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own judgment-Paul, who proposed ness of the human mind, the power of himself as an example to the church association, the influence of parents Paul, who was peculiarly the apostle and teachers, and the varieties of naof the Gentiles, and to whom we there- tural temperament, we shall perceive fore naturally look for precedent in the the absolute impossibility of these treatment of Unbelievers—this very pristine, essential truths remaining Paul has left the striking case of Ely- unaltered. The rays of heavenly light mas, a case that in after ages was must be separated in passing through likely to be of frequent recurrence, the prism of human imperfection ; let unguarded by word or hint that his each mind then reflect the colour it is conduct on that memorable occasion prepared to receive, remembering that was not to be imitated by future Chris- the most dissimilar tints proceed from tians.
the same source, and melt into each But the force of the preacher's ar- other by imperceptible gradations. gument cannot be limited to the pu- The Christianity of England,
of France, nishment of Elymas : it is fearful to of Holland, of Germany and of Russia, think of the lengths to which we maymay, in various particulars, be oppobe carried, if once we admit the prin- site as the winds of heaven ; but all ciple he contends for. If we are at these modes of faith profess to be liberty to reject the example of a per- built upon the foundation of the aposson acting immediately under divine tles and propheta, Jesus Christ himinfluence in one case, we may do the self being the chief corner-stone. May same in another, and our own partial we not, therefore, rejoice in believing view of the moral fitness of things will that these different systems will grilbecome the rule of our conduct. Ano- dually approximate, like the sides of ther fatal result of this principle I a pyramid, till at length they will be would mention with reverence-it tends filly framed together unto an holy to raise a barrier between us and that temple in the Lord? That happy peperfect Example, on whom the Spirit riod may yet be far distant, but we was poured without measure, and to know that, from the first promulgaremove it from our imitation.
tion of the Christian faith, In every All that I know. of the character of notion, he that feareth God and workMr. Scott claims respect, and I believe eth righteousness is accepted with nothing could be further from his in- him. There is no difference between tention than to misrepresent the facts the Jew and the Greek; for the same or the doctrines contained in the New Lord over all is rich unto all that call Testament; but I am inclined to think, upon hin ; wherefore, let us comfort that political or sectarian prejudice, one another with these vords. or perhaps a mixture of both, has, in
THE INQUIRER. this instance, carried him further than scripture, when fairly interpreted, can Original Letter of the late Rev. Rowarrant. I admire and esteem the bert Robinson's ; communicated by candid and conciliating temper in which Mr. B. Flouer. many passages of his Sermon appear
Dalston, to have been written, and therefore Sir, tamente that his better judgment did The letter written by the late Ro.
November 30, 1820. not suppress the invidious remarks contained in pp. 26, 27. They are pert Robinson to an old acquaintinconsistent with the excellent lesson ance of mine, who has given me leave deduced from them immediately after- to send it to your Repository. The wards.
first part relates to some outlines of There is one consideration arising his History of Baptism, but which are from the differences of opinion in the now uninteresting. The remainder is, Christian Church, which merits the in my opinion, as interesting now, as attention of all, and especially of those it was at the time it was first written. who profess themselves anxious to re- It was intended more particularly for store the faith of that church to its the use of Baptist societies : how far pristine purity. When we reflect how the remarks may be applicable to those very fero were the points of faith in- of other denominations, I leave to the sisted on by our Saviour and his apos- consideration of your readers. tles, and remember the busy inquisitive
Chesterton, Feb. 10, 1789. Yet, so infatuated are some of us, we
call them the gospel. A human creed is "The other part of your letter is ex a human opinion of the gospel ; and who tremely difficult to arrange. I have long that bath a tea-spoonful of brains, would seen and lamented the conditiou, of our leave the snow of Lebanon, for these polchurches in regard to a supply of minis luted puddles ? (Jer. xviii
. 13, &c.) ters, but how to remedy it—there's “ In short, I think it is possible, supthe rub!' ln the primitive churches, vo pose a youth have genuine piety, to train doubt, the brethren who taught followed him up to be an able minister of the secular employments; and in the dark New Testament, without the pedantry of ages, I perceive, our pastors kept school, the schools, in no great time, and at no practised physic, agriculture, &c. In the great expense. Suppose such a thing present times, some of the most valuable accomplished, are our churches prepared of our ministers, though not the most to receive such men ? I doubt that. I noisy, pursue the same track ; nor can I question whether we have liberality of think of a greater man than he who sentiment enough. A modest, sensible teaches the gospel by. word one day, and man, master of the New Testament, well by example the other six. Men edify acquainted with ecclesiastial history, and their neighbours, pot by immuring them- an ornament by his life to any party, is selves in cells, but by associating with not the man to our taste. We want a other men, and by exemplifying the life sacred man, and this is a plain mau like of a Christian.
