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County. Diocese. Patron. Low Jewell, William .. :u: S Burgh, R. and Hackford, R.
Norfolk Norwich G. H. Holley, Esq. Kilshaw, Richard.. Barkston, R.
incom | in Cath.Ch. of Sarum Knipe, Philip .... Field Broughton, C. Lancash. Chester Lord G. Cavendish Lefroy, Benjamin · Ashe, R.
S Trustees of the late
acheslo | Rev. J. H. Lefroy Lowe, Jeremiah .. Great Saxham, R. Suffolk Norwich Robert Muir, Esq. ( Burgh Castle, R. Suffolk )
Lord Chancellor Manning, H.C. and Santon, R. & Thetford, St. Peter's, R. Norfolk
Norful. Norwich Corp. of Thetford St.Cuthbert, R. )
ŞEarl of Albemarle Somborne Kings, V. Taylor, Robert .. and --- Little, C. Hants Winchest. SirCharles Mill, Bart.
and Stockbridge, c. Williams, J. Eyton, C.
Hereford Hereford ! ic. of Eye
Caermar, St.David's Rev. T. Watkins
County. Bloor, Matthew
Late Curate of Over and Pulford ........ Cheshire Carter, John.
Formerly Head Mast. of the Gramm. School . Lincoln Leigh, George
Middlewich .......................... Cheshire Mackereth, M. ..
Mast. of Grammar School, Thornton ...... York
... Middlesex Smith, Francis Grosvenor .. Maidstone.............
Kent Smith, Hely Hutchinson .. Great James Street, Bedford Row ........ Middlesex Trevethan, Thomas •••• Helston.............................. Cornwall Williams, Thomas ........ Preston Candover...................... Ilants
The Rev. Walter John Trower, B.A. Fellow of Oriel College, eldest son of John Trower, Esq. of Muntham, in Sussex, to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Chas. Goring, Esq. of Whiston Park, in the same county.
At Bangor Cathedral, by the Rev. J. H. Cotton, LL. B. Vicar of Bangor, the Rev. John Jones, B. D. Fellow of Jesus College, to Jane, daughter of J. Jones, Esq. of Penrhos Bradwen, Holyhead.
At Malahide, near Dublin, the Rev. Thomas Spencer, Fellow of St. John's College, and Perpetual Curate of Charterhouse Hinton, near Bath, to Anna Maria, only daughter of the late Major Brooke, of the Bengal Artillery, and grand-daughter of the late Colonel Brooke, Governor of St. Helena.
NOTICES TO CORRESPONDENTS. "U. Y.” has been received. “M.” and “ T. G." shall hear from us shortly. “Exeter Meeting," and the “National Society Report," stand over for want of room.
Upon further consideration, we find the suggestions of " A Scotch Episcopalian” to be impracticable.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS. ART. I.-- Essays on some of the Peculiarities of the Christian Religion.
By RICHARD WHATELEY, D. D. Principal of St. Alban's Hall, Oxford, and late Fellow of Oriel College. Second Edition. Ox
ford: Parker. London: Murray. 1827. Price 78. Essays on some of the Difficulties in the Writings of St. Paul, and in other Parts of the New Testament. By Richard WHATELEY, D.D. Principal of St. Alban's Hall, and late Fellow of Oriel College. London: Fellowes. 1828. Price 9s.
These are beautiful volumes. St. Alban's Hall may be justly proud of such a Principal; the University of Oxford may well rejoice in such a Preacher; and we sincerely congratulate the orthodox friends of unsophisticated Christianity in the possession of such an able advocate of the truth as it is in Jesus. Perspicuous in his style, clear in his statements, logical in his arguments, and persuasive in his eloquence, amongst modern writers in theology, we hold Dr. Whateley to be “ facile princeps." There are some few points, indeed, upon which our opinions do not accord with those of the learned author before us ; and some, with regard to which we hesitate to deliver a verdict; but the general substance of these admirable Essays has our unqualified approbation. At any time, but more especially in these perilous hours of moody Calvinism on the one hand, and of licentious infidelity on the other; when Puritanic zeal serves but to degrade Revelation, by the furious spirit with which the dogmata of Geneva are identified with the words of soberness and truth, not less than by the horrible decree itself, which is thus disgustingly defended: and when the foolishness of metaphysical casuistry would daub the fair fabric of Christianity “with untempered mortar," to the infinite grief of her friends, and to the taunting delight of her scoffing opponents; it is with no ordinary feelings of satisfaction that we greet the appearance of this manly and orthodox champion of the
VOL. XI. NO. XI.
