Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of the stony rock-notwithstanding they had heard his voice, and seen his glory at the Mount; yet, after all this, they had not eyes to see, nor hearts to understand; but ftill erred and fell away in the day of temptation : the light had shined unto them, but they loved darkness rather ; and from their whole conduct we may infer, that as they justly might, so they really were, judicially blinded in the end: or, as the apostle expresses it, guarded or reserved under chains of darkness unto judgment

- to which they were at length delivered ; for those men, 66 even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the Lord *.”

Our limits will not allow us to extract the notes by which our Author endeavours to justify this novel and seemingly harth interpretation of the text in question,-except in one instance only; to which we are chiefly induced for the sake of that seemingly pious sentiment with which it is concluded. I understand the word Toptapwras, tartarized, to be expressive of the gloomy borrors of their own minds; they fhrunk at every difficulty, were always desponding, and never saw any thing before their eyes but deftruction and death : whereas faith, as a grain of mustard-seed, would have filled them with the most lively hope, and have been an anchor to their souls. Modern unbelievers might learn from these, their brethren of old, to retreat in time, leit their bands be made strong-left chains of darkness be judi, cially laid on.

Neither are we at liberty to follow our Author in his application of the same principles, to the interpretation of the other text, in St. Jude, which, considering the similarity of sentiment, is not, perhaps, an omiffion of much importance.

• Upon the whole, says this Writer, nothing can be more evident than that the persons who sinned, mentioned by St. Peter, and those who watched not duly over their principalities, mentioned by St. Jude, are the same, and we conclude, from the foregoing observations, that they were just as much angels as those received by Rahab the harlot, who we certainly know were neither more nor less than messengers t. This interpreç tation is not only more countenanced by the language of the apostles-is not only more suitable to the connection and argupent; but it rests on a much better foundation, on a more clear and undoubted authority, than that which is commonly received,

• See Nomb. xiv.

37. + James ii. 25. “Was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received 725 ayyeles, the messengers,”-sent by Jolhua to spy secretly, and to view the land, even Jericho. JOSHUA, ch. ii.

[ocr errors]

• St. Jude says, he put the people in mind of what they once knew; but fuppofing him to speak of “ angels which kept noc their first eftate, but left their own habitation, and are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of a great day, yet future," as in our translation-fuppofing Jude to fpeak thus, and whence should the people once have known it? The Old Testament says not a word of any such thing; and the whole fect of the Sadducees, in our Saviour's time, believed neither angel nor spirit to exist; but confined their faith to one God only : apprehending, I suppose, that the angels and spirits, mentioned in the Old Testament, were mere imaginary beings, introduced for the sake of representation. 2. The Pharisees, it is crue, confessed both angels and spirits; and the scriptures, doubtless, countenance such a belief; but as we are cautioned not to intrude into things not seen, and told that fecret things belong to the Lord, we thall do well not to be wise above the reach of reason and sense, and what is written or revealed. What can fairly be collected from the fcriptures, on this head, is, in fum, nearly as follows :

• Angels are represented unto us as a superior order of beings, employed as the messengers of God; and hence they derived their name. The Old and New Testaments both favour the idea of a local heaven, where God is more peculiarly present, where the angels behold his face, and receive his commands: from hence they are said to be dispatched on some particular occafions, to reveal or to execute the will of God: and once in the Old Testament we read, that God sent evil angels among the Egyptians--as also of the destroying angel; but this is spoken only in respect of their commillion, which was to hurt and deftroy; for both were perfectly subject and obedient unto God: so that, on the whole, there is not the least ground to believe that any angel, or angels, were supposed to have fallen from their original dignity and allegiance to God.

« But there is great reason to believe, that the notion of fallen angels first arose from a misconstruction of the very paffages we have been considering. The Gentiles, when they came to preach the gospel, not being fufficiently read and skilled in the Jewish scriptures, that is, in the Old Testament, might easily overlook the reference, and lay hold of the texts in question to account for the evil spirits, mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments—and for the Devil and his angels, mentioned in the gospel of Matthew.

And when once those texts came to be misconstrued of fallen angels, and that interpretation came to be received, it is no more to be wondered at that it hath continued a received doctrine, than that the doctrines of purgatory, transubstantiation,

and

and others, should still continue, and be received, in the church of Rome. When error is once substituted and established for truth, it is afterwards taken for granted, without examination: so the fystem of fallen angels, once wrought up, and glofled over, hach for ages been swallowed without ceremony.

• There is reason, therefore, to stand in doubt, whether Satan be a fallen angel : and upon the supposition that he may not, it is proposed to learch the scriptures : a close attention to what is written there in concerning him, will, most probably, lead us to the true idea which we ought to annex to that formidable name.'

