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your own opinion proposed to me fome years ago. "Sir, how is it, that as foon as a man comes to the knowledge of the truth, it fpoils his temper?" That it does fo, I had obferved over and over, as well as Mr. J. had. But how can we account for it? Has the truth (fo Mr. J. termed what many love to term the doctrine of free grace) a natural tendency to spoil the temper? To infpire pride, haughtiness, fupercilioufnefs? To make a man wifer in his own eyes, than feven men that can render a reason? Does it naturally turn a man into a Cynic, a bear, a Toplady? Does it at once fet him free from all the restraints of good-nature, decency, and good-manners? Cannot a man hold diftinguishing grace, as it is called, but he muft diftinguish himself for paffion, fournefs, bitterness? Muft a man, as foon as he looks upon himself to be an abfolute favourite of heaven, look upon all that oppofe him as Diabolonians, as predeftinated dogs of hell? Truly, the melancholy inftance now before us, would almoft induce us to think fo. For who was of a more amiable temper than Mr. Hill, a few years ago? When I first conversed with him in London, I thought I had feldom feen a man of fortune, who appeared to be of a more humble, modeft, gentle, friendly difpofition. And yet this fame Mr. H. when he has once been grounded in the knowledge of the truth, is of a temper as totally different from this, as light is from darkness! He is now haughty, fupercilious, difdaining his opponents, as unworthy to be fet with the dogs of his flock! He is violent, impetuous, bitter of fpirit! In a word, the author of the Review!
O Sir, what a commendation is this of your doctrine? Look at Mr. H. the Arminian! The loving, amiable, generous, friendly man. Look at Mr. H. the Calvinift! Is it the fame perfon? This fpiteful, morofe, touchy man? Alas, what has the knowledge of the truth done? What a deplorable change has it made?'
It is very true, that few of our modern Saints* feem to be aware what manner of spirit they are of.
Art. 14. Further Remarks upon Dr. Campbell's late Synodical Sermon: To which are prefixed (by way of Introduction) fome Obfervations on a former Synodical Sermon by the fame Author : Interfperfed with Reflections on the prefent melancholy State of Christianity, the Chriftian Miniftry, &c. as well in Scotland as in England, together with Notes for Illuftration, and a Letter from a Minifter in the South-Country to his Friend (giving an Account of his Converfion, and confequent Change in his Preaching after he had been fome Years standing in the Miniftry) annexed as an Exemplification of the Whole. 12mo. 9 d. Aberdeen printed, and fold for the Benefit of the fober and induftrious Poor. 1772.
So long a title-page will lead our Readers to fufpect that this is no elegant or very accurate compofition. The Author himself acknowledges, that in point of ftyle, he (or rather wwe, for he commonly speaks of himself in the plural number) has been careless and negligent: he apologizes for it by quoting two lines from Pope,
*So Mr. H. ftyles himself, in his Review.
-Plain truth, dear Doctor, needs no flowers of speech,
However, plain truth may be agreeably dreffed; and if it was requisite to publish at all, it might not have been amifs for the good man to have paid a little more attention to this circumftance, in his prefent performance. He is folicitous that the reader fhould obferve, that though this pamphlet is announced to the world under the title of Further Remarks, &c. it does not come from the fame hand with thofe ftrictures upon the fermon in queftion, which appeared foot after its publication both at London and at Edinburgh. Thofe remarkers (in this writer's opinion) overlooked paffages of much greater importance than what they excepted againit; and which are, therefore, here animadverted upon.
We had apprehended that Dr. Campbell's fermon was really a váluable performance; but this well-meaning author charges it with a capital defect, viz. the want of orthodoxy and the having too great a regard to philofophy, faljely fo called. Among other remarks, we are told, it is feen in our country, in the prefent time, wherein there is fo much, that (it is thought by all the orthodox) there never was more morality preached, and we think never better preached; that there was never lefs of it ften in the lives of minifters and people; and that (this degeneracy and depravity in the chriftian faith and manners having extended itself at last to North-Britain) even the church of Scotland and her diffenters (that used formerly to be remarked both for orthodoxy and holiness) is in almoft as lamentable a condition now as the church of England and her's have been long in.'
It is probable that we may be hardly deemed properly qualified to pass a judgment upon this work, fince we are told, although every one may think himself a fufficient judge both of the Dr.'s fermons and our remarks on them, yet but few are competent judges of the one or of the other, even none but the fpiritually enlightened and true christians.-The more fpiritual therefore our remarks are, or the nearer they happen to be to the truths of fcripture, the more they will be condemned, or fo much the fewer comparatively will approve of them: but no matter for that, if but one foul is favingly benefitted by them.'
Although the above fpecimens will lead our Readers to conclude, that this is the production of an enthufiaft, his work, ill-written as it is, may contain fome truths, and his defign we believe to be good; but how can we applaud his charity, or even allow him to poffefs that degree of it which becomes any chriftian, when we fee him confine all real goodness to a few perfons who embrace certain particular tenets, and who alone, he tells us, are capable judges of religious truth.
It may be right to add, that he confiders moderate Calvinifts and pure Arminians, as he terms them, as coinciding in their fentiments. He rather pleads for abolishing the fubfcripton to the 39 articles; and thinks that all good men, or, in his own phrafe, the children of God, will agree with him herein: and he feems to reject the notions of particular election and reprobation.
E e z
Art. 15. The Works of Jacob Behmen, the Teutonic Theofo pher. Vol. III. Containing, I. The Myfterium Magnum; or an Explanation of the firft Book of Mofes, called Genefis in three Parts. II. Four Tables of Divine Revelation. With Figures illutirating his Principles, left by the Rev. William Law, M. A. 4to. 11. 5 s. bound. Robinson. 1772.
Who has not heard of Jacob Behmen's Divine Philofophy, and Wonderful Myfticifin,-furpaffing all comprehenfion merely human, and, perhaps, furpaffing all human patience, too; except the patience of the late William Law, his zealous and laborious editor;the late John Hutchinson, Efq; or the late John Dove, taylo; or the late Baron Swedenborg.
If, however, there are any of our Readers who are ignorant of the nature and importance of Jacob's performances, let them attend to what William Law himself faith of them, in the preface to this third volume.
Infinite are the myfleries mentioned in the Scriptures concerning God, Angels, Men, the World, Eternity, Time, the Creation, Fall, Sin, Corruption, the Curfe, Mifery, Death, Judgment, Hell, Devils, Damnation --Chrift, Redemption, Salvation, Free-Grace, Free-Will, Refurrection, Paradife: The Itoly Ghost, Sanctification, Reftitution, Bleffednefs, Eternal Life and Glory. The certain meaning of the words of fcripture is the jewel locked up in them, not now attainable from the Apostles by conversation with them. Therefore now we fhould apply ourselves to the things they fpoke of, which are to be enquired after in the mind, and the knowledge of them to be received from God by prayer, who will open the understanding, For there is a spirit in man, and the infpiration of the Almighty gives underflanding*, as it DID TO THIS AUTHOR†, who BY THE COMMAND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT †, wrote his deep knowTege given to him of God, and has therein pointed out the way to us whacin we may understand what in us is Divine, and what Natural; the New Man and the Old; which is the aim and fcope of the whole Bible: thefe New things and Old are thofe that the Scribe learned in the kingdom of Heaven brings out of his treasury; neither can any knowlege he wanting to him who has Chrift in him. For in Chrift are bid all the Treafures of Wisdom and Knowlege,
Reader! if thou ftill witheft to form an idea of the deep know lege which the Spirit is thus faid to have infufed into Jacob, take it from Jacob's own words; which contain his explication of the My Aery of the Trinity :
This threefold Spirit is one only effence; and yet it is no effect, but the eternal understanding, an original of the fomething; and yet it is the eternal Hiddennefs, [or myftical Myery, as he farther explains it, in the margin as the underftanding of man is not conined in time and place, but it is its own comprehenfion and feat; and the egress of the Spirit is the eternal original Contemplation, vi
Job xxxii. 8.
+ The words which we have printed in capitals, for our Reader's efpecial notice, are not to printed in the book; but, in the stand, we have e actly followed the author.
Lubet of the Spirit."-Reader, can't thou comprehend this? if not, thou wilt perhaps join with us in lamenting that what was fo clearly revealed to Jacob Behmen thould ftill remain as unfathomable as ever, to thee, and to us, mere mortal, unenlightened Readers and Reviewers as we are!
We must now take our leave of this fublimely fpiritualized dealer in Effences which are no Effence, and in myftically myfterious Originals of fomething; which we fhall do by acquainting our Readers, that an advertisement is prefixed to this volume, informing us, that the publication of it has been retarded by feveral occurrences;' but that the remaining parts of his [Jacob Behmen's] writings are proposed to be comprized in two volumes, and published as foon as they fhall be fitted for it.'
As to the engraved figures, illuftrating his principles,' which are prefixed to this volume, we can only fay, that had the defigner of them lived in thofe pious times when Galileo, for his ingenuity, was put into the Inquifition, he had certainly been burnt for a Sorcerer. Of thefe, however, there is an Explanation given, by Mr. Law: which is printed at the end of the volume, and which may be useful to thofe who can understand it.
