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Scriptures, and the reading the commentators ; that, with the most carnest wish to tind the Doctrines of Christianity true, and its Divine Origin morally evidenr, he attended with the utmoit candour to the authorities of ancient historians and the arguments of modern reafuners. And yer, though early instructed to pay the most profound reverence and put the moit explicit faith in the orthodox doctrines of Christiani. ty, the more closely' he applied the criterion of reason the more clearly did that criterion appear to be inapplicable. The farther advances he made in huinan icience the less coinpatible hé found it with divine, knowledge.. That he felt by no means the force of argument respecte ing the divine iniision of our Saviour, either from the completion of prophecics or the effect of miracles. It appeared to him, that the credit of Christianity was fo licule established, and even the name of its Divine Inititutor so little known, in its very birth-place and infancy, that the magistrates themselves (peak of one Jesus, as an obicure and unbeard-of itranger; and of his facrifice on the cross as a doubtful event” Yer in Ipite of all these objections, which appear lo unan. swerable to him: in fpite also of the remonftrances of renfon, convinced folely by the subrequent progrels of Christianity in oppofition to the increduliry of the times, and the inefficacy of the Miracles of Christ and his Apostles, tu diffufe a more general and earlier belief, he yields a cheerful aflent to all the Doctrines of Revelation." 'In confirmation of this he lays, “ Next to this he conceived the strongest proof that could be brought of the divive origin, and of a fupernatural interpofition in the eitablishinent of Christianity, is that the enormous wicka edness of its later professors,' the flagitious, the inhuman methods of propagating it, together with the apparent absudities contained in its mysterious teners, have not been able to bring it altogether into difcredit, even in the most scientific ages, and with the most rational and humane nations in the world. Here is, indeed, the appearance of something fupernatural; the fulfilling of the Divine Founder's promise to the Christian Church, that the gates of hell should not prevail against it. It is to an over-ruling Providence and the irresistible power of Grace in the completion of this promise, more than to the trongeit rational arguments, that Christianity owes its permanence and progection." How coniradictory the account here given of the progress and reception the Christian Religion met with in the earliest ayes, to that in some other parts of his work! The author of the “ Views having brought the quick and extensive propagation of Christianity as an argument it fupport of its credibility, and said *, “ It is well known that in the course of a very few years it was 'pread over all the principal parts of Asia and of Europe, and this by the ministry only of an inconsiderable number of the most inconsiderable persons, and that at the time Paganism was in the highelt repure ; the Oblerver chus yemarks upon it ti “ Out of veneration for the subject, we shall not place this argument in that ridiculous light into which it might be ihrown. At the same time, having intiinated in what a suspicious light we hold historical evidence in general, we shall not enter into any
dispute about the matters of fact. We might otherwise controvert the reputable itate of Paganism at the commencement of the Christian da;' the imninediate dunb-founding of its Oracles by the c nequens efta. blinment of Christianity in the principal parts of Europe and Afia." He then fusjoins in a note, “ At Itait, if its doctrine obrained a hear., ing, and for a while a very partial receprion, they were foon obscured and obliterated." Yet it is upon this joundation, up n this fupernatiral interpofition in its establishwent, and upon this alone, that the Doctor builds his faith. Wits, he truly fas, have short memories, an ada e till as applicable here as where it is applied in the * Obfervations *." · Having ro giod grounds to give this disquisitor credit for a short memory on the score of his great wit, we muft cine clude that he paid too little attention to the Obfervations to com rehend the argument. For, whether men have long or fort memories, they cannot forget what they never knew. Now the Observer declares in the most express terms, that tho! he gives his unfeigned allent to the doctrines of Divine Revelation, he does not believe them on any ground of rational evidence whatever. He docs, indeed,' own that there is the apo peara, ce of a supernatural interposition in favour of Chriftianity, in its having been sustained under the abomination and profligacy of its laier professors and propagators ; ' meaning the Church of Rome, in opposition to the manners of the primitive Chriftians infifted upon by Mr. Jenyns.-And yet on the Arength of this pretended inconsistency in Dr. K, our disquifitor goes on to charge him with equivocation in his profeffion of Christianity.