other meu. We want an almost inspired “As to those we often call learned man; but this nan durst not talk so ministers, they are to me the most insipid high: he knows no more than the Scripof all companions ; ignorant of what is tures teach, and he never utters oracles of the most importance for them to know, as inspired men should do, and as apes and overflowing with the trifles and the of inspiration will do. We want a learned gall of the schools. The precise learning man. It takes off the shame of the cross of a Christian minister, is a critical know- to sit under one who can say- Is the ledge of the New Testament; and this parish priest a quid nunc ? So am I.' kind of literature fills the pulpit with But this man would preach nothing but dignity and edification; for a sound critic English; and you might hear him eighteen , is the plainest speaker in the world. months, as the Corinthians heard Paul, Now, it is my opinion, if this kind of without knowing he had any pretensions literature were separated from Pagan to literature. We want a guardian of learning, the attainment of it would not the creed, a defender of the faith, who be so very difficult as is generally sup- fills us with prelibations of heaven, such posed, nor may this be confounded with as the glorified saints enjoy, by proving the saucy science that makes a priest ; that all men who do not hold our opibut fashionable education for the ministry nions, must sink into everlasting damnaseems calculated for little else. It strikes tion; but this man cares for nobody's me, that the difficulty of forming a plan opinion, quotes no human authorities, for remedying our ills doth not lie in our and does nothing but interpret scripture incapacity, but in our obstinate attach- by itself, professing that he hath but one ment to irrational customs. Our plans Master, and Christ is he! are schemes of reformed Popery; but “My good friend, forgive my rhapsody: Popery is not reformable; and he who I am a little out of temper. A few weeks would enter into the kingdom of Jesus ago a superannuated minister, a member must be regenerated, not merely re of our church, addressed a petition to a formed. What is a modern Baptist Baptist Fund for a little relief. Instead Church but a Catholic Church reformed ? of sending the old man money, they sent Latin is proper for a Catholic boy, brought him a high Calvinistical creed to sign, up to support the Latin Church, to be the first article of which is stark nonlieve Latin fathers, to regulate himself sense" There are in the Unity of the by numerous folios of Latin and canon Godhead, three divine persons." The luw; but what is Latin to our poor imposition of human opinions is tyranny churches ? It is a Sabbath feather to any where, and such tyravny in Baptists nod in the pulpit, but it is of no use to is, to the last degree, preposterous. The the flock. Would we then discard Latiu? barbarous Calvin is their guide ; and on By no means, on condition a youth have this ground he burnt Servetus. I do not idoney, capacity, time, discretion, and mind his vain babble about faith. The 20 on.
voice of his brother's blood crieth to me “ The Popish corporation is a worldly from the ground! This is defending the establishment of human creeds; but faith, which yet is not faith, but belief of what have we, who hold the perfection of human positions! I have written my scripture, to do with human creeds ? whole mind to the fundees, for I detest
such mockery. But I trouble you no ceiving it, began to cry after him to further.
return; but the man put his fingers in “ May every benediction be with you. his ears, and ran on crying life! life! I should be very happy to see you here. eternal life! So he looked not behind “I am, dear Sir,
him, but fled towards the middle of “ Yours affectionately,
the plain.' This does not impress us “ R. ROBINSON."
with a very favourable idea of the dis
position of the hero, and, in fact, with The Character of Christian, in the exception of faith and perseverBunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. ance, he is a mere negative character
without one good quality to recom(By the late Rev. T. Howe.)
