« НазадПродовжити »
be an evil which the government should carefully watch over, and to the utmost of its power vigorously prevent. There should be no furious commentaries on the Apocalypse, no raving about the sin of tolerating idolaters. The deep folly of such conduct can hardly be an excuse for its utter uncharitableness, and the incalculable mischief of its consequences.” (p. 64.) Although at the beginning of this
the learned Doctor was horrified at any principle which might by any possibility be perverted into a shadow of persecution against Papists, in the true spirit of a Liberal the horror of persecution is quite worn out when he comes to stimulate the government vigorously to prevent the preaching of the Gospel in force and power: a few civil speeches indeed, gently hinting that, upon the whole, Protestantism was a simple and less encumbered religion than Popery, might be made ; but nothing that could by any possibility be mistaken for supposing that no less a stake than heaven and hell depended upon the issue !
Pages 101 to 110 are employed in shewing that his brother clergymen are exceedingly incompetent judges of the questionwhich he says is a religious question, and that he has endeavoured to argue it as such ;--and the reason assigned for this incompetency is, that their studies have been chiefly confined to theology! The reason seems to us about as conclusive as it would be, against a physician's ability to form an opinion of a bodily disease, that his studies had been chiefly confined to medicine. It is, indeed, most true, that their retired habits and narrow spheres of observation do unfit the clergy from becoming eminent statesmen : Clarendon says,“ Clergymen understand the least, and take the worst measure, of human affairs, of v all mankind that can write and read :" but Clarendon does not say that they take the worst measure of Christian duty. Dr. Arnold is professing to argue the matter as a religious question, and not as one merely political: and, upon the infidel principles of modern Liberalism, we confess the refusal of the claims of Papists, of Jews, Mohammedans, or open Atheists, has not a vestige of sound argument to rest on. As Dr. Arnold does not understand the Christian duty of the civil magistrate, neither does he that of the church ; which consists in being the daily living monitor to the temporal power of its religious duty, and obligation, to rule for the promotion of the spiritual, as well as bodily, welfare of Christ's people. This, then, is so far from being a subject on which the clergy, as clergy, ought not to interfere, that it was their pre-eminent duty to use every lawful means, by every peaceable mode, whether from the pulpit, through the press, or in public assemblies of the people, to make all ranks of society—the king, his advisers, his legislature, and his subjects-know that they were committing a great
VOL. 1. NO. III.
sin in God's sight; that they were professedly rejecting all reference to his declared will in his written word; and avowing that men in whose bosoms the Holy Ghost dwells were not more fit to be rulers over, and lawgivers for, his church and people, than the followers of the False Prophet, open Infidels, and blaspheming Jews. A very large body of the clergy of the Established Church, as well as the most spiritually minded of their Non-conformist brethren of all denominations, did well perform this duty, and the Lord will not fail to reward them for their honest testimony on his behalf; but woe unto those apostates who refused to protest in the time of need against the enemies of Christ! It would be well for some of them if they had never been born.
However much it may surprise Dr. Arnold, and the Evangelical Prelates who patronize and circulate his opinions, we shall take the liberty of shewing him that it is in the Bible only that the Christian duty of kings or of people can be learned and
that there cannot be an act of more wilful rebellion of spirit against God, than to propagate the doctrine that princes derive their power from the people. For this purpose let us turn, not to prophecy, but to fulfilment; not to futurity, but to fact; and consult the account given by Nebuchadnezzar, the heathen sovereign of an idolatrous nation, and one who, therefore, might be supposed to be entirely exempt from the responsibilities and penalties to which a king professing Christianity, and within the bonds of the Christian covenant, must be amenable. This king was a great and triumphant warrior ; and imputed his power and successes “ to the might of his power.” If under any circumstance whatever it can be justifiable for a king to attribute the stability of his authority to a human source, it is surely so in the case of a laureled conqueror looking to his military skill and the valour of his forces as that to which he is indebted for the security of his throne. The architectural splendour of his capital bore testimony to his regard for the arts of peace; and, without a rival to contend with, or an empire on the globe to be compared with Chaldea for extent, learning, or opulence, Nebuchadnezzar found himself at ease in his palace in Babylon. It was to serve as a lesson to kings in all after-ages, that the extraordinary visitation which fell upon this individual is recorded ;-an individual situated in that extreme case which would have rendered it excusable, if it ever were to be excusable, in a sovereign to ascribe his power to any other source than directly to God. It was that he might know “that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will,” that his kingdom was taken from him for a time: after which it was to be returned to him, when he shall have learned “that the Heavens do rule." The king profited by the lesson ; and his heart was turned to God : and he makes the following public confession, for a witness against the King of England, and against his Evangelical advisers, and against all men ; and especially against all nations into which God's written word has come : -viAll the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing : the Most High doeth according to his will, in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou ?...... This matter is by the decree of the Watchers, and the demand by the word of the Holy Ones : to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.
