« AnteriorContinuar »
into such a deplorable condition, Southwark, March 4, 1812. as to think that a belief of any . There is nothing, perhaps, that set of notions is necessary to salva. has served to impede Christianity, tion, there is no doctrine, however or arrest the progress of divine strange, that it may no treceive, no truth, more than the adoption of practice, however wicked, that it creeds.
dares not encounter. With such Creeds are generally a compila. persons, the belief of their creed tion of doctrines, or speculative is the first' and grand evidence of opinions, supposed to be drawn Christianity, and the practice, if from the scriptures; and the mis- not wholly laid aside, is accounted chief arising from them is, that as a secondary consideration. They they are suffered to take the place are, led away by their systems all of the plain precepts of Christi. their lives, having but the twilight anity,
of Christianity, to guide their Men who were interested by paths. If they write, it is to upsinister motives, and were well paid hold their system; if they read the for supporting mysteries, have, for scriptures, it is to support their the most part compiled the creeds, creed. If they speak, their breath that are generally swallowed by is wasted in excommunicating the world: they were frequently in others for not believing what they geniously wrought, and require believe. They may be said to fall much argument for their support; down and worship their creed, in, whereas, the precepts of Christi- stead of their Creator. They look anity are so plain, that a way- upon their brother, who is passing faring man, though a fool, may through the chequered scenes of read, understand and prastise them. life, with composure and serenity,
The New Testament alone, is living in the love of God and his acknowledged to contain the pre. neighbour, who, with Christian be. cepts of infallible truth. It is nevolence, is doing to others as obvious, that all deductions made he would have others do to him, by fallible men are liable to error: continually shewing by his prac. this consideration alone, must tice the sincerity of his faith in shake the infallibility of any set of the precepts of Christianity, as opinions deduced from the Scrip- little better than a Heather, and tures. . 102
with contempt exclaim, -Legalist! The religion of a creedite, stand by, for I am holier than consists in the belief of a be thou. lief, which generally fetters him W ho, think you, is most likely to the observance of ceremonies, to receive the reward of well doing: or leads him to place his depene --the servant who endeavours to dance on his creed, or (as the tread in the footsteps of his mas. technical phrase is,) on a saving ter by the practice of Christian faith.
morals, who gives bread to the When once the mind has got hungry, drink to the thirsty, VOL. VII.
cloathing to the naked, consolation notice I have a right to expect, it to the afflicted, relief to the dis. is my intention to review the sube tressed, who commiserates with ject more carefully, and in whatthe suffering, and, with chearful. ever points it shall appear that I ness lightens the burden of his fel. have advanced sentiments contrary low mortals ? or the creedite, who to truth, I shall have great plea. places his dependance on his saving sure in renouncing them. In the faith? Christians, place not your mean time, Sir, I shall, with your dependance on the doctrines even permission, make a few slight ob. of Christianity, but be .ye careful servations relative to this impor. to practise its inorals. .
tant subject. A WAYFARING MAN. In the review of the Sketches,
which was given in your Reposi
tory, (vol. vi. p. 557.) I am Mr. Clarke, on his “ Sketches of considered as advancing the doć. . Sentiment.”
trine of Emanuel Swedenborg, Newport, Isle of Wight, and hy a cynical critic in the
Monthly Review, I stand acSir, 5th April, 1812.
“cused of “ vamping up the old The theory which I have lately scheme of Sabellius." If it could advanced, in a little work, entitled be proved, that either of these asSketches of Sentiment, appears to sertions is correct, yet 'does it me to have been very imperfectly not necessarily follow that 'the understood, even by those who opinion itself is erroneous, as the have paid some attention to it: latter writer more than implies; so difficult is it to arrange our but, I apprehend, a very mate. thoughts, and to adopt such lan. rial difference subsists between my guage as will convey to the minds views. and those entertained by of others, those views with which the two learned theologians. we are ourselves impressed. It is Thedoctrine of Swedenborgianism, not extraordinary that in the first upon this subject, is, that there is attempt to explain a doctrine so a Trinity in the Godhead, consiste abstruse as that of the Divine na. ing of the divine origin or principle, ture, I should have employed cer- the divine human,-and the tain modes of expression, which divine proceeding: not as of three were not the best fitted for the distinct persons, but as we see purpose, nor is it surprising, that united and exbibited, in the body, many difficulties and objections soul and operation of man, in the should be started, which I had not one person of Jesus Christ; who sufficient foresight to anticipate. therefore is the God of heaven, As the attainment of truth is my and alone to be worshipped; being only aim, I have really felt obliged Creator from eternity, Redeemer by animadversions, and thus pub- in time and Regenerator to eterlicly acknowledge myself deeply nity. indebted in this respect to the au. Sabellius taught that there is thor of a Reply to my Sketches, but one person in the Godhead, John Fullagar, Esq. 'is that the Word and the Holy Spirit
On some future occasion, when I may be in possession of all the Adams's View of Religions.
