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our religion;-when these and other caufes of a like kind are it. tended to, it cannot be thought wonderful that there fhould, as to fome particulars, have been a great diverfity of fentiments and opinions among chriftians.
This Author in the fecond fection gives a sketch of some beretical opinions which prevailed in the three first centuries, till the reign of Conftantine, and in the third he relates fome of those which difturbed the church from the laft-mentioned period till the full eftablifhment of popery. One paffage from this part of his work is as
⚫ Amidst fuch a multiplicity of opinions partly agreeing and partly difagreeing, what wonder was it, that the paffions of men were much inflamed, and their minds embittered one against another? In the public eftimation, how did they rife or fall according to the feveral decrees of Councils, and the different attachments of different Popes and Emperors? The fmiles and frowns of fortune changed alternately, fometimes on the Catholick, and fometimes on the oppofite fide: Dignity and disgrace, victory and banishment, were the uncertain lots, which fell by turns upon Arius and Athanafius, the Omo-oufians or Omoi oufians, the true or falfe believers, according to the prevailing fyftem of orthodoxy.-In fupport of thefe jarring fentiments no pains were fpared: Pious frauds, vifions and legendary ftories were often invented; and to give a ftronger fanction than all, a fucceffive train of fictitious miracles were continually forged with great craft and diffimulation, though under a fpecious difguife of truth, and a fincere regard to the intereft of religion. Creeds were fet up by oppofite parties against creeds, and fynods against fynods.'
But this great variety of opinions upon difputable points, formed not the worst part of church hiftory: the greatest evil was, that the pride, the weakness, the felfishness of men were engaged, and, from what might be often in itfelf innocent, raifed the flames of difcord and hatred, to the difgrace of the church, and destruction of real piety and goodness!
After giving a sketch of the errors of popery, and those which arofe from monkery and fchool-divinity, Mr. Rawlins obferves farther, that the reformation, though a happy means of deliverance from the corruptions of the church of Rome, was not without its blemishes. In the remaining part of his pamphlet he endeavours to fhew, that the multiplicity of religious errors is no ground of objection against the truth of chriftianity, no proof of the infufficiency of the fcriptures, nor of the neceflity of a fupreme judge or infallible interpreter. He farther infifts, that this diverfity of opinion is really agreeable to the express declarations of fcripture, that it is no reafon for the obftruction of free enquiry, or for impeaching the wisdom or goodness of God, or the moral excellence of human nature.
The Author treats thefe fubjects in a fenfible and rational manner; but what his notions of the nature of error and herefy are, and in what refpects he thinks them innocent or finful, it is not in our power to determine exactly from the prefent performance; we must wait for a fecond differtation on these points, which, he tells us, he defigns to communicate to the world.
Art. 34. TA XIAIA ETH. A Differtation on the Millenium. :. 8vo. 13. Horsfield. 1772.
The publication of this pamphlet, we are informed, has been occafioned by a fermon printed on the fame fubject, in 1771, by Mr. Greenhill, who, according to the account here given, feems to believe" Now to be the intermediate fpace of time between the Millenium and the end of the world." This Writer, who discovers both good fenfe and learning, apprehends it may not be amifs to admonifh him, and others who may happen to agree with him in this particular, that the feries of the prophecy, the course and order of the revelation exhibited by St. John, evince, that the Millenium is yet to come, nay that the feventh trumpet has not yet founded.' After reciting the text in Rev. xx. ver. 4, where upon the binding of Satan, it is faid, And I saw the fouls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jefus, &c.-lived and reigned with Chrift a thoufand years; he propofes the queftion, Whether these words be capable of any other than a literal interpretation ?'
In order to throw fome light upon the fubject he briefly, but cri tically, confiders what was the ftate of this controversy till about the middle of the third century, After this review, fays he, if we give our opinion of these matters fairly, and without referve, it will amount to this: the doctrine concerning the millenial reign of Christ appeared very early in the Church, and was built on a twofold foundation: first, on the interpretation of thofe paffages in the prophets, which foretold the restoration of the kingdom to Ifrael, inforced by this text of St. John: the fecond from oral tradition, pretended to be delivered down by St. John from our Lord himself; yet that it never generally prevailed, nor was it in the purer ages received as the doctrine of the Church.'
