صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

river called Lethe, the water of which makes one forget every thing that is past.. Now purgatory is a kind of river Lethe ; . God forgets that he was offended, and expunges h:9 juftice. Purgatory may be also looked on as a protest for finners againlt the power of the devil.

• It is very hot in purgatory, but far less than in hell. Its flames burn, but without consuming; they are only of a purifying quality. At the end of some centuries, the finner comes out as clear as crystal, and goes and takes his seat in heaven, as if nothing had been the matter.

Christianity has scarce a project which comes up to this: at the end of the world, God would otherwise have been almoft alone in paradise; whereas purgatory is continually supplying it with elect.

. It is pity such a glorious plan should have any thing mercenary in it; but purgatory must be purchased ; and the bonzes and ecclesiastical mandarins have set two prices : they, who are afraid of being burnt, buy it outright, and are released almost in an instant; but to go thus diicetly to heaven, with only being singed in their fight through Purgatory, requires a large sum : I have been told, that some half-reprobate Chrillians have paid above fifty thousand taels to redeem themselves from these purifying fames.

• As to those wiró cannot purchase a deliverance, they quietly broil from generation to generation.

• Not a few European philosophers have represented riches as of little or no value ; but it must be owned, that the institution of purga. tory has made them good for something. ... Every body is a gainer in this market. Continual collections are making for the souls in purgatory; and those Christians who side with the pope, are continually giving alms. Boxes set up for this purpose fill every day; but the fouls in purgatory see little of the money. Lailly, pagods, from being very poor, since the invention of purgatory, are grown exccffively opulent.

This institution, however, is only for venial fins; had a purgatory been likewise erected for the mortal, it would then have been a good thing to be a christian. Such an institution is a rare encouragement for the linners of this sect. What matters it to offend the Supreme Being ? Money will keep one from going to hell.

• Perhaps, there are not in the world greater calculators than the Eu. Topeans. I have been told of a computation, containing the number of souls rescued from the flames of purgatory since the institution thereof : the number is immense, and consists of Christians of all sanks, callings, and conditions, except popes, except kings, except ministers of ftare, except monks, excep: financiers, except devotees; all these folks go di. Tectly to hell.'

Our Readers will doubtless conceive the subject of the above letter, to be a very trite object of satire; they may find, in these fix volumes, nevertheless, many inore that are equally hackneyed and unimportant,

Koh-k Art. 27. The Geography and History of England : Done in the · Manner of Gordon's and Salmon's Geographical Grammars. In · Two Parts. In the First Part, each County is considered under - the following Heads.:- The Name, Situation, Air, Soil, Comme

Gordon's and Support, cach County, 'Air, Soile Comitiis

[ocr errors]

dities, Rivers, Chief Towns, Noblemen's Seats, Curiosities, Remarkable Perfons, & c. To the whole is prefixed, a compleat Miap, from the latest Observations ; Shewing the chief Towns, Rivers, and Roads, both direct and across. Also, á feparate Map of the Roads, of the Channel, and a Plan of London. The Second Part contains, a Concise History of England; or, the Revolutions of the Britis Constitution. And, by way of Introduction to the whole, a clear and disiner View of our Constitution, and every

Branch of the Legislature. 8vo. 6s. Dodfey." '. This is a new edition of the work entitled The Geography of England,

first published by Mr. Dodsley, about 20 years ago. The work, as we are informed, for we have not the first edition at hand, is now improved in respect of the maps; and the concise History of England, in the fecond part, is said to be entirely new. It is carried down to the death of Will. III. and is written with some degree of elegance, but with more precipitance than correctness. . . Art. 23. Some Particulars relative to the Discovery of the Longi· tude mentioning several foreign Premiums, and exactly narrating

the Particulars of the British Aits of Parliament, respecting that Affair. '* With a List of the present Commissioners, &c. 8vo. is. Burnet.

The above title is abundantly sufficient to inform the Reader what he may expect to meet with in this pamphlet, which does not however appear to be the production of a very masterly hand.

B.

