam- somehow or other there is a natural nation." “ If thou wilt enter into ability, and a moral inability, both life, keep the commandments.” Thus arising out of nature as it now is, but our Lord taught, nor could I reconcile that his moral inability is total, and these truths with the unaccountable universal, completely preventing all doctrine of radical, total, universal, men from taking a step in the narrow moral corruption. I examined the road that leads to life; that even the Book of Acts: there I saw nothing will and choice are by nature wholly about the fall of man, nothing about blind, and corrupt, so that no man corrupt nature, though I read much can choose what is good, though his of the wickedness of the world, of the judgment may perceive it. I thought sin of idolatry, many exhorlations to if Paul had believed all this he would faith and repentance, and the practice not have preached as he is recorded to of righteousness. I heard Paul ad- have done. dressing the reason and consciences of I now proceeded to examine the his hearers, at Lycaonia, at Athens, apostolic writings: I read in Paul's at Ephesus, " at Jerusalem, and at Epistles an awful description of the Rome. Yes, he reasoned with them state of the world, at the time of our
On Mr. Rutt's Edition of Priestley's Works.
521 Lord's appearance, but I did not see God and righteousness. I thought that he complained of nature but of the of that passage in Jer. xiii. 23—" Can abuse of it. 'He tells us that when men the Ethiopian change his skin, or the knew God, they glorified him not as leopard his spots ? then may ye also God neither were thankful. He taught do well that are accustomed to do that all had sinned, and all needed mer- evil." I knew that the first man was cy: he shews to what an extent vice the first sinner, and that death entered prevailed among the idolatrous Gentiles, by sin. I doubted not that many and superstitious and bigoted Jews. became or were made singers by this He says nevertheless, that "man is man's disobedience, that his posterity the image and glory of God." i Cor. were exposed to a thousand natural xi. 7. He tells us that glory, honour evils, and consequently temptations to and peace shall be to every man that the commission of moral evil, which worketh good, that when the Gentiles would never have existed had Adam who have not the law do by nature the never transgressed. I saw that men things contained in the low, these were naturally prone to wander from having not the law are a law unto God; the conduct of our first parents themselves, their consciences also proved that they were; therefore I was bearing witness, and their thoughts the less astonished at the abounding the mean while accusing or else ex wickedness and folly of mankind. cusing one another : and I thought “ Lo, this only have I found, that that these facts were wholly, subver- God hath made man upright; but sive of the doctrine of original, univer- they have sought out many invensal and total depravity. I read of the tions." Eccles. vii. 29. I read through reconciliation of sinners to God, of the the Epistles, but I could find nothing carnal mind, of the works of the flesh, in them to countenance the doctrine and of men dead in trespasses and of a nature universally, totally, and sins, and that in this state the people radically corrupt. Nothing in Paul, at Ephesus, and the Jews among the nothing in Peter, James and John, rest, were by nature the children of not omitting Jude. wrath even as others in similar cir. I wondered with great astonishment! cumstances: I was certain that a man Where could this doctrine originate? I destitute of revealed religion, and one thought it began in the synagogue, whose morals had been neglected, that it was a refinement upon the Brawould grow up, a savage, a victim to minical doctrine of the metem psychosis: numberless evil passions, and I was I suspected that the apostles were not surprised to hear Paul describing tainted with this error till better taught the condition of the Jews as not being by Jesus Christ, or why did they ask much better than that of the Gentiles that strange question John ix. 2. I “ fulfilling the desires of the flesh and traced it to africa, to Europe, to the of the mind,” for I had read their Vatican, to Lambeth Palace, to the history, and did not doubt that a state convocation, to the synod ;-I saw of uncultivated nature would produce original sin approaching me in the this evil fruit : I saw an instance of it habit of the holy office, an inquisitor in Adam, I read of sin entering into of the order of St. Dominic, I bowed the world by one man and death by not, but I thought it high time to sin, and that by one man's dis- retire.
