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that the objections urged by Mr. Taylor against considering the legal as piacular facrifices, and the facrifice of Christ as vicarious, are insufficient. With regard to the merits of the cause, it is not our province to determine; nor shall we detain our readers with any extracts from this performance, but think it sufficient to inform them, that though our author endeavours to vindicate the commonly received opinion with regard to the point in dispute, yet he is much more moderate in his sentiments concerning it, than the generality of those who have taken the same lide of the queltion. By satisfaction to the divine justice, when applied to the sufferings of Christ, he thinks nothing more is meant, than that they were such, as that it pleased God to consider and accept of them, as fufficient to manifest his displeasure against fini, and to vindicate the honour of his justice and laws ; ' at the same time that he was pleased to thew mercy to the sinner : and by the imputation of our fins to Chrift, he imagines nothing more is intended, than that, as he undertook to procure for us the remiffion of our fins, they may be said so far to have been placed to his account.
ART. X. An Elay on Mr. Hume's Elay on Miracles, i
By William Adams, MA, Minister of St. Chad's
have been lately publithed, this is not the least considerable. The subject is very important, and handled with judgment and accuracy: the full evidence, possibility, and propriety of miracles are distinctly thewn; and the objections of Mr. Hume, though urged with great acuteness, proved to be inconclusive: Nor is it the lealt praise of this performance, that it is written with candour, and in such, a manner as thews the author to have enlarged and generous notions of christianity, and a temper free from fourness and bigotry.
He has divided his piece into two parts ; in the first he proves that miracles are credible in themselves, and in the fecond shews the credibility of the gospel miracles, and what disparity there is between them and those of poperys obviating as he goes along all that has been advanced upon the subject by Mr. Hume.
The argument urged by Mr. Hume against miracles is es follows, It appears,' says he, “ that no testimony for any kind of miracle can ever amount to a probability, much less to a proof; and that, even fuppofing it amounted to a proof, 'twould be cpposed by another prcof, derived from the very nature of the fact which it would endeavour to establith. 'Tis experience alone which gives authority to human testimony ; and it is the fime experience which alsüres us of the laws of nature. When, therefore, these two kinds of experience are contrary, we have nothing to do but subtract the one from the other, and embrace an opinion either on the one side or the other, with that allurance which arises from the remainder. But, according to the principle here explained, this subtraction, with regard to all popular religions, amounts to an entire annihilation ; and, therefore, we may establish it as a maxim, that no human testimony can have such force as to prove a miracle, and make it a just foundation for any such system of religion.'
In answer to this, our author observes, that, the uniformity of nature is no way impeached or brought in question by the supposition of miracles.
« The concuring testimony of mankind,' says he, to the course of nature, is not contradicted by those who have experienced contrary appearances in a few instances. The idea of a miracle unites and reconciles these seeming differences. By supposing the facts in question to be miraculous, the uniformity of nature is preserved, and the facts are accounted for upon another principle intirely consistent with it. Thus, experience teacheth us, that lead and iron are heavier than water : but a man, by projecting these heavy bodies, may make them swim in water, or fly in air. Should the same be done by any invisible power, it would be a miracle. But the uniformity of nature is no more disturbed in this case than the former, nor is the general experience, which witnesses to the superior gravity of :hese bodies, any proof that they may not be raised in air and water, by fome invisible agent, as well as by the power
of man : all that experience teaches is the comparative weight of these bodies. If therefore, they are feen to ficat in mediums lighter than themselve, this must be the effect of art or ftrength; but, if it be done without any visible art or power, it must be done then by fome art or power that is invisible, that is, it must be miraculous. This is the process by which we infer the existence of miracles ;
which is, therefore, so far from being contradicted by that experience upon which the laws of nature are established, that it is closely connected and stands in the faireft agreement with it.
• The question then will remain whether any such invisible agents have ever interposed in producing visible effects? Against the Posibility of this, though the author is pleased to pronounce it impossible, he hath offered no argument (and indeed, none can possibly be offered) against the Credibility of it ; the experience which he pleads, is no argument at all. This experience proves a course of nature, but 'whether this is ever interrupted, is still a question. This experience teaches what may be ordinarily expected from common cau’es, and in the common course of things : but miraculous interpofitions, which we are enquiring after, are, by their nature and essence, extraordinary, and, cut of the common course of nature, Miracles, if at all, are effects of an extraordinary power upon extraordinary occasions : confequently, common experience can determine nothing concerning them. That such occasions may arise, both in the natural and moral world, is easy to conceive. The greatest of natural philosophers hath thought, that the frame of the world will want, in a course of time, the hand that made it to retouch and refit it. The greatest of moral philosophers hath thought it a reasonable hope, that God would some time send a messenger from heaven to instruct men in the great duties of religion and morality.