mend him. There is little or no disSir,
play of charity, beneficence, or even MONG the various productions benevolence, during the whole course tile imagination, united with a piously. Christian are narrow and illiberal, disposed mind, none has been more and his struggles and exertions wholly generally read and admired than Bun- selfish.”—Dunlop's History of Ficyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Many per- tion, III. 66. sons distinguished for their taste and
On reading these remarks, in order literary acquirements, have borne tes. to determine their propriety, I endeatimony to its ingenuity, and ranked its voured to call to my recollection those author for invention in the class of scenes of his pilgrimage, which in Homer and Sbakspeare. Granger in younger life were very familiar to me, his History of England, speaking of and also gave the book another perusal. the writings of John Bunyan, says, The result is a thorough conviction “ His master-piece is his Pilgrim's that the character of Christian is placed, Progress, one of the most popular, by this respectable critic, in a lower and, I may add, one of the most inge- class than justice requires. The imnious books in the English language.” pression unfavourable to the natural Toulmin's Hist. of the Prot. Dissent. affection and tender feelings of Chrisp. 340. He confines this encomium tian, which Mr. Dunlop thinks his to the first part, to which also the quotation tends to produce on the following observations are to be li. reader, would probably be prevented mited. A person of an enlightened by perusing the previous account given and sound judgment cannot fail of of his exertions to save his wife and discerning many faults in it; he will children from supposed impending not, however, be hereby prevented destruction, and of the harsh and unfrom perceiving its beauties, the inge- generous treatment he received from nuity of the allegory, and the general them. He addressed them in the tenconsistency of language and conduct, derest manner, and earnestly remonwhich is preserved in the characters strated with them on the urgent neintroduced. My attention has been cessity of their seeking the means of lately directed to this book, by the safety. In vain, however, were all his perusal of Dunlop's interesting History intreaties. They considered him as of Fiction. His critique on this cele. seized“ with some phrenzy distemper. brated work, does not convey a very Sometimes they would deride, somefavourable idea of Christian, the hero times they would chide, and sometimes or leading character of the piece. The they would quite neglect him." This charge brought against him is thus gave occasion to the exercise of his exhibited by Mr. Dunlop :
forbearance and compassion. “Where“ It was, perhaps, ill-judged in the fore he began to retire himself to his author to represent Christian as having chamber to pray for and pity them.” a wife and family, since whatever be of this he gives a particular and affectthe spiritual lesson intended to be con- ing account in his conversation with veyed by his leaving them, one cannot Charity, in the stately, palace of help being impressed with a certain Beautiful, which I think it proper to notion of selfishness and hard-hearted- quote, as a favourable specimen of the ness in the hero. “Now he had not author's mode of writing, and as run far from his own house,' says the throwing some light on the character author, “but his wife and children per. of Christian.
“ Then said Charity to Christian, Have volence in this. When Obstinate and you a family? Are you a married man? Pliable followed him with a view to
“ Chr. I have a wife and four small bring him back, he said all he could to children.
prevail on them to go with him, that “ Char. And why did not you bring they might escape the evils which them along with you?
threatened their native place, and be“ Chr. Then Christian wept, and said, Oh! how willingly would I have done it!
come candidates for the glories of
Mount Zion. On his journey he sees But they were all of them utterly averse to my going on pilgrimage.
three men fast asleep with fetters upon “ Char. But you should have talked their heels, Simple, Sloth and Preto them, and have endeavoured to shew sumption. Christian feels compassion them the danger of being left behind. for them, endeavours to awake them,
“ Chr. So I did; and told them also and kindly offers to help them off with what God had shewn to me of the de- their irons. Yet our critic represents struction of our city ; but I seemed to
“his struggles and exertions to be them as one that mocked, and they be- wholly selfish.” lieved me not. “ Char. And did you pray to God, Christian and Faithful in Vanity Fair,
In the persecutions which befel that he would bless your counsel to them?
they are described as “ patient, not “ Chr. Yes, and that with much affec- rendering railing for railing, but, contion ; for you must think my wife and trariwise, blessing, and giving good poor children were very dear unto me.
words for bad, and kindness for inju“ Char. But did you tell them of your ries done." Yet, “ with the exception own sorrow, and fear of destruction ? of faith and perseverance, Christian is For I suppose that destruction was visible a mere negative character without one enough to you.
good quality to recommend him.” “ Chr. Yes, over and over and over. When he and his companion were inThey might also see my fears in my coun- vited by Demas to go a little out of tenance, in my tears, and also in my the way to share in the productions of trembling, under the apprehension of the
a silver mine, Hopeful being disposed judgment that did hang over our heads ; but all was not sufficient to prevail with
to make the trial, was prevented by them to come with me.
Christian, who was aware of the dan“ Char. But what could they say for ger of turning aside from the right themselves, why they came not ?
path for worldly gain. Other instances • Chr. Why, my wife was afraid of of this Pilgrim's displaying virtues losing this world, and my children were suitable to the nanie he bore, might given to the foolish delights of youth ; be produced, but these are sufficient to so what by one thing and what by ano- shew the injustice of Mr. Dunlop's ther, they left me to wander in this
censure. The character of Christian, manner alone."
