« PredošláPokračovať »
his appointment, ought to be punished by men. Episcopalians were frequently guilty of persecution; and Presbyterians too, I am sorry to say, displayed much of the same spirit. But there was this difference between them: Episcopalians persecuted for noncompliance, with what they themselves acknowledged to be indifferent: Presbyterians were unwilling to tolerate those who did not adopt a form of government, which they deemed essential to the well being of a Christian church. But is it certain, that no latent spark of this spirit still remains, ready to burst forth on proper occasions? A disposition to bear down their opponents, by other weapons than those, which the apostles used, is alleged to have appeared oftener than once among their successors in the southern part of the island; and in Hill's View of the Church of Scotland, there are some sentiments which would by no means disgrace the lips of a Spanish inquisitor. With gratitude let us bless God for the freedom from persecution, which we have so long enjoyed; nor let us forget, that to our civil, more than to our religious rulers, we are indebted for this blessing.
But it is supposed, that in liberality, candour, and charity, we as far excel the Reformers, as they surpassed us in zeal. In your valuable publication, that indifference to religious truth, which is so often veiled under the name of charity, has been already well described; and I have no wish to resume the subject. To steer clear of persecution and illiberality, it is surely not necessary to maintain the innocence of crror; for if error is innocent,
truth is useless. Yet this is the extreme into which some have gone, whilst others of the same school, who appear to be in earnest in what they assert, can hardly be said to possess all the candour of which the age boasts. Dr. Priestly was accounted the most candid man of his party; and now that he is gone, the palm of candour may perhaps be transferred to Mr. Belsham. In a recent publication, speaking of Calvinism, he describes it as "a rigorous, a gloomy, and a pernicious system; as full of horror; as the very extravagance of errors; and as a mischievous compound of impiety and idolatry." "The God of Calvinism," says he, "is a gloomy, arbitrary tyrant; a malignant, omnipotent demen." Though the object of censure is different, Mr. Belsham is as keen, and, if we durst say it, almost as illiberal as an old Puritan. But Calvinists, I suspect, are not comprehended in the bill of charity; and from Mr. B.'s account of them, it must be acknowledged, they hardly deserve such a fayour. With them the ordinary rules of warfare may be set aside; and this pestilent sect, hunted to destruction by every possible means. The above quotation will shew, that candour and liberality are not yet universally prevalent; and that Calvinists are no longer entitled to the exclusive privilege of abusing their opponents.
Much light might be thrown on this subject, by comparing the moral systems of the present day with the morality of scripture, which was that adopted by our first reformers. Our national character ought also to be compared with that of our fathers at the close of the 16th, and during the
greatest part of the 17th century.
1. THAT in the administration of justice I am entrusted for God, the king and country; and therefore,
2. That it be done, 1. Uprightly. 2. Deliberately. 3. Resolutely.
3. That I rest not upon my own understanding er strength, but implore and rest upon the direction and strength of God.
4. That in the execution of justice, I carefully lay aside my own passions, and not give way to them, however provoked.
6. That I suffer not myself to be prepossessed with any judg ment at all, till the whole business and both parties be heard.
7. That I never engage myself in the beginning of any cause, but reserve myself unprejudiced till the whole be heard.
8. That in business capital, though my nature prompt me to pity; yet to consider, that there is also a pity due to the country.
9. That I be not too rigid in matters purely conscientious, where all the harm is diversity of judgment.
10. That I be not biassed with compassion to the poor, or favour to the rich, in point of jus
11. That the popular, or court applause, or distaste, have no influence in any thing I do in point of distribution of justice.
12. Not to be solicitous what men will say or think, so long as I keep myself exactly according to the rules of justice.
13. If in criminals it be a measuring cast, to incline to mer.. cy and acquittal.
14. The criminals that consist merely in words, when no more harm ensues, moderation is no injustice.
15. In criminals of blood, if the fact be evident, severity is justice.
16. To abhor all private solicitations, of what kind soever, and by whomsoever, in matters depending.
5. That I be wholly intent upon the business I am about, re17. To charge my servants, mitting all other cares and 1. Not to interpose in any busithoughts, as unseasonable, and ness whatsoever. 2. Not to take
than their known fees. 3. Not to give any undue prece
dence to causes. 4. Not to recómmend council.
18. To be short and sparing at meals, that I may be the fitter for business.
ON KILLING GAME.
MR. GILPIN, in his remarks on the scenery of the Isle of Wight, (See Observations on the Western Parts of England, &c. London, 1798, p. 339) having noticed the immense swarms of sea fowl, which at certain seasons hang on the beetling precipices near the Needles, proceeds, as follows:
"That man has a right to destroy such animals as are noxious to him is undoubted. That he has a right also over the lives of such animals as are useful to him for food and other necessaries, is equally unquestioned. whether he has a right to destroy life for his amusement, is another question. If he is determined to act the tyrant (that is, to consider power as conferring right,) the point is decided. Power he certainly has. But if he wish to act on authorized and equitable principles, let him just point out the passage in his charter of rights over the brute creation, which gives him the liberty of destroying life for his amusement.
