« AnteriorContinuar »
Theron and Aspasio. This volume of that pious and interesting writer was read with eagerness and delight, as it brought before the mind of William, so clearly and fully, those doctrines of the gospel, which were suitable to relieve his mind, the complete justification of a sinner by faith in Christ, and the several momentous doctrines inseparably connected with the imputation of the righteousness of Jesus, our glorious Surety. The Hebrew quotations apart, it was of incalculable advantage to the mind of the young solitary inquirer. This volume was the means of opening a new field of the purest pleasure in the writings of the apostle Paul; especially serving as a preparative to the study of the epistles to the Romans and the Hebrews; and William adopted the collect for the Conversion of St. Paul, to use on a Lord's day as part of his prayers. And many a time, when any new difficulty on religious matters arose in the mind of William, did he wish that Mr. Hervey were still living, and that he was his uncle, or some relation, that he might enjoy the delightful privilege of corresponding with him, for the purpose of gaining divine instruction. He resolved, however, to procure the volumes of Theron and Aspasio, and to give them a serious and attentive reading; from which he anticipated a full measure of satisfaction, and great enlargement of mind. He did procure them, and derived from their perusal the lasting benefit which he expected.
Two passages of the epistles of Paul, at that time appeared to William as most peculiarly significant and comprehensive; and upon his knees he learnt them by prayer, beseeching God at once to imprint them on his memory, and impress them upon his heart. The first of those passages is, "God, who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling; not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." 2 Tim. i, 9, 10. The other passage is, For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared; not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." Titus iii, 3—7.
These two scripture texts were regarded by William as containing a most rich and summary exhibition of the gospel of Christ, and in seasons of dejection they were happily the means of his consolation. Mr. Hervey's writings he considered himself chiefly indebted, as instrumental in leading him to perceive their glorious design, in promoting our spiritual peace.
William was painfully convinced, that the pure gospel of Christ was not generally preached in his parish church, and the sermons from the several officiating clergymen were lamentably deficient in their exhibitions of the saving truths of the gospel; and this occasioned him considerable uneasiness, yet he knew not what to consider as its cause. But he was still further led to try every sermon and opinion by the word of God, from the perusal of a short memoir of the life and martyrdom of Archbishop Cranmer. By this he was yet further stimulated to pursue his religious inquiries, determining especially to examine the principles of those who had been martyrs for the cause of Christianity.
These inquiries he pursued with avidity and refined delight, rising early in the morning, and sitting up late at night, for the purpose of reading on these subjects, so as to arrive at the certain knowledge of the truth of God.
From what he had read, he was brought to this conclusion, especially as Mr. Hervey mentions the names of many Puritans and Dissenters, as well as pious bishops and doctors of the church, who fully agreed with him in all the principal points of evangelical doctrine; that truly religious men, whether churchmen or dissenters, were unanimous in their reception of the vital articles of Christianity.
The views of the gospel maintained by Mr. Hervey, William found were contained in the doctrinal part of the thirty-nine articles of the church of England: but the discourses which he heard in his parish church, bore little resemblance to the writings of his favourite author. With him, regeneration by the Holy Spirit,— justification by faith in the revelation of the atonement of Christ and the imputation of his righteousness, sanctification by the truth, through the Spirit,—and divine adoption by the sovereign grace of God, appeared to constitute the essence of Christianity; but these glorious doctrines, involving all that is rich in the gospel, were scarcely ever heard from the pulpit to whose instructions William intently listened. Therefore, on being released from servitude, he did not many times attend his parish church; but with an elderly fellow-workman before mentioned, he usually worshipped at the chapel in the connection of the late Countess of Huntingdon.
The doctrines inculcated in that place of worship, were those which Mr. Hervey advocated; and William, finding them edifying and comforting to his mind, he was resolved on making that place his religious home. Among the people, he found many truly devoted to God, and not a few young men, at whose prayer meetings Willian attended, much to his happiness. He was soon introduced to the Rev. V. Bennet, then the worthy and zealous minister of the chapel; he engaged as teacher in the Sunday school, and became a candidate for communion with the Christian church formed in that place, and was in due time admitted a member of their fellowship.