as designed by the author, is that of a What was Christian to do? It man in common life, sincerely engaged would have been extreme folly, how- in a course of Christian faith and holiever great his attachment, to remain ness, which he generally pursues, with and perish with them. The resolution benevolent wishes that others would be he adopted, and in which he persisted, persuaded to adopt the same means of by no means justly exposes him to providing for their peace and salvation. Mr. Dunlop's charge of selfishness and Subject, however, to the imperfections hard-heartedness. As to there being and infirmities of human nature, and “ little or no display of charity, bene- not entirely free from the habits he ficence, or even benevolence,” it should had formerly contracted, he is reprebe remembered, that Christian was in sented as chargeable with occasional humble life, and is presented by Mr. deviations, which bring him into great Bunyan as an example chiefly for those dangers and perplexing difficulties. who are placed by providence in that These convince him of his want of condition. He possessed not the means watchfulness and caution, and induce of displaying that beneficence which him to retrace his steps to the right consists in supplying the worldly ne- way, wherein he finally perseveres, till cessities of the indigent. On various he has obtained the object of his ardent occasions, however, he urged others to exertions. seek for that happiness which he was Should you, Mr. Editor, deem these pursuing. Surely there is some bene- observations on the character of Chris
“ He shall pray
tian in the Pilgrim's Progress proper dealings with mankind, and repeated for your valuable Repository, they are clear declarations of the course of his much at your service. I propose to providence. In the book of Job we make a few remarks on that ingenious find, xxxiii. 26-28, allegory for insertion, if you approve, unto God, and he will be favourable in a subsequent Number, wherein also unto him: he looketh upon men, and I shall suggest a plan, the adoption of if any say, I have sinned,” &c., “ he which would, I think, render this po- will deliver his soul from going down pu!ar, but in my view erroneous work, into the pit :” and ver. 29, “Lo! all greatly subservient to the cause of these things worketh God oftentimes rational piety, pure Christianity and with man. In Psalm cvii. 17-19, it moral practice.
is said, “ Fools, because of their transT. HOWE. gression, are afflicted. Their soul
abhorreth all manner of meat.-Then Sır,
they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, 12
T appears to me that the train of and he saveth them out of their dis
argument pursued by L. J. J. on tresses.” In the same Psalm, Jehovah “ Divine Influence,” [XV. pp. 580– is represented as turning “a fruitful 585,] has very much the character of de- land into barrenness, for the wickedistical reasoning, and has an inevitable ness of them that dwell therein :" 'as tendency to promote scepticism with“ pouring contempt on princes,” and regard to the miraculous interferences setting the poor on high from afflicof the Great Author of nature, and tion.” In Psalm lxv. he is designated the visible display of agency, usually as “ he that heareth prayer, unto inscrutable, recorded by the historians whom all flesh should come :” as
the of the Old and New Testaments. confidence of all the ends of the earth :">
“There are indeed many good men,” as stilling not merely “ the noise of observes the writer, with the air of the seas,” but “ the tumult of the candid allowance for the weakness of people.” inferior intellects, “ who believe that It may be attempted to fritter away the Supreme Being frequently, inter- such texts, as conveying the ideas of poses in human affairs, particularly in men accustomed to visible instances of those of considerable importance; and the interference of God, and impressed this conviction very naturally leads with visitations of temporal good or them to supplicate for his interference evil, under the miraculous theocracy on many occasions."
or present earthly sovereignty of the If we deny the probability of such Deity, exercised over his peculiar peointerposition of the Deity now, the ple: but this plea will not avail in a probability is lessened that he ever variety of passages, clearly general in interposed in former time; and as the their import, and embracing the meGod of the Christians would be placed thods of God's providence in his deam precisely on the same footing with the ings with the human race at large. In God of the Deists, the question natu- Isaiah xlv., the prophet says to Cyrus, rally occurs, Why, the world be so in the name of Jehovah, “I girded governed now, it might not always thee, though thou hast not known me." have been so governed? And the Now the restoration of the Jews and shutting God out of the human uni. the rebuilding of their temple by Cyrus, verse, except in so far as the pheno. was not accompanied by any open or mena of the human mind are originally supernatural displays of miraculous referred to him, is nothing more nor power; but, like the destruction of less than Deism.
that city by Titus, appeared to be in Among these
inany good men," I the course of natural events. We know should be inclined to rank those who that it was otherwise, because it is so receive as truth what is stated to them revealed to us. The reasonable inferin their Bibles : for though it may be ence is, that in the general system of convenient for the writer's purpose to human affairs, whether relating to nafix our attention exclusively on displays tions or individuals, though the holy of miraculous agency or instances of arm of the Lord” is no longer “made preternatural illumination, the Bible bare before the nations,” it is not therecontains something more ; it contains fore idle and inoperative, but only an explicit revelation of God's ordinary veiled. The Bible is fuil, from the