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the determinations of reason would but very rarely produce any considerable effects. Defare, hope, fear, &c. are the great Springs of human action, without which our other powers would move but heavily. That this is the case, daily experience sufficiently testifies; and arguments against experience are only to be answered by fresh appeals to it.
« If it should be asked, "Whether man would not be more
perfect, had he no occasion for his passions; and were rea• son sufficient at all times not only to direct and determine
his choice, but to secure a proper execution ?'-The question is idle and impertinent at least, if not impious. God has made us with affections as well as with understanding; and 'tis our bufiness to make a right use of his gifts, not to quarrel with them, i. e. with him for giving them, But more directly I answer, We might perhaps be more perfet beings were 'we actuated as well as informed by pure reason ; but we should not be more perfect men. Reason without affection is the perfection of angels, or rather indeed of God only. The perfection of man (as of every other being) consists in the due disposition and regular exercise of all those faculties which are properly natural to him; not in the inactivity, and much less in the extirpation of any.
“ The result then is this : man is a being of a mixt nature; and in order to gain his attention to, and secure his .concurrence with, any proposal of importance, application must be made to each part of him. Now, whatever be determined concerning the precise and proper object of reason, it must be allowed that bappiness is the object of the affections. Though therefore we may convince the understanding by illuftrating the rectitude of any undertaking ; yet, by a prospect of some advantage, we must excite the affections. And both must be done at least, generally speaking, if we would succeed in our exhortations, and engage the man.
" What is here observed holds true upon the most abAtracted confideration of the nature of man; even fuppofing each of his powers to maintain its proper province, and the just balance to be preserved between them. Happiness (we fee) is as necessary to engage the affections as reason is to conduct them. And accordingly (I may observe before a Christian audience) this was the method in which God himself thought fit to apply to our common parent for obedience even in paradise. Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely èct; but of the tree of knowlege of good and evil thou shalt not eat 8
of it. Here is man's duty, declared to him. But did his Maker leave it thus to his understanding and reason without any enforcement ? Quite otherwise. How then did Infinite Wisdom think fit to enforce it? Why, not by insisting only, or (as far as appears) at all, upon the fitnets of the injunction itself, or even upon the reasonableness of Adam's acting agreeably to the relation he stood in to his great Creator and Benefactor. These considerations, how proper foever, were not such as his obedience even then was to be wholly entrusted with ; his affections were to be applied to, and particularly his fears to be awakened : and accordingly we find the forementioned declaration of his duty seconded with this solemn denunciation, — In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
“ However, if we take a view of man's nature as we now find it, (a view against which no exception can be taken, either by the avowed unbeliever on one hand, or the allegorical interpreter on the other) our argument will receive still farther enforcement. The necessity of rewards will rise in proportion to the visible degeneracy of our nature. Be virtue never so reasonable, never fo amiable, yet if our understandings are obscured and our wills perverted; if our reasoning faculties are weak and inattentive, and our passions at once irregular and strong; all its charms will be loft upon us. Some additional motives are in this state of things manifestly necessary, not only to give a proper activity and direttion to our difirgaged affections, but to counteract the perverse tendency of our depraved ones; to awaken our attention, to asit our reason, and (as it were) to bribe our wills into a right, but otherwise unpleasing, choice.
“ How exalted soever our notions of human nature may be, yet if we will be content to take this nature as it subfifts
individuals, we shall find that virtue, notwithstanding its congruity to reason, is by no means generally agreeable to inclination. Indispofition at least, if not averfion to goodness, is what the fober part of mankind have in all ages complained of; and what the best of men have ever experienced, at least, at their first entrance on the paths of virtue. And whatever may be thought of that moral-fense, which has of late been contended for ; 'uis certain, men have other fenfes befides that, and those generally far more importunate for their respective gratifications. Whoever seriously reflects on what pales within him, will not want the authority of revelation to convince him, that there is a law in our members, warring again?
thi law of our mind. And 'tis well if by all the promises, or even all the threats of the Gospel, we can prevent its bringing men into captivity to the law of lin. - But farther :
«.'Tis not to be dissembled, that one great part of mankind will generally be found engaged in an interest oppofite to that of virtue. And how shall we go about to recommend it to perfons of this character ? From its native charms ? From its fitness or its reasonableness ? Alas ! such recommendations will naturally be looked upon as idle tales by these persons. They will turn a deaf ear to all we can say on this argument ; or, if out of curiosity they vouchsafe us the hearing, they will probably entertain us with scorn and mockery, as bablers or enthusiasts. The most serious of them will tell us, “ We all • along beg the question : they like the way are in, and are far ' from envying us those refined gratifications we so much • boast of.' In truth, felf-love is the most prevailing, if not the only universal, principle of human action. Where this can be wrought upon in our recommendations of virtue, some good may
be done. But our exhortations will have no hold on the generality of persons, unless we can outbid their present schemes, and convince them that Godliness either is, with regard to the success of these, or with regard to some more important interest hereafter will be, great gain.