As to the queition of Fact---whether any such interpositions have been ever known or obferved? This must be tried, like all other historical facts, by the testimony of those who relate it, and the credit of the first witnesses who have youched it; and not, as this author would have it, by the testimony of others---of those who lived in diftant times and places. There is mention of a comet, a little before the Achaian war, which appeared as big as the sun : If this were well attested by the astronomers of that time, it would be trifling to object against it that the like had never been observed before nor fince. And just as pertinent is it to alledge the experience of ages and countries against miracles which are faid to be wrought in other times and other countries.
But, in truth, were the world to give evidence in the present question, they would, I am perfuaded, depose very differently from what this author expects. A great part
of mankind have given their testimony to the credibility of miracles, they have actually believed them. By this author's account, all the religions in the world have been founded upon this belief. If this be true, we have universal testimony to the credibility of miracles. How then can there be universal experience against them? The author tells us that we must judge of testimony by experience. It is more certain that we must judge of the experience of men by their testimony:
*After this he proceeds to consider distinctly the grounds of that credibility, which we allow, in different degrees, to historical facts, and from the whole concludes, that miracles, when there appears a- sufficient cause for working them, are credible in themselves--that, when they come under the cognizance of our senses, they are proper matter of testimony, and, when attested by witnefles, who have sufficient opportunity of convincing themselves, and give fufficient proof of their conviction, have a right to command our faith,
Art. x. Disertationes 2. Critico facræ : quarum prima
*explicatur Ezek. xiii. 18. Væ que consuunt Pulvillos sub omni cubito manus, et faciunt cervicalia sub capite universe
ætatis ad capiendas animas: "Vulg. Altera vero 2 Reg. 10. 22. Dixitque his qui erant super vestes, proferte vestimenta - univerfis servis Baal, et protulerunt eis veftes.
Vulg. Auctore Georgio Costard, A. M. Ostavo, is. Baldwin. T
O pass a proper judgment upon the merit of this per
formance, would require greater knowledge of the Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac languages, than falls to our share,' or, we apprehend, to that of the generality of our readers. Our author, who, as far as we are able to judge, is very well acquainted with these languages, translates the first of these texts in the following manner; ve mulieribus cafles nečtentibus omni ferarum armo illa queando, et facientibus retia, capiti omnis avis affurgentis, et avolare conantis, implicando. He observes that the metaphors are plainly taken from hunting. &c. and refer to those threatnings wherewith the false prophetelles endeavoured to alarm and terrify the servants of God; and this interpretation he thinks is abundantly confirm’d by the 20th and 21st ver. of the fame chapter, which he renders thus. Ecce ego contra caíses
vestras, quibus animas venamini, easque de brachiis veftris, quibus gestare soletis, vi eripiam, animasque, qua's venamini, misas faciam. Retia infuper vestra lacerabo, "populumque: meum e manibus veftris in libertatem vindicabo ; nec diutius erunt in manibus veftris predæ retibus captæ,
The text, which is the fubject of his fecond dissertation, he translates thus, Julit itaque eum qui lupanari facro præfuit, inquiens, aulæa, qua omnibus Baalis cultoribus Jufficiant, proferto; eaque produxit eis hamalbush dictus. i. e. is cui curæ erant, referring it to those impious rifes that were practised in the temple of Baal, which he thinks the fame with Venus.
MONTHLY CAT ALOGUE,
For December, 1752.
I. Ecret memoirs of the late count Saxe, marshal of
France, &c. 12mo. 2s. Wren. From the number of contemptible productions with which our novel-makers have complimented the public this season, one may be almost te pred to conclude that these writers have combined to try whether the age may not be cured of its peculiar taste for this kind of amusement, by an excessive surfeit; which that they may with the more certainty effect, they seem to have induftriously contrived that each succeeding performance fall be aftoníthingly worse than the foregoing : and at the rate they go on, it will be impossible for any but themselves to 'guess to what extremes of dulness and nonsense they may proceed. We should have readily given it as our opinion, that nothing can be more stupidly nauseous, more ridiculously improbablé, or a more confummate imposition upon the public, than these pretended memoirs ; but we have learnt to be more cautious in our conclusions, from fome late instances of the fallibility of our judgment : we had per'uaded ourselves that certain pieces which we have lately had the honour of mentioning in our catalogues, were not to be outdone by the greatest adept in modern authorism ; but, as was observ'd, p. 460 of our Review for November, we are now more than ever persuaded that no man can write so ill, but that another can still write worse' ; yet, surely! no