William several times attended at St. Mary's chapel, to form an estimate how far the doctrines he heard from his pastor, the Rev. T. Bennet, corresponded with the ministrations of the Rev. Mr. Burn, and he was satisfied and delighted to find an essential agreement between their evangelical sentiments; though their style of preaching was not exactly the same. Perhaps also a notice of two sermons that William heard on those occasions, may be worthy of record: the first was from the venerable Mr. John Riland, the first minister of that chapel, on a visit, after he had obtained the living of Sutton-Coldfield. His text was, "The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city." Eccles. x, 15. The text appeared singular; but his discourse on the difficulty of worldly professors finding the city of God, was delivered in his usually impressive manner, and it seemed to be attended with the Divine benediction.
The other sermon was from the venerable Mr. Thomas Scott, the commentator, the last time, it is believed, that he occupied the pulpit of St. Mary's Birmingham; and he preached as a "dying man to dying men," on 2 Pet. i, 13-15. "I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle," &c. The sermon was altogether of a piece with his commentary; and was an interesting
testimony of an aged man of God to the gospel of Jesus Christ, a subject in which William could heartily rejoice. William was thus satisfied, that, after much prayerful investigation of the word of God, the religious principles which he had embraced were those which the Apostles had preached,-for which Martyrs had died, and in which Craumer, Hervey, Watts, and Scott, were of one opinion.
30. PANTENUS, CATECHIST OF ALEXANDRIA, is believed to have been a native of Sicily or born of Sicilian parents in that celebrated Egyptian city. He was educated in the principles of the Stoics, and always retained the title of "The Stoic Philosopher." "By what means Pantænus became acquainted with the gospel of Christ we have no particular information : but we have reason to believe that Christians were numerous in Alexandria.
Mark, the Evangelist, is said to have planted the gospel in that famous metropolis of Egypt; in the population of which, the principal sects of philosophy flourished, especially those of the Platonic and Stoic schools. The founder of the Christian church in Alexandria, is reported to have established a school for the diffusion of the doctrines of Christ in that city, and that it continued until the time of Pantænus: but he is the first master of it of whom we have any account. For ten years he laboriously discharged the duties of his catechetical office; and though it is believed that Pantænus debased the sacred truths of the gospel, by the combination of Stoicism with Christianity, it is hoped that he was sincere, and the means of leading many to salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus.
Demetrius, of whom we know but little, was bishop of the Christians in Alexandria, at that period; when ambassadors arriving from India, got acquainted with that zealous pastor, and entreated him to send them a faithful preacher to instruct their countrymen in the doctrines of the gospel. Pantænus was regarded as the most proper person for that mission, which he promptly undertook, giving by that decision an evidence of his sincerity in the faith of Christ. Of his labours and successes in India, we have no particular detail: but it is said, that he found in that country the Gospel of Matthew, which had been carried thither by the Apostle Bartholomew, by whom the doctrine of Christ had been introduced into India. He also found some who retained the knowledge of Christ, the effects of the holy ministry of that apostle.
Pantænus, having travelled through Arabia, Persia, India, and Ethiopia, returned to Alexandria, bringing the Gospel of Matthew with him, and resumed his labours in the catechetical school. Some commentaries on the Scriptures are attributed to Pantænus, but they are lost. "Candour," says Milner, "I think, requires us to look on him as a sincere Christian, whose fruitfulness was yet much checked by that very philosophy for which Eusebius commends him.-A blasting wind it surely was; but it did not entirely destroy Christian vegetation in all whom it infected."
Pantænus died about A. D. 216, at Alexandria.
"Complaining of God is one thing: complaining to God is another."- Mr. Case.
"God may cast thee down, O Christian, but He will not cast thee off."-.dem.
"A believer in a poor condition, resembles a fine picture in a broken frame."- Idem.
