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plished editor was, to accommodate Watts' little work to the principles of Unitarianism, in order to prepare it for circulation among the juvenile members of that body. After a compliment to the author for his pleasing versification, she remarks in the preface, that Dr. Watts' little book has been considered as very defective, or rather erroneous, by great numbers of serious christians; for though it has been very credibly reported, and generally believed, that he changed many of his religious principles before his death; nevertheless there are retained in his book some particular doctrines and phrases, which his better judgment would probably have corrected or expunged." But, be this as it may, the present editor has judged it expedient to make many alterations in both these respects. "It has been," she further remarks, "her principal design to confine all the ascriptions of praise and thanksgiving to the one only living and true God, to whom alone all praise and thanksgiving are most justly due." It will only be necessary to observe here, that whatever change Watts' religious opinions underwent, it was not such as to interfere with the sentiments expressed in his songs, much less to sanction in the slightest degree, the alterations and omissions of the arian editor. The hymns entitled, “Praise to God for Redemption," and "The Hosanna, or Salvation ascribed to Christ,” are omitted in the spurious edition; and the doxologies of Dr. Samuel Clarke, are inserted in the place of those of Watts. A few specimens of this so-called improved version the reader may be curious to




SONG VII., VERSE 6. "Here would I learn how Christ has

dy'd, To save my soul from hell ; Not all the books on earth beside,

Such heavenly wonders tell."

"Here would I learn how Jesus

dy'd, To prove his gospel true, Not all the books on earth beside,

E'er so much good can do."

SONG ix., Verse 4.
“Dear Lord, this book of thine

Informs me where to go
For grace to pardon all my sins,

And make me holy too.

Oh God, thy book so good,

Informs me what to do,
Besides the knowledge of thy word,

It makes me holy too.'

VERSE 5. "Here I can read and learn,

How Christ, the Son of God, Did undertake our great concern;

Our ransom cost his blood."

"There I can read and learn,

How Christ the Son of God, Has undertook our great concern,

And sealed it with his blood.

VERSE 6. “And now he reigns above,

But God still reigns above, He sends his spirit down,

And sends his spirit down, To show the wonders of his love, To show the wonders of his love, And make his gospel known."

And make the gospel known." SONG XVII., VERSE 2. "Jesus who reigns above the sky, "Jesus who lives above the sky, And keeps the world in awe,

Beloved of his God, Was once a child as young as I, Tho' once a child as young as I, And kept his Father's law."

He kept his Father's word." SONG XXVII., VERSE 4. "With thoughts of Christ and things "With thoughts of Christ and things divine,

divine, Fill up this foolish heart of mine ; Employ this foolish heart of That hoping pardon through his

mine; blood,

That hoping pardon through his I may lie down and wake with word, God."

I may lie down and wake with

God.” This production gave rise to severe animadversions; and a small pamphlet, exposing the unwarrantable liberties taken by the editor, appeared under the following singular title: “A Letter to the Rev. Mr.-or a great disturbing of the Little Arian Foxes among the vines; and part of the remains of Dr. Watts cleared of a few leaves and rags of Arianism."

But it was not only in poetry that Dr. Watts was eminent. Of no individual, who was fortunate enough to have Dr. Johnson for his biographer, has he spoken in such favorable terms as it regards their entire character and talents, as of Dr. Watts. *“Few men,” he tells us, "have left such purity of character, or such monuments of laborious piety. He has provided instruction for all ages, from those who are lisping their first lessons, to the enlightened readers of Malbranche and Locke; he has left neither corporeal nor spiritual nature unexamined; he has taught the art of reasoning, and the science of the stars. His character, therefore, must be formed from the multiplicity and diversity of his attainments, rather than from any single performance, for it would not be safe to claim for him the highest rank in any single denomination of literary dignity; yet perhaps there was nothing in which he would not have excelled if he had not divided his powers to different pursuits. Of his philosophical pieces his Logic has been received into the universities, and therefore wants no private recommendation; if he owes part of it to Le Clerc, it must be considered that no man, who undertakes merely to methodise or illustrate a system, pretends to be its author.

*Dr. Johnson's works, vol. 9, p. 245, 246, and 243.

23—Vol. IX.

"Few books have been perused by me with greater pleasure than his 'Improvement of the mind,' of which the radical principle may indeed be found in Locke's 'Conduct of the Understanding;' but they are so expanded and ramified by Watts, as to confer upon him the merit of a work in the highest degree useful and pleasing. Whoever has the care of instructing others may be charged with deficience in his duty if this book is not recommended.

"I have mentioned his treatises of Theology as distinct from his other productions : but the truth is, that whatever he took in hand, was, by his incessant solicitude for souls, converted to Theology. As piety predominated in his mind, it is diffused over his works: under his direction it may be truly said, Theologiae Philosophiae ancillatur; philosophy is subservient to evangelical instruction; it is difficult to read a page without learning, or at least wishing to be better. The attention is caught by indirect instruction, and he that sat down only to reason, is on a sudden compelled to pray.

"He was one of the first authors that taught the Dissenters to court attention by the graces of language. Whatever they had among them before, whether of learning or acuteness, was commonly obscured and blunted by coarseness and inelegance of style. He shewed them, that zeal and purity might be expressed and enforced by polished diction.

“He continued to the end of his life, a teacher of a congregation: and no reader of his works can doubt his fidelity or diligence. In the pulpit, though his low stature, which very little exceeded five feet, graced him with no advantages of appearance, yet the gravity and propriety of his utterance made his discourses very efficacious. I once mentioned the reputation which Mr. Foster had gained by his proper delivery to my friend Dr. Hawkesworth, who told me, that in the art of pronunciation, he was far inferior to Dr. Watts."

The two Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen, in the year 1728, severally conferred on him, unsolicited and without his knowledge, the degree of Doctor of Divinity. This academical honour was never better bestowed or received with less vanity; and happy would it have been for such seminaries, had titles of this sort never been disgraced by any thing mercenary in their source, or by ignorance or superciliousness in their subjects. In this case the honour was reciprocal so far as a diploma may be allowed to bear any proportion to poignancy of genius, highly cultivated understanding, the widest talents of the head, added to the most amiable virtues of the heart.

Although a non-conformist from principle and uniformly such in practice, he held a friendly correspondence with some of the first characters in the established church. Among these, were Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, Gibson, Bishop of London, Hort, Archbishop of Suam, and many others of devoted rank, and eminent literary reputation. Their letters to him are written in an uncommon strain of veneration and esteem, and although many expressions occur which bear too near an affinity to the language of flattery, those who knew the man, and were benefitted by his writings, may be allowed some latitude beyond what is common in such cases.

Here we might close this introduction, but that the continued policy of Unitarians, who in the absence of any capital of gospel truth, are ever ready and anxious to live upon the borrowed capital of others, demands a vindication of the memory of Dr. Watts against the false and unwarrantable insinuations, that before he died he had apostatized from the truth adopted, the system from which the divinity of our Saviour was excluded, and had adapted his hymns to this rationalistic system. Such is the assertion still proclaimed in Unitarian Tracts, and most culpably encouraged by those who reject the use of all hymns and spiritual songs in christian worship.

Now for neither of these assertions is there any proof.

That Dr. Watts was led to deep inquiries into the doctrine of the Trinity, from an earnest desire, as far as possible, to explain and accommodate it to human reason, and thus to harmonize and unite such as might otherwise differ, is undoubtedly true. And that by so doing, he plunged himself into perplexity, gave offence to his brethren, and failed to satisfy those who take their reason as the guide and standard of religious truth, is also true. He was permitted to apply to this subject all the power of his genius, and the force of his indefatigable perseverance, in order to demonstrate that "no man by searching can find out God,” that the doctrine concerning “God manifest in the flesh” is the "great mystery of godliness ;-that "no man knoweth the Father save the Son" and that "no man knoweth the Son but the Father," while "the things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God, who searcheth the deep things of God;"-and that "no man therefore can call Jesus Lord but by the Holy Ghost."

But it is not true that Dr. Watts ever ceased to believe in the doctrine of the Trinity.* Dr. Lardner and others may think that his views lead to the rejection of the Trinity, and so we think they would in most minds, but with him they were designed merely to illustrate in some comprehensible way, the mode in which a trinity of persons could subsist in one essence.

In the year 1726, in reply to Mr. Bradbury, he writes, "as for my attempts to maintain the new and essential deity of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, I have often examined my own heart, and am not conscious to myself that the pride and fondness of novelty has led me into any particular train of thoughts; and I beg earnestly, that he that knows all things, would search and try me in this respect. My only aim has been to guard this doctrine against the objections and cavils of men, and to see it in the most defensible light; and if I can see that done in any other form, I shall rejoice to bury all my papers in oblivion, or, if you please, to burn them all."

It may therefore just as well be said that all Trinitarians believe in three Gods, because Socinians say so, as that Watts did not believe in a Trinity, because they choose to affirm that with his views, he must have disbelieved that doctrine.

With equal propriety might those who approve the model definition of the word person in the Trinity, be held up as Unitarians likewise. But would not such men as Dr. Wallis, Baxter, Dr. South, the authors of the Oxford decree, which pronounced the system of the latter to be the orthodox doctrine of the Church of England, Tillotson, Doddridge, and the late Dr. Williams, who all favoured the idea of a model personality,

rejected the title with indignation ? The allegation that Dr. Watts became a Unitarian, is founded on certain papers which he drew up some three or four years before his death, and some of which Dr. Jennings, Mr. Neal, and Dr. Lardner judged not worthy of publication. The names of some of these were |“Essays relating to the Trinity, viz: An Inquiry into the Scriptural Representation of the Father, the Word, and the Spirit:" 2. “Of the proper Athanasian scheme of the Trinity:" 3. "The Holy Spirit the true God." 4. "The ill effects of incorporating the divine doctrine of the Trinity, with the human explications of it."

*His error lay in attempting to explain it, so as to make its consistency with absolute unity apparent. See Life, p. 602.

† See page 726.

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