faith. Which hath wrought most mischief to Christianity, the nonsense of some of its enthusiastic disciples, or the assaults of all its adversaries, there is little room to doubt. The nonsense of one party, and the assaults of the other, are, in the volumes on our table, utterly discomfited, and wholly exposed. Of the learned divine who has fought this good fight, we think it difficult to overrate the merits. “ Hunc ego non diligam ? non admirer ? non omni ratione defendendum putem ?"* Amidst the furiousness, the calumnies, and the noise of contending sects, and stunned as we are with the vulgar ribaldry of such men as Carlile and Taylor, we turn to these pious and learned pages, with the certainty of finding rest to our disquieted spirits. “ Quæres a nobis," (again to quote the words of Cicero,) "cur tantopere hoc homine delectemur ? quia suppeditat nobis, ubi et animus ex hoc strepitu reficiatur, et aures convicio defessæ conquiescant.”+
In the Essays upon some of the Peculiarities of the Christian Religion, the Principal of St. Alban's Hall has had in his view " the case of those who regard Christianity with indifference, rather than of those who reject it.” (Pref. p. ix.) It is his main design to guard his readers against those errors, “ which tend to the depreciation, and ultimately the neglect, of Christianity, by keeping out of sight, or underrating, many of its great and important peculiarities." (Pref. p. xv.) The first of the volumes which stands at the head of our present article contains five Essays, upon the following subjects: 1. On a Future State. 2. On the Declaration of God in his Son. 3. On Love towards Christ as a Motive to Obedience. 4. On the Practical Character of Revelation. 5. On the Example of Children as proposed to Christians.
By placing the doctrine of man's immortality amongst the peculiarities of Christianity, it will be seen that our author contends that “ Jesus Christ brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” in the literal sense of those words, and that the doctrine in question was not merely acknowledged or confirmed by the Apostles, but first authoritatively revealed by them. It is obvious that there are two points which challenge our attention on this interesting investigation. They are thus stated by Dr. Whateley, when he tells us, that we should inquire,
In what degree the belief of a future state prevailed among the ancients, and how far those who did entertain such belief were correct in their notions of it, and warranted in maintaining them; since it is plain, that no opinion deserves to be called knowledge, except so far as it is not only agreeable to truth, but also supported by adequate evidence.-P. 8. • What, then, shall be said of the mythology of the Greeks and Romans ? What are we to infer from the fables of Tartarus and
• Orat. pro arch. Poet.
he vulgar, thatture state were sophers; but then may be discovere
id not fully sucom producing"auments for the
Elysium ? Shall we say that they were the mere fictions of poetry, calculated to amuse the fancy, but forming no practical part of the creed of those ancient nations? Some probable conjectures, indeed, some vague guesses, or some anxious hopes, the offspring of their wishes, rather than the deduction of their reason, may be discovered in the writings of pagan philosophers; but their arguments for the doctrine of a future state were so far from producing conviction upon the vulgar, that they “ did not fully succeed in convincing even themselves.” Perplexity and darkness rested upon the mystery; and whether we weigh the conclusions to which they came, or the grounds upon which such conclusions were built, we shall find that their opinions were widely different from the Christian doctrine of life and immortality, and that the arguments by which they sought to establish their respective hypotheses, are insufficient to satisfy a careful inquirer after truth.