“ In vain, does the Doctor strive to convince' os of his being really a Christian, by saying *,“ and yet, experimentally convinced how thort is the line of the human understanding, how inadequate the Pronyest powers of sense and genius to penetrate the veil of Nature and of Providence, we can readily tubmit our reason to Revelation, and give our unteigned allent, as Christians, to the truth of propofi. cons, which, as men and philosophers, we can neither fully underftand or clearly conceive." From this discullion of this part of the ( View” he bimself must acknowledge, there is great reason to doubt it. In many other instances throughout his Observations he has given too much room for Sceptics and Infidels “ to mock and jeer at our selemnities." Were we not convinced by his Epistles to Lorenzo, and some other of his writings, that he is not only almoft, but altogether, a Christian, we should be apt to dra v some unfavourable conclusions on jhat head from the following pallages : or, if they be noi thus uncharitably interpreted, they at least thew us, that the brighętt geniuses can:not argue with precision and consistency on these speculative points, thro' the intricacies that attend the Christian lystein in its present state :
* Observations, fo. 82. * Ibid. fo. 213:
the admiflion therefore of the foregoing conclusions relative to the pres existence of the human soul cannot be dee. ned improper, as they tend to elucidate many apparent contradictions in it, and renders that blind impricit faith, which has been so much the subject of contention, un, necessary."
. We conceive, we understand what this writer means by a blind implicit faith. But, if the Chriftian faith be such as is described and recommended in Scripture, it may, and that in no degrading rense, be called both blind and implicit. “ Thou seeft and doft believe ; blessed are they that believe, tho' they have not seen.”—This writer, indeed, may call this the assertion of an enthusiatt,” for, “ without some rational foundation, Faith cannot be meritorious, or worthy of beings capable of reflection and discrimination."-But where did he learn, that the merit of faith lies in believing what is consistent with reafon, and where, that the objects of the Christian's faith are obje:is of rational reflection and discrimination ? We are very certain the Scripture repeatedly tells us otherwise. Nothing is more frequently or forcibly inculcated in seripture than the essential difference between the wisdom of this world and that which makes us wise unto falvation. It was, “ the preaching of foolishness *,” such in the opinion of the worldly wife, thar was chosen as the ineans of first propogating Christianity. Whence have our modern rationalists found out that the whole economy of the gospel is fince altered, and that the wisdom of this worid and that of the next are now become so perfe&tly harmonised and reconciled? - It is really with a very bad grace that such pretenders to Christianity insinuate a doubt of Dr. K's fincerity, founded merely on a strict adherence to the letter and spirit of Scripture. They will have it, that the doctrines of divine Revelation are perfeâly consonant to, and consistent with human Reason; nay, that such Reason is the only test of what is actually revealed. The Observer on Mr. Jenyns's tract declares otherwise, and appeals to the Scripture for proof : conforming in this particular entirely to our disqui. fitor's injunction, viz. to rely on no authority tut what is divine, and on no reason but what is clear and distinct. The difference between him and his opponents is, that he diftinguishes between the mysteries of divine Revelation, and those of human reason; relying just as little on authority in matters. of philosophy as he does on reason in matters of Divinity. i
Having expatiated so fully in self-defence, we thall detain our readers but a moment longer on the conciliatory measure,
* Not the foolishness of Preaching.-Sce Bishop Pearce's Commentary ön that text.
