Изображения страниц

terated. Many, upon a lapse, alınost instantly recovered theinselves; and, as if they had gained new strength and vigour from their fall, afterwards perfected holiness in the fear of God. In the days of Christ and his apostles we find the good every where mixed with the bad, in the city and in the desert, in the house and in the field. Some believed Christ, and glorified him for his mighty works, while some contradicted and blasphemed ; and others, wilfully misunderstanding his parabolical sayings, derided; and because he reproved their works of darkness, slandered and vilified him. Nay, there was once a 'warın dispute among the disciples, and that in the company of their blessed master, concerning the primacy in the church, which was to be gathered out of all people and nations, but chiefly to be composed of the simple and poor of the earth. But their meek and loving Lord, by his word and example, and by a friendly reproof, reduced thein to the unity of peace by the way of humility ; saying, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven-Whosoever will be first among you, let him be your servant,

8. By these precepts and examples of humility and patience, which are the foundation of all virtues, the simple and obedient christian, without a train of subtilties and distinctions, may arrive with a pure conscience at the gates of heaven, and have an entrance ministered unto him, through the mercies of Jesus : by these precepts and examples he may escape the bitter pains of eternal death, while he bears with meekness the affronts and injuries offered to him by perverse and wicked men, From the beginning of the world there have been, at all times and in all places, good and bad men, believers and infidels, devout and dissolute, gentle and refractory, spiritual and carnal; the former of which have made a daily proficiency in the school of patience, while the latter have consumed away in their malicious wickedness, Thus he who first created and has since governed the world, ordereth all things in it to work together for the reward of the righteous, and the punishment of the wicked. Let patience, therefore have her perfect work, and in the day of retribution, she shall wear an immortal crown,




Op and fall its cand. This of the

prepromath tre herd.

the respect, es his religio, Evanson

Gentlemen, THE industry with which the principles of Socinus

1. are at present propagated in these kingdonis have deservedly called forth, the able animadversions of the Orthodox sons of the Church of England. This zeal against unsound and dangerous tenets cannot but meet with the inarked approbation of all those to whom the honour of the “ GREAT God and our Lord Jesus Christ" is dear. The Revd. E. P. in your Magazine for January, 1805, hath treated Mr. Evanson's person (though he justly reprobates his religious principles,) with a greater degree of“ respect, of esteem, and of affection,(p. 34.) than from the account of his conduct given us by JONATHAN DRAPIER, pp. 47. 48. it appears he deserved. J. D. hath done a great service to the cause of truth in unfolding the true motives and just springs of conduct of Mr. Evanson, in quitting his preferment; and E. P. hath done the like service in exposing his unsound principles. As to myself, I am surprised and astonished beyond the power of words adequately to describe, when I reflect how any one possessed of common sense and the faculty of reason, can seriously with the Bible in his hand, maintain the Socinian principle of Our Lord Jesus Christ being nothing more than a mere Man. Throughout the whole teñor of the Old and of the New Testament, the Divinity of our Saviour in ten shousand passages, shines forth so conspicuously, that, in my humble opinion, the glorious light of the sun at noon day is scarcely less discernible or evident. Were I tó give scope to my pen on this interesting and glorious subject, the limits of a letter would contain but a small portion of the matter which would occur; but the omission is to be less regretted, as the generality of your readers are 100 well convinced of this important truth, to make it necessary to prove it to them; and as for those who read your miscellany as enemies, and to find out faults, no power of reasoning could make the least impression upon them. ...

Mr. Evanson, in charging the members of the established religion with Idolatry, because they ascribe Divinity to Jesus Christ, the glorious' and blessed son of God, and the second person in the HOLY TRINITY, does


but écho the sentiments of those of his Sect, who on all occasions seize the opportunity of doing the same thing. There is a celebrated UNITARIAN MINISTER, who succeeded the well known Dr. TOULMIN, in his chapel in a large town in the west of England, when the latter, two years since, removed to Birmingham, he also is incess santly bellowing forth these accusations against the established Church; by which conduct he excites contempt only in the minds of sensible men, and pity in those who fear that his mind is unsound, and his intellects diş: turbed; but those of his party extol him to the skies, This man published a sermon when he first came into his present situation, the most extravagant in its sen. timents that can well be conceived, and in which he has carried the Socinian blasphemy to its highest point. The sermon was most admirably answered, and its principles completely confuted by a Layman in the neighbourhood of the place where it was preached and printed, and I never heard that the author attempted to reply. 14, deed to take off the solid arguments the answer contained, was impossible. I can assure you, with truth, that in the place above allued to, sociNIANISM, or UNITARIANISM, is greatly on the decline.

