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The next class of scripture texts, it at all necessary to do so; but I to which the Doctor directs us for shall content myself for the present proofs of his sentiment, is that with noticing what he is pleased which speaks of Christ as humb- to denominate Sect. V. “A conling himself at his incarnation and firmation of the doctrine by Arguso becoming a pattern of humility ments drawn from the happy conto his people. Thus Phil. ii. 5–7. sequences and the various ad van“ Let this mind be in you which tages of it.” He is of opinion that was also in Christ Jesus; who the supposed pre-existence of being in the form of God, thought Christ's human soul casts a surit not robbery to be equal with prising light upon many dark - God, but made himself of no re- passages in the word of God, and putation," or, as he very properly helps us easily to explain and retranslates it emptied himself,(name- concile several difficult places in ly of the form or majesty of God- the Old and New Testament, head which he had with the Father which are very hard to be account. before his incarnation.*) The ed for any other way, p. 608. Doctor's gloss upon this text is so Now on this I remark that, were extremely curious that I beg leave the principle in question ever once to cite it. Having quoted the clearly and expressly taught by apostle's words “Who being in the the inspired writers, it would be form of God, &c.” he adds, “ that our duty to receive it submissively, is, his human soul, which is the and to abide by it at all hazards; chief part of the man, being in but to invent an hypothesis ununion with his godhead (the very known to the Scriptures, and, point which he had to prove !] having assumed it as a first princiwas vested with a godlike form ple in our reasonings, then to and glory in all former ages; thus make the word of God bend to it, he oftentimes appeared to the is a most unwarrantable procedure, Patriarchs as the angel of the and pregnant with dangerous and Lord, and as God or Jehovah, &c. destructive consequences. I may This seems to be the form of God, add, that it is in flat opposition to which the apostle speaks of.” p. the excellent rules for investigating 691. This gloss requires no refu. truth which the Doctor himself tation for I have already shewn has given us, both in his Treatise that the notion so current in the on the art of Logic, and also in religious world, that it was the his Improvement of the Mind. Son of God who appeared of old “Take heed,” says he, “lest some to the fathers, and who personated favourite hypothesis, be made a the angel of the Lord, is an un- test of the truth or falsehood of founded supposition, and incon- all other propositions about the sistent with Paul's doctrine in Heb. same subject. Dare not to build i. and other parts of scripture. much upon such a notion or docAll the Doctor's elaborate reason trine till it be very fully examined, ing, therefore, on this and similar accurately adjusted, and sufficient. texts, such as 2 Cor. viii. 9. being i ly confirmed. Some persons, by founded on false premises, turns indulging such a practice, have out a mere castle in the air. In- been led into long ranks of errors; deed it were easy to follow him they have found themselves. in a through the whole chain of his train of mistakes, by taking up argumentation, and evince its futi- some petty hypothesis-upon slight lity, did my limits allow, and were and insufficient grounds, and establishing that as a test and rule to applied to him in all the Scrip. judge of all other things.” Im- tures! and the second is, that it provement of the Mind, Part I. was the Human soul of Jesus which ch. xviii. Sect. 13. Alas, for poor Jehovah possessed in the begin. kuman nature! how much easier ning before his works of old !! is it to give advice than to take it. But having established these two Dr. Watts's own conduct in the points (without any scriptural present instance is equally upphi- evidence) all the rest follows in losophical and unscriptural. Yet train. The human soul of Jesus the Doctor was not a solitary in- united itself to the Logos, or the stance of this perversity of judg• WORD, John i. 1. and hence he ment. It is common to all who was “ the beginning"-" the firsthave adopted this strange notion born of every creature"-and thus of the pre-existence of Christ's these gentlemen human soul. I have now before “ As they are disposed can prove it, me, an Octavo Volume entitled Below the moon or else above it.” “ A Scriptural Display of the But let an unprejudiced mind Triune God, and the early Exis- examine the foundation of this tence of Jesus' Human Soul, By | superstructure, and he will find it John Stevens (of York street) Lon- all built upon stubble! In the don, 1813. A great proportion of eighth chapter of Proverbs, the Mr. Stevens's book