Our Author having in this manner prepared his way, formally enters upon the proposed subject of inquiry; and has given us, in the remaining part of the present publication, an orderly view of all the passages in the Old Testament, in which the word Satan is usually understood in the theological and popular sense, with his own interpretation of them ; in which we find no matter of objection, and can readily agree with him, that the commonly received opinion concerning the fall of angels does not seem to be neceffarily taught or implied in them, But how this ingenious Writer will be able to keep clear of that opinion when he shall proceed to the consideration of the texts in the New Testament, which are to be the subject of some future publication, and in which we should imagine that he would meet with much greater difficulties, we are not able to conjecture. We shall therefore hope to be favoured with that part of his work in due season. ART. V. Political Elay's concerning the present State of the British Em

pire. 4to. il. 1 s. Concluded. HE specimens already given, in two former Articles, of

our Author's industry and judgment in collecting facts, and reasoning upon them, will, we doubt not, excite the attention of all who are duly sensible of the great importance of the subjects treated in this performance; of all whole minds are engaged in speculations, in which the interests of mankind are so deeply concerned.

In his fourth Essay our Author proceeds to take a view of the present State of Manufactures in the British Dominions, under the following heads : 1. Those from our own products. 26 Those from foreign products. 3. Population. 4. Comparifon between those of Britain and other countries. 5. Means of promoting them.

The Author is duly sensible of the deficiency of his materials relating to this subject, and not without reason; for except the article Wool, which has been more difcufled, and more particularly inquired into by former writers, than any other branch of

T:

our

our manufactures, and from whom we have here very large estracts, we meet with little or no satisfaction : and we appre hend our Author could not have supplied this deficiency from books, there being none extent that give any accurate account of these subjects. Indeed, such accounts cannot be procured unless an Author will give much of his time and attention to them, and apply to the most intelligent and skilful manufacturers, in every separate branch, for their aftance and information.

The manufactures from our own products are wool, leatber', lead, tin, iron and copper, flax, hemp, glass, paper, porcelain : to which he might have added the brewery, distillery, and some others. Manufactures from foreign products are, in our Author's enumeration, only those of silk and cotton. The amount of these manufactures he estimates as follows: • Amount of the woollen manufacture,

£. 15,700,529 Leather

11,725,000 Flax and hemp,

2,500,000 Glass, paper, and porcellain,

1,500,000 Silk,

3,025,000 Cotton,

900,000 I apprehend the number employed by lead, tin, iron,

&c. to be about 900,000; if they earn, one with another *, iod a head, the amount will be

9,000,000

44,350,529 But the materials on which there calculations are founded are so imperfect that we cannot depend much upon the result: though the magnitude of the sum total, supposing it not to be extremely wide of the truth, is fufficient to demonstrate the valt importance of our manufactures, and to convince all persons that too much attention cannot be paid to the encouragement and improvement of them.

In the fifth section of this Essay, our Author inquires into the Means of promoting the British ManufaElures. Here the Reader will meet with some striking facts, and many excellent observations upon this subject; including a full discussion of the queftion concerning the policy and expediency of using machines to shorten and diminith the price of labour ; and we are persuaded that the Author's conclusion in favour of machines is supported by sound policy, and a full experience of their utility, wherever they have been applied.

We have known many instances in which a branch of ma. nufacture, and the people employed in. it, have been greatly

Considering the nature of these manufactures, a much larger sum must be allowed to them than to any others, a much greater proportion of grown people being employed in them.'

increased

increased by the introduction of machines; but not one in which they have been diminifhed.

We have been well informed that a few years ago Wheels were invented at Blackbourne in Lancashire, by means of which one person could spin several threads of cotton at the same time; that at the first appearance of these wheels, mobs arose, and the military were called in to preserve the lives of the ingenious inventors and encouragers of this valuable machine ; that afterwards they were introduced into the neighbourhood of Boulton, another manufacturing town in the same county, and had the fame effect as before, to raise violent commotions amongst the people, who were apprehenfive they should all be ruined and ftarved by these new inventions: but here, by the well-timed, fpirited, and sensible exertion of a worthy magistrate, the peoples terrors were abated, and consequently their tumultuous behaviour; they recovered their senses; they applied their ge. niuses to the improvement of these machines; they adopted them universally; and have been so senfible of their good effects, as to leave no room for doubt that, the taking thele machines from them would now probably make a much greater disturbance than what was produced by their introduction. The machine has lately been improved, in various ways, by several ingenious mechanics in those parts; and we hear that buildings are erecting at Matlock, in Derbyshire, and other places, tor spinning cotton upon large machines, that are to be worked like filk-mils, by water and by horses, whereby the price of cotton yarn will probably be so much reduced as to occafion a vaft increase of demand for cotton manufactures; and, conlequently, of employment for the people concerned in that branch of business :-and we beg leave to intimate to our woollen manufacturers, that the application of such machines to the spinning of woollen yarn seems to be an object of national confequence, and well deserving their serious attention.

On the mention of the application of these new machines in the woollen manufactory, we are aware that the first question will be, What must become of the spinners? The answer is furnished to us by the example of Lancashire. They will be pro. vided with wheels to spin five or fix times as much as they spinz now: their employers can afford to pay them better for their week's work; the goods will be made better and cheaper ; the demand will consequently increase ; all the bands in the country will be fully employed in using or attending the machines, and other branches of the manufactory; the nation will soon recoves those foreign markets it has luft; and our manufacturers will make such rapid advances as their competitors will not loon be able to overtake. Rev. Sept. 1772

P

Our

« AnteriorContinuar »