Page images

are to reprove, rebuke, and exhort lies hid in a well; and, as though miswith all long-suffering. The proper led by this adage, we sometimes overpunishment of a low, mean, indecent, look it when before our eyes, and then scurrilous way of writing seems to be take vast pains to draw it from its neglect, contempt, scorn and indig- deep retireinent. And when we have nation.' These latter expressions fatigued ourselves with a tedious and seem prophetical of the fate of Paine's fruitless search, we either reward our attack on the Bible. It is a pity that labour by embracing a shadow for the any prosecution should revive a work substance, or charge our own blindfalling into oblivion! Let us have ness on the supposed obscurity of the more regard for the mild and tolerant thing pursued. In fact, it is not so genius of our coinmon Christianity.” much profundity of thought which is JOHN EVANS. necessary for the discovery of truth,

as a quickness of perception to see Sir,

what kind and degree of evidence are I

sermon with great pleasure and which can balance arguments against interest. A glowing fervour of feels objections, and ascertain on which side iog, controuled by a vigorous under- the scale preponderates. But to restanding, breathes in every page. But turn to Dr. Priestley. Dr. Priestley, I am sorry that he should have thought then, was a man in whom acuteness it necessary to cast certain reflections and comprehension of intellect were upon the English Unitarians, and upon combined in a pre-eminent degree. In that eminently great and good man the grasp of his understanding and the Dr. Priestley. To these reflections I extent of his views, he far indeed surshould pr bably have replied, had not passed every contemporary writer of this been already done by abler hands. whom I have any knowledge. And in But there is one observation relative accordance at once with the greatness to Dr. P. on which I cannot forbear to of his conceptions and the singleness make a remark. Dr. Priestley is re- of his soul, he writes with a simplicity presented as “ distinguished more for which has seldom been paralleled and rapidity than for profoundness of never surpassed. Bent on some great thought.” To this I reply, without object, he never stops to set off a hesitation, that if to think justly is to single idea to the best advantage, but think profoundly; that if in every as though secure as to the general matter of

controversy to see where the validity of his reasonings, he leaves question hinges, and to separate that the naked truth to make its own which is extraneous from that which impression. From a magnanimity of is essential; that if to penetrate into thought peculiarly his own, he overthe abstruser mysteries of metaphy- looks inferior objections which might sical science, and to make that clear be brought against the views which he to many which before perplexed the defends or those which he attacks, few; that if to dive into the recesses and never descends to those subtleties of the human mind, and thence to which have secured a more general draw forth negative reasonings to ar- adıniration to writers whose talents ray against what had passed for posi- have borne no comparison to his. In tive proofs ; that if all this indicates one respect, I confess, Dr. Priestley profoundness of thought, Dr. Priestley was not a profound thinker ; - he was the profoundest thinker of his thought without effort, and enables age. But what is it, after all, that bis reader, for the time being, to think not unfrequently passes for profound without effort also. He often seizes ness of thought: Laborious research, his point at once, and gains by a glance which promises much, and accom- reseinbling intuition what others would plishes nothing. Instances might be have endeavoured to establish by the produced of writers who have been formalities of a long and elaborate thought profound, who have seldom proof. He is never obscure, and therearrived at a just conclusion, who have fore never leaves us to wonder at the only lost themselves in the depth of depth of that knowledge which we their own conceptions, and bewildered find ourselves unable to comprehend. those who have admired their pro- But Dr. Priestley sometimes errs in fundity. It is said, indeed, that truth his judgment. And who does not? But it is matter of just astonishment men of sense and reflection can resist that a man who thought so rapidly the evidence of truths which appear should have erred so little. And I to me to adınit of as clear and easy feel the fullest conviction, that he has demonstration as any proposition in not crred at all on some of those to. Euclid. I have heard, indeed, that pics on which many English Unita- carnal reason cannot judge of spiririans, together with Dr. Channing, tual things. This, however, I have differ from him. Upon the whole, I always considered as the refuge of ahdo not think that Dr. Priestley's ta- surdity, as the evasion of men who lents are held in the estimation which have felt a galling conviction that they they deserve by those who are so were engaged in the defence of an much indebted to his labours. His irrational system. But I did not ex-. moral excellence will indeed be ac- pect to hear that reason without some knowledged by all except weak men foreign aid cannot discover the rational and bigots, “whose praise is censure, in religion. But according to Dr. and whose censure praise.” But few Channing, imagination, taste and re. seem to me to form a just estimate of fined moral sentiment, must be called his intellectual endowments, or to un- in to assist the decisions of the intelderstand how great a man he was. lect, and to guard it against the errors

If I may be allowed to occupy a into which, when acting alone, it will: little more space in your pages, I be prone to fall. How it may be on should willingly make an observation the other side of the Atlantic, I canor two on certain positions of Dr. not lell, but on our side of the water Channing's, which are found in the there are men not deficient in undersame note with his remarks on Dr. standing, who profess to see in CalPriestley. Dr. Channing gives it as vinism the perfection of moral harhis opinion, that " reason teaches that mony and beauty. Now as Calvinism the supernatural must occupy either certainly does not make its appeal to a large space or none at all, in the the intellect alone, I presume that Divine administration.” From what these gentlemen must find it to accord premises this conclusion follows, I am with their imagination, taste and moat a loss to discover. Reason seems ral sentimnent, and perhaps (strange as rather to teach, that under the admi- it might appear to me) they may denistration of an infinitely wise Being, rive an argument in its favour from who has confessedly instituted a sys- their “perception and feeling of the tem of general laws, supernatural in- great, the good, and the lovely.". It terposition need not be frequent, and will be in vain to reply, that their fact in this case seems to confirm taste, imagination and moral sentiwhat reason dictates. But Dr. Chan- ment must be miserably perverted ; ning farther remarks, that "it may be they doubtless think otherwise, and said of men, in whom the intellect unless the appeal be made to reason, acts alone, or in whom it is disjoined and to reason alone, it will be imposin a great degree from imagination, sible to prove that they do not think taste and refined moral sentiment, and justly. But Dr. Channing has morefrom the perception and feeling of the over observed, that “that system of great, the good, and the lovely, that faith alone is rational which accords although they claim for themselves with man's whole nature, and espepeculiarly the character of rational, cially with his moral nature, and with, they are among the last to discover those high spiritual faculties and senthe rational in religion.I hope that sibilities which adapt and direct the I am not too old to learn, since I feel mind to God, and to a nobler existhat I am willing to be taught; but tence than the present.”. But the this is a lesson which I fear that I question is, whether the views which, shall find it difficult to apprehend, in Dr. Channing's opinion, accord having always thought that the great best with man's moral nature, are or impediment to the discovery of reli- are not the views of scripture. I am gious truth has been, that in the pur- ready enough to allow that a system snit of it intellect does not act alone. of divine truth must in reality be And hence I have explained what adapted to the moral nature of man; otherwise would have appeared inex- but there is a better judge of that plicable, how it comes to pass that adaptation than either Dr. Channing or myself I mean the great Author the sacred volume will unfold to the of Revelation, who, though he has understanding alone are of the most doubtless done all that it was right to sublime and elevating character, and, do for the moral improvement of man- if cordially received, are abundantly kind, may not have done all that our sufficient to work upon the best affecimaginations might have anticipated, tions of our moral nature, and to or all that our “ sensibilities”, may “make us wise unto salvation.” That crave. But, to return to the remark imagination, taste and moral sentiwhich I chiefly proposed to consider, ment may be of great use in illusI would observe, that imagination, trating and enforcing these views, I am taste and moral sentiment, unless they very ready to grant. Of this, indeed, are under the guidance of reason, will Dr. Channing is himself an eminent rather impede than promote the dis. proof. And I wish from my heart that covery of truth, as in this case taste there were many Unitarian preachers will be false, imagination delusive, and like him, save and except in the premoral sentiment incorrect. Taste, judices which he has taken up against imagination and moral sentiment, are the English Unitarians, and against a terms which are grateful to the ear man who, by a rare combination of from the pleasing ideas with which intellectual and moral excellence, may they are connected, but the things in- justly be regarded as one of the brighttended by these terms differ in differ- est ornaments of human kind. ent individuals according to the count

E. COGAN. less variety of influences and associations to which they have been exposed; Sir, out a method by which hey magne THE very intelligent papers of

your Correspondent and my rectified to the standard of pure reason quondam associate, Mr. R. Wallace, and abstract truth, they must, if lis- on Isaiah ix. 5, 6, [Vol. XIX. pp. tened to, in innumerable instances 21, 94, 223,] I have perused with lead to error. Dr. Channing's

, reason- deep interest; and am happy to obing seems to proceed upon the suppo- serve the particular notice which they sition that while the naked intellect have drawn forth from our judicious will pronounce one judgment, taste, American critic. They have led me imagination and moral sentiment will to renew my investigation into that pronounce another. Which ought to passage ; and as one result of my exyield in the conflict, I cannot for a amination, I send for your acceptance inoment doubt. But if Dr. Channing a translation of the elaborate Schomeans (which perhaps he does mean), lium, or note on this passage, by the that where true taste, a correct ima- younger Rosenmüller, a name known gination, and just moral sentiment, to inost of your readers, and whose are combined, they will imperceptibly criticisms will long obtain the candid guide the judgment, and save it from attention of enlightened biblical inthe chilling errors into which it inight quirers. Let me add, that I employ otherwise fall,--in this case, it is true, the second edition of this author, no conflict will be experienced, and. Leipsic, 1810, between which and the our inquiries may proceed with a former edition, I remember, that our smooth and uninterrupted current; learned Theological Professor probut the misfortune is, that it is diffi- nounced that some material variations cult to say when taste is true, when exist, and in none of more essential imagination is correct, and when moral importance than in the Scholia on the sentiment is just; and this must be prophet Isaiah. I have not aimed to decided by reason, if decided at all. give a translation in all respects literal, In few words, unless we mean to open but believe that I have fairly reprea door for enthusiasm, we must admit sented the meaning of my author. I that in the study of revealed truth, as purpose to subjoin a few remarks sugof all other truth, reason is the sove- gested to me, both upon the Scholium reign authority to which every thing of Rosenmüller, and the explanation else must bow. Nor need we wish to of the same passage, as an argument call in any principle whatever to assist for the Deity of Christ, in Dr. Pye the “naked intellect” in the study of Smith’s “Scripture Testimony." religious truth, since the views which

B, M. VOL. XX.

[ocr errors]

Unto us a child is born," i. e. lor, Favuas@s Bouleuwv; but in oppoto our assistance, Immanuel, whose sition to the genius of the language, birth the prophet had foretold, ch. vii. which in that case requires that the 14, and whom he had called the Pre- order of the words should have been server of his country, when describing inverted. Since by the epithet Counthe incursions of the eneiny. Accord sellor the wisdom of Immanuel is deing to the prophetic manner, he re- noted, so his power is described by presents the future as if present before the next words 7122 SN [in tue Enhis view.

glish Version] Mighty God, Deus, Unto us a son is given,” who fortis heros-God, or mighty hero. shall work out our deliverance. This be properly. denotes a mighty one, repetition of the same sentiment is and is applied to Nebuchadnezzar, [here] a mark of exultation.

who is called the mighty one of the And the government is upon his heathen. But in the verse before us shoulder.He administers the affairs the Supreme Being is to be underof the state. Pliny employs a similar stood, (Remark '.) See ch. X. 21, expression, Pan. Traj. ch. x.: Since where the same words are manifestly your father has abundantly tried how employed in this sense; and by comwell the sovereignty sits upon your paring these two passages, it is known shoulders.” Cicero also, his Ora. that these two vords are not to be tion for Flaccus, $ 94, tbus addresses separated, as some interpreters hare. the judges : " In this trial, (judicio,) attempted, as if they were written, I say, that you support the whole God, mighty, which is proved by the Republic on your shoulders.” Others Masoretic point placed under bå, to understand the Hebrew word of the denote that it should be joined to the royal robe, as in Jonah iii. 6; for bere next word. 7122 denotes. one who the word 'n778 is used of the royal excels in valour, strength, power, andi robe, worn by the king of Assyria, is the title of a hero, Gen. x. 8; the insignia of royal authority worn 1 Sarp. xvii. 51; and is applied to about the shoulders. Grotius thinks, Jehovah, Deut. x. 17; Zeph. ii. 17; that by these words the birth of a Ps. xxiv. 8. That God, clothed in: monarch is signified, who should bear human nature, may appear among the royal purple from his cradle.

men, was the persuasion of all antiAnd his name shall be called,or quity. (') See Huet. The Indian " he shall call his name.Kar nadis Brahmins to this day teach that the Tas to oyoua autou, is the reading of Deity has been concealed, in the forms the LXX.

of certain great men, and thus held Wonderful.” Isaiah xxv. I. The intercourse with the human race; andi abstract for the concrete object of that Vishnu, i. e. conqueror, YIKATWP, admiration, - Vulgate, Admirabilis ; wbo, they say, is the second person Aquila, Gavuaços; Symmachus, Ila- of the three-one God, has already aspascarpos, derived either from tapa sumed a body nine times, and somedobay, beyond expectation, as Hesy- times even a human body; and that chius explains it, or from Tapadosasa, the same will yet be done by bim once -I make illustrious, glorious,-in more. He maintains, that under the which sense the word is used by those name of Chrishnu, and the character Hebrews who lived among the Greeks, of a teacher of morals, the same has as is evident from 2 Maccab. iii. 30. descended to promote the reformation The appellation Wonderful may be of men of wicked habits. See the applied to this divine hero, both on Asiatic Researches.-The divine naaccount of his miraculous birth of the ture of the great hero and prince devirgin, and on account of the many scribed by our prophet in this passage, illustrious works done by him. (N.B.) is designated by the additional epithet The same name is given to the divine, 77 78, Father of eternity, (°i. e. Messenger who appeared to Manoah, eternal, for possessor of eternity, as in and did wondrously. Judg. xiji. 18, 19. 2 Kings i. 8, possessor of hairs, i. e.

