Imatges de pàgina

and by his creatures, and therefore it could not be unfit that he should have respect to his own glory in the creation. But this is not all; the manifestation of his power and glory was an instance of love and mercy. As his creatures are thereby taught to think worthily of him, to fear and honour him with all dutiful observance ; and are induced to imitate his imitable perfections, and to fall down with humble adoration of such as are beyond the sphere of any created being ; on all which their felicity depends.'

In the latter part of this work Mr. Martin has made fome cemarks on a treatise, entitled, A Free Enquiry into the Nature and Origin of Evil. The author of that'Enquiry asserts, that “ many evils will unavoidably infinuate themselves, by the natural relations and circumstances of things, into the most perfeet system of created beings, in opposition to the will of an Almighty Creator, by reason they cannot be excluded without working contradictions."

In opposition to this notion, our author observes, that it is not credible that Infinite Wisdom should bring a thing into existence, out of nothing, and yet not be able to give it a nature that might be governed, and rendered suitable to his will. He then proceeds to few, that natural evils might have been excluded without working any contradiction, if the Deity had thought it expedient. But there were sufficient reasons for the present constitution of things. · God's wisdom and holiness, he says, saw it best and worthiest that man should be virtuous, and then happy from being so; he could not be virtuous without a probation; he could not have a probation without freewill; his free-will could not be proved without a temptation and trial. Under these circumstances, while man maintained his faith and integrity, everything about him conspired to make him happy : as soon as he rebelled, the sluices of evils were thrown open upon him : the ways and means for the effeciing this were as easy to the Deity, as they were infinitely various; perhaps a small different direction given to matter, the heightening or leffening some law of motion, some new position to the earth we live upon, might be sufficient to awaken the dormant mischiefs, and wonderfully hurt the ease, the accommodations, or the life of its inhabitants. Thus man was at once punished for what was past, and taught to return to better obedience, if he would at length learn and be wise. In this order of dispensations, we see nothing but what is worthy of God; we see a provifion made for all events; we discover God's righteousness in restraining natural evils, till moral ones made them neceflary: in the whole we diftinguish his mercy, even in punishment; aimning his judgments for our recovery,



and bowing all nature to his great and holy purposes. How incomparably juster and better suited to the nature and attributes of the Deity, is this representation of things, than that which exhibits him struggling with the stubbornness of his materials, and forced, in some measure, to submit to their inflexibility at last!'

In attempting to account for the introducion of moral evil, the Free-inquirer argries, that “ if mifery could not be excluded from the works of the Creator by infinite power, these miseries must be endured by some creatures or other, for the good of the whole ; and if there were none capable of wickedness, they must then fall to the share of the perfectly innocent; here, says he, the Deity is obliged either to affli&t innocence, or be the cause of wickedness: he has plainly no other option. What then could infinite wisdom, justice, and goodness, do in this situation, more consistent with itself, than to call into being creatures formed with such depravity in their difpofitions, as to induce many of them to act in such a manner, as to render themselves proper subjects for such receffary sufferings, and yet at the same time, endued with such a degree of reason and free-will, as to put it in the power of every individual to efcape them by their good behaviour ?” This notion, our author observes, labours under much greater inconveniences than it would remove. For, first, says he, this account of moral evil sets off with the glaring absurdity, that fin, the greatest of all evils, and the highest possible dishonour to the creation, is in this way called in 'by the Creator, as a remedy for evils of a much lower kind than itself, of a mere physical nature, and which infer no moral defilement; a piece of management so unworthy the all-wise God, that it more resembles the ignorant rashness of some bold empirick amongst ourselves, who should cure a pain in the finger, by driving the malady to the heart.—2dly, This remedy, thus devised, to the dishonour of the Deity and his work, is incompetent to effect the end it is pretended to answer. This is said to be, that there might not be wanting wicked persons, whom the natural evils of the world might be justly indicted upon, and so the good and virtuous might thereby escape them. Is it so then that, by this disposition of things, good men escape the cvils of life, and bad iñen suffer them? On the other hand, is there not ordinarily one event to the righteous, and to the wicked ? Does a plague, or an earthquake, make diftin&tions? or do the sufferings of wicked men any more lessen the afflictions of the virtuous, than those of the virtuous relieve the wicked ? It is suficient to ask these questions ; the facts are clear, and anfier for themselves, demonstrating at once, such a course of things, as is utterly VOL. XXIII, February, 1767.


repug “

repugnant to the end in this inquirer's fcheme. But turn the tables ; and fay, as our fore-fathers have wisely and justly said before us, not that lin was contrived for the sake of natural evils, but that natural evils were called forth to punish sin ; and nothing is more worthy of the Deity, nothing more easily understood by any plain honest man, nothing that he so inftantly distinguishes the reasonableness and justice of.-3dly, Neither is the method less daring and obnoxious, in which this remedy is supposed to be introduced into the world. God, feeing the multitude of natural evils, inseparably cleaving to his material creation, did, as the Enquirer frequently tells us, bring into being creatures formed with evil dispositions, by indulging which they would become morally evil, aud fo might in justice have the natural evil laid upon them.....

Thus we Lee the end affigned, unworthy, of God; the ineans, or fin, by which he was to bring about that end, the most contradictory to his holiness; and the punishment inflicted, inconsistent with his justice; whence, instead of being eased from any difficulties on our own account of evil, from the abuse of free-will, we are involved in all the mazes of predestination, nor can this seheme of necessity in the least relieve us.'