is occupied in speaker, or subject spoken of, is adducing evidence of a distinction Wisdom-that is, (says Mr. Stevens) of persons in the Godhead, and of the man Jesus or at least his human the essential Deity of the Lord soul. Suppose now for argument Jesus Christ-on neither of which sake we were to admit this arbidoctrines have I any dispute with trary interpretation ; let us see him. But let any person impar- what follows. It is said in the tially attend to the evidence by context, ver. 12. “I wisdom dwell which he labours to establish the with prudence and find out knowdoctrine of the pre-existence of ledge of witty inventions.” Now Christ's human soul, and he will if Jesus be Wisdom, who is Prufind it equally futile with that by dence? and I may with equal pro. which Dr. Watts attempts to prove priety demand, who is Knowit. For instance, Mr. Stevens ledge? We have no more authomeets with the following passage, rity to personify one of these Prov. viii. 22. &c. “ The Lord qualities than we have another, for possessed me in the beginning, &c. the existence of knowledge implies
* See Dr. Macknight's Note on this text, where the reader will find a grand illustration of it, in perfect harmony with the scope of the New Testament, without having recourse to the pre-existent scheme,
then I was by him as one brought a subject in which it must exist. up with him; and I was daily his But the truth is that the whole is delight. rejoicing always before a mere petitio principii a begging him—and my delights were with of the question at issue-and will the sons of men.” About thirty not bear examination. While on pages of his book are taken up in the other hand, if, by these accommodating this text to the epithets, wisdom, prudence, and author's purpose, and every one knowledge, we understand the atmust allow, indeed, that it re-tributes of Deity denoted by those quired no little skill to accomplish terms, they admit of an interpreit. But the thing is at last com- tation equally striking and familiar pletely effected ! Does the reader when applied to the divine purask how? I will tell him. 'Tis by lposes and counsels respecting the taking for granted two things ; economy of man's redemption, a the first is that this passage in Pro- branch of knowledge in which the verbs has any respect whatever to blessed God “hath abounded the Son of God, for it is never once 'towards us in all wisdom and pru.
dence." Eph. i. 8. whether we re- to inherit immortal life-and congard the plan of our salvation or stituted head over all things to his the means by which that greatest body the church-but vested with of all the divine works was carried universal dominion over the creainto effect.* But I must desist tion of God—“ the Prince of the from further enlarging on this sub. Kings -of the earth," Rev. i. 5. ject, and therefore only add, that “ King of kings and Lord of both Dr. Watts and Mr. Stevens lords," 1 Tim. vi. 5. Rev. xvii. appear to me to err egregiously in 14. But all this is wholly indetheir use, no less than in their in- pendent of the strange and unterpretation of many texts of scrip-scriptural doctrine of the preture, when they apply them to this existence of his human soul. their favourite lypothesis. I par
Sic sensit, ticularly refer to such passages as
SYPHAX, the following, viz. Col. i. 15--19. Rev. i. 5. Heb. i. 3. Rev. iii. 14. To the Editor of the New Evangelical and others of similarimport. These
Magazine. texts speak of Christ as “ the first sin, born of every creature"-"the
In your Number for Sepfirst-begotten from the dead”
tember, you have an extract of a “the beginning” (or chief )-" the
Letter from Halifax, Nova Scotia,
| in which is the following passage. head of his body the church”“ the beginning of the creation of
“ The pews in the Methodist God.” Now all these expressions,
Meeting are sold, to the almost which are nearly synonymous in
| total exclusion of the poor; and
| also the exclusion of the poor their import, have a manifest reference to that dominion which has
blacks from the ordinance of the been conferred upon the Son of
Lord's Supper, with the whites." God as the reward of his obedience
You candidly observe, that this unto the death in accomplishing the
is contrary to our general practice redemption of his elect-and in
| as a body; and it is indeed so virtue of wbich he is constituted
d much so, that the charges in the THE Herr, or Lord of all things,
* above extract are as new to us, as Heb. i. 2. which compare with ch.
to your readers. The Committee ii. 7-9. It was in virtue of his
his for the management of our Misdeep bumiliation and bitter suf
Psions have no knowledge of such ferings that God not only raised
exclusions either at Halifax, or any his Son Jesus from the dead, but ou
other Missionary Stations. also exalted bim to his own right
I am, Sir, hand, and made him both Lord !