The following is the fummary which the Writer gives of his own fentiments on the point under confideration: What I contend for is, fays he, that the firtt refurrection is not to be understood literally; and that here nothing more is expreffed, than that the ene mies of Chrift being deftroyed, and the power of Satan restrained, the Church fhall enjoy, for a determined time, an uninterrupted peace. Were I to indulge my own fpeculations, I might feem to fee Mahometanism extirpated, Popery reformed, and the whole Church in general, both in manners and difcipline, enjoying a more than primitive purity. I could hope that our daily prayers would at length be answered, and that all who profefs and call themfelves Chriftians would be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of fpirit, in the bond of peace and righteoufnefs of life, unmolefted by enemies without, unhurt by internal divifions. More than this is not from hence to be gathered; but as I take this to relate to that period, ch. xi. 15, in which the angels proclaim the kingdoms of this world to be our Lord's and his Chrift's, the scene is enlarged, and all the ancient prophecies receive their completion by the restoration of the Jews, and call of the Gentiles. The many excellent things which are spoken of the city of God fhall be accomplished; and in a more literal fenfe, Chrift fhall have the Heathen' for his inheritance, and be anointed King on his holy hill of Sion.'
Our Author offers feveral confiderations in fupport of his hypothe fis, which appears to us to be greatly fiurilar to that of Dr. Whitby; a particular account of which, with the arguments in its vindication, may be feen at the end of the fecond volume of his Com-> mentary on the New Testament.
The pamphlet concludes with a recital of fome paffages from the book of the Revelations, and from the prophecy of Ifaiah †, which defcribe the happiness of the New Jerufalem, referring, as this Writer feems to fuppofe, both to the fate of the Chriftian Church úpon earth, and its final and perfect felicity in a future world: The defcription is grand and affecting: it recals to his mind, he fays, fome. lines in Pindar which he recommends to our perafal. They have fome fimilarity to the fcripture expreffions he had felected: he prefents them to us in the Greek, unattended by any English translation. It may not be unacceptable to fome of our Readers if we con clude this article by adding Mr. Wek's translation of this part of the fecond of Pindar's olympic odes:
Art. 35. Sermons to Tradefmen. 12mo. Is. Cadell, &c. 1772. This is certainly a very feafonable, and, if properly attended to, may prove a very useful publication. The first of the two fermons has paffed through one edition, and we cannot but exprefs our with that each of them may be more generally known and read. The fubject of the firft is Proverbs xxiii. 4. Labour not to be rich: that of the fecond, Romans xii. 11. Not fothful in business. From the fecond of thefe difcourfes we fhall juft extract the following paffage, not as being fuperior to other parts, but as it appears to have fome particular propriety at the prefent time.
Some neglect their private concerns, by entering warmly inte what they judge the concerns of the public; that is to fay, by becoming violent partifans in political contefts.-Were thofe liberties in danger, which are the birthright of Britons, and the glory of this favoured country, all who breathe this air of freedom, should exert their utmost in their defence. Every thing of private or perfonal confideration should give place when LIBERTY demands our aid.
• Ch, xxi. 4, 23. xxii. 5.
+ Ix. 19, 20.
I would be far from endeavouring, by the moft diftant infinuation, to damp the hallowed fire of genuine patriotifm. I with every Britifh breaft to feel its ardours. I had rather a jealousy of our privileges, which our ancestors purchased with their blood, fhould run into an extreme, than any encroachment on them be filently permitted and tamely borne.-But, my fellow-citizens, you should be upon your guard against the artifices of defigning ambitious men, who would pervert your honeft zeal for your country's good, to their own felfish finifter ends. And what is more frequent in political diffentions, than for the leaders of either party (whatever they profefs) to have far different objects in view from thofe of national advantage? Generally fpeaking-I except a few individuals—self-intereft is their ruling principle.-A man who interferes in the contention ufually fubfifting between those who are in office and thofe who are out, to the neglect of his own domestic bulinefs, will find it hard to reconcile his practice with his duty, and to jullify himfelf in the eye of prudence and wisdom.'
