Imágenes de páginas

A meeting of the Philosophical Society vapours rise from the openings, and their was held on Monday, Feb. 22d, the Rev. margins are studded with crystals of sulProfessor Farish, one of the Vice-Presi- phur. Mr. Coddington explained the dents, being in the Chair. A paper was principle of a microscope, of a new and read by J. Challis, Esq. of Trinity College, simple construction, which had been made on the integration which on certain sup- according to his directions by Mr. Cary, positions can be effected of the general and which he exhibited to the Society. equations of the motion of fluids; and on After the Meeting, Professor Airy gave an the application of the results to the solu- account, illustrated by models, of the intion of various problems. Among other struments which have been used at differcases, Mr. Challis considered that of a

ent periods and in different countries, for stream of air issuing through an orifice in the purpose of measuring the altitudes of a plane, and flowing against a plate placed stars. He described particularly the Zenear to the orifice. It appears that the

nith Sector, the Quadrant, the Repeating theory gives in this instance a pressure Circle, the great declination circles of urging the plate towards the plane, such Troughton, and the circle of Reichenbach's as is found to exist by experiment. A construction ; and instituted a comparison paper was also read by the Rev. L. Jenyns, between the two last, as the declination on the Natter-Jack (Bufo rubeta) of Pen- instruments which at present are princinant, containing an account of its habits, pally used in European observatories. collected from the observation of several individuals of the species during a period of two months; and to these notices was

DEGREES CONFERRED. added an enumeration of the Reptiles

HONORARY MASTER OF ARTS. found in Cambridgeshire. After the meet

Lord Arthur Charles Hervey, Trin. Coll. ing, Professor Henslow gave an account of the discoveries recently made with respect

BACHELOR IN DIVINITY. to endosmose and exosmose ; and of the Rev. Frederick Parry, St. John's Coll. application of these principles to the ex

MASTERS OF ARTS. planation of the motion of the sap in . Edward Carlton Cumberbatch, Trin. Coll. plants: with some considerations on the

Rev. J. C. Warren, Sidney Coll. (Comp.) theory for the explanation of these pheno

Joseph Place, St. John's Coll. mena proposed by M. Poisson. A meeting of the Philosophical Society

BACHELORS OF ARTS. was held on Monday evening, March 8th, Henry H. Luscombe, Clare Hall. the Rev. Professor Sedgwick, one of the William Cook Charriere, Christ Coll. Vice-Presidents, being in the chair. A Thomas Sunderland, Trinity Coll. communication from the Rev. C. P. N. John Mitchell Kemble, Trinity Coll. Wilton, of St. John's College, was read, Thomas Greenwood, Trinity Coll. containing an account of a visit to Mount Edward Vaux, Trinity Coll. Wingen, a burning mountain in Aus- Samuel Shield, St. John's Coll. tralia. This remarkable object is about William Bryan Killock, St. Peter's Coll. 170 miles N. W. from Sydney, in New John Wylde, Corpus Christi Coll. South Wales, and exhibits several chasms Francis B. Briggs, Queen's Coll. in a rock of sandstone, the interior of George Harrison, Catharine Hall. which is of a white heat, while sulphureous Henry John Whitfield, Magdalene Coll.

We shall have much pleasure in attending to the request of " E. B." His former
MSS. we never saw.

“ Scrutator” and “ U. Y." have been received.
Many thanks to “ F.
“ Rusticus" is under consideration.

The subject to which “ A. T. R." alludes shall not be forgotten. “C. A. R.” came too late.

ERRATUM.—At p. 195, line 3, to the word “ Archduchess" add " Charles."




MAY, 1830.

REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS. Art. 1.-A View of the Scripture Revelations concerning a Future

State: laid before his Parishioners. By A Country Pastor.

12mo. London: Fellowes. 1829. Price 5s. 6d. The Belief of the Jewish People and of the most eminent Gentile

Philosophers, more especially of Plato and Aristotle, in a Future State, briefly considered : including an Examination into some of the leading Principles contained in Bishop Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses ; in a Discourse preached before the University of Oxford, at St. Mary's, March 30th, 1828. With Notes and an Appendix. By W. Mills, B. D. Fellow of Magdalen College. Oxford: Parker. London: Rivingtons. Pp. 130.

