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could never be the effect of blind chance. The old and new testament confirm each other : the prophetic parts of the former support the gospel, and the iniracles and prophecies and success of Christ and his apostles support the old teftament.
6 2. Christ knew the hearts of men, as he shewed upon all occasions; a knowledge which almighty God represents in scripture as fo peculiar to himself, that he cannot be supposed to fuffer those to partake of it who are not sent by him.
3. He was a prophet: he foretold not only things remote and lying beyond human sagacity, but things improbable and miraculous, which have been accomplished.
• 4. He wrought miracles numerous and various, worthy of himself, and beneficial to men: and many of these miracles were also prophecies at the same time, and indications of future events: and so were most of his parables.
5. He never erred or failed in any point, as teacher, prophet, messias, or worker of miracles. All his promises were accomplished, particularly his remarkable promise that he would support and comfort all those who should be called to suffer and to die for his sake, which hath been illuftriously fulfilled in ancient and in modern martyrs.
• 6. He conferred miraculous and prophetic gifts on his disciples, and they on theirs.
7. His religion was pure and popular, yet plain and holy, and tending to make men wiser and better; and it produced a multitude of good effects in the world.
" 8. When it was first preached, it could never have made its way without the assistance of miracles.
• 9. He lived and died an example of all that he taught, of all active and suffering virtues.
10. He had no rival or antagonist, to make his authority appear doubtful, by oppofing prophecies to his prophecies, and miracles to his miracles, from the time that he began his ministry to this day.--.-- It cannot be supposed that there should be any deceit in this complicated evidence, and that falfhood should boast of all the imaginble characters of truth.'
He now proceeds to say somewhat concerning the postapostolical miracles, and observes, concerning them, that, as they fall short in many instances of the distinguishing characters belonging to the works of Christ and his apostles, so they must fail of giving us the same full persuafion and fatisfaction. He further observes, that they were not foreVol. VI.
told by the prophets; that they were not wrought by prophets; that they contained in them no prophetic indicatiors of future events; and that no man ever laid down his life, or even suffered distress and persecution in attestation of them.
• The christian miracles, says he, may be referred to four periods. The first period contains those which are recorded in the new testament, and reaches to about A. D.
among christians. The next period may be of thirty-seven years, and ends about A. D. 107. There is reason to think it probable that some miracles were then performed hy those who preached and planted the gospel in Pagan countries. The third reaches from thence to Constantine. For some of the miracles in these ages, in the second and third centuries, so much may be alledged as should restrain us from determining too positively against them, and denying them all. The last period is from Conftantine to where you please, and abounds with miracles; the defence of which shall be left to those who are inclined to undertake it, at the hazard of misapplying their pains. One sort of miracles seems to have been much wanted, and that was, to cast the romantic devil out of the christians of those times ; but this kind goeth not out so easily, and stands in awe of no exorcisms.
• Some few miracles indeed are said to have been wrought in the days of Constantine, and in remote regions where the gospel was then first propagated, which, though for certain reasons one cannot rely upon them, yet may require a suspense of judgment.--- If it be ask’d, when miraculous powers ceased in the church? The proper answer seems to be, that these miracles cease to us, when we cease to find fatisfactory evidence for them. Some of the post-apostolical miracles shall be considered in the course of this work; and what may be fairly urged in their favour, shall not be omitted: but it may not be amiss to declare once for all, that I would not engage for the truth of any of them, after A. D. 107; and that I desire to be ranked, as to this point, not amongst the denyers and rejectors, but amongst the doulters.'
In the remaining part of this work the reader will find many judicious remarks on the apologists for christianity and their writings; a large account of the Manichean heresy ; the characters of Tertullian, Adrian, Cyprian, Justin Martyr, Origen, &c. but we shall finith our account of it with
acquainting our readers, that mr. Jortin has carried his remarks down to the age of Conftantine, and that he intends to consider the completion of the prophecies, in the establishment of christianity, and in the destruction of the persecuting princes, in another volume.