are only virtues, emanations, or Deity, can never be comprehended functions of the Deity; and he also by any being but himself! held, that the Father of all things What then may be known of descended into the virgin, became God? I reply, the effects of the a child, and was born of her as a operation of the divine attributes son; and that having accomplished and perfections. In creation and the mystery of our salvation, be providence, we 66 look through diffused himself on the Apostles in nature up to nature's God." But tongues of fire, and was then dc- it has pleased God to enlighten us nominated the Holy Ghost*. still farther. By a providential
To me, there appears one grand series of cause and effect, he has and fundamental error in both instructed certain human beings these statements, as well as in in different ages of the world, and almost every other, upon this im. has endowed them with knowledge portant subject. All writers in and power to instruct others. It their descriptions of Deity, attach cannot be denied, I think, that the to him both in thought and ex- Supreme operates upon the human pression the idea of personality. mind, and to a far greater degree Unitarians believe the Godhead to on some than on others; and, consist of one person. Trinitarians wherever, we see the exhibitions of advocale three. The term person, moral goodness, we see something however, according to all our 'no- of the great Source from whence tions of its meaning, never can be that goodness, originally, however properly applied to the essential remotely, flowed.
" nature and being of God; because. Now if we admit that the goodit cannot be used without imply- ness, wisdom and love of God, are ing a limited outline, and a con- displayed in good men, sometimes finement to one spot.-A personal in a very high degree, is there Deity cannot be an umnipresent, any difficulty in supposing that in omniscient Being!
Christ this took place completely I hold it to be incontrovertible, and entirely? or, in other words, that a being who is in his very that the power, wisdom and love nature underived, infinite, eternal, of God were manifested 'in' him omnipresent, and omniscient, can without measure ? never be seen, known or understood In this view of the subject, it by any thing but icself ; because is evident that I artach no kind of these are terms which represent to divinity to the mère nature of us qualities, which can only be Jesus Christ, as the Swedenborgi. conceived of and measured by that ans seem to do;-neither cản I which is, in itself, infinite, eternal, for a moment admit with Sabellius, &c. but every existence, except that the infinite, omnipresent, and that of God, is derived, finite and eternal Father descended into the confined, both in mental and cor. Virgin, and became a child, &c. poreal powers; therefore is it All that was exhibited of Deity in obvious, that whatever belongs to the person of Jesus Christ, I conthe separate essential, nature of ceive to have been the actual
power, wisdom, and love of God, * Encyclopædia Brit; art. Sabellians. and these produced in a way by
no means contrary to reason or himself, the actions he performed, experience.
as those of Deity. He was a pure Thus far, I believe, I have ad. vehicle, prepared and preserved vanced nothing that will not be for the reception and display of conceded by the liberal Unitarian; the divine perfections and attri. But how do I stand with regard to butes, but still he was only a rehi. the Trinitarian?