We class these volumes together, because they seem to be connected by the strong tie of answer and rejoinder, more especially upon the interesting topics relating to a future state. The Country Pastor denies that the doctrine of a future life was known to the ancient Jews, or discovered by the heathens, whilst Mr. Mills as strenuously maintains the very reverse. This is the question at issue between the authors before us. We mean not to travel over the beaten path of the memorable Warburtonian controversy, in which the love of paradox seemed for a time to have triumphed over the love of truth, and the mitred giant of Gloucester, rioting in the orgies of learned pride, silenced his timid opponents ; for we have no wish to reburnish those polemic weapons; and we notice the volumes before us for the purpose merely of acquainting our readers with the state and fluctuation of religious opinions in the republic of letters; for “ the Churchman's Biblical, Ecclesiastical, and Literary Miscellany,would be justly charged with neglect, were the current topics of divinity permitted to pass without notice in its pages.

We are free to confess, that we have sundry suspicions touching the volume, which stands first at the head of this article, and divers doubts

[blocks in formation]



which we find it difficult to solve. We suspect the learned author to be more than a mere Country Pastor ;" and we can hardly persuade ourselves, that his lucubrations ever formed " a series of lectures,” addressed to country parishioners. At all events, we must assume the privilege of stating that they seem, in our judgment, to be little adapted to the taste or the capacity of such auditors, and that we recognize, in the matter and style of this volume, a learned and zealous author, well known in the University of Oxford, to whose labours we have on a recent occasion introduced the readers of the Christian Remembrancer.

Our author contends, (Lecture I.) that a future state is revealed in the Gospel alone ; and that neither Jew nor Gentile had, or could have, an

assurance of such a state, but through Him who first brought life and immortality to light.” And this truth, he remarks, Is so plainly taught in scripture, and so fully confirmed by what we read in other books concerning the notions formerly entertained on the subject, that its having been doubted or denied by any christian, is to me a matter of unfeigned wonder.—Pp. 13, 14.

Whether the doctrine of a future state formed a part of the Mosaic dispensation is a question which we need not be solicitous to answer, because the result would not prove that the Jews knew nothing of that doctrine, or that it was first revealed by our Redeemer, since there are other sources whence the doctrine in question might be drawn. If our author mean, that the gospel first discovered, so as fully and beyond doubt to prove, the doctrine of a future state, we have no dispute with him ; but that the ancient Jews did not entertain a strong belief on that momentous point, and that the Gentiles did not look forward to a life beyond the grave, we utterly deny. The fact, (according to our author's hypothesis,) that eternal life is not the explicit promise of the Mosaic code, nor one of its sanctions, is satisfactorily to be explained from the consideration that a national covenant could be established only in temporal promises of public and visible blessings; " but, under those general promises of what was to happen to them collectively, as they made up one nation, every single person among them might, and the good men among them did, gather the hopes of a future state."* We will not ask whether Moses intendedto reveal the doctrine of a future state ; but we think that he all along supposes the knowledge of it to be generally believed. When, moreover, we read of the Lawgiver himself, “ that he chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of

* Burnet on the Articles, Article VII.


Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, FOR THAT HE HAD RESPECT UNTO THE RECOMPENSE OF THE REWARD;" and when we count, with the Apostle, the hosts of that army of the faithful, who patiently fought the good fight, RECTION ;" we declare our unfeigned wonder” at the assertions of our learned author, and we beg leave to remind him, that “they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises." (Art. VII.)