Bnt, in reality, the doctrine never was either generally admitted among the ancient philosophers, or satisfactorily proved by any of them, even in the opinion of those who argued in favour of it. On the one hand, not only the Epicurean school openly contended against it, but one of much greater weight than any of them, and the founder of a far more illustrious sect, Aristotle, without expressly combating the notion of a future state, does much more; he passes it by as not worth considering, and takes for granted the contrary supposition, as not needing proof.* -P. 21.
Even Cicero distinctly acknowledges, that,
Though, while he is reading the Phædo, he feels disposed to assent to the reasons urged in favour of a future state, his conviction vanishes as soon as he lays down the book, and resolves the matter in his own thoughts.-P. 23.
When, therefore, the universality of this belief is appealed to as proving the doctrine of our immortality (see Morehead's Discourses, p. 147), we cannot but see the sandy foundation upon which such reasoners erect their tenets. If the belief were so general, how comes it that St. Paul was derided by his Athenian audience, and pronounced tabores per les enfantine bone marelicom sene, to be mad by the Roman governor, when he taught the resurrection of the dead? We venture to assert, that unassisted reason never did, and never could, arrive at any certain conclusion upon the doctrine before us; and that it is an abyss immeasurable by the scanty line of human intellect. Besides, we cannot forget that the faint conjectures of a future existence, which it was given to some favoured individuals to hazard, did not even approximate to our ideas of that state; " for the very notion of the soul's immortality, as explained by them, involved the complete destruction of distinct personal existence."
Let it be remembered then (writes our author), when the arguments of the heathen sages are triumphantly brought forward in proof of the soul's immortality, that when they countenanced the doctrine of future retribution, they
* Arist. Eth. Nicom. b. üi.
taught, with a view to political expediency, what they did not themselves believe; and that when they spoke their real sentiments on the subject, the eternity of existence which they expected, as it implied the destruction of all distinct personality, amounted, practically, to nothing at all.--Pp. 31, 32.
When our learned author contends that the certainty of a future life cannot be assuredly proved by reason without the aid of revelation, he is not rash enough to deny, that some arguments have been adduced in favour of the soul's immortality, of considerable weight. He denies, however, that a future state of retribution can be inferred from the irregularities prevailing in the present life, “ since that future state does not account fully for those irregularities;” (p. 39.) and he thinks there is more force in the argument, which is drawn from the consideration, that man is, by nature, capable of a continued course of improvement, which must be cut short by death, and is also apprehensive of this; so that, upon the supposition that this is the whole of his existence, “his rational nature forms an impediment to his satisfaction," which would be a constitution of things manifestly at variance with the general course of nature.
Such being the palpable ignorance, and the perplexing difficulties, which rested upon the question of a future state, when it presented itself to pagan reasoners, Dr. W. next discusses the case of the Jews; and, being a disciple of the school of Warburton, we need not tell our readers what are his opinions. He advocates the Bishop's hypothesis with equal zeal and ingenuity. He strenuously denies that the doctrine of a state of retribution after death formed a part of the Mosaic revelation.
And if any one, (such are his words, p. 45) from a mistaken zeal to vindicate the honour of God's law against infidels, persists in maintaining that this was intended, how will he reply to the cavil they will immediately raise against the glaringly inadequate way of fulfilling such an intention? And thus it is, that when inen rashly presume to distort the plain meaning of Scripture, for the sake of defending our religion against unsound objections, they expose it to more powerful ones, which they have left themselves without the means of answering.
We have no space to allot to the examination of those passages in the Old Testament, as well as in the New, which have sometimes been relied upon as proofs that a future state was revealed to the Jews; but must refer our readers to the sixth book of the Divine Legation for a copious discussion of this part of the subject. “Why Moses was not commissioned to reveal this truth,” is a question which we are not competent to answer, because we cannot tell why the Gospel, whịch “ brought life and immortality to light,” was reserved for the precise period at which it was proclaimed. Yet we can tell why the revelation of a future state of retributive immortality was neither necessary nor proper in the Mosaic economy. See Dr. Whateley's Essay, p. 52, 53.