Art. 36. Sermons. By the late Rev. Mr. John Whitty, Minifter of the Gospel at Lyme-regis, Dorfet. In two Volumes. Vol. I. Containing Difcourfes on the Lord's Prayer, with others on various Subjects, adapted to the Family and Closet. Vol. II. Containing Difcourfes adapted to the Ordinance of the Lord's Supper. Evo. 10 s. Buckland. 1772.
The Editor of thefe difcourfes informs us that, of the two volumes of fermons by this Author already published, few more were printed than had been fubfcribed for; that feveral perfons had expreffed their fatisfaction in them, and requested that their number might be increafed; and that this has occafioned another publi
The true character of thefe difcourfes feems to us to be that they are ferious, practical, and well adapted to the edification of common chriflian focieties. They cannot be confidered as very animated, critical, or elegant productions: but in a plain, though not difgafting drefs they difcover a fpirit of piety in the writer, and a concern to advance real religion and virtue; to which purpose the different fubjects brought under confideration are all of them directed. The Author appears as a ferious and earnest advocate for all christian virtues and good works, arifing from a proper principle and difpofition of mind. Though calviniftic in his fentiments, he does not, in these fermons, enter far into difputable points. In the first volume he pays very little regard to them, and in the fecond, the great ends of a religious and virtuous conduct are always kept in view; although here the Reader will find fomewhat more of the peculiarities of calvinifm; and many, no doubt, will think that the view Mr. Whitty has given of the fupper of our Lord, is not firicly conformable to that plain, fimple, and fhort account of it which is found in the New Testament.
1. The fure Foundation.-Occafioned by the Death of the Rev. Mr. B. Meffer. Preached in Grafton Street, June 21, 1772. By John Macgowan. 18. Keith.
II. At the Five Fields Chapel, St. George's, Hanover-Square, before the Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Mafons, June 24, 1772, being the festival of St. John the Baptift. By the Rev. Mr. John Gower. Published at the Requeft of the United Lodges, under the Sanction of Sir Robert Stewart. 8vo. 6 d. Cooke, &c.
We have a good deal of Free-mason wit in this fermon; for inftance: As the Mafon frequently tries every minute part of his work by the compafs, fquare, level, and plumb-rule, in order to give to each member its true and exact proportion; in like manner should we conftantly try every minute action of our lives, whether it will Square with God's word; whether it is level with his commands; whether it is upright, according to the plumb-rule of confcience, and within the compafs of innocence.'-In the quibbling days of gued King Jamie, a genius like this would certainly have made its way to the Mitre!
To the AUTHORS of the MONTHLY REVIEW.
N your Review for Auguft laft, I fee the Article Wenfley-Dale has
that what Fontenelle mentions in his panegyric on Sir Ifaac is true; that his mother was an Ayscough, fometimes written Afkew; and that she was of an ancient family, whofe ancestors were confiderable gentry the famous Anne Afkew, in Fox's Martyrology, was of the tame family. His mother's brother, Ayfcough, a clergyman, grandfather of my mother, was the perfon who infifted on his filter's completing Ifaac's education at the Univerfity, not according to the tra dition mentioned in the poem of Wenfley-Dale, of a gentleman obferving him in the field keeping fheep, but on the uncle's finding him in a hay-loft, at Grantham, working a mathematical problem.
Of this clergyman, Ayfcough, there are feveral defcendants, one of which is Mr. Thomas Ayfcough, who has lived above 50 years at the bankers in Lombard-Street (formerly Braffeys, and now Lee and Ayton) with others who are still in being as well as my felf. My mother's fifter, who attended him in his laft illnefs, and who was very much with him at other times, has told me, that when he had any mathematical problems, or folutions, in his mind, he would never quit the fubject on any account. Dinner has been often three hours ready for him before he could be brought to table: that his man often faid, when he has been getting up in a morning, he has fometimes begun to drefs, and with one leg in his breeches, fat down again on the bed, where he has remained for hours before he got his cloaths on; and my father has often told me that he was the most modest and bashful man that could be; and that in company he was never pofitive nor overbearing, even in thofe matters which were demonftrated to his own mind. And I had the pleafure of experiencing, when a child, his humane and kind behaviour to children. I am, your humble fervant,
Da. 13, 1772.
• We are obliged to I. H. for the foregoing Letter. Every circum ftance relating to juch a Genius as NEWTON must be acceptable to the friends of Science and Literature,