Letters to a Mother, upon Education.
THIS is another habit essentially connected with the welfare of your child, and, like all the rest, requires early and habitual inculcation.
The habit of squandering is learnt in the nursery. As soon as a child can hold any thing in its hand, people give it a toy, a little horse or a little cart; and no sooner can it walk, than these toys are rapidly increased. The visit of an aunt or an uncle, or of a godmother, is the occasion of giving a new toy. Whenever the father or mother go on a journey, whenever the fair-day or the child's own birth-day comes round, it is the signal for an accession to the multitude of such trash already contained in the nursery. The consequence is, that a craving desire of novelty is created and encouraged, a taste for splendid varieties, which ever demands something better, or more curious, or more expensive than the last. He is also taught to love his relative because he has given him such a nice toy, which cost so much money. Hence he insensibly learns to undervalue every thing which does not cost something. Who can tell how much of that extravagance, which this taste for change and for expensive objects creates in every class of society, may be owing to a habit of this kind communicated in the nursery? Such people were pampered infants. They only changed their objects as their years changed; and thus the adage of the poet became verified- -Men are but children of a larger growth." I utterly disapprove all toys, &c. for this reason. well-educated child would never think of them. As he grows up he may indeed have some one toy of a useful kind, which may employ his mind and his body, and which may become the source of new employment. I highly approve of the child's printing press. Let him also be taught to be careful of every thing; not to destroy any thing because it is impaired, but to mend it, or make the best of it. If he learns to draw, or to colour, let him be careful and economical in paper and paint and pencils. Never let him burn a piece of paper because it is blotted upon one side. It seems also highly desirable that he should be taught as early as possible to make for himself as many of the sources of his amusement as possible: he will value them for the sake of his own labour. If he makes a paper kite, or helps to make it, he will be more careful of it than if he has nothing to do but to go and get sixpence and go to the shop to get another. Let attention to this habit pervade every thing.
It is important too that a child should never by any means be habituated to ideas beyond the station of life filled by his parents, and which in all sober calculation he is likely to fill hereafter.
Every religious and sensible parent lives decidedly below his income, whatever it may be, and does not have any thing till he has paid for it: he is therefore careful to have no needless expenditure, to prefer comfort to finery, and to be able to view the luxury of other persons in higher stations without a sigh. These habits in the parent, of contentment and frugality, will be transferred to their children. To your son you thereby give a habit which is sure to conduce to his own comfort and respectability, and which to your daughter is the most valuable dowry.
It is also important for the establishment of this habit, that poverty should never be spoken of as a miserable or degraded situation. Show to your children very soon, that happiness consists in health, employment, peace of conscience, and the exercise of the social
affections; and that consequently the means of happiness are nearly equally distributed among mankind. Demonstrate to him how very little riches really contribute to permanent tranquillity. You will never speak of or to a person in a different manner from what you would to a prince, merely because he is poor; and then your child will never imbibe that deceptious opinion, that honest poverty is disgraceful. You will on the contrary make him prize people for their intellectual, but chiefly for their moral qualities. You will show him that every creditor who is not paid is defrauded; that he who by extravagance puts it out of his power to do good, is a despicable and selfish man. I do not object to the use of satire itself upon the habits of those who purchase finery, or luxuries, or any thing else for the sake of show, who wear fine clothes to be thought rich, who would sooner be in debt than not make a figure, or tell a lie than appear poor; or who make themselves miserable two hundred and thirteen days in the year, that they may walk about in fine raiment and go to church very fine on the remaining fifty-two. This wretched vanity you will expose in all its consequences. You will labour to render him liable to none but the wants of nature, and even those corrected by the dictutes of good sense. You will thus render him frugal, honest, industrious, contented, successful, respected, and, so far as it depends upon such qualities, happy also. I am, my dear Madam, yours,
HISTORICAL NOTICES OF NEGRO SLAVERY.