Truly, the very name of God, as ruling, guiding, blessing, or cursing the designs of men, is gone out of the land. From the politics of kings and statesmen, down to the private business of merchants and mariners, the bare mention of Him is held to be an obsolete form, with which it is better to dispense. Nevertheless, Jesus is King: to Him every knee shall bow: and his adversaries, who will not that he should reign over them, will he cause to be brought, and slain before him: “ Be wise, therefore, ye judges of the earth.” Not only does the second Psalm describe the appearance of Messiah to assume the government of the world at a time when the kings and rulers are in rebellion, not against his Priesthood only, but against his Kingly office specially ; but the eighty-second Psalm likewise is so strictly applicable to the present aspect of public affairs, as far as they respect the question which this pamphlet discusses, that we cannot do better than close these remarks with calling the attention of our readers to it.
« God stands in the congregation of the mighty: he judges among the gods.” Here, as we saw above from Selden, the title of “gods” is given to the rulers of men, and they are informed that God himself is in their assembly, whether they will acknowledge and submit themselves to him or not. He then remonstrates with them for not making any distinction between those who fear and serve him, and those who despise him; and for supposing that mere human talent, or rather the talents of Satan, can conduct prosperously the business of a kingdom. “ How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked ?" God's word teaches us here, that to “ judge unjustly” is to make no distinctions and differences between the wicked and the good, between Christ's enemies and Christ's friends, between apostates and the faithful: but Dr. Arnold inculcates that it is a Christian duty not to make such distinctions; that it is unjust to refuse any thing to any member of the community; and that the people, and not God, judgeth, or sits in judgment, among the magistrates of the earth. The Lord next reminds them of their duty, and of the end for which He, not the people, has established all civil government: “ Defend the poor and the fatherless : do justice to the afflicted and needy; deliver the poor and the needy; rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” Whether the number of the aristocracy who are supported out of taxes wrung from the sweat of the afflicted and needy ; whether the extravagant waste of the public funds ; the monopolies of corn, beer, &c.; game; colonial slavery, &c., &c. ; fulfil these directions of God or not, it would be foreign to our present purpose to discuss; but of the persons described in this Psalm the Lord adds, “ They know not, neither will they understand ; they walk on in darkness." They understand their duties neither as civil rulers nor as members of Christ's church : they think they can act with impunity, without paying any deference to God's will. “The foundations of the earth are out of course :” the very basis, cement, groundwork of society; that upon which alone it can stand, and which can alone hold it together-namely, the principle of seeing and acknowledging God in every condition of life—is departed from men's knowledge altogether : and as surely as an earthquake will bring down a building, as certainly as a wall will fall from which the cement and foundation are taken away, so surely will that social fabric crumble into dissolution which rejects God as the source and groundwork of power, and which proclaims the volatile mob the sovereign authority in a state. “I have said ye are gods:” 'I,' says the Lord, - appointed you to your office, and caused you to be reverenced in it:'-" and all of you are children of the Most High:” • 1 caused you to be brought within the ordinances of my church, and taught you through it to walk as my children :'-" but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes :" . You have rejected me, and I will reject you : you shall not be spared, notwithstanding the high prerogatives you have hitherto enjoyed ; but your fall shall be like the fall of one from an eminence, fatal to yourselves, and a terrible sight to others.' The Psalmist then, with prophetic lamentation over the utterly hopeless and remediless state into which he saw the world would be brought, cries out for the only hope that has consoled the church in all ages,—the coming of the Lord Jesus to take the reins of the government of mankind into his own hands, and no longer entrust it to viceroys, who have revolted against him : “ Arise, O God; judge the earth: for thou shall inherit all nations."
REVIEW OF AN INQUIRY INTO THE GROUNDS ON WHICH
THE PROPHETIC PERIOD OF DANIEL AND ST. JOHN HAS
We did not calculate upon any necessity arising for our noticing these two publications. Not that we thought the inquiry they prosecute unimportant; but the manner in whịch it is here conducted appeared to us so very loose and inaccurate as scarcely ever to come fairly in contact with the interpretation it combats; while the arguments it advances appeared to us so contradictory as to need nothing more than the plain common sense of ordinary readers to detect their fallacy; rendering any formal exposure of them a work of supererogation. But we have since been informed that others are not of the same opinion ; and that many think the arguments of these pamphlets very plausible, and many more are unsettled by them in points which they had before considered as well established. On these accounts a brief exposure of the confusion of mind in which this hypothesis (or negation of hypothesis) has originated, may be seasonable and profitable. Mr. Maitland writes with a most praise-worthy calmness and temper, which prepossess us in favour of his arguments, and unconsciously lead us to expect from such a man the most patient and judicious examination of whatever subject he treats, preparing us to follow with confidence so calm and prudent a leader. This, his moderation and temper, we would endeavour to imitate; and if in the course of our remarks we expose any part of Mr. Maitland's argument with a degree of warmth which seems to overstep this moderation, we beg that it may be attributed to our zeal for the truths which Mr. Maitland assails: and we shall confine ourselves to that severity which consists in exposing the weakness of his arguments; for it is with the book alone we have to do: Mr. Maitland himself we have not even seen, and have never heard him spoken of except in terms which entitle him to every respect from us. But we shall have occasion to shew that these publications are a sort of literary curiosity : for, while their perusal impresses upon our mind the perfect conviction that the author was quite sincere and pains-taking, their attentive consideration obliges us to say, that we have never met with any books of the kind containing so large a portion of inaccurate reasoning and hasty assumption; or so many marks of carelessness, both in consulting Scripture and in applying it for the purpose of illustration. These are grave charges, but