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“Then said Charity to Christian, Have volence in this. When Obstinate and you a family? Are you a married mau ? 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 beChr. 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

three inen fast asleep with fetters upon to my going on pilgrimage.

Char. But you should have talked their heels, Sinple, 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

Chur. 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 Christian, who was aware of the dan

to make the trial, was prevented by them to come with me.

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

VOL. XVI,

D

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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, “He shall pray 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 ar'option of if any say, I have sinned,” &c., “ he which would, I think, render ibis po- will deliver his soul from going down pular, 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 afficted. Their soul

abhorreth all manner of meat.-Then Sir,

they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, (T appears to me that the train of and he saveth them out of their dis“ 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 afllicof 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 dealprecisely on the same footing with the ings with the human race at large. In God of the Deists, the question natu- Isaiah xlv., the propliet says to Cyrus, rally occurs, Why, if 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 buman 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 “

many 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 full, from the beginning to the end, of express asser- had exercised since the beginning of tions of God's general and particular his creation? interference, without any allusion, or The soundness of this argument, the conceivable implication of any such which denies all positive interference allusion, to a particular age, or the of the secret providence of God, may preternatural intercourse of God with well be suspected, when we see that it a peculiar people: and this interference leads to a denial of the expediency and is described as something distinct from rationality of prayer. I must confess, the fixed laws of nature, which imply Sir, that to me a prayerless Christian what is perceptible to observation and seems as great an anoinaly as a Christexperiment-as the influence of the less Christianity. How any man who Creator's upholding energy in the professes to take the Scripture as his “ various processes of animal and ve- rule of life can reason himself into the getable life." It is described as direct propriety of dispensing with prayer, or immediate; and it is only not mira- because it might only have been inculous because it is not visible. tended to be used in a miraculous age,

The question whether the Supreme is something extraordinary. Peter Being has exhibited more than two quotes David as authority for the fact modes of his agency,“ natural and that “the eyes of the Lord are over supernatural,” and the demand for a the righteous, and his ear is open to clear definition and description of that their prayers.” 1 Pet. iii. 12; Psalm agency which, withont being superna- xxxiv. 16. Can it be pretended, with tural, is not to rank with natural phe- any colour of justice, that this assunomena, appear designed to reduce the rance applied only to Jewish periods advocate of Divine Influence to a di- and circumstances? This is manifestly lemma. But the whole turns on the a general truth, connected with the sound of words. The terms natural character and providence of God, and agency, as applied to the Deity, are, I if it was true in the times of David and conceive, improper in this question: Peter, it is true now. The confoundthey involve a taking for granted of the ing prayer, therefore, with institutions, thing in dispute, namely, that God is the permanence of which beyond the only known to act on sensible or ex- apostolic period may bu doubtful, is a ternal things, or by the fixed general mere sophism. To comment on the laws of mind and matter. As the term alleged uncertainty of these institusupernatural designates agency equally tions, would lead ine into too wide a obvious to the senses, it is equally digression from the subject in hand; improper; for the believer in the Divine but as to the washing the feet of the Influence here discussed, is not entan, disciples, a custom purely oriental, the gled with the difficulty of proof, as if notion of the writer, " that this acthe maintained miraculous influence: (considered in its literal ceremonial) he affirms that there is a third mode of "is much more solemnly enjoined than Divine agency, which is perhaps fitly any other,” exceeds any thing that I described by the term providential; know of in the servile inferences of which is from its very nature incapable Popish commentators. of proof, but which is not the less the it seems strange that any person subject of reasonable trust.

acquainted with the views of our Saviour I do not see the consequential force respecting prayer, Matt. vi

. 8, should of the writer's proposition, that “ if it exhibit such ignorance of its nature be necessary to our advancement in and design; which the writer appears virtue that the Supreme Being should to confine to the obtaining of specific occasionally interfere with his aid, the requests. As to what he asserts, howgrand and glorious apparatus of Chris- ever, about “ the want of correspontianity might have been spared as de- dence between the answer and the fective and inadequate to our wants." petition," as being “too palpable to This supposes that a constant miracu. be denied,” it is assertion merely. If lous interposition is necessary, which the person who prays to God for is excluded from the question altoge- recovery from illness, mitigation of ther. Why should Christianity be pain, preservation by land or water, expected to supersede the ordinary direction and assistance in forming the providences and influences which God moral character,” cannot prove pbilo

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sophically that God has answered him, from his expectations ? It is remarked the writer cannot prove that he has by Dr. Priestley, that we may not not. The burthen of proof is not with always be able to scan the ways of God the Christian who founds his trust in human affairs; the series and conon scriptural data, but on the naturalnexion of events may often be plainly man who “ seeks after wisdom," or, traced in the history of the ages that with the Jew, “requires a sigu.” are past. So it is in the life of the