SIGMA. obedience many were made sinners. I knew that ihe carnal mind was SIR,
August 12, 1816. enmity against God: I had seen and
U PONY perusing with usual interest felt it to be so; I had suffered by it, and I thought that if men were less Repository, I was sensibly affected by carnally minded, they would not be the indirect information contained in so ready to find excuses for their sins, page 386, (and the more official intelbe more humble before God, and not ligence page 392), that the proposal of plead their nature as an hardened cri- Mr. Ruit for a New Edition of Dr. minal pleads an alili. I thought that Priestley's Theological Works is lanthis would be but a poor excuse at guishing for want of sufficient support the day of judgment: I knew that froin the Unitarian public. Allow me where bad habits and the love of sin to state that when I first became acgoverned the heart, men were dead to quainted with the proposal, by means
On Mt. Ruli's Edition of Priestley's Works. of the Repository, I experienced the theology, but are aware how much they genuine pleasure which results from are indebted to Dr. Priestley for the the contemplation of the noble and present improved principles of theolodignified character of Dr. Priestley, gical education; and lastly, the sons of and the probability that by this addi- our respectable laymen, many of whom, tional means the world would become I doubt not, have the cause of rational still better acquainted with his excel- religion at heart, and who are froin lencies, and still more enlightened by time to time collecting those books by his serious and sagacious investigation which they will store their minds with into true religion. From that period the most valuable materials for future to the present I have had little oppor- reflection, and meditation. tunity of learning what progress might With respect to the first class, many be made towards the accomplishment have Dr. Priestley's Works already in of the design, except by the occasional their possession; and though probably hints which have been given in the a fair proportion of the hundred sub Repository. Confiding in the high scribers which have hitherto been prosense which is so generally and de- cured, are from this class, yet it is not servedly maintained among us of Dr. perhaps from them that the prosecution Priestley's religious and theological of the object may be expected. The character, I had continued to cherish second class have probably nearly all the the expectation that the plan would Theological and Miscellaneous Works ere long be in actual preparation, and of Dr. Priestley in their present colhad on various occasions contributed, lection, and as a superfluity of money I venture to say, to excite the interest can seldom fall to their lot, their perI felt myself in the minds of others. sonal contribution would hardly seLet it not be supposed that I am in- cure the plan under consideration. The duced to occupy your present attention third class, or young ministers, no doubt by the selfish feeling of disappointment feel peculiar interest in the object under in my individual and anxious hope. I consideration ; but of these, the greater have no doubt whatever that the in- proportion, having it may be but rcformation which your last Number cenily surmounted the difficulties of contained has produced similar regret an expensive education, however they in the breasts of many of your readers; could wish it, are not in a condition to and whether they adopt the same plan spare the ten or eleven guineas out of as myself, are ready to pronounce sen their scanty salaries. The object detence upon that indifference to which volves then pretty much upon the fourth alone the possible failure of such an class, consisting of the sons of respecte object among us can be owing. Happy able and wealthy laymen, to whom should I be if by any thing which I the expense, divided probably into two can offer, in conjunction with the ap- or three years, can be no hinderance propriate suggestions of your worthy whatever, and who would by their asCorrespondent in your last Number, sistance, have a most excellent oppor. such feelings may be inspired into the tunity of testifying their concern for breasts of our young laymen, as may the ligious welfare of their fellow place the projected plan beyond the men. This appeal is not made to probability of failure.
those young men, who, attracted by There are four classes of persons to the false glare of fashion, are, to the whom we might appeal for assistance unspeakable regret of their families, in in the publication of the new edition danger of forsaking those principles and of Dr. Priestley's Works. The respect- that cause, which their fathers after able laymen in our connexion, who duly much patient investigation, and serere prize the importance of rational in- sacrifices of family consideration, have formation on religious subjects; the nobly supported : such can hardly be ministers of some standing, who have had expected to lend their helping hand to much experience in the prevalent opi- the cause of virtue and truth the apnion, and have learned duly to estimate peal is more to the truly interesting these Works, which have been so (and it is hoped numerous) class of great a means in the hands of Provi- young persons, who, blessed with the dence of contributing to the reforma means of benevolent exertion and with tion which is going on; the young the inestimable blessing of a liberal ministers, who have been taught indeed education, have conceived a deep inteto make the Bible their chief book of rest in the religion of Jesus, soberly and
On Mr. Rutt's Edition of Priestley's Works.
529 rationally explained—who have derived rather of the nature of ingenious confrom the perusal of the Bible, and the jecture, than of sound and mature inworks which are calculated to illustrate vestigation? And would it be advisable, and authenticate its contents, the utmost when the Christian world is so extenimprovement and delight, and who have sively combined in warfare against our resolved to devote a part of their leisure little (but daily increasing) band, to time in extending their acquaintance place in their way any of those parts with such productions :-to these the of the Doctor's writings, which may appeal is made in favour of the pro- have already afforded occasion for our posed edition of Dr. Priestley's Works, opponents to cavil?. If the objection and it is ardently hoped it will not be had not been actually made, it would made in rain.
not have been deemed deserving of Two or three trivial objections have consideration in this connexion. Your been made to the Proposal in the course 'present Correspondent, Sir, has learned of my conversation ; and as these may too highly to prize Dr. Priestley's excelpossibly prevent some of your readers lencies both of heart and head, to enfrom yielding to the natural impulse tertain any apprehensions of the general of generous feeling, it may be well to effect that would arise from a perusa! bestow upon each a passing considera- of his works. Let a man of ordinary tion.