CORRESPONDENC E. IT E take in good part the letter signed Philalethei, dated from :VV Tamworth, June 8th, and a more early notice would have been taken of it, but that the gentleman, to whose province it more immediately belonged, has for some time been abfent upon a journey.

Mr, Bulkley, in his Oeconomy of the Gospel, says, “ The death of Christ was a clear, authentic, public, and most awful declaration of the divine displeasure against fin; and designed in the wifilom of divine providence to be an everlasting memorial of it.' in our Review for last April, p. 261, animadverting upon the chapter of Christ's Atonement, we took the liberty to say, ' that we did not remember any one pallage in the New Testament that declares this to be the end or intention of the death of Christ; and tho' this notion had been often advanced, by those who are efteemed rational divines, we considered it as no more than an hypo. thesis to throw a veil over the difficulties which attend this subje&t.' This, it seems, hath given great offence to our Correspondent, on account, he says, of the many great names it asperses; and is a remark i hat ought not to have been made without many and clear convictions of its truth,

After all the veneration that is due to the many respectable narnes, which the Letter-writer harh in his view, we presume we are not to be censured for paying a greater veneration to truth, than to their authority: we think the remark was not made without clear conviction

of

[ocr errors]

168

CORRESPONDEN Ć E. of its truth, and was the result of careful examination; at least nothing that our Correspondent hath said, hath, as yet, had weight enough with us, to induce us to alter our opinion. He says, the death of Christ was intended to reconcile finful man to God; now where there is no difplio. fure conceived, there can be no need of reconciliation ; therefore the death of

Christ was a clear, authentic, public and most awful declaration of the di- vine displeasure again fin.

It will be readily allowed that the divine displeasure against fin, in the way of reafoning and inference, may be deduced with great probability, from the death of Chrift: and so it may in general from his manifel. tation in the world; from the doctrines he taught, and from the high offices he sustained, as the prophet and meslenger of God. The fame might likewise be deduced from the institution of the law of Moses ;. from the constitution of the human mind; from our natural approbation of virtue, and disapprobation of vice; from the natural consequences of virtue and vice in the present world, and indeed from all the dispensations of the providence of God, which have the interests of virtue and religion for their object. But we apprehend there is a very material difference between a direet and pofitive declaration and a probable deducible conle. quence : from the death of Christ we may deduce an excellent argument for the divine displeasure against sin: but it doth not from hence follow that a declaration of this was the principal and ultimate intention of God in the death of his Son.

But, to put the matter out of debate, the Writer produces a text, which, he apprehends, expressly declares this to be the crd and intention of the death of Christ, viz. Rom. viii. 3. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the fiesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of finful fiefh, and for fin, condemned fin in the flesh; and then aks with great confidence, what can the strong word Kalex fue be, but an awful declardtion of the divine displeasure againft fin, by ibe milion and death of Jrfus Chrift?

Consequentially it may be ; but positively and dire&ly by no means: for the obvious intention of the apostle, in this place, is to asiert the superior efficacy of the Christian institution above the law of Moses, in destroying the power of fin in the minds and lives of men. And thus that able critic, the late Rev. Dr. Taylor, hath paraphrased the verse, « For whereas the law could not deliver from the dominion of fin and restore to a new life of holiness, because it was weak, and all the perfect Jules of action it prescribed were ineffeétual through the prevalency of fleshly lufts; God, by sending his Son to live, as we do, in flesh, frail and liable to fin; and by sending him about the affair of sin, to fanelify and redeem us from all iniquity, haih mercifully supplied the defect of the law, by a plentiful provision of means for destroying of fin, for put. ting it to death in our felh, or for enabling us to get the mastery over our fleshly propensities.'

If our Correspondent be at a loss for an authority to justify the sense here given of the word Kalaexporw, he will meet with several, taken from

St. Paul's own writings, referred to by Mr. Locke, in his notes upon this . pallage, an attention to which might have saved himself, and us, tiis unnecessary trouble,

We will not retort the charge of precipitation upon the Letter writers but beg leave to recommend it to him, to extend that candour to others, which by this time perhaps he may think he sometimes stands in need of himself,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Conclusion of the Account of the new Edition of the Divine Legation

of Moses. See the Review for laft Month.

