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there is a God. The arguments for this conviction are so multitudinous, that it would be impossible to state them here, even if it were necessary.
After assenting to the belief in a God, the next question which arises is, What are his attributes? And here, unassisted reason, if she is candid, will confess, that she is blind ;—that her utmost etforts cannot find out God;—that her most arduous exertions cannot find out the Almighty to perfection. In spite of all that has been written to prove the contrary, Christianity, and Christianity only, has imparted to the modern infidel that light, which he impiously uses against the source which supplied it. The only fair way to decide the question is, to examine the opinions of those nations not professing Christianity. Ask the Mahommedan, or the Hindoo?—question the inhabitants of the arid desert of Africa, or the trackless wilds of America? Their answers will invariably be a tissue of inconsistency, contradiction, and absurdity. If we turn our eyes to the period antecedent to Christianity, the result obtained will be similar.
To account for the fact, that the ancient philosophers were unable to discover the attributes of God, it is asserted, that a decisive improvement has taken place in the human mind, from the experience and discoveries of a long course of years.—Now, though inventions have multiplied, and science has advanced, proving that the progress of intellect has been in many respects commensurate with the progress of ages, yet the works of God which are the only means by which man can judge of his attributes, were as open to the examination of the ancient philosopher as the modern sceptic. Time has wrought no change in them. It is true, that labour and continuous research have discovered the purposes of many of them previously unknown; but this does not invalidate the argument, it only imparts confirmation to what was before conjecture. The nature of the Supreme Being was a subject to which they attached as much importance as we can possibly do; they employed their acutest reasoning faculties, in endeavouring to become acquainted with it; faculties at least equal to those of modern ages, and yet we say, that a just and satisfactory con
clusion was reserved for the exclusively enlightened inquirer of the 19th century.
The enemy of Christianity is aware that if he impugns its doctrines, and derides its moral obligations, he must substitute a more perfect system in its stead; for the folly of overthrowing an institution which has served as a guiding star for ages, without an adequate substitute, is too grossly palpable to require refutation. To obviate this, he resorts to the very source he affects to despise, and pretends to illumine mankind with rays which have shed their brightest lustre, on regions from which he is a selfbanished exile.
The Deist receives as an elementary principle of his religion, that truth, which has the whole human race for its witnesses, namely, that conscience passes judgment upon all our actions, and either soothes us to complacency by approving them, or goads us with remorse by condemning them. Now if this sentence were never biassed by passion, partiality, or prejudice, its decisions would be infallible, and we might obey its mandates with the certain conviction, that we were fulfilling the will of our Creator. But where is the virtue that has not been degraded into vice? where the vice that has not been deified into virtue? Whole nations have united in renouncing the most indispensable of all moral obligations—honesty ; it is true the example must be sought for in the untutored savage; but let it be remembered, the original sense of rectitude was as strongly implanted in his breast, as w that of the polished and civilizea European; nay, it is recorded in the melancholy annals of human atrocity, that there are in existence, beings, who regard the total annihilation oi the social compact, as a deed which the caprice of appetite will justify.
It will be said, perhaps, thai Deism acknowledges the immortality of the soul; and therefore declaims the consequences I have jm* puted to it. Whatever religion has the belief in the existence of a Ooa for its foundation, must admit the immortality of the soul; for as man £ invested with the power of se destruction, if the material snbstanc which composes his frame, were i animated by an immortal spw">" would possess the power of ex»
pushing life independently of the will of his Creator; though, at the same time, he has no other control over matter, than that of lirinp; able to change its form. On the contrary, in consequence of the immortality of the soul, the suicide has only power to separate spirit from matter, and is equally as incapable of destroying the one, as of annihilating the other.
The same argument which overthrows the morality of Deism, has a similar effect when applied to its faith; for when reason is left to her own unassisted light, she obscures the doctrine of the soul's immortality with the mists of error, and disguises it with the extravagancies of falsehood. Is this then, I would ask, a religion, deserving, by its innate excellence, to supersede Christianity? Is a system which commences in doubt, and terminates in uncertainty, to erect itself on the ruins of truth, and the wreck of virtue? God forbid. The attempts to subvert an institution so fraught with good as Christianity, will only reveal its beauties more completely, by contrasting them with the deformities of a religion, which has human reason only for its origin and guide, M. Randolph.