propofed by the present difquifitor, : This is the adoption of Dr. Cheyne's scheme of the pre-existent lapse of human souls; a scheme, he says, which, properly pursued, will not only throw many new lights on the presenc inexplicatle parts of nature aod religion, but particularly reconcile the different doctrines of the disputants he addreffes; of whom, with his fubjet, he thus candidly takes his leave. : “ I am fenfible that any apparent innovation in religion will call forth the centures and anathemas of bigots and enthusiasts; I there. före again repeat that I with the discussions herein contained, no far. ther atiended to, or propagated, than as they lerve to promote genuine and vital Chriftianity.--The respectability of that fenlible and worthy man, whore opinions i hey originally * were, and who, afrer ihe deep. eit researches and moft serious reflection, found no reason to disclaim them, may possibly shield me in some measure from their calumny; if not, fatisfied of my intentions, I wait with composure their attacks. If they contribute in the least towards a clearer explanation of the Doctrines of Revealed Religion, than arises from the rational and forçible arguments contained in “ The View of its internal Evidences," I Mall be happy. And I shall greatly rejoice, if at the same time they serve to abate the violence of the learned Writer of the “ Observations," againt any attempts to bring the Mysteries of Religion to the teft of rational investigation." "..
Miscellaneous Obfervations on planting and training Timber. : trees; particularly calculated for the Climate of Scotland. Ix .. Series of Letters. By Agricola. 8vo. 3$. Elliot, Edin: burg.-Cadell, London.
". While the great men, who surround the throne of our molt gracious Sovereign, are wrangling about places and pensions, and trying who can prevail in the contest for riches and honours ; while Junius is ftudying how he can beft annoy the men in power, and North is putting on his armour for defence; while Camden is turning over the multy records of antiquity, for precedents of law to confound his antagonist, and Mansfield is preparing himself to meet this doughty champion; While Chatham is publishing his oracular speeches, to convince the world that he alone is able to penetrate the designs, and frustrate the attempts of all our eremies; while Rickingham calls forih his myrmidons, and Burke and Barre found the dread alarm of war, of bloodthed, and of total defolation' ; let us, who live at a distance from these tumultous scenes, look up with indifference on all these cumultous scenes,
* I mean only of the general system here given, many particular parts of it having long been propagated by others. Bishop Burnet, speaking of Sir Henry Vane, a person of eminence, who was beheaded foon after the restoration, says, He leaned to Origen's notion of an universal salvation of all, ·both of Devils and the Damned, and the Doctrine of Pre-existence. “
took op with indifference on all these several contests, little folicitous about thc success of either party, being convinced that disputes of this Sort must ever be the neceffary attendant, and perhaps the turelt guand of public liberty ; and, while we laugh at the specious pretext which they employ to impose on each other, let us, without peevilkness, allow them to enjoy, as well as they can, their short-lived glory, and plume themselves upon their fancied superiority, while we, with diligence and assiduity, endeavour, each of us, faithfully to perform that talk which providence has allotted us, and, in our more humble Iphert, contribute what is our power for the public good, by encouraging every useful art, and carrying on, with a chear ful alacrity, every improvement that can benefit the nation, while at the same time, it promotes the happiness of individuals." . · Much would it contribute, we conceive, both to public and private happiness, if many of those, who affe&t to interest themselves in national concerns, were to shew the good-sense of Agri
cola, and thus apply themselves to their own particular affairs, - We should then fee fewer of our factious artizans and shop
keepers bustling about Elections, and absconding from their proper poft behind the counter, to crowd the lobby, or thruft their noses into the gallery of the House of Commons. Wc Thould have fewer speechifyers at the London-Tavern, and the Half-Moon; nor would the public business of the nation
suffer a whit, for their private business being better minded at · home. The Author of these observations appears to have
set a good example, as well in applying hiinself to the experi· mental part of planting, as in publishing the result of his experience; which he appears to bave done with great ingenuousness and accuracy.
perience, which lanting, as in applying
The Double Delusion.; or, Faction the Cause of all the Confufion.
de joco-Serious Review of our American Embroilment. 6d. 1 E. Johnson.
One would think the task of a Reviewer as enviable as it is invidious, from seeing so many writers, on fo many occasions, - set up for Reviewers ! But, alas! we may fay from deara bought experience, “ painful pre-eminence? they little know how dearly we abide a talk so vain."--As to the prelent Reviewer, indeed, he seems quite to have inistaken his fort. As a chronic diseale gives room to exercise patience; a - little jocularity may sometimes relieve the pacient ; but acute diseases will bear no joking with ; and such we think our American embroilmont. If it were a mere few, indeed, ---but