The question, (writes Mr. Mills, in the learned Discourse upon our table,) whether the Jews believed such a doctrine or not, would depend upon the means they might have of acquiring information from other sources besides their legal code ; and whether the necessary effect of the Mosaic code would be to check or annihilate every other source of instruction. In order to understand the subject rightly, it is necessary to keep in mind the object of that law, which was, to preserve the memory of the one God in an idolatrous world, till the coming of Christ

. And it is difficult to conceive how this object could be effected by any other than temporal rewards. ... Nor does it appear, that this promise of temporal good was confined to the nation only : health and wealth, fertility to the field, and fruitfulness to the cattle, the blessing of the olive and the vine, the basket and the store, every kind of prosperity, was promised to the individual also; yet as well to the individual as to the state, in reference to the main object, the preservation of both from idolatry, which would generally be best effected by the more striking example of national blessings and national punishments. Yet, it is difficult to understand how such a condition of things should destroy in the minds of the people either those natural expectations, which the rest of mankind cherished in regard to a future state, or the authority of revelation, supposing the doctrine were contained in other inspired writings, which they acknowledged, besides the ordinances of their legal code.—Pp. 36–39.

From this general view of the point at issue, the learned Fellow of Magdalen College proceeds to examine the word of God; and thence, in our judgment, fully establishes the fact, that the fear of future retribution, and the hope of future recompense, were principles which influenced the ancient Jews, and formed no mean part of their sacred books. We have neither space nor leisure to quote the several texts, which demonstrate the belief of the ancient Jews in a future state of reward and punishment : but, we must take this opportunity of observing, that it is absolutely impossible to suppose, that the Israelite should forget the original promise made to Adam, or should doubt whether there were a future state, when he was instructed that God permitted Abel to be murdered through envy, excited by his righteousness; and when he was taught that the Patriarchs were the peculiar favourites of heaven, though they were “strangers and pilgrims upon earth.” When he was repeatedly instructed that they were “ gathered to their fathers," and rejoiced at the termination of their pilgrimage,

Would he believe (we ask in the words of Mr. Mills) that this joy was excited by the termination of their earthly labours in the insensibility of the grave; and that being gathered to their fathers meant no more than that the same

66 do

sepulchre which had covered the bones of their fathers, should soon be the receptacle of their own ?-Discourse, p. 48.

If neither Moses nor the prophets taught the doctrine of a future life, what are we to understand by our Saviour's assertion as recorded by the Evangelist, — " If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead?”– Luke xvi. 31. And we confidently ask, whether it was not something more than randomconjecture," or lucky“ guess," which enabled the Father of the Faithful, with gladness of heart, to foresee the day of Christ?-John viii. 56.

With regard to the opinions of the heathens, the Country Pastor argues that even those who taught the doctrine of a future state, not seem themselves to have believed what they taught, but to have thought merely of the expediency of inculcating this belief on the vulgar.”

It does not appear (he says) that they had much success in impressing their doctrine on the mass of their people; for though a state of future rewards and punishments was com

mmonly talked of amongst them, it seems to have been regarded as little more than an amusing fable.Lecture I. pp. 23, 24.

How does our author endeavour to prove this assertion ? He tells us that “ men's lives were never influenced by any such belief !And, that when they found death unavoidable, as in the case of a memorable pestilence, "even the most devout worshippers," "at once cast off all thoughts of religion, and, resolving to enjoy life while it lasted, gave a loose to all their vicious inclinations.” If our opinions necessarily influenced our deeds, there might be some force in this argument: but when we see how small is the control which the faith even of a Christian exercises over his conversation, though amounting to

a full assurance," we may easily account for the corruptions of Gentile debaucheries, without drawing the inference of the author before us, whilst it is remembered that their creed was at the best a feeble glimmering of light in a dark place.

The abstruse and unintelligible theories of Plato on the properties of generation and corruption, with his metaphysical subtilties, -and his essential and eternal archetypes of things, -may afford matter for scholastic amusement, and teach us how thankful we should be for our superior advantages, under the meridian splendour of the Gospel; but we cannot persuade ourselves that the ancient philosophers taught the notion of a future state without believing in it.

It is not, (we gladly quote the eloquent language of Mr. Mills,) it is not because they gave way to doubts and misgivings;—it is not because we meet with unintelligible theories; this has been the history of metaphysics in all ages and under all religions; it is not because these theories might lead to consequences inconsistent with their positive declarations, that we are to come at once to the conclusion that they had no belief in what they asserted, and that

« AnteriorContinuar »