HE THAT STEALETH A MAN AND Selleth himM, OR IF HE BE FOUND IN HIS HAND, HE SHALL SURELY BE PUT TO DEATH." Exod. xxi, 16.
OUR "Historical Notices of Negro Slavery," are designed as an appeal to believers in the word of God, against that iniquitous and aggravated violation of the dearest rights of man. Intelligent persons do, in many instances, employ their ingenuity to discover some plausible reasons to justify, or at least to excuse that shocking system: but certainly it can never be possible for any believer in Divine Revelation to approve that which is so manifestly criminal, unless he be under a delusion from the tempter, "the god of this world, who blinds the minds of them who believe not." 2 Cor. iv, 14.
DIVINE TRUTH will unquestionably avenge those crying wrongs, which we behold in that "murderous system of West Indian Slavery!" Who will presume to doubt this, when he remembers that God Almighty, before whose righteous tribunal every soul must appear, has signified his abhorrence of that enormity, by the comprehensive law which we have quoted? How far His holiness must have been provoked, will partly appear by our brief details.
Negro Slavery is believed to have commenced in the fifteenth century; for, as Edwards, in his " History of the West Indies," remarks, "In the year 1442, while the Portuguese, under the encouragement of their celebrated Prince Henry, were exploring the coast of Africa, Anthony Gonsalvo, who two years before had seized some Moors near Cape Badajoz, was by that prince ordered to carry his prisoners back to Africa: he landed them at Rio del Oro, and received from the Moors, in exchange, ten blacks, and a quantity of gold dust, with which he returned to Lisbon."
Avarice, in the Portuguese, prompted many to embark in this horrid traffic, which they perceived likely to become a profitable speculation. The Spaniards became purchasers of the wretched men stolen from
Africa," or procured by barter from its barbarous chiefs for in their inordinate thirst for gold, they had destroyed multitudes of the natives in Hispaniola, compelling them to work in the mines, in search of the tempting metal. Ferdinand V of Spain, in 1511, permitted large importations of those unhappy men, to supply the place of the natives, whose numbers were daily diminishing, and threatened the speedy extinction of their race, through the cruelties of their oppressors.
Cardinal Ximenes, who was regent during the minority of Charles V, to his honour, refused permission for a regular commerce in African Negroes. But on the ascension of Charles to the throne in 1517, that great monarch granted a patent for the exclusive supply of 4,000 Negroes annually to Hispaniola, Cuba, Jamaica, and Porto Rico. Afterwards this patent was assigned to several merchants of Genoa: and by this means a regular supply of these degraded human beings was transported to labours and miseries in the Spanish colonies. Probably this great prince was not aware of the dreadful evils attending this horrible traffic in human blood, nor of the criminality of permitting its existence for when he made a code of laws in 1542, for his Indian subjects, he liberated all the Negroes, and with a word put an end to Slavery. But after Charles had resigned his crown to his son Philip, and the minister of his royal mercy, Pedro de la Gasca, had returned to Spain, the imperious tyrants of the West Indies resumed their authority; and according to their former practices, fastened the yoke of Slavery on the suffering and impotent Negroes.
England next became stained with the blood of the Negroes: Captain, afterwards Sir John Hawkins, was the first Englishman, who dishonoured himself and his country by engaging in this shocking commerce. Conceiving that it promised to be a lucrative speculation, he obtained the assistance of several wealthy individuals in London; and having fitted out three ships in 1562, he sailed to the coast of Africa, landed where Free Town Sierra Leone now stands, and fell upon the defenceless Negroes. With sword in hand, he burned and plundered their towns; and having seized 300 persons, he sailed with them to Hispaniola; sold them; and with various articles of merchandise, the price of blood, he arrived in England!