understanding do this with candous 1. There may be and probably are and seriousness, and I pronounce is some copies of the larger Theological impossible that he should rise from the Works on hand; but this is no real employment without being a much objection to the proposed edition. wiser and better man than he was beThis must have been the case with fore. The state of the case is indeed Dr. Lardner's Works, which consist this: occasion has been taken to revile almost entirely of two or three prin- Dr. Priestley's character, and to shudder cipal works; and yet happily for the at the thought of giving him a place in celebrity of that useful critic, and for company with others of considerable the progress of theological science in name, (but in reality vastly inferior to general, this was considered no suffi- bim*), from a very partial acquaintance cient obstacle to Dr. Kippis's edition. with his writings, and the unjustifiable The fact is, that a great proportion of selection (according to the too common the eighteen volumes which it is com- practice of orthodox men) of a few puted Dr. Priestley's Works will oc- passages out of their connection, upon cupy, would be made up of the smaller which they found their erroneous and publications, many of which are little unjust conclusions. Present the whole if any thing inferior in importance to of the Doctor's gigantic labours in mothe larger works ; and many of these rals and religion before the eyes of the are almost inaccessible :—this is parti- discerning public, and no other refutacularly the case with one of the most tion will be needed of the vile clamours valuable, " The Letters to a Philoso- so industriously circulated. The candid phical Unbeliever.” The consequence will be struck with the piety and intelof the new edition will be a reduction ligence evinced in his numerous proin the price of the former ones, which ductions; the bigot will be sufliised will thus become accessible to that in- with shame from a comparison of his teresting class of the community-men own littleness; and the fair fame of who, amid the daily toils for their sub- Priestley burst from the ignoble chains sistence, find time to ruminate on the in which she is at present confined, grand truths of religion, and whose and soar aloft amidst the general shoni minds are often more enlightened on of admiration and gratitude. these subjects, than many of those who are favoured with a higher place in the scale of society. Every suitable exertion
* “ Who, that was not bent on giving should certainly be made to secure the his system popularity and eclat, would ever efforts of such' persons who labour to
have thought of classing together in the
same theological list the names of Dr. Isaac convey to those of their own rank a knowledge of the truth as it is in there existed two men antipodes in religious
Watts and Dr. Joseph Priestley? Have Jesus.
sentiment and religious feeling, these are 2. Are there not some of Dr. Priest- the two."-W'ardlaw's Unitarianism istley's theological writings which partake capable of V'indication.
Singular Account of the Gipsies. The only remaining objection that
The Gipsies. I know of, arises from the depression (From the Liverpool Freeman ; or Weekly to which trade is at present subject.
Magazine. Price 6d. No. 6. Aug 6, If the appeal in this letter had been 1816.) made to the lower classes of the com F late years some attempts have munity, it is admitted the objection would have had its force. If it had or at any rate to civilize the habits, of been made solely to our layınen of easy that vagabond and useless race, the fortunes, but who have themselves fa Gipsies. In pursuance of such pur. milies to provide for, and whose bene- pose, a society of gentlemen have been volent hearts deeply commiserate the making all ihe preliminary inquiries sad condition of the poor around them, requisite to a proper understanding of there would still perhaps be some ap
the subject. A series of questions pearance of reason :--but the appeal is
have been proposed to competent made, as before stated, to the young persons in the different counties of men of fortune either in or out of trade England and Scotland; and answers who have yet little of the cares of the have been received. Our readers will, world, who have just passed through we think, be amused with the followtheir elementary education, whose ing specimen of these answers :minds are deeply impressed with the 1. All Gipsies_suppose the first of ralue and efficacy of truth, and who them came from Egypt. can easily spare a small portion of their 2. They cannot form any idea of the spending money, to the promotion of number in England. the noble object which is now con
3. The Gipsies of Bedfordshire, templated. To such of our body, all Hertfordshire, parts of Buckinghamwho feel interested in the progress of shire, Cambridge and Huntingdonour plans for improveinent in know- shire, are continually making revoluledge and religion, must look with the tions within the ranges of those counutmost confidence. The preachers ties. who are successively educated in our 4. They are either ignorant of the seminaries, may raise their voices in number of Gipsies in the counties the support of truth, they may con- through which they travel, or untribute by their labours in public willing to disclose their knowledge. and private to the respectability of
5. The most common names are the cause; but after all, their success Smith, Cooper, Draper, Taylor, Boswill very much depend upon their well, Lee, Lovell, Loversedge, Allen, lay brethren who possess wealth 10 Mansfield, Glover, Williams, Carew, strengthen the hands of their ministers, Martin, Stanley, Buckley, Plunkett, and give them their sanction and as
and Corrie. sistance. If any such, influenced by 6 and 7. The gangs in different these friendly and well-intended sug- towns have not any regular connexion gestions, should come forwards to raise or organization; but those who take this monument to the memory of one up their winter quarters in the same who laboured incessantly for the young city or town appear to have some in particular, to contribute their indi- knowledge of the different routes each vidual efforts to rescue eminent talents horde will pursue ; probably with a from abuse and calumny, to dissipate desire to prevent interference. the mists of prejudice, bigotry and su 8. In the county of Herts it is perstition which envelope the religious computed there may be sixty families atmosphere, --happy will the writer of having many children. Whether this letter deem himself to be, and they are quite so numerous in Buckfully compensated for the little trouble inghamshire, Bedfordshire, and Northwhích it has occasioned him ; though amptonshire, the answers are not this has been already sufficiently re- sufficiently definite to determine. In warded by the mere prospect of the Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Wardisinterested efforts which he has now wickshire, Wiltshire, and Dorsetshire, contemplated.
greater numbers are calculated upon. I am, Sir, with best wishes for the In various counties, the attention has şuccess of your very useful Repository, not been competent to the procuring A SUBSCRIBER OF THE data for any estimate of families or
THIRD CLASS. individuals,