I am, Gentlemen,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]





I KNOW nothing so interesting as religious inquiry; I and, when conducted with humility, nothing that pro.. mises more beneficial consequences. And as a Miscellany, like your's, seems to be the proper medium of its prosecution, I present you with a few cursory thoughts, the spontaneous fruits of half an hour's meditation. It seems to me as if some expressions in the "New whole Duty of Man," and a great many other ardently pious publications, which speak of every individual as justly deserving God's everlasting damnation, were rather more eloquent, than philosophically correct. For myself, though I cannot reflect upon my unworthiness of God's manifold

Vol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. June 1805. SH blessings blessings without the deepest self-abasement, yet I own. I cannot réconcile it to my ideas of justice, that I should be doomed to endless torments for 'my delinquenciess-delinquencies, which flow from no perverseness of will, but purely from human infirmity, and which I condemn as often as I detect: and if the actual sins of a serious and well intentioned man do not (strietly speaking) deserve rigour of punishment, still less can I persuade myself, that the infirmity of his nature (which is no fault of his; and for which he would seem more to be pitied than to be condemned) justly renders bim liable to it. If the ninth article be brought as evidence against me, I humbly con: ceive it is misinterpreted ; but of this, perhaps, at some fature period. At present I wish to confine the question to actual transgressions; and I do think that there is a great disproportion between the involuntary transgressions of a well intentioned but naturally frail being and evera. lasting torments. What a man bowed down with a sense of his sins, may think or say of himself is no rule for what another ought to think or say of him, and therefore certainly no rule for a general conelusion applicable to every individaal. • Hence we may learn the impropriety (in general forms) of confounding the Saint and the Sinner, and making all equally plead guilty to the desert of damnution. You will observe, I am not arguing against the eternity of future punishment, which to my apprehension, is revealed in Scripture as clearly as if it had been written with a sun-beam. The only question with me is; do all transgressions (strictly speaking) deserve everlasting torments in hell? Are there not many intermediate degrees between impunity and eternal punishments ? May not temporal chastisements be conceived which would be strictly commensurate with the transgressions of some men? We read, 'tis true that the wages of sin is death :" but why by death need we understand eternal death, i. e. eternal punishment? The antithesis, “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," seems to imply, otherwise. For if Christ recovered our lost being, then the death mentioned in the corresponding member of the sentence, as above, means temporal death. With this agrees St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Let me not, however, be misunderstood to imply, that the best of men have any claim to so immense a reward as éverlasting happiness ; God forbid ! the utmost they have a ·

[ocr errors]


right to, is to a reward proportioned to their deserts; which would be very capable of being conferred within the narrow limits of their mortal eristence; with some doubtless it would be bụt of short duration; and cer, tainly with many, if they had their deserts, their pains would justly out-weigh their pleasures.

If Mr. Pearson, the London Curate, or any of your ingenious Correspondents will taķe the subject of this letter into their consideration, and communicate the result to the public through the same channel, they will doubtless gratify many of your readers, but none more than .. ; Your occasional Correspondent, .



. For MR. BEAUMONT.'' ,. : EBEO certè tibi has gracias, atque ex animo, ob

istæc tain piè, tam amicè, dicta, factaque. Macte sis hâc virtute. Officiorum verò erga me (quæ memoras) operam sodes omnem perge collocare in puerum, curain meam tuamque. Vide quæso ne desidere assuescat, neque bonas horas prodigere, nedum malè collocare. In artibus verò linguisque ita sibi sciat insudandum esse, ut demum pareat, non salutâsse eas solum, sed imbibisse atque excoluisse our bew. Ineunte verò novo anno (quem ego faustum nobis, vobisque omnibus, atque felicem yoveo) facilè feram, ut in tertiam quamque, septimanam differat officium suum epistolare, quo elaboratior in eo genere, excultiorque esse discat. .. .

Sed nec cæteris meis deeris, scio, prout res et occasio ferent, monitis, suasionibusque opportunis (quibus plurimum proficitur) suggerendo, quod suum cujusque erit. ' Ipsis Virginibus, præsertim natu majoribus, monitorem te præstabis, ut sublatam ex oculis optimam parentem seduld excribant, utque illius Pietatem, Modestiam, animi präsentiam, et inoderationem, morum candorem, lenitatem, festivitatem, alacritatem in rebus etdiligentiam, comitatem etiam, atque elegantiam, maternas virtutes OtŘrés ad vivum exprimere satagant, certentque, sic ut in iis (etiam jain denata) superesse tamen vivereque existiSH 2


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »