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It is surely something singular, that a Writer who seems fo intimately acquainted with the niceties of a dead language should pay so little attention to the delicacy of his own!
Among other respectable names, we frequently meet with that of Mr. TOUP, so juftly celebrated for his consummate knowledge in Greek literature, as a contributor to the improve. ment of the present work. An observation, however, of this Gentleman's has been admitted, in which we can by no means agree with him. His words are these :
« Idem xóuxpos et xíu appos, ut xíueta et zsípetrov. Utrumque amo tô xeluatos scilicet. Atque hinc notandus lue sus Theocriti Idyl. I. 5.
Αίκα δ' αίγα λαβη τηνος γέρας, ές τε ΚΑΤΑΡΡΕΙ
A XIMAPOE. Nam verbum xatappsiv de lapsu aquarum five xei pasp's dicitur. Sed Theocritus semper festivus eft."
Though it be pollible that kinapos and Zeipappos may have, according to Mr. Toup, the fame derivation, and though there can be no doubt of the primary use of the word xalapptiv, yet surely there can be nothing forced or unnatural in the metaphorical sense in which Theocritus has hitherto been supposed to apply it. Had he intended such a play upon the words as Mr. Toup imagines, he must have been guilty of a most unmeaning and miserable pun.
At the end of the volume are two Appendiculæ ; one containing the Editor's reasons for not prefixing the accentual marks to his own and Mr. Warton's notes, which are judicious and satisfactory. In the other are given hints at a new method which the Doctor has discovered, of scanning Greek and Latin hexameters, the usual method being, as he tells us, erroneous. For a fuller explanation of his system we are to wait for the publication of the Miscellanea Critica; a work which will some time or other see the light. This new system of prosody will then not only be illustrated and explained, but also the objections which he thinks are likely to be made to it will be confidered.
Art. II. Confiderations on the present State of the Church Efablish.
ment, in Letters to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of London. By obn Sturges, M. A. Prebendary of Winchester, and Chaplain
in Ordinary to his Majesty. 8vo. 3 s. sewed. Cadell. 1779. IN these Letters, Mr. Sturges considers how far our eccle
fiaftical establishment, as it now subsists in this country, is an institution fit for the purposes it was meant to answer, both with respect to religion and society; how far the clergy of England are worthy ministers of the religion of Christ, and useful members of our civil community, Y 2
The The principles, on which establishments in general, and our own in particular, are founded; the tolerating spirit of the Church of England, with refpect to Christians of other denominations; the jurisdiction assigned to it by the laws of our country; the provilion made for its clergy; their learning and freedom of inquiry ; our public forms in which they officiate, their duties, and their manners, are the particulars which naturally offer themselves to his consideration.
Mr. Sturges does not enter into a long discussion of the different parts of his subject, and there are some tender points, which he only touches in a very soft and gentle manner ; but it would be the hi hest injustice to him, indeed, not to acknowledge, that he writes with great candour and liberality of sentiment, with a spirit of moderation that well becomes his profession; in a word, in such a manner as will make those, who may differ from him in some points, entertain a very favourable opinion of his temper and difpofition.
He introduces his second Letter, wherein he treats of Ertablishments in general, and that of the Church of England in particular, by obrerving, that, with some persons, the word Efa. blishment is itself criminal; that they reprobate all human authority, all human opinions, which respect religion, as unlawful; as infringing their own liberty, and derogating from the supremacy of Christ. He proceeds to state the principles on which, according to his conceptions, all religious societies must be founded, and endeavours to thew, that all, which are defigned for any permanency, mult in effe&t admit, whatever they may profess to do, human authority for their regulation; that they must concur in human opinions as a bond of union; and that establishments, as fuch, are not, on that account, unlawfal, inconfistent with our liberty as men, or with our allegiance to Chift as his followers.
Such authority, he says, may be ill employed, fuch opinions may be ill founded, and improperly imposed; violence may be exerted by the one, in order to inforce the other ; by their abuse they may both become pernicious; but it no more follows from thence, that the principle on which they are used is unlawful, than that, because there are in the world many bad civil laws, therefore all legislation is unjuft.