Counsellor." "Imparting salutary hairy." Nothing is more frequent with counsels to man out of the stores of the Arabs, than in similar forms of his own wisdom. Some critics, after expression to employ father for posTheodotion, join this epithet with the sessor. Hence the balsam-tree is, at preceding, thus, Wonderful Counsel- the present day, called by the Arabs . father of odours, i. e. odorous. And the meaning of the oracle registered, father of variegated colour, i.e. varie. ch. vii. 14, have disturhed the sense of gated, is the epithet of a bird of the the present prophecy. Some of them, heron species. 'It is evident from Job as Jarebi and Kimchi, deny that all XX. 4, that the name 79 signifies not these splendid epithets are referable only that eternity which the schools to the child born, and the son given. denominate à posteriori, but also that They refer, most of them, to God. which is denominated å priori. Tri The last epithet, Prince of Peace, fling is the idea of Abarbanel, who they apply to the child who should be takes the word in the sense of spoil, born. The Wonderful, Counsellor, which the word denotes, Gen. xlix. The mighty God, The Eternal, shall 27; so that Hezekiah would be called call his name Prince of Peace ; and futher of spoils, because the spoils of by the latter they consider Hezekiah the Assyrian army, miraculously slain, to be understood. How finely the apand of che Egyptians and Arabs whom pellation pacificator agrees with him, he had plundered, came into his pos- what is read in 2 Kings xviii. 8, &c., session. But this appellation of plun“ will inform us. But I regret having derer would little comport with the related such childish interpretations. other splendid epithets with which They have been amply expressed and the prophet adorns his hero. Lastly, refuted by Saubert and Frischmuth. the appellation Bibo 10 Prince of But in applying to the child the single Peace, i. e. peace-maker, who will appellation of Prince of Peace, they reign over a world to which he has follow the Chaldee interpreter, who, restored peace; comp. ver. 7 with ch. although he admits that the Messiah xi. 6–8. Virgil, in similar language, is announced in this passage, yet gives describes the reign of that illustrious the following explanation. The proprince of the golden age, in his cele- phet saith to the house of David, brated Eclogue iv. 15:

Since a little child hath been born to • The son shall lead the life of gods, he hath taken the law upon him, to

us, a son hath been given to is, and and be By gođs and heroes seen, and gods and protect it, and his name shall be callheroes see;

ed, by the Wonderful Counsellor, the The jarring nations he in peace shall Mighty God, who endureth continubind,

ally, Messiah, in whose time peace And with paternal virtues tulc mankind." shall be multiplied upon us.

He con

siders, therefore, that the name of The Persian kings of the Sassanian Messiah would be given by the Su. race, subsequently to the time of our preme Being to the child that would prophet, assumed to themselves simi- be born. But it is contrary to the lar lofty titles.. A letter sent to the usual mode of Hebrew expression, king. of Armenia speaks of one of that the words his name, in phrases of thern in the following language :- this sort, should precede the namer. (*) Chosroes, king of kings, sovereign of The word name occupies a middle potentates, lord of the nations, guar. place between the word expressing dian of peace, saviour of men, in the the namer and the named ; so that the estimation of gods, a man, good, eter- name which follows the word you is ral ; in the estimation of men, a god always attributed to the person nained, most illustrious, most glorious ; con- not to the person who gives the apqueror, rising with the sun, and by pellation. See Gen. iii. 20, iv. 25, xvi. night gratifying the eyes.- Let us be 15, xxi. 3; Ruth iv. 17; 1 Sam. 1. 20, cautious how we believe that snch &c. Besides, the Chaldee interpretaproud appellations as the haughtiness tion is opposed to the punctuation of the later kings of Asia claimed for which the Masorites have preserved, itself, were attributed to any king of doubtless received from their ancesJudah, Israel or Syria, in the simplicity tors. For if the words, Father of of that early age of the prophet. (^) Eternity, belonged to God who gave The epithets used in this and the fol. the name, they would have separated lowing verse do none of them agree them by the proper mark from the with a man who is not God. The words which follow, viz. Prince of Jews, however, for the same reason Peace. [.. ] Is it, in fine, prowhich has induced them to pervert bable that the prophet, by such an

« PreviousContinue »