Images de page

he keeps-not an argument in re- the hope that is in us with meek. serve, but “a cat knotted and in ness and fear;" but that we can. soak," which he purposes to ad- not obey a mandate to plead beminister as liberally as “the in- fore a self-constituted tribunal, and Aliction,” he says, “ is richly de- have neither room nor taste “to served.” And in this cock-pit swing a cat” in our pages. We style (we beg the cock-pit's par- expect such things in some other don ; we should have named a less quarters; we did not expect them honourable part of the ship), a in the Jewish Expositor. writer who addresses the church But it is not to a single phrase of Christ on so solemn a subject, that we object in the paper to as whether or not the present ma- which we allude; but to the general nifestations of God to man are tone of self-sufficiency which permiraculous, is pleased to address vades it, and which we feel bound those of his brethren who dissent to notice, because it characterises from his notion, that Miss Fan- almost the whole school of those court's cure was a miraculous sus- who wish to indoctrinate, or rather pension of the laws by which God with a knotted cat” to lash their is ordinarily pleased to govern the brethren into the new notions world. He “keeps a cat in soak !” which have convulsed the Church Of the urbanity of such a phrase of Scotland, and are beginning to we say nothing; that is a matter distract the Church of England. of taste, and we leave each man to We could accept a single expres. his own; but deeply do we lament sion rather playfully than seriously, the spirit which it indicates, and and forgive its being lordly, knowthe more so because it precludes ing that the writer was really all fair and calm discussion. A honest, and that in valuing his Christian can reason out of the ownopinion highly he did not value Scriptures with a Christian brother, it at more than he thought it and there needs be no loss of tem- worth ; and that when he gives per on either side ; but however us to understand that we are all humble he may be, he cannot con- pigmies, he only says what he besent to be dragged as a culprit to lieves. Casual expressions we be flogged with a cat-o'-nine-tails can pass over : but the whole spirit soaked in brine. A Christian can of the paper is deliberately in the forgive; but he will not think it same overweening style; and even necessary to enter into a conflict this we might pass over also, but where Ainging mud or wielding that the writer makes a merit of “ cats" is a part of the operation. it. For instance, he opens his reOne such phrase would be quite marks as follows : sufficient to shew the spirit of a “ Something has been said about discuswhole treatise; it would argue an sion; and when those who bring forward assumption in the writer, and a

unsound opinions talk of candid inquiry,

amiccble investigation, and of discussion, as feeling of contempt for the opinions if they might be wrong or might be right; of others, which self-respect would we (the Jewish Expositors) always suspect prevent a man of the world con- their meaning, or rather condemn the sendescending to encounter;

and timents which their words convey, because which the Christian would meekly for question and uncertainty in matters

they seem to intimate that there is room pass over in silence, lest, whoever affecting the truth, wherein all is fixed.” might have the truth of the argu- They “ seem to intimate " no ment, his own temper should suffer such thing; they only intimate in the conflict. For ourselves, as that there may be some truth which the writer has been pleased to is not contained in the Jewish Exmention the Christian Observer, positor. But with this writer, truth we shall only say that we are al- and his own opinion, the Bible and ways willing to give “ a reason of his own comment, appear so synoni,


[ocr errors]

mous that, if we doubt the one, he the men, and wisdom shall die with thinks we doubt the other. He be- Pleading the other side of gins with assuming—not proving the question might spoil ours; —that all who differ from him hold therefore without if or but let the “ unsound opinions ;” the reader matter be adjudged as follows: is at once to take this for granted : Though we do not mean to say that it is not to be a Q. E. D., nor even all who deny the miraculous character of

the Christian dispensation (as respects a postulate, but an axiom : the

modern days) are Socinians, we certainly Jewish Expositor is infallible ; this

mean this, that they are decidedly, mateis the first stage in the argument: rially, and plainly wrong; and it is only all other men are fallible; this is the viewing them on that footing and dealing second : their wish for“ candid in

with them accordingly (scilicet, with the quiry and amicable investigation,” them."