• If religion were to fubfiit only in the hearts of individuals, continues he, without the concurrence of others, or any external pro. fellion of it; if God had not meant, that in this initance, as well as in all others, we should be Social Creatures, the Truchs and Pre. cepis, which we collect by our reason, and which are delivered to us by revelation, would then in their naked face be sufficient 10 make us in this manner religious : we might certainly think of God as we plealed, and offer to him in what manner we pleased our folitary worthip. But if we are not fatisfied with that, if we are
prompted by our nature to unite with others in the adoration of the Supreme Being, and feel our religion imperfect without doing so, we must in some respects agree with those others; there must be some mutual compliances ; and certain regulations must be admitted, both with respect to the Osward Form of Worhip, and the Opinions conveyed by it.
. Without some regulations of the Qutward Form in which the Worshippers are agreed, it is impoffible that Public Worship can fublilt even in its fimpleit Ihape; and as the reason of this worship, the manner of our addresing God, and the duties which we suppose him to require from us, arile from the Opinions we form concerning him, concerning his attributes and government, it is plain, thai without a certain agreement in these opinions it is importble for different persons to join in the worship of God, and in giving or receiving Religious Instruction, which orually makes part of it. A Jew or a Christian could not join with an old Heathen in worship. ping his numerous and imaginary deities. A Proteftant cannot concur with a Papiit in offering his prayers to the Virgin Mary, to An. gels, and to Saints. The same prayers also, and the same inftruc. tion, cannot well suit those Protestants, who differ about the Object of their worship, or about the Necelity of good works to falvation.
Every United Set of Worthippers must therefore agree in certain Forms and Opinions; and they must make such Agreement the condition, on which others may be admitted to their Society. They must prescribe, like all other societies, these conditions for themselves; and those, who do not chose to comply with them, must either not enter into such a fociety, or rerire from it.
“ But this, it is said, is an infringement of our Liberty, an op. pression of Conscience; it is usurping the Supremacy of Christ; and giving Human Opinions that authority, which is only due to Divine Revelation.”
• That Absolute Liberty is inconsittent with every species of rociety, whether civil or religious, is most certain; it can only belo.g to detached, insulated individuals. The moment we begin to ICE in concert with any of our fellow-creatures, this liberty is narrowed ; we muft fubmitto some rules, and be content to lie under certain restraints with respect to others, which it is necessary for our own good that they should lie under with respect to ourselves. The Liberty of the Freelt States never was and never can be more than this; it can only be a Qualised Liberty, as great as is coniftent, not with the good of any one citizen, but of all taken together. And when in any sort of society this is possessed in such a degree, every wise man knows, that he possesses all which can from the pature of things be had. If there be any, who chuse to preier to it the Absolute Liberty of a solitary State of nature, with them I will not reason; bor leave them to find in that itate an equivalent for all the bleilings of Society.
" But Conscience is opprefled by such conditions." What, if it be in the power of him, who dillikes them, not to oblige hiintelf to the observance of them if he be at liberty not to make part of that fociety, which requires it? Can any injury be done ; can the conscience of any be wounded, where che contract is voluntary; where this alternative is offered, either enter into such a suciety and Y 3
accept the conditions of it; or abstain from the one, and be exempt from the other?
" The interposition also of Human Authority in matters of Religion is usurping the Supremacy of Christ.” But without certain Re. gulations no Societies can exist ; as the Societies are Human, the regulations made for them must be by Human Authority. We find in the Scriptures the doctrines and precepts of our religion ; they are there offered to the reader, who may make what use of them he pleases; who will understand them in that sense, which shall approve itself to his mind. But if many persons chuse to join in an external Profession of this religion, this profession must be administered in a certain form, and by certain persons; the naked Doctrines and Precepts will not administer themselves any more, than the abstract Idea of Justice will be sufficient to answer the purposes of a State, without applying it, making it effectual, aod giving as it were a body to it, by laws.
o Whatever Regulations are made for Christian Churches, are supposed and professed by those who make them, to be agreeable to the commands of Christ, to be the means of carrying those commands into execution. Is this usurping Christ's authority? We all, I presume, acknowledge God to be the Supreme Governor of the world. We are all I suppose ready to allow, that it is from him we derive our notions of Justice ; that it is his will we should exercise this virtue towards our fellow-creatures. But did any reason. able man ever conclude from hence, that making Laws for the purposes of Practical Justice amongst men was impious with respect to God, was intrenching on his sovereigoty? The cruth is, that with. out the interposicion of Human Authority, in its different degrees, Public Religion and Public Justice could not sublift.