On the Atonement.
Mb. Editor. Sir,—Yon will agree with me, that the doctrine of the Atonement stands at the foundation of the Christian scheme; and any error here, is like poison at the fountain, it vitiates all the streams. Being, Sir, of vital importance, it becomes imperative that our views be correct and scriptural; »ot partial, and garbled, cut, and shaped, in relation to a system of divinity, originated as the old systems °f philosophy were. It is evident, that much of the divinity of the present day is of this cast; and is fairly referible to some of those corrupt rooral impulses of our nature, that wipress a general character, and prompt to a selection and arbitrary arrangement of truths of a particular teature. To unfold these latent springs of human nature, that exert their influence in the moral department of the character, is not my intention; but as these rellcctions were suggested by Mr. Cooke's article on
the Atonement, in your last Magazine, col. 448, allow me, Sir, a few strictures thereon.
The term which we translate Atonement, in the Hebrew language is, Copker; as a verb it literally signifies to cover, and as a noun, a covering: wherever the word is used, it always implies something in discord or disunion. In relation to the offended party, it signifies to pacify, to render him propitious. (Sec Gen. xxxii. 20.; Ezek. xvi. 63.) When applied to sin, it signifies to cover or expiate, to make satisfaction for it. (See Psa. xxxii. 1.; Levit. xvi. 30.) When the term re-' spects the tinner himself, it implies his being covered or protected from punishment, and is rendered a ransom or atonement for him. (See Exodus xxi. 30.;—xxx. 12, 16.) This seems to be the plain unforced meaning of the word Copher.
When we look into the Greek version of the Old Testament by the Seventy, we find it translated by a term which imports propitiation. This view of the subject would certainly be solidly founded, if the Apostles, who wrote in Greek, were found to make use of the same term, in reference to the death of Christ. Now, what is the fact on this subject? it is, that the Apostles do constantly make use of the same term when speaking of the death of Christ, as the Seventy do in reference to the legal sacrifices. The plain inference that I would draw from these statements is, that the Atonement has the same bearing towards every character; independently of his attainments in sanctification, I regard it, as the grand moral expedient by which God renovates the fallen nature of man; by which their full sanctification is accomplished.
When our attention is arrested by that moral phenomenon, man, it is but a very scanty view that we take, if we suffer the mind to be detained upon his state, and contemplate the remedy only in reference to that state; our relation to the Deity is of paramount importance, it being a relation of guilt and condemnation. The application of the Atonement is, in the first place, to his relation, in which it effects a complete change; it is this that admits of the substitution of Christ as a propitiation for sin. If the sacrifice of Christ was so complete in its own nature, as to render
God propitious; if it did expiate guilt; if it does cover the guilty sinner's head; if he is protected thereby from the penalty of everlasting misery,—I contend that the Atonement is complete, irrespective of the state of the believer: to his demoralized state it stands in the relation of a cause, the efficiency of which is proved, by its having removed the curse oil' his guilty head; and will ultimately, in the hand of the divine Spirit, effect a consummate change also in his moral condition.
But shall we attribute imperfection to the Atonement, when only the full effects of it, in application to the sinner, are not developed? or shall we mistake its definite nature, by a common figure of speech, which names the effects for the cause, and reason upon the subject under that erroneous notion? To what must it conduct ns but false conclusions? This is specifically my opinion of Mr. Cooke's performance: in canvassing what he has advanced, he will allow his brother, freedom to justify his own views, though he may, by so doing, denominate his as error.
Mr.Cooke considers the Christian's having attained to full sanctification— brought to a complete conformity to the image of Christ—as imbodying the import of the term Atonement: but if the above explication be correct, it must be the effect of that doctrine believed; it is the belief of the truth of Christ's death as a sacrifice for sin, and his resurrection as a proof of the sufficiency thereof, that produces a renovation in the man: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness, —by whose stripes ye were healed."
The scriptures uniformly represent the believer as identified with Christ: crucified with him; risen with him; complete in him: hence, he is virtually, at one, in harmony, with God, as much so as Christ is. This appears to be the relation in which God views the sinner in Christ. It is the work of Christ, his Atonement, that has established this relation, the belief of which becomes the grand moral means of regeneration. The Atonement then, in its app'.ieation to the fully sanctified believer, must ever imply that sacrilicc, by virtue of which, through faith, his soul and
body are brought into full harmony with the divine nature; and not that harmony itself.