Hawkins was afterwards appointed to one of the Queen's ships, to proceed on the same adventure. But there is reason to believe that Elizabeth was deceived; as she is said to have " expressed her concern lest any of the Africans should be carried off without their free consent;" in which case she declared that "it would be detestable, and call down the vengeance of Heaven upon the undertakers." What then would Elizabeth have said, had she known the depredations of this fiend in human shape? A companion of Hawkins in this expedition, speaking of their arrival at Sambula, says, "In this island we stayed certain days, going every day on shore, to take the inhabitants, with burning and spoiling their towns." Mr. Edwards, though averse to the abolition of the Slave trade, says, "In regard to Hawkins himself, he was, I admit, a murderer and a robber. His avowed purpose in sailing to Guinea, was to take, by stratagem or force, and carry away, the unsuspecting natives, in the view of selling them as slaves to the people of Hispaniola. In this pursuit his object was present profit; and his employment and pastime, devastation and murder." Such are the shocking means of obtaining slaves in Africa, to which all dealers or their agents have resorted.
Louis XIII was induced to sanction the practice of slavery in the French colonies, by the hypocritical Romish missionaries representing it as for the glory of
God, and for the good of the souls of the Negroes; this being the only way of converting them to Christianity!
British settlements being formed in the West India islands, during the reigns of Charles I and Charles II, the colonists commenced plantations and stocked them with slaves. The Buccaneers enriched these settlements with their spoils; and, accustomed as they were to deeds of blood, to cruelty and rapine, the enslaving of their fellow-creatures would shock no feeling of their minds. How many of these wretched creatures were imported during those two reigns we cannot tell: but Mr. Edwards says, that from 1700 to 1786 the number imported into Jamaica was 610,000! "I say this on sufficient evidence,” he observes, “having in my possession lists of all the entries.-The total import into all the British colonies from 1680 to 1786, may be put at 2,130,000." In 1771, which he considers the most flourishing period of the trade, there sailed from England to the coast of Africa, one hundred and ninety-two ships provided for the importation of 47,146 Negroes. And now, he observes (1793), the whole number annually exported from Africa by all the European powers is 74,000, of which 38,000 are imported by the British! In this abominable traffic in human beings, Britain did not indeed take the lead; but having once embarked in it, she threw into it her accustomed energy, and soon surpassed all the rest to supply her more numerous colonies.
Mammon was the deity at whose shrine the original natives of the West India islands were sacrificed, and at whose infernal inspiration Negro slavery was commenced and established. Fraud and hypocrisy were the means of deluding sovereigns to consent that their subjects should pursue the system, while treachery and violence were the agents in its support. Unprincipled adventurers, for the love of gain, embarked in this unholy enterprise; governments, imposed upon, first tolerated, and then encouraged the system, till long custom gave it a kind of sanction. Like the dreadful UPAS, blighting and withering all that came within its pestilential influence, this horrid system struck deep its roots in our colonies: there it still flourishes, the black man's plague, and the white man's curse; and thus will it continue its pernicious influence upon all, until it is uprooted by human benevolence, or perishes smitten with the vengeance of offended Heaven!
Much has been done by the friends of humanity, towards the extinction of this tremendous evil; first to lift up the veil which concealed the horrors and enormities which characterized the slave colonies; secondly, to obtain the decision of our courts, that a Negro could not be a Slave after having set his foot on the shores of England;-thirdly, to secure the abolition of the Slave Trade; and finally, what remains yet to be effected, the total extinction of Slavery throughout the British dominions.
Slavery, in its destructive horrors, was but little known, yet as far as it was understood it was reprobated by the wise and humane. Ximenes, we have seen, abhorred it: Charles V repented of having sanctioned it, and liberated the slaves in the colonies of Spain: Elizabeth, our nation's boast, protested against violence or compulsion towards them; and Louis XIII tolerated it, only on the supposition of its being the means of their conversion to Christianity.