After some other observations on the Free Enquirer's account of the Origin of Evil, this writer proceeds to examine the fol, lowing charge against Revelation, viz. “ If God ever conde, fcended to a list our reason with his infinite wisdom, even the religion resulting from that supernatural assistance must still be deficient, in almost every one of the principal requisites neceffary towards accomplishing the great and beneficent ends for which it was designed; must want universality to render it impartial, authenticity to make it demonftrable, perfpicuity to make it intelligible, and policy to make it useful to mankind." On each of these articles he makes some remarks ; and in order to prove the authenticity of our evangelical history, he takes great pains to evince, that the books of the New Testament have been transmitted to us without inter. polation, and that no fpurious writings have been taken by the church into the canon of Scripture.

Mr. Martin is a sensible writer, but his work would have been read with more pleasure, if all the subjecis of which he has treated, had not been before discussed by many, eminent writers.

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VI. The trilory of Miss Pittborough. In a Series of Letters. By a

Lady. 2 Vols. 8.vo. Price 6s. Cadell.
HİS history opens with a letter from its heroine. Mifs

two young ladies; though both formed by nature to be amiable women, are in their characters as opposite to each other as light and shade, earth and air,

The former is a sprightly, generous, undefigning, accomplished beauty, with every grace and virtue which can adorn her sex, but capricious and indocile. With the best of hearts fhe has an intractable temper; and, though void of affectation, she is a finished coquet, fond of admiration, and intoxicated with applause. Miss Nancy her sister lives in the country; is beloved by, and loves, an honest worthy gentleman, to whom she is on the point of giving her hand in marriage ; and practifes all the folid duties of domestic life, is a dutiful child, an affectionate fister, and a valuable sensible friend. During Miss Pittborough's residence in town with her aunt, Mrs Hutchens, (a good-natured affectionate woman, but mother to a.vixen daughter) fhe becomes acquainted with colonel Dingley, who falls in love with her, while she is far from being infenfible to his fine person and acconplishments. The fentiments of her fifter Miss Nancy, whom the makes her confidante on this occasion, are expresive of the author's very moral and instructive plan, as well as the delicacy and elegance of her stile.

• Miss NANCY PITTBOROUGH to Miss PITTBOROUGH. • I wish, my dear sister, that like the travelled pidgeong, you may not foon repent quitting your peaceful happy home : dangers, disasters, innumerable await you; and many schoolboys, perhaps, already suspend a fatal lling to 'wound, at least, your repofe.

• With what unspeakable rapture Mall I receive you once more into our innocent retreat, if you should be so fortunate as to efcape the evils that threaten you.

• That ever vivacity should render any one unamiable :--but yours, like the beauty of a rose, is not without the hidden, thorn.

• Yoar first letter is a too just embiein of your heart, warın, inconstant, vain. How do you neglect the purpose of your b2ing, and abuse one of the best of understandings! and with endowinents that would enable you to shine, or etery benevolent, every rationat occafion, aim at no higher excellence, than the taudry trim that fasion can beftow.

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• You, my dear, are an incontestible instance that vanity is far from being the product of any particular fóil: had you been bred in the gay metropolis from your earlieit infancy, you could not have been a more finished coquet; nor would your simple misjudging heart have felt a stronger flutter at a beau.

. And shall it be said that my sister, whose education has been most unexceptionably delicate and prudent-who has not only received the clearest definition of propriety and decorum, but has been carefully instructed in every religious duty shall it be faid, that sne, taken by the eye and the ear, fancy, idle degenerate fancy, her fupreme judge and monitor---suffered her inclinations to be enslaved by the empty charms of the martial strut, and martial habiliments !

- I shall never forgive myself for promoting this journey, if an improper connexion Thould be the consequence : but it has ever been my weakness to give you, at all times, and upon all cccasions, the preference, I, in many degrees your superior, in the article of gravity at least, should have been in no danger from such an excursion; as I thould have played a timorous, cautious, and consequently fure card : for I am convinced there are more yjung women undone by self-confidence and credu. lity, than by any real propensity to error.

Excule me, but this is not the only circumstance I lament:- and can you, who have ever piqued yourself upon your fpirit and resolution, tamely submit to be fashion-led; even beyond what is consistent either with decency, or your own private taste? Is it not a severe reflection upon your boasted firmness, to want courage to go hand in hand with propriety ; at the same time that your attempt to exculpate yourself, by charging the whole blame upon the fashion-mongers (as you gayly stile the original inventors), justly exposes you to the imputation of meanness. They indeed spread the snare ; but they cannot force or surprise you into it; as they have no power over your judgment, or inclination. They cannot render folly other than folly; and though the general practice may familiarize it, in some degree, and leffen what is preposterous, its unsuitableness and pernicious tendency will ever remain.

" Your person, whatever estimation you may set upon it, will, I fear, prove your greatest misfortune : -- it is impossible to behold it with indifference: the bloom of health and peace that glows upon your cheek -- the agreeable vivacity that fparkles in your eye with the arch smile, occasioned by a ra- : ther becoming dimple, that plays about your not ill-Ihaped mouth, must procure your vanity a perpetual feast. But, my dear filter, fit loose I beseech you to every flattering insinuation.- It, is innocence and good humour that enlightens your countenance;


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