Your obedient Servant, and Christ, Acts ii. 36. constitut- | Oct. 6, 1817.
u City Road, RICHARD WATSON. iog him “ Lord of all,” ch. X. 36. The letter to which Mr. Watson regiving him all power and authority fers, was written by Capt. Bromley, a both in heaven and on earth, Matt. 'gentleman of unimpeachable veraxxviji. 18. angels, authorities 'city, who is bending all his efforts to and powers being made subiect colonize the Indians in that quarter. unto him, yea commanded to wor
We are glad to find the subject has ship him. 1 Pet. iii. 22. Heb. i. 6. I to
attracted the notice of Mr. Watson,
0. for we are sure if any abuse does exist Thus we not only behold him as in that quarter, he will spare no pains the first who rose from the dead to correct it.
* I remember, some years ago, perusing a work written by an old Baptist minister to illustrate the book of the Revelation, and was surprised to find how the good man made out the doctrine of Believers' baptism from almost every chapter in it! Mr. Stevens's optic faculty is scarcely less acute and penetrating, who can find the human soul of Jesus Christ in the book of Proverbs,
Brief account of the Reasons which towards God and man. It was per have induced the Rev. T. C. Cowan, / haps fortunate for them, that they (Late of Trinity College, Dublin) to were not placed precisely in those secede from the established church: 1 circumstances which led the late Dr. Addressed to those who composed his | Paley to apologise for retaining his congregation, while he officiated in the situation in the establishment, nameParish church of St. Thomas, Bristol. / ly, that “ he could not afford to keep a London, Whittemore, Paternoster-conscience.” But, be that as it may, row; and Bonner, Bristol, 1817. pp. the noble sacrifice to principle which
50. Octavo. 15, 6d. stitched. they have made, evinces à disinteAMONG the various occurrences which restedness of mind and a confidence mark the aspect of the present times, in God which commands our veneraand concur to impress upon them ation. It affords us satisfaction to find discriminating characteristic, interest Mr. Cowan, the author of the paming to the friends of truth beyond all phlet before us, following their examformer precedent, may be fairly enu-ple, and becoming "a companion merated the frequent instances we with them in the kingdom, and meet with, of clergymen resigning patience of Jesus Christ." In his case, their ministry in the national church, indeed, the circumstances are more and casting their lot among the dis-trying, for we learn from his own senters. We do not mention this as narrative, that he has a family of any matter of surprise, or regret; on NINE CHILDREN, p. 11. We the contrary we regard it as the must, however, endeavour to make natural operation of those principles our readers a little more particus which are universally diffusing them larly acquainted with his history, and selves, and which, like “the leaven the things which have led to his sehid in three measures of meal will cession from the church of England. not cease their influence, till they We presume, from the circumhave ultimately leavened the whole.” | stance of his having received his Matt. xxiii. 33. The last twenty years education in Trinity College Dublin, has unquestionably been a remark- that Mr. Cowan is a native of Ireland. able æra in the moral world. Know- How long he has resided in this counledge of every kind has been gradu-try we are not informed, but we colally and increasingly diffusing itself- lect from p. 9. of his pamphlet that an ardent spirit of enquiry is become he has been nearly eighteen years prevalent throughout the lettered and engaged in the work of the ministry. even unlettered world-men are every There is some little confusion atwhere divesting themselves of the tending the representation which he shackles which for centuries had kept gives us of the workings of his mind, the human mind in bondage the previous to his quitting the establishdecrees of Popes, and Councils, and ment, but we suspect it to arise from Synods have already lost much of an error of the press. Thus when in that reverence which was formerly page 6, he says “ It was not, howentertained for them and all human ever, from the convictions of conauthority in the concerns of the king- science, that I entered into her serdom of heaven is daily diminishing, vice as one of her ministers." We
It is now pretty generally known apprehend he ineans to say that it that about two or three years ago,
was from the convictions of confour or five ministers of evangelical science, for in the same page, he adds, sentiments, who resided in the vicinity of Taunton, relinquished their
“I voluntarily undertook the sacred stations in the established church, office of a minister, but without thought under a conviction that its constitu
| as to its importance, and without any
knowledge of its duties. This, however, tion is unscriptural, and that a confor
was not all: at that time, from the force mity to its rites and ceremonies de
of early prejudice, it was my full belief, manded sacrifices from them which the Establishment was the exclusive resie were incompatible with preserving a dence of the God of the Bible, really conscience void of offence both. I conceiving the term Dissenter, was synes
nymous with heretic; is it therefore, any | about ten months since, he hace wonder she was beheld by me, with a re- nearly determined on quitting his verence bordering on, if not identified station as a minister of the Establishwith, idolatry; and that I never, for one | ment. Still, however, he persevered, moment, imagined, her seeming beauty owing to the authority of names, and and her imposing pomp, was tarnished with a speck, and still less, that she was
swayed by the arguments of his unsound within."