“ Add to all this, that cases may well be fuppofed, because such have frequently in fact happened, wherein a steady adherence to the cause of virtue shall not only oblige us to quit some present advantage, but to submit to fome present inconvenience, and perhaps misery. Now some counterbalance should be provided against evils of this kind. The abitract beauty and fitness of virtue will be very insufficient for this purpose. Men are not generally Stoicks either in practice or opinion : nor is it fit they fhould be fo. Pain and loss will still be counted real evils by the sensible part of mankind; and to tell a man, in deep distress for his attachment to the interests of virtue, that he is her own reward, would justly be thought a very unfriendly method of confolation.-In fact, the fitness and amiableness of virtue will never, while men are men, be proof against those difficulties, to which a constant adherence to it will fometimes expose them. Nor can any provision be made against exigencies of this kind, which can rationally be deemed sufficient, unless some advantages be either given in hand, or ensured in reversion, to the adherentsto virtue, which may be at least an equivalent for the advantages they are obliged to forego, or a recompence for the
evils they are obliged to suffer, in and for their adherence to it.”
The whole of the Sermon is of a piece with the above extract, equally clear and sensible. Rational arguments, as our judicious Author observes, when seconded by Gospel-motives, will pierce deep into the soul, and be as nails fastened in a sure place ; but without such enforcement, they rather gratify the ear than warm the heart, and are seldom found to leave bed bind any lasting impression. While the generality are entertained with harangues of this kind, the man of curiosity and refinement will probably
hear the word with attention, and anon with joy receive it. Pleased to have his duty so elegantly described, and his own nature as well as that of virtue, fet in so agreeable a light. But if we look into his life, we shall find the progress by no means answerable to such promising beginnings. The reason is, he has no root in himself; his resolutions were not grounded in the only lasting principle of his nature : his vanity was foothed indeed, and his curiosity gratified; but his defire of happiness was not wrought upon. No wonder therefore if he dureth only for a while, and in time of temptation falleth away.
Universal Reftitution, a Scripture Doétrine. This proved in fe
veral Letters wrote on the Nature and Extent of Chriff's King-
able to the natural sentiments of mankind, especially when we look upon ourselves as fallen creatures, that every human heart must neceffarily, at least, wish it to be true. And in order to prove it so, the Author before us has taken a great deal of pains, and shewn himself master of no small Thare of fagacity and learning. We cannot, however, entirely approve of his method; for he first endeavours to eftablith his doctrine upon the principles of natural reason; and then tells us, that whatever this or that text of Scripture may pofsibly mean, it certainly cannot mean any thing contrary to the maxims he has laid down.--In our opinion, a more satisfactory method would have been, to have shewn (if he could) the doctrine of Universal Reftitution to have been, in fact, the doctrine of Scripture, in general; and that, where N 3
* Wzitten by one mr.hekouk (na D:) :
18 og character of Bristot a
particular texts (of which sort there are many) seem to contradict it, they do not do so in reality. Indeed he does, fometimes, attempt this; and when nothing else will do, a new translation, with the additional help of a convenient paraphrase, are found to be of great use, towards rendering the argument in hand fomewhat more probable. In points of Revelation, however, the safest method seems to be, to stick, as near as possible, to the literal interpretation ; and not profess ourselves wise above what is plainly written.
As the work before us consists of a long chain of argumentation, drawn out into the form of Letters, a general analysis of the whole would carry us beyond the limits of a Review, We shall therefore content ourselves with giving the fubject of each Letter; which will shew the points intended to be proved; together with such extracts as may exhibit a just specimen of the Author's style, and method of argumentation.
In Letter I. he endeavours to prove, “ That the English words cternal, everlasting, for ever and ever, &c. are unfcriptural, and express not the true import of the original words.
“ The word [cowv] means not eternity,” he says, (among other reasons) - because such meaning of it is, in many instances, repugnant to other parts of Scripture; fo 2 Cor. iv.
4. In whom the Gob TP AIWVOS T8T8 of this æon has blinded the minds of them that believe not, &c. Now supposing the word æon to mean age and not eternity, Satan may here be aptly exhibited to us in this gond and horrible description of him, the God of this age or æon; but it were blasphemy to call him the God of eternity, besides the absurdity of styling him the God of this eternity; for the word this, so used, must imply fome other eternity besides the present: and two eternities are an inconsistency in terms.
Letter II. “ That the Kingdom of CHRIST, which is called ainian, [ciwnios] is nit eternul.”
As a certain evidence of this, he says, “ We have the words of St. Paul, 1 Cor. xv, 24–27. Then cometh the end wolen he shall celiver up the Kingelom to God even the Father ; when he shall have invalidated all principality, and authority, and pouver, for he must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet. , The lat enemy that shall be invalidated is death, (or Heb ii. 14. he who has the power of death, that is the devil) for he has subordinated all things under his feet. But when he says that all