Godwyn, a clergyman in the latter part of the seventeenth century, was the first man in England, by whom the system of Negro Slavery was condemned, in a book dedicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury; and about the same time, Richard Baxter, the Nonconformist, reprobated it in his "Christian Directory." In the eighteenth century, Dr. Hayter, bishop of Norwich,
and Dr. Warburton, bishop of Gloucester, and Dr. Samuel Johnson, protested against the iniquitous system. At length "the morning star of Negro Freedom arose in the person of GRANVILLE SHARP. His persevering labours were at length rewarded, by the Judges in Westminster Hall pronouncing the memorable decision, after the case of one Somerset had been argued three sessions, in January, February, and May 1772,
that AS SOON AS A SLAVE SETS HIS FOOT ON THE ENGLISH SOIL HE BECOMES FREE!
This decision excited a more lively interest in favour of the injured and oppressed Africans; and in 1776, Mr. David Hartley, M. P. for Hull, denounced the Slave Trade in the House of Commons; and, having laid on the table some of the chains that were used in that murderous traffic, moved, that "the Slave Trade was contrary to the laws of God, and the rights of men." His motion was seconded by Sir George Saville, M. P. for Yorkshire.
Soon after a deep impression was produced upon the public mind by an action being brought against the underwriters, for a loss caused by the Captain of a slave ship, having thrown overboard one hundred and thirty two Negroes alive!! This barbarous wretch was not tried for the murder of these 132 human beings in cold blood; and were it not that his owners attempted to recover their value from the underwriters, who resisted the demand, this horrid transaction would have sunk into oblivion, together with thousands of such murders.
Dr. Peckard, Vice Chancellor of the University at Cambridge, was a warm friend to the Negro, and gave in 1785, as a prize essay, the subject, "Is it right to make slaves of others against their will?" Mr. Thomas Clarkson devoted his whole powers to secure the prize, and to serve the Negroes; and through him Mr. Wilberforce pledged himself to bring the subject before the parliament. On May 22, 1787, a society was formed for the abolition of the Slave Trade. In 1789, Mr. Wilberforce made his first motion on the Slave Trade, which met with great opposition. The nation was excited: for the parties interested in this trade in blood were numerous, and the West India and African merchants, the slave captains and others, saw their craft was in danger. The struggle was continued for twenty years; till in 1807, a bill was brought into the House of Lords for the abolition of the slave trade by Lord Grenville, then at the head of the government; which having passed, it was introduced into the Commons by Lord Howick, now Lord Grey: on March 25, 1807, it received the royal signature. By this it was enacted, that no slave should be imported into our colonies after March 1, 1808. Thus a second triumph was gained for humanity and justice !
EFFECTS OF SEEING THE WORD "ETERNITY."
A lady having spent the afternoon and evening at cards and in gay company, when she caine home, found her servant-maid reading a religious book. She looked over the servant's shoulder, and said, "Poor melancholy soul! What pleasure can you find in poring so long over that book?"-That night the lady could not sleep; but lay sighing and weeping very much. Her servant several times inquired what was the matter. At length she burst into tears, and said, "Oh! it was one word I saw in your book that troubles me there I saw the word ETERNITY! O how happy should I be, if I were prepared for eternity!" The consequence of this impression was, that she laid aside the cards, forsook her gay company, and set herself seriously to prepare for another world.
LINES ON THE EMBARKATION OF A MISSIONARY
FAMILY FOR THE SOUTH SEA ISLANDS. Wake, isles of the south! your redemption is near, No longer repose in the borders of gloom! The Strength of his chosen in love will appear, And light shall arise on the verge of the tomb! The billows that girt ye, the wild waves that roar, The zephyrs that play where the ocean-storms cease, Shall bear the rich freight to your desolate shore, Shall waft the glad tidings of pardon and peace. On the islands that sit in the regions of night, The lands of despair, to oblivion a prey, The morning will open with healing and light, The young Star of Bethlehem will ripen to day! The altar and idol in dust overthrown,
The incense forbade that was hallowed with blood, The Priest of Melchisedec these shall atone,
And the shrines of Atooi be sacred to God! The heathen will hasten to welcome the time,
The day-spring the prophet in vision once saw, When the beams of Messiah illumine each clime, And the isles of the ocean shall wait for his law.