ART. XLIX. Principles of polity: being the grounds and
reasons of civil empire. In three parts. By Thomas Pownal, 19; 4to. 4s. served. E. Owen. THE ingenious and judicious author of this piece havfor February 1750) pointed out the defects and inconfiftencies attending the doctrine of an original contract, proceeds now to shew, that the grounds and reasons of civil empire arife from nature, and not from positive institution. He makes it appear, that the social state is the real state of man's nature; that the BALANCE O PROPERTY can be the only first, natural, real and permanent ground of those connexions and subordinations which form an empire; that this balance is indeed to be rectified and regulated by the hands of the legislature or minister, but that it has its foundation in nature, in the scite and circumstances of the country and people; and that all governments that have been able to subsist and maintain themselves have been
. Our author applies his principles to the real exercise and administring of government, and shews, that they are confiftent throughout with that true policy which is founded in liberty. It appears from the whole of his performance, that he is a thorough master of his subject, and well acquainted both with ancient and modern history: his stile indeed is, in some places, somewhat intricate and perplexed; but his reasonings, as far as we are able to judge, are folid and convincing, and his reflections just. As he has thought proper to treat his subject in the way of dialogue,
, our readers cannot expect that we should give large extracts from his work; we must therefore leave them to judge of his manner of writing by the following specimen, which will likewise enable them to form some idea of his manner of reasoning.
I suppose we shall be agreed, says he, let us found government on what principles soever, that it is that actuating power by which a people is directed in its actions upon
those obiects which it stands related to as a community; that is, in regard to its interest as a community. Now, this interest of the community we have found to be the whole communion of all the powers and capacities of the several individual constituents, confpiring by a consociation of such powers into one organized whole. Which, as it hath to itself a distinct principle of individuality, hath likewise an interest of this individuality, distinet from that of the particular constituents, considered as separate and independent: and which, as it subfists by a kind of organization from the conspiring powers of the united constituents, would be destroyed by any felfith, partial, or unequal direction of those powers in the individual. That is, those reflections under which this common interest exists, and by which it subsists, are different from, and inconsistent with those, by which the interest of the individual exists, respecting only its partial individuality. Now, asthe whole of those relations of things under which any being exists, is called its nature; fo that power in man, which perceives those relations, is called reason. And, as you see there are relations consistent and inconsistent with the true nature, so there is a right reason and a wrong. And, as those actions which regard the true whole of the nature of that being they are exerted upon, are the actions of right reason ; fo those which regard only fome partial selfish portion, un. equal to, and inconsistent with the whole, and disproportionate to the true nature of that whole, (however in regard to that portion, they are at that time right) may be called affection, and, in contradiction to reafon, will. As in man that uniform tenor of the reasoning power, that at all times extends to the whole of his nature, is called right reason; so those partial and unequal fallies of it, which by fits and ftarts, confine its view to any selfish portion of this nature, are called affection and will. Hence the common intereit, as above described, could neither be formed or adminiftred by will, because will, by the very nature of it, is unequal to itself, unequal and disproportionate to the whole of the nature of this interest, and many times, as 'fhall happen, absolutely inconsistent with it. The right interest of the whole community, as above described, can never be limitted to the reason of any partial actuating power of such community ; because the reason of such, however right it may be, in respect of its partial individuality, is, in regard to the reason which should guide the whole, what will or affection is, in regard to man's right reason.
The reason then of that actuating power only, whose in terest extends to, and circumscribes the interest of th whole, can be the right reason of the whole. Where the" the balance of property or this interest is, there will be the right reason of the whole; and, where this interest is, there will be the power; not an absolute irresistible a power to controul the will of the whole; because, by its connexion with this intereft, it subfifts by it, and because, tho' will may not in every particular instance see this its right interest, yet the reasoning part has such influence, by means of all the inciting objects, that can affect will, being in its hands, that it does in every instance lead it. Having therefore thewn, that the power, reason, and will of the whole community are naturally connected, and connected under the interest of the whole, and reside where is found the balance of the property in the community; which balance is determined by the scites and circumstances of a country and its people : we will venture to say in the words of mr. Harrington, that all government is interest, and the predominant (interest) gives the matter or foundation of government.'
ART. L. De Homine. Poema Alexandri Popii quatuor epistolis conscriptum, a Johanne Sayer, A. M. Latine redditum. Oxonii, & c. 4t0. 2s.6d. Rivington, &
HE public is here presented with the third epistle of
mr. Pope's essay on man, translated into Latin verse, Our readers will be able to judge of the merit of mr. Sayer's performance by the following specimen.
See him from nature rising flow to art !
EN! ut naturâ quàm lentè exsurgit ad artem!
Tunc RATIO urgebat preslo vestigia gresiu INSTINCTUS ; ità tunc homini NATUR A locuta eft.Vade !, Docende feris, elementa exquirito passim: Ex avibus quos, disce, cibos dumeta miniftrant; Ex pecubus difcas agri medicamina scitus; Disce tuas apibus condendi callidus artes; Findere talpa solum doceat, contexere vermis ; NAUTILUS exiguus monftret dare lintea, remos