cat in hand), that we can consent to meet is not to be listened to; the “ cat

Was ever a Christian man's adin soak is the best argument; dress to his brethren written before and this is to be inflicted on the in this style? It is only, it seems, whole Christian world, lay and cleri- in the most suppliant attitude, and cal, episcopal and dissenting, and

on terms the most humiliating, above all on religious writers, and that the writer will admit to his particularly on religious periodical presence all that is wise, and good, publications, with the exception of and holy in the land and throughthe Morning Watch, and a few in

out the world, (with the few exdividuals—we hope as yet but very ceptions before alluded to); he few-who have gone

after the new

can “consent to meet them " only opinions. The case is thus ruled

as penitents; and then not to listen and settled ; the Jewish Expositor to their arguments, but to chastise will not condescend to meet his them for their delinquencies. His brethren as an equal, and argue


object, he says, is “ to vindicate matter with them ; no, he says- the truth, and to expose false

“We are for no candid inquiry' or nice doctrine;" but might he not have balancing of judgment upon the present charitablysurmised that this might subject; Weihe Jewish Expositors) HOLD that those who have of late so loudly pro- also be the object of his brethren; claimed the age of miracles to be past, are that even the much-offending Chrisin a serious error; and we are not going to

tian Observer might possibly mean parley, to balance, to draw nice distinctions, or to plead both sides of the case ; our

the same thing; butno—this would present object is to vindicate the truth, and be to“ discuss,” “ to parley,” and to expose false doctrine."

to "plead both sides;" whereas the Now this is a very convenient, Jewish Expositor has found out a but not a very

« candid” or

more royal way to discover truth truth-delving mode of procedure. and“ expose false doctrine.” How A writer takes up a notion which much more forcible and convincing the great mass of his fellow. is it to say at once We hold ;" let Christians consider utterly un

this stand in place of “ candid intenable, perhaps a mere whim quiry" and“amicable discussion;" or crotchet; but he will not con

we hold, as for example, taking the descend to “ discuss the matter article, page for page, from the bewith them;" let it suffice that his

ginningopinion is “the truth,” and theirs

“ We hold that those," &c. p. 25. “ false doctrine." This settles the “ We hold moreover,” &c. p. 26. question at once; whereas “ to “ We hold it to be a figment.” p. 27. parley," “ to balance," to “ draw “ We maintain, we maintain," passim. nice distinctions,” and, above all,

“ We assert and maintain," p. 29. “ to plead both sides of the case, “ We hold,” &c. p. 30. are very troublesome and incon- “ This however we hold," p. 31. venient practices. How much easier and in a similar strain, for nearly to say in good set terms, “ We are fiftycolumnstothe endof the paper.

p. 28.


Now to the argument of“ we hold," cause to be displeased because we the only fitting answer to be re- do not think the cure miraculous. turned is, that other men “ hold" The Jewish Expositor, in imidifferently; and one man's holding tating the Morning Watch in its is as good as another's, till the advocacy of modern miracles, imipropounder has left the master's tates it also in urging grievous chair, and established his truth in charges against “ the religious the arena. But to do this there world.” It has long been one of our must be some “ balancing,” and holdings, that when a man begins to "pleading both sides," which the inveigh against what are called Jewish Expositormanfully eschews. the Evangelicals,” or “the reli

The writer is pleased to state gious world,” he has embarked on that he was led to take up the sub- a voyage most perilous to himself, ject of miracles by“the coarse re- and disastrous to others. True, ception" which Miss Fancourt's there is much, very much, to lacase met with. We must say that ment in every portion of what is this is not a fair statement; for called “ the religious world;" and the utmost kindness, delicacy, and our own humble efforts have never candour were exhibited in reference been wanting in pointing out, with to that case; what indeed could a view to remedy, what appeared there be to induce any person to to us the existing evils. But still act otherwise ? what cause of of there is an indissoluble tie, a golden fence could it be that a pious and bond of love, which should connect amiable young lady was remark- together all who are joined in ably restored to health after a long Christ the Head ; and this utterly and severe affliction ? But the hy- forbids that spirit of wholesale cenpothesis grounded upon it was sure which some are apt to mistake quite another matter, and we see for Christian faithfulness, What no

coarseness” in not admitting are called “the religious world,” its truth. Our author thinks it most that general body of persons in all rational to consider the cure “su- parts of Christendom, who, with pernatural and miraculous;" the whatever mistakes, imperfections, solutions which have been offered, and infirmities, whatever minor he holds to be “trumpery;" science divisions of sects and parties, are and philosophy, he says, “ go about mainly anxious for the glory of God, doting and paralytic, looking very their own salvation, and the salvawise as is sometimes the case with tion of others, who trust by humble idiots:"miraculous the case is, and faith in a Divine and crucified Remiraculous it shall be; and, he adds, deemer, and are renewed by the re

“ We hold that if the science and phi.. generating and sanctifying influlosophy of the present day were any thing ences of the Holy Spirit; that body more than a pretence they would have of persons, that band of brothers, come to the same conclusion.”

are after all the salt of the earth, If we had spoken thus, we might Nothing that tends to divide them, have been justly accused of treat- to scatter them into contending paring our friends with “ coarseness.” ties, to engender jealousies among But was this our language or spirit? them, or to exhibit them to an unDid we say that the “ idiotic” mi- godly world in a severe and inviracle-mongers had got to Hoxton ? dious light, can possibly lead to We should have felt deeply grieved good. An accuser of the brethren if we had. Let our readers look is a title not to be envied ; and the back to our November Number, spirit that would dissipate, instead and see if it was possible to have of unite, is not that generous and discussed the subject with greater affectionate effusion which renders tenderness and delicacy towards lovely the disciples of Christ ; and the parties concerned, who have no which is quite compatible with, nay,

" the re

essential to, the most faithful ex- why this alleged “ claim" has lain hibition of truth, and the most nearly dormant till lately revived honest and unsparing exposure of at Port-Glasgow is, it seems, that error. But we lament to say that “the religious world has cut down this is not the character of the faith to the lowest scale," “sweated charges under consideration; they it down to nothing,” not even to have not the aspect of being believe the Scotch gift of tongues, breathed with sighs, and written or a miracle of healing at Hoxton, with tears ; and they are not just or the casting out of devils, which because they are exaggerated. The last the writer“ claims" as another writer says, for example,

part of our Christian privileges. We “We know that to speak in this way is confess that we see no weakness treason ; we know that many will regard of faith in this; for faith can emour statement with indignation, who can

brace only those things for which hear a Neologian solution of one of the miracles of the Old or New Testament with perfect it believes there is a Divine war. equanimity, or read an infidel gloss on Scrip- rant,-so that, if modern miracles ture, and recommend the book."

are not believed to be promised, it On this passage we will only ask, would not be true faith to look for did the writer pray for the grace them. But be this as it may, one of humility and the love of truth thing is quite clear, and it may be before he wrote it, and that no al. worth the consideration of those loy of human temper might mix up who in the same breath are urging with his denunciations? If all are miracles and calling their brethren Neologians whom the Jewish Ex- Neologians, that “though I speak positor seems to think so,

with the tongues of men and of ligious world, and not least that angels, and have not CHARITY, I portion of it called “the evangeli- am become as sounding brass or a cal clergy,” are in a direful plight. tinkling cymbal. And though I But we hope better things, and have the gift of prophecy, and things, we may add, that accom- understand all mysteries and all pany salvation ; but the amend- knowledge; and though I have all ments that are needed are not to be faith, so that I could remove mouneffected by exaggerated charges, by tains, and have not CHARITY, I am irritating retorts, or by inviting all nothing." mankind to come and see our zeal What St. Paul says throughout for the Lord of Hosts. Other spi- the chapter just quoted might be rits and other measures must have sufficient to answer the objection sway before we can hope for the of the Jewish Expositor, that we dawn of a true Millennium. And placetheChristian dispensation“on here, who is there that is not to a lower footing than the Jewish ;” blame? The pen that records the because we do not think modern inquiry would with humility record miracles a promised part of its ecoa confession, and offer most at home nomy. What room is there to talk the prayer that is suggested in all of higher and lower in the all-wise friendliness to a brother.

appointments of God; and why The JewishExpositor tells us that should modern miracles be neces“the claim to miracles in the Chris- sary to render the Gospel more iltian church has never been totally lustrious than Judaism? Its pecuabandoned ; ” which certainly is liar glory was not in miracles, for true, as the Church of Rome in these were common to both; but particular urges such“ a claim," in the advent of Christ and the but a claim, we humbly conceive, promised manifestation of the not very modest or warrantable. Holy Spirit; and, as if expressly

We cannot, indeed, understand to prevent this newly-revived nowhat is meant by a claim ” on tion that religion must be a very such a subject. But the reason “ low thing unless continued to

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


be accompanied with miracles, both on this very basis that Bishop
our Lord and his Apostles speak of Butler has built his incomparable
miracles in terms which shew their “ Analogy."
relative place and value not to be But what, after all, are these
what men are too ready to claim “ peculiar reasons

upon which for them. Witness, for example, the Jewish Expositor undertakes what St. Paul says of “ gifts” and to legislate for the Creator? The " graces" to the Corinthians; and first is, “the miracles of Popery." the words of our Lord himself, “ If He asks, “ Is it unreasonable to exthey believe not Moses and the pect that the Lord will vouchsafe Prophets, neither would they be- miracles in support of the Gospel lieve though one rose from the as opposed to Romanism?” The dead.” According to the Jewish Ex- only reply which such a question positor's use of the word “lower,” admits of is, that“reason" is given the drift of the passage would be as a guide to man; but that it is reversed : “ If they believe not an abuse of its powers to make it under a lower dispensation, neither the test of what is befitting for God. would they believe under a higher;" A second “ peculiar reason is, which would not be of necessity a

“ the bold front of infidelity; true proposition.

but we have not heard of any The author is pleased to give us one infidel being converted, and various reasons why miracles, which we fear some may have been are alleged by him never to have hardened in their wickedness, by ceased, should at the present mo- these alleged modern miracles. ment be remarkably revived. It If this be one of the “peculiar might be answer sufficient to this, reasons,” why does not the Jewish that no finite mind is at liberty to Expositor take Miss Fancourt's lay down rules for the Infinite. The cure or the Scottish gift of tongues writer sees “ peculiar reasons," he to Carlile and Taylor, and thus at says, “why God should revive mi- once put down their “ bold front racles.” A man may give “pecu- of infidelity?” This also would liar reasons" why his fellow-crea- satisfy the third "peculiar reason," tures should, under such and such of the “slackness and timidity of circumstances, act in a particular the church of Christ in meeting manner, which he thinks befitting its opponents," namely, infidels the occasion; but to apply“ pecu- and heretics ;' a charge always, liar reasons" to God, and to under- alas ! too true, but not specially taketo shew that there is an occasion so of the present moment, in such as might fairly call for his spe- which God has been pleased to cial interference, is, to say the least, stir up no small number of his to speak of what is infinitely beyond servants “to go up to the battle the province of human reason. If of the Lord against the mighty.” the argument proves any thing, it A fourth “peculiar reason is, proves that God would have acted * the mixture in the professing very unwisely if he had not just at world.” There is indeed—we say this juncture revived miracles; a it with grief—a mournfulmixture; eonclusion more hardy than reve. and those who most wish to see a rent. We “hold” that a man is purification, most lament it. We never on safe ground in making should have thought that Scripout a case why God should act as tural doctrine and holiness of life frail fallible beings might think would have been the best Ithuriel best; and in truth almost the spear to divide these confused whole of the conduct of God to ranks; but our author makes a man involves proceedings quite belief in modern miracles the test, opposed to what we should have just as Mr. Irving made a belief judged à priori befitting; and it is in the personal reign of Christ, CHRIST. OBSERY. No. 350,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PrécédentContinuer »