I believe it is generally admitted, that Christians, whatever be their attainments, may with scriptural propriety use the Lord's Prayer in their addresses to God: in that petition we crave forgiveness of trespasses; the fully sanctified make use of this prayer,—to what then does their faith revert, as the foundation of their expectation of mercy; to what can it look with hope, but to Christ, the hope set before us in the gospel 1 As John writes in his 1st Epistle, i. 8. "If we say that we have no sin, wo deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."—Chap. ii. 1. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation (or atonement) for our sins; and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world." This, I think, is the scriptural application of the Atonement; whoever looks for forgiveness, or desires to be at one with God, must look for it through faith in the advocacy of Christ, who is the righteous advocate, because he is the propitiation oratonement. The Apostle writes these truths, that they sin not; thus we see the intention of the revelation of God; it" to reunite to him, from whom sin has separated us; and this grand truth o' the propitiation, or covering of the guilty by expiation for sin, is, in the hand of the Divine Spirit, the moral remedy which cures the diseased soul.
Mr. Cooke's error appears to be an exclusive application of a term to effects, which properly designates the cause, and is only idiomatically applied in the sense he uses it. Jn" stances of similar application ar° v.ejg common; as, when we say, what your faith? by which we mean, wnai are the doctrines you believe ? not, wn is faith as an operation of the Dh"' and in popular language. «* s% place an article in the sun, when that is meant is, place it in llfI!V,t Instead, therefore, of saying with wr.
Cooke, " that the idea attaching to this term (atonement) implies, that a propitiatory offering has been made, whereby this'reconciliation is effected," (that is, atonement effected ;) I would say, that the idea attaching to this term is, as a consequent, that the believer therein shall see Christ as he is, and be made like him when he shall appear.
I am, Sir, your's, &c.
Sunderland, May IS, 1821.
On the Intuitive Knowledge of Adam. Mr. Editor, Sir,—It seems to be an idea generally prevalent, that Adam possessed intuitive knowledge, as a constituent part of his character, essential to his nature; and that he exercised it in gmnj names to the different animals which God caused to appear before him for that purpose. And it is farther believed, that those names were expressive of their respective qualities. Consequently, he must have ?ad the faculty of infallibly discernH spirits also. But I would ask the contenders for these opinions, how do they know that Adam ever possessed intuitive knowledge, and this spiritual discernment? Should they reply, that Hebrew was the vernacular language w Paradise, and that the name each animal bears is, in that language, expressive of its peculiar qualities, and consequently, that Adam must have intuitively discerned those innate quahties, to enable him to give each an appropriate name characteristic of its nature, as he had not yet seen that nature in operation; I would first observe, that we have no data whereby |° nx on the Hebrew as the primaeval language; and it seems probable, that Whatever it might have been, it was »stat the general confusion of tongues, *> at least, subdivided into various owiecta, in which the original was absorbed.
As Adam named the animals bewe the Fall, those names could have no Possible relation to their subsequent depraved nature. When all as harmony, innocence, and love, W,T?mld Adam designate the future 7*stj nature of the tiger! ftp c7""acterize the ravening wolf? dil.o ile fox? the voracious croco""" the restless rapacity of the
hyena? or the ferocity of the bull-dog, or blood-hound? unless we admit that Adam possessed prescience also. If, therefore, the Hebrew names of the brute creation be characteristic of their present propensities, it is a selfevident proposition that the Hebrew was not the primitive, but is a derived language; and that those names were not given them in Paradise, but at a subsequent period. That the Hebrew therefore was the vernacular language of Paradise, or that the names Adam gave the different animals, had any relation to their respective qualities, seem to be the mere waking dreams of pseudo-philosophers, drawing conclusions without premises, as we have no scripture authority whatever on which to ground such hypothesis. As a corroborative evidence, that neither Adam nor Eve possessed intuitive discernment in Paradise; Eve, when tempted by the serpent, knew not that he was a diabolical agent, beguiling her to destruction. Neither does it appear that Adam perceived the internal change Eve had undergone, when she offered him the forbidden fruit—that the image of God was defaced, and the image of Satan stampt upon her. We must therefore conclude, that as he was altogether ignorant of the effect produced in her by disobedience, so far from intuitive discernment being an essential property of his nature, enabling him to give appropriate names to animal creation according to their respective qualities; if he really did give them such suitable names, (of which, however, we have no evidence,) it was by those names being impressed on his mind, by the Almighty, just, perhaps, as the structure of the tabernacle, its furniture, utensils, services, &c. were on the mind of Moses, to whom the Lord said, " See that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount," or, as David, for the building of the temple, &c. " All this (said David) the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern." Unless some such similitude as this be admitted, we must conclude, that he named them as his own fancy directed.