"On Noah, and in him on all mankind, The charter was conferr'd, by which we hold
The flesh of animals in fee; and claim O'er all we feed on, power of life and death.
But read the instrument, and mark it
The oppression of a tyrannous control Can find no warrant there."
That hares, and partridges and woodcocks, and all other animals fit for food, may be deprived of life for the purpose of being used for food, is unquestionable. The profession, therefore, of a gamekeeper or a warrener is equally innocent with that of a butcher. But the sportsman will do well to ask himself, Whether, though the animals which he kills are fit for food, amusement is not, as his appellation indicates, his main object in destroying them; and whether, to use Mr. Gilpin's language, a clause authorizing their destruction for that object is to be found in his charter of rights over the brute creation? X. Y. [Ch. Obs.
A HERMIT'S MEDITATION. The author unknown. IN lonesome cave, Of noise and interruption void, His thoughtful solitude A Hermit thus enjoy'd :
His choicest book
The remnant of a human head
The volume was-whence he This solemn lecture read.
Whoe'er thou wert, Partner of my retirement now, My nearest intimate,
My best companion thou!
On thee to muse
The busy living world I left;
Wert thou the rich,
The idol of a gazing crowd?
Wert thou the great,
To whom obsequious thousands bow'd?
Was learning's store
E'er treasur'd up within this shell?
Did youthful charms
A PRETTY correct anticipation of the use of the term Calvinist is given by Fuller in his account of the use of the term Puritan, "We must not forget, that Spalatro,* (I am confident I am not mistaken therein) was the first, who, professing himself a Protestant, used the word PURITAN, to signify the defenders of matters doctrinal in the English church. Formerly the word was only taken to denote such as dissented from the hierarchy in discipline and church government, which was now extended to brand such as were Anti-Arminians in their judgments. As Spalatro first abused the word in this sense, so we could wish he had carried it away with him in his return to Rome. Whereas now, leaving the word behind him in this extensive signification thereof, it hath since by others been improv. ed to asperse the most orthodox in doctrine, and religious in conversation." Book x. Sect. vi. [Ch. Obs. * The name of this unhappy man, true only to his own avarice, was Antonio de Dominis, archbishop of Spalatro, misspelt by Fuller Spalato. He is celebrated as the editor of FraPaolo's History of the Council of Trent in London.
Review of New Publications.
A Sermon, preached before the Convention of the Congregational ministers in Boston, May 27, 1807. By JoHN REED, D. D. pastor of the First Church, and Congregational Society in Bridgewater. pp. 38. Boston. Munroe & Francis. 1807. THE Occasion on which this sermon was delivered; the character of the auditory; the principal subject of which it treats; and the respectability of its author, all conspire to confer upon it a greater degree of importance, than usually belongs to single discourses. We shall, therefore, examine it more at length, and with more care, than we have commonly bestowed on similar productions.
The passage of scripture selected, as the foundation of this discourse is Matt. xxiii. 8, 9, 10, "But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, who is in heaven: Neither be ye called master, for one is your Master, even Christ," We doubt the propriety of this selection. The text was intended to put the disciples of Christ on their guard against a spirit of ambition and domination, especially over the consciences of men in.matters of faith. The sermon is chiefly employed in endeavouring to shew, that Christians ought not to think or speak ill of each other on account of differences of opinion. There is now and then indeed a remark in unison with the text; but the body of the discourse, we think, is not
so. We are not however tobe surprised at this. A preacher must be contented with the best text he can find; and if we understand the scope of Dr. R.'s strmon, it would not have been casy for him to have found a passage of scripture, from which it could be legitimately deduced.
So far as Dr. R. reprobates an assumption of authority over the consciences of men; so far as he opposes uncharitable and rash judging, prejudice, bigotry, rancour, violence, and bitterness of censure, we cordially concur with him and though some of his remarks on these topics may not be so immediately suggested by the text; yet we shall offer no objection against their being introduced and urged. But when he speaks against the use of creeds and confessions; when he proposes that we should regard those, who agree with us, and those, who differ from us, with respect to the most important articles of Christian faith, “with equal satisfaction ;" (p. 38) when he seems entirely to forbid our forming an unfavourable opinion, or expressing a fixed and decided abhorrence of heretical ments; when, in short, he exhorts us to hate nothing but vice, and to despise nothing but selfish, illiberal notions, we are constrained to pause and to ask, Whether this strain of address can be reconciled with scripture? and, indeed, Whether it comports with some things advanced by the author himself, in different parts of this discourse?
Can it be reconciled scripture? We think not.