TTAVING, in our last number, given an account of the

ml most confiderable additions to the fourth and fifth books of the Divine Legation, we now proceed to the remaining part of the work. In a pretty long appendix to the fifth book, his Lordship considers what Lord Bolingbroke has advanced in regard to the omission of the Doctrine of a future fate of rewards and punishments, and the administration of an extraordinary providence, in the Mosaic dispensation. It is not worth while, however, to detain our Readers with a particular account of what is contained in this appendix, as the noble author's inconsistencies and contradictions are too palpable to escape the notice of any but the most superficial reader. Our Author points out these inconsistencies in a spirited and agreeable manner, and thews himself greatly fuperior to his antagonist in critical fagacity, Icarning, and knowlege of his subject. This superiority to Lord Bolingbroke, and, indeed, to most other writers, is readily acknowleged ; but it is disgraced by that illiberal, that haughty, that infolent manner, in which he treats almost all those who differ from him; and of which the Reader will have a striking instance before we conclude this Article. In this respect, indeed, the noble Author is by no means inferior to him ; but though arrogance and abuse reflect the greatest dishonour upon every gentleman, and every scholar, yet we cannot but think that they are more intxcusable in the Author of the Divine Legation, than in his philosophic Lordship, as the former is a professed and strenuous adyocate for a religion which molt especially recommends meekness and humility; of which there are no traces in any of his writings. Little does he seem to consider, that the man, who adorns his character with the amiable virtues which Christianity so VOL. XXXIII.

Itrongly

N

[ocr errors]

strongly recommends, will do his religion infinitely more service, than he, who, without these virtues, should write an hundred volumes in its defence.

In the sixth section of the sixth book, we find the following adddition in regard to that prophecy, wherein our Saviour, to use his Lordship's own words, hath embroidered into one piece the intermediate judgment of the Jews, and the final judgment of mankind.

• If St. Paul exhorted his followers not to be maken in mind on this account; his fellow-labourer, St. Peter, when he had in like manner reproved the scoffers, who faid, where is the Promise of his coming? went still further, and, to fhew his followers that the Church was to be of long continuance here on earth, explains to them the nature of that evidence which future times were to have of the truth of the Gospel; an evidence even superior to that which the primitive times enjoyed of miracles * ; We have also a more fure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light which shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-fiar arise in your hearts t. This evidence of prophecy is justly qualified a more fure word I, when compared to miracles, whose demonftrative evidence is confined to that age in which the power of them was bestowed upon the Church : whereas the prophecies here meant, namely, those of St. Paul and St. John ll, concerning the great apostacy, were always fulfilling even to the last consummation of all things ; and so, affording this demonstrative evidence to the men of all: generations .

The

* 2 Ep. Peter chap. i. ver. 17. + Ver. 19. I Bebautepov, more firm, coniiant, and durable.

|| See Sir Isaac Newton on the Prophecies, c. i. of his Olfervations upon the Apocalypse of St. John,

S Mr. Markland has discovered a new sense in this paffage of St. Peter (concerning the more fiere word of prophecy) with which his brother-critic is so enamoured, that he says, he may pro; becy tbere will be no more dif. putes about it. Mr. Markland's discovery is very simple, " it is only placing a colon at the end of the 18th verse, that the beginning of the 19th may connect with it; and fo lead to the true and obvious sense of a passage, which of lare has in vain exercised the pens of many learned Writers, viz. This voice, saying, this is my beloved Son in whom I am well plosed, staken from Isaiah xlii. 1.) we heard in the mount, and we have by that means (prophecy or) the words of the Prophet more fully confirmed."

This interpretation supposes that Peter is here speaking of the forf coming of the Melliah, and that the word of prophecy refers to a Prophecy already accomplished. Now, if it can be shewn, that he is speaking of the second coming of Jcfus, and that the word of prophecy refers to a long

feries.

« السابقةمتابعة »