The writer seems, however, aware, individual : if he cannot always trace, that prayer is employed as a medium he may often be able to trace back; of access to God with other purposes to perceive the hand of God in inthan that of obtaining invariably and stances where he thought that he had immediately answers to specific re- been neglected or overlooked. quests ; for he ridicules persons who, We are told, that all “ excellent

praying for relief under the pressure qualities," meaning what are very differof illness, pain or poverty, and not ent, Christian graces, are“ abundantly receiving any, funcy that they acquire possessed by persons who are not conpatience and resignation to the Divine scious of having any particular divine will.” Why must

this be fancy? And influences.” This is just nothing to with respect to " these constant dis- the purpose. The consciousness of a appointments” (which he still takes divine, co-operating grace or influence, for granted) “ naturally tending to is not necessary to the proof of its produce murmuring, discontent and existence. The writer proceeds, “who dissatisfaction, instead of exciting pa- do not feel that they want them, and tient dispositions," all the experience who consequently never pray for them." of facts is directly in the teeth of his It is not clear whether the writer is at hypothesis; and that “patience and this time speaking of instantaneous resignation to God's will,” are emi- miraculous operations of God's spirit, nently possessed by those who have or of those ordinary communications, habitual recourse to him in prayer. consistent with the moral government What description of Christians the of his providence, and which seem writer may have met with, I am unable necessary to the conclusion that God to say: they seem of the class of those is something more than a physical idolatrous savages who beat their energy or mechanical soul of the uniwooden gods when they find their verse; in other words, to the belief requests unheeded. A Christian erect- that “he is, and that he is the rewarder ing himself into a judge of the fitness of those who diligently seek him.” If of the ordinations of Providence, and he is speaking of the former, he has giving way to “ murmuring discon- no right to argue from what is extent” when the wishes of a miserable cluded: if of the latter, I may be worm like himself are not immediately allowed to doubt whether the pious and unequivocally complied with, is a friends to whom he alludes do really phenomenon no less extraordinary possess such an “ abundance" of than a God who, with his attributes of Christian virtues, such supererogatory omniscience and perfect goodness, merits, as he supposes. They remind should accede to every prayer ad- us rather of the Pharisee (for he also dressed to him by his fallible and seems to have thought petitionary short-sighted creatures, lest some phi- devotion useless) who thanked God losopher should infer, from “ the want that he was “not as other men are.” of correspondence” between the prayer Let him who does not feel the want of and the answer, that “one shall cry that strength of God which is “ made unto him, yet cannot he answer, nor perfect in weakness," and who “thinkgave him out of his trouble.”

eth he standeth, take heed lest be If the Deity does not invariably fall." grant what is asked of him, will it fol- But what facts does the observation low that he never grants it? If he of human character supply to guide us does not answer prayer at the moment, in our decisions? Is it not a fact, that will it follow that he does not answer they who give themselves to a spirit of it in future time; or that he does not prayer, (1 do not mean the gabbling answer it in a manner equivalent to the of creeds and paternosters,) are presupplicant's wants, though different cisely the persons most singularly dis

tinguished by that vigilant holiness, acquiescence in the series of causes and active benevolence, patience under effects, and the nature of things, will trials, and, in a word, all the fruits avail with equal efficacy to support and of spiritual-mindedness, which are the amend the heart. effects of a true, practical faith in the

CORNELIUS. gospel? I can readily believe that L. [To be concluded in the next Number.] J. J. may successfully have “exposed his mind to impressions” favourable to piety, and may have brought him

Lancashire, self to feel love for a God who, when his creatures cry unto him, is “talking. I chren of Liverpool have revived the

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January 11, 1821. or pursuing, or in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be question relative to an “ Unitarian awakened.” But general observation Academy” for the education of young justifies the inference, that they who men for the ministry (XV. 623). No dispense with petitionary devotion are one would rejoice more than I should not the persons most remarkable for at the re-establishinent of so highly practical religion. Having disdained useful an institution, and particularly those helps to human infirmity which at a time when there appears to be a a right knowledge of ourselves would lamentable want of active and efficient lead us to prize and cherish, to what preachers of primitive Christian docdo they attain by means of their philo- trine. I much fear, however, there are sophic plan? To a decent morality. serious obstacles to overcome before But deceat morality is not Christian we could expect the establishment of perfection. Is it even certain that so important a measure as a new Unithey attain to this? It has been said, tarian College; and certainly it would and wisely said, that “either a habit of answer no purpose whatever to make prayer will expel sin, or the habit of the attempt without fully ascertaining sin will expel prayer.” It is not mat- the public disposition to support it in ter of doubt or debate, that persons a way equal to its objects. ) am far who have unhappily acquired a custom from wishing to throw a damp over of indulging some permitted sin, reason the ardour of my brethren in so excelthemselves into a neglect of prayer lent a cause, any where. Would to from a secret uneasy consciousness God I could be instrumental in prowhich renders open communication moting that union of heart and hand with God impossible: and if this be among us which, if effected, would be 80, of which there is no reason to doubt, equal to the accomplishment of all our it is against all probability that a reco- wishes, and gladly would I do all in very from such ensnaring habits of sin my power to excite a spirit of liberality can ever be effected by the mere and earnest Christian zeal among those

exposure of the mind" to virtuous who are blest with the means of seimpressions, or by any method short conding the efforts of their active breof direct application to the throne of thren in the cause of truth. Whatever grace.

may be our wishes, they must necesPrayer is particularly an efficacious sarily be bounded by our means of instrument for the amelioration of usefulness; and as the more extended human character in seasons of affliction object is, in my judgment, rather to be and adversity. When the hand of God desired than expected, I trust I shall is seen in circumstances that appear to be excused if I offer a suggestion the natural religionist the effect of through the Monthly Repository, relablind chance or of a sort of fatalism, tive to a plan which í know has already the mind is brought to consideration, been a favourite one with some of our and meditates on the design of the well-informed brethren, and particuparticular affliction sent. The belief larly with the late Dr. Percival, of that the wound is inflicted by him who Manchester. It is well known, that “ does not willingly grieve the children by the provisions of the will of Dr. of men,” sustains the mind while it Williams, a number of young men purifies the affections. If “the broken intended for the ministry, are entitled and contrite spirit” be referred coldly to certain exhibitions from his Trusback to “ reason and common sense, tees, on condition of studying at the it will be seen whether this Stoical College at Glasgow. The Trustees

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