MY FATHER GOD!
My father God!-to feeble dust
What wondrous condescension 'tis,
What hope and strength it doth impart, My father God!—and is it true
That Thou hast nam'd me for thy son? Shall 1 thy matchless glory view,
When I my race on earth have run? My father God!-how Thou hast led Me thro' each dark perplexing way; And in the wilderness hast fed
And cheer'd me in my lonely way. My father God!—what holy joy
Oft hast Thou to my spirit given :
Grant me, that I Thy work may do.
Fain would I to Thy dwelling rise.
When I on Jordan's brink shall stand, Around me cast thine arm of power, And bear me to the promis'd land.
TO A DEPARTED FRIEND. Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not deplore thee, Since God was thy refuge, thy ransom, thy guide; He gave thee-He took thee,-and He can restore thee; And death has no sting since the Saviour has died. H. S. H.
THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, Newly Translated from the Original Greek; with a Plain Reading, divesting it of its Metaphors, and Notes describing the persons and circumstances to which the Symbols refer. By George Pilkington. London, Effingham Wilson.
Mr. Pilkington is known to many by means of his Pamphlet, entitled, "The Unknown Tongues discovered to be English, Spanish, and Latin; and the Rev. Edward Irving proved to be erroneous in attributing their Utterance to the Holy Spirit," &c. &c.
After reading that discovery of the "Unknown Tongues," we were desirous of examining the attempt of that gentleman to furnish a key to the right interpretation of the wonderful prophecies in that mysterious, divine book. We admire the ingenuity displayed in his illustrations of the sacred text: but we regard them as extremely fanciful, and many of thein as excessively absurd. Mr. Pilkington has manifested, in our opinion, excessive precipitancy, in venturing to become a translator and expositor of the most difficult book in the sacred volume, having been only a few months a convert to Christianity!
He says, "It is but a short time since I professed no religion save that which I fancied to be Deism, or rather such a belief of God as would presume to scan the measures of his eternal wisdom by finite reason; and thus, in denying what I had not the spirit to comprehend, was I heedlessly neglecting the one thing needful,' which God imperatively demands that all his creatures should seek. For many years I rioted in those principles which unrestrained reason naturally suggests. At length, without the intervention of misfortune, without having been afflicted by sickness or pecuniary distress, but with a sound body and a perfect mind, I, as one of those who composed the staff of a governor in one of our colonies, was obliged to attend church in my official capacity, and on that occasion, in the space of an hour, became a convert to Christianity. With an exceeding degree of sorrow for my past offences of unbelief, and with a zeal for the cause of Christ which daily increased, I arrived in England about eighteen months ago." Dissappointed in his expectations from Christian brethren, he says, "I threw myself on my Saviour, and praying for the Holy Spirit, mercifully promised to teach us all things," determined, by the grace of God, to study the Scrip tures, and judge for myself. I accordingly devoted much of my time to this pursuit after truth, and, having continued with great satisfaction until I reached the book of Revelation, I thought of recommencing, without reading it. I was however constrained as it were to go on, and, opening at the eleventh chapter, my attention was arrested by its contents, and in about three hours, I understood it nearly as explained in the present publication."
We have no doubt of Mr. Pilkington's sincerity, and most sacredly do we hold the doctrine of the Holy Spirit's influence. But still we think Mr. Pilkington mistaken in some of his conclusions, respecting the communication of special divine illumination. We would remind him of his former mistakes in relation to Mr. Irving, and would recommend him carefully to review his "Translation of the Revelation."
London: Printed and Published by C. WOOD AND SON, Poppin's Court, Fleet Street; to whom all Communications for the Editor (post_paid) should be addressed; and sold by all Booksellers and Newsmen in the United Kingdom.
Hawkers and Dealers Supplied on Wholesale Terms, in London, by STEILI Paternoster Row; BERGER, Holywell Street, Strand; F. BAISLER, 124, Oxford Street; and W. Ñ. BAKER, 16, City Road, Finsbury.