• There remains another charge on Etablishments, “ that they impose on men Human Opinions, and give them an Authority, which is only due to Divine Revelation.” It has been said before, and is indisputable, that a certain Agreement of Opinions with respect to God is necessary for those, who would join in religious wor. Thip. Now, who is to be judge for any given Society, what those opinions shall be? The Society must undoubtedly judge for itself. The warmest advocates for Religious Liberty plead for the right of Private Judgement; that men should be permitted to judge for themselves. Nothing is more incontestible. And shall not a Society have the same right of judging for itself? Is this commendable in an individual, and unlawful in a Society? They may both be mista. ken in forming their opinions; this is the consequence of human infirmity; but they are both the only and the proper judges for themselves.
• And this Judgment on Religious Subjects must be exercised; for men will differ about them, and the Scriptures, which we all allow to be the Revelation of God, will no more interpret them. selves, than the do&rines contained, teach ; or the duties prescribed in them, execute themselves. Each Society therefore will adopt those Opinions, which seem to them true; and they will be, like all other conclusions of our minds on the subjects proposed to them, Human Opinions ; they mult and can be no other.!
Mr. Mr. Sturges goes on to observe, that without toleration no establishment can be lawful or defensible. But as the tolerating spirit of our Church is a matter of great importance in the present inquiry, and as toleration has been enjoyed in this country so completely in the present age, he makes it the subject of a separate letter, and goes on, towards the clofe of his second, to give us his sentiments concerning the forms, ceremonies, and opinions of our Church.
It is undoubted, he thinks, that the members, and especially the ministers of a Church, must, to a certain degree, concur in their opinions; but a public collection of these opinions, for the purpose of uniformity should be as short, he says, as plain, and as comprehensive, as the end proposed will admit; that the members of a Church may not be loaded with unnecessary conditions, or others be unnecessarily excluded from it, What he advances on this important subject appears to us so sensible, candid, and judicious, that we cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of inserting, or our Readers that of peruling it.
"In a large colle&ion of Speculative Opinions, says he, obscure and disputable by their nature, it is impossible, that great numbers of persons can perfectly agree ; agree I mean after full inquiry and examination ; some will acquiesce without making such inquiry, others will dissemble, and all perhaps will think themselves entitled to use a lacitude, that is not so much authorised by the terms in which their Affent is expressed, as by the general principles of our nature and the conftitution of our mind. In the mean time the end proposed will not be answered ; and it is probably unnecessary that it should : unanimity in that degree will never in fact be produced.
• As Christianity also should be made as much as possible in the public profession of it, what it is in itself, a Religion of benevolence and concord, Christians should be invited by every conciliating, every accommodating measure to join in one profession; all inyi. dious distinctions, all unnecessary impediments should be removed ; smaller differences should be dropped by all parties, provided that in greater things they can be made to agree. Now to multiply the Public Opinions, by which one Church is distinguished from others, on those subjects especially which are difficult and disputable, is to multiply the conditions required from those who would accede to it, and to make their union with it less practicable.
• I confess, my Lord, that our Articles appear liable to these obo je&tions; the particulars of them are too numerous ; the subjects of some of them of a moft obscure and disputable kind, where it may seem unnecessary and perhaps improper to go so far in defining; on both these accounts the Aflent required from our Clergy may appear too Ariet, and other Christians may be discouraged from joining in communion with us.
· That such Objections should now. lie to our Articles, is what might reasonably have been expected, notwithitanding all the abilities of the persons who compiled them, notwithitanding all their meY 4