Art. 16. The Excellency of the Knowledge of Jefus Chrift. By the Rev. John Liborius Zimmerman. Tranflated by Mofes Browne. 12mo. 35. Dilly.
The friends of human reafon, and well-wishers to common fenfe, will not hold themselves to be much indebted to Mr. Browne, for the trouble he has taken to import this heavy lump of German enthufiafm into our country, which is already over-stock'd with the fame kind of commodity, of its native growth.
Art. 17. The Scriptwe Doctrine of Sin and Grace confidered, in twenty five plain and practical difcourfes on the whole 7th Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. By John Stafford. 8vo. 6 s. Buckland. 1772.
There are many people among JACK's followers, and fome among PETER'S, who will admire thefe Difcourfes, and edify by the perufal of them; while the difciples of MARTYN and REASON will pay very little attention to any thing that Mr. Stafford can fay to them about indwelling fin, and the Spiritual warfare, &c. &c. Yet thefe phrafes were once in high estimation; as the writings of Gouge, and Keach, and Bunyan will teftify.
Art. 18. A calm and plain Answer to the Enquiry, why are you a
Diffenter from the Church of England? containing fome Remarks on its Doctrine, Spirit, Confiitution, and fome of its Offices and Forms of Devotion. By the Author of the Diffenting Gentleman's Letters to White. Being a fummary View of the Arguments contained in those Letters. Svo. Is. Buckland, &c. 1772.
This production comes from one of the ableit Writers among the Diffenters, and one who hath long diftinguished himself as a zealous champion in the caufe of Nonconformity. With regard to the prefent enquiry, the leaft that can be faid of it is, that it points out, with great acutenefs and vivacity, the fuppofed deficiencies and errours in the doctrines, fpirit, conflitution, and devotional forms and ces of the church of England. As this work is, for the most Party
part, an abridgment of a former treatife, a particular account of it will not here be expected. We fhall, therefore, lay one fpecimen of it only before our Readers, which we have felected, because it relates to the enlargement of the toleration act; a fubject that has lately been much difcuffed, and which will probably be kept in agitation, during the course of the enfuing winter.
It is to me, Sir, I affure you, fays our Author, no agreeable task to point out these blemishes in a church which bears fo high a rank amongst thofe called the reformed; but as the caufe of Christianity is, I am verily perfuaded, exceedingly hurt by them, and as a general reformation of those which are ftill enflaved by the tyranny of Rome, is, we hope in God, not far off, how greatly is it to be wifhed that the church of England fhould be rendered as free as poffible from every defect, and be established upon as pure and as catholic a plan as human wisdom and piety are able to effect, that it may be set up as a kind of standard to the nations around, a pattern to copy after in the change they will hereafter make in their ecclefiaftical affairs!
But, in abatement of the feverity of thefe canons and laws, perhaps you will obferve, that they are all, as to us of the prefent age, mere lifeless forms, an unmeaning and dead letter, fince we feel nothing of their rigour, but write aud fpeak as freely upon thefe fubjects, without any moleftation from them, as if no fuch laws had ever been made:
I answer, this favour we owe not to the SPIRIT of the church, as an ecclefiaftical conftitution, but (through the mercy of God) to the SPIRIT of the Times, to the equity, the moderation, and good policy of the ftate. Thefe unrighteous laws and canons of the church are fill in full force, though by the wifdom of government their malignant power is reftrained. They are ftill held as a tremendous rod over all the oppugners of the church rites, who every moment lie at mercy. Though the act of toleration hath freed us from the oppreffion of thofe penal laws which relate to mere nonconformity to the established mode of worship, yet it has left others, very fevere ones, in full power to diftrefs us, fhould the adminiftration of these kingdoms ever fall into tyrannical hands, which God forbid.
Though we are fincerely thankful to the favour of heaven, and the juflice of our governors, for the bleffings enjoyed fince paffing the act of toleration, yet it is far from being (as it has generally been called) an equitable one.
It by no means reftores to us that liberty, and thofe rites, which both as men and as Chriftians we can juttly claim: it prefcribes fuch conditions of our exercifing thofe rights as no civil government, we humbly apprehend, can equitably prefcribe; for even by this act an authority is ftill claimed over the faith of those who stand in no manner of ecclefiaftical relation to the church. Our diffenting mi
The act of toleration (fays the learned Author of the alliance betwixt the church and ftate) happened not to be the good work of the church, begun in the conviction of truth, and carried on upon the principles of charity, but was rather owing to the vigilance of the STATE, wifely provident for the fupport of civil liberty. Poffcript is anfver to Lord Bolingbroke.