friends, who urged that, by quitting
the establishment, he would be It is much to be feared that there diminishing his usefulness-uneasy are thousands of clergymen in this in his situation and yet afraid to move kingdom, whose state of mind is cordially disliking many things, mostexactly delineated by Mr. Cowan, 1 yet attached to the establishment. in this short extract. Trained up But the time was now come when it from their infancy in a reverence for was no longer allowed him to trifle the national establishment of reli- with the dictates of conscience. A gion, which is a mere human institu- representation was made to the Bition: and kept in countenance by the shop of the Diocese, that Mr. Cowan superior numbers of its adherents, was guilty of several irregularities" their minds become blinded to its in the performance of Divine service monstrous incongruity with the funda- / at seven in the morning of a Lord's mental principles of the kingdom of day-in consequence of which his the Son of God, and they come Lordship thought proper to suspend gradually to regard its various rites him from his official duties! The and ceremonies, not merely with charges preferred against him were, complacency, but in process of time that on a particular occasion, “he even to attach a kind of sanctity to commenced the worship of God, with things which are altogether unknown something of his own, and not accordto the New Testament. Such are ing to the prescribed form.” This the various orders of her clergy-the charge does not appear to us to have rites and ceremonies prescribed in her involved in it any blameableness had book of Common Prayer—a liturgy it been true, but it turned out to be plainly borrowed from the church of wholly unfounded, and the Bishop Rome, and various other things too | acknowledged that he had been misnumerous to be specified. To this informed upon the point. Another unscriptural state of things, it is Mr. | was that in reading the prayers he Cowan's mercy to have lately had his had “omitted the absolution!” which eyes opened ; and, what is still of Mr. C. admits to be true but not higher importance, his mind has been intentionally done. A third was that enlightened “to perceive something he changed the proper lessons for the of the spirituality of the truths con- day, and read only one Psalm, and tained in the mystery of godliness, that one appointed for the Evening and his heart consequently enlarged service and not the Morning. This with Christian feeling towards all charge Mr. Cowan admits to be true, those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and endeavours to justify it on the in sincerity.” With his growth in ground that he thought himself at scriptural knowledge, his early pre- | liberty to consult the convenience of judices gave way; and as he became his hearers by reading shorter les. better acquainted with his Bible, and sons, that the congregation might attended to the reasonings of his have time to return to public worship Episcopal brethren in defence of the lat half past ten. A fourth complaint doctrines, liturgy, and discipline of was that he read a verse of the the church of England, his mind second lesson twice over with peculiar grew uneasy at perceiving the difficul- emphasis--and to this he pleads ties under which they laboured to guilty. Lastly “ that he curtailed prove that her language did not mean, the Service by omitting several of the what to a plain unlettered man, it Prayers, the Litany, and Communion evidently does import-particularly in Service"-which is also admitted to reference to her Catechism and Bap- | be true. tismal service.
Thus our readers have before them About two years ago, Mr. Cowan's the whole head and front” of Mr. scruples became very irksome to him, Cowan's offending in this important but he continued struggling against matter, for which he was suspended the convictions of conscience, until, by the Bishop from his ministeria