Dublin, No. 6, Upper Ormond Quay,
Memoirs of Leonardo Aretino.
MEMOIRS OF THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LEONARDO ARETINO. (Continuedfrom col. 500.) In the mean time, the hopes entertained by pious Christians, of the termination of the schism grew daily more faint. Instead of heartily concurring in such measures as were likely to promote peace and union, each of the rival pontiffs studiously adopted every artifice, to throw upon his competitor the odium of the continuance of dissension. In a letter addressed from Siena to Roberto Ruffo, a man of considerable learning, Leonardo, like an affectionate servant, endeavoured to exorierate his master from the charge of evasion and prevarication. But his arguments are feeble; and at the close of his epistle, he finds it necessary, in vindicating the good dispositions of Gregory, to derogate from the soundness of his understanding. "Our pontiff," says he, "is in bis nature upright and sincere—but the good and candid are but too liable to be deceived by dishonest men; and some persons, who look up to him for promotion, have, by the exercise of flattery, crept into his confidence. These inspire him with groundless fears, and sometimes, notwithstanding his honourable intentions, divert him from the path of rectitude. So indignant are the public at large on this occasion, that I dread the occurrence of some disturbance. "•
When the mind is harassed by care, even trifles, which beguile the sense of uneasiness, acquire importance. In the midst of his anxiety, Leonardo was so highly delighted by a day spent in rural amusements, that he could not forbear from expressing his satisfaction in the following lively terms, in a letter addressed to his friend Ruffo.
"The pleasures of yesterday banishes the recollection of past, and the dread of future calamities, which are excited by the distractions of the times. Accompanied by two of my most intimate friends, and a considerable number of acquaintances, all bent upon pleasure, I visited the country house of Alamanno, archbishop of Pisa. The archbishop himself was our conductor; and the
* Leon. Aret. EjusL lib. ii. ep. 17.
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whole party, as if they had been just liberated from long confinement, indulged so profusely in joy, that it might justly have been said that they had revived their youthful days. The country house in question, is situated nearly half way between Lucca and Pisa, on the right bant of the river Serchio, in a most delightful spot, excellently calculated for the enjoyment of rural amusements. For the ground, gently swelling into a hill, and commanding a view of the plain below, is connected with mountains which abound in covers for game. Whether then you are fond of hawking, hunting, coursing, or fishing, or in whatever way you wish to sport, the variety of surface, with the addition of the river, affords you plenty of diversion.
"On our arrival, however, we neitier wished to hunt the boar, nor to shoot the stag, rror to pursue the hare, nor yet to hawk. We were attracted by the incredible pleasantness of the river, whose crystal waters, overhung with poplars, flowed gently between its verdant banks. Here we threw oB our upper garments and shoes, and began to fish with the greatest eagerness. In the course of our amusement, we played like so manybojs —we shouted like so many tipsy revellers, and disputed like so many madmen. The good archbishop was politely attentive to all his guests; and although the gravity of his function precluded his joining in our sports, yet by the mirthful satisfaction oi his countenance he evinced, that, as a spectator, he enjoyed our diversion. From the river we adjourned to a plentiful supper of fowl and fish, and other delicacies, together with abundance of wine. Having supped heartily wiw an appetite whetted by our labour,we took a ride among the corn-fields, and meadows, and trees, whose branches were weighed down with fruit. After we had in this excursion spent some time, some in singing, and others in sportive conversation, we returned to the river, which we bad crossed at a ford; and taking our stations op the sand, we surveyed some brawny conntry fellows, who stripped themselves and wrestled for our diversion till ten o'clock at night, and entertainedI us not a little with their falls, and their rolling in the mud. Such was the general outline of our amusements..