cle, a created medium, and when I · Ceriainly, if my tenets are worship him, I worship not the brought to the test of the doctrine human nature, but the one God, of three persons, I can expect no whose glorious and gracious cha. favour; but so far as the Divinity racter and operations were and are of Jesus Christ, in the proper resident in it. meaning and application of the In heaven, the same form, adorn. term, is concerned, I see no rea, ed with glorious splendour, but son why we should be at issue; beaming with matchless love, will fer I believe that in him was dis. be, I apprehend, the eternal me. played all that ever will be dis. dium of our future worship. Still played of Deity to his creatures! we shall not worship the resplenThe power, the wisdom and the dent glory, nor the benignant form, love of the Supreme, may, indeed, but we shall through these, adore and assuredly will, be exhibited and love an invisible and incom. in a more effulgent and glorious prehensible Being, whose perfecmanner; but the magnificent ac- tions and attributes are thus graci. companiments of ten thousand ously and condescendingly ensplendid suns, will still be only ac. shrined, in accommodation to our companiments, only the effects of the natures, and in order that our de. Divine operation, not the Divinity votional feelings may be elevated himself! And it will be the ein- to compleat ecstacy! ployment of faith, through them, For the scriptural grounds of to conceive of the wondrous per- these views, I must refer to the fections and attributes of the one work itself, and remain, invisible and incomprehensible Je. HOVAH.
With much respect, Under the human and created Your friend and servant, form of Jesus Christ, I perceive
JAMES CLARKE. the Deity instructing his creatures, reconciling them to himself, and saving them from ruin. The mind
Letters to a Student, of the Saviour, Jesus Christ, I
LETTER IV. believe 10 have been graduallyThe preceding hints, my Eu. formed by divine agency till it was genius, have been suggested not so completely filled with ihe know. much by an idea of their impor. ledge and love of God himself. tance in themselves, though that Constantly preserved, (and there. be considerable, nor principally, fore entirely free,) from any ad- as general rules of conduct; but mixture of error and sin, I re- particularly on account of their gard the precepts which fell from connection with the great object, his lips as the teachings of God to which the years you will spend
in the Academy, are to be devoted. neglect none. Some may be, as It can scarcely be asked by you, Dr. Jorrin expresses it, relatively what is that object? But should dry; but that thưy are for that it be made a question by any youth, reason to be despised and passed the answer is obtained by other over, does not follow. It may be, questions, which not only point in some degree, an useful discipline, out ibis object, but intimate the to constrain the mind to bestow moment of it. Why was the semi. attention on them. This may be nary into which you have entered laid down as a certain principle, founded? Why was it, with great that you are not qualified to judge exertions of generosity and zeal, of th utility of a science, unless raised to its present state? And you bad experience of its applica. why are your parents and friends tion and an acquaintance with its desirous that you should spend different connections with other some years of the prime of your branches of ''knowledge or the life within its walls ? "But to en. transactions of life; which your gage you and your fellow academ. years and your situation as a pupil, ics in study. Study, be it remem. imply you have not. But the utility bered, is the great design for which of a science in itself, or its appliyou enlist as a collegiate. Study cation in future life, is not the is to be the leading, in a manner sole consideration by which you the sole object of your attention. should judge of its importance and, It is to fill your time, to employ by which your attention to it your thoughts, to rouse your emu. should be governed. You may lation, to call forth all your powers. never, when your academical With study is the day to com- course is finished, b:• called on to mence; with study is it to close. carry it into practice or have any
How assiduous soever you be, occasion to apply it, yet it may be there is no possibility of exhaust. highly useful to study it in the ing the subjects of enquiry before present period of your life; and you; they are so various and ex. as forming part of an academical tensive. Whatever be your pecu. course, it has a strong recommen. liar genius and turn of mind, in dation to your regard. Il may give that variety which will offer, you a peculiar exercise and play to may be certain to meet what will your mental powers ; strengthen, suit and gratify it. Every science, by exercise, your faculties; add indeed, calls for your attention ; to the stock of your ideas; and because every science has its pecu- enlarge your views. The historian, liar advantages and uses. Your poet and orator will furnish more tutors, it may be presumed, in pleasing reading and a constant their introductory lectures to the source of eniertainment in suc. subjects of their respective depart. ceeding years : yet the mathema. ments, will lay before you a view tics, though you should never have of the utility and application of an opportunity to apply them to those particular branches of know. astronomy, architecluic or navi. ledge, into which it is their pro- gation, are essent.al to your im. vince to initiate you.
provement, to accustom you to - The matter to be urged on you clearness and precision in your at present, is, that you should ideas, and to a close way of rea.