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and to them only in a ceremonial, not in a moral sense. The real ground of forgiveness to Christians, ancient or modern, is repentance for sin, and reformation of conduct: and of acceptance with God, personal righteousness of heart and life. So that all we have to depend upon, is the degree of virtue we have in ourselves, and the mercy of God, who is pleased in his great goodness to accept of imperfect obedience to his laws from his frail creatures, when a more perfect obedience was due.”
To every mind which has derived its sentiments of religion from the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ, this extract cannot fail to convey instruction, and to serve as an antidote against Socinianism. For certainly, if a person were to sit down with the express design to to contrive how he could explain away to nothing the invaluable blessings of the Gospel, and bring it into contempt; and how he could most flatly contradict the sacred Scriptures, and set up a system in direct opposition to them, he would follow the very course which Mr. K. has chosen.
It has been said by the friends of Mr. Kenrick that “he did think for himself.” The reader of these volumes will not doubt the truth of their assertion. He did indeed think for himself, and would not allow even God to think for him : for he might safely have adopted as a motto, ‘My ways are not thy ways, nor my thoughts as thy thoughts.'
From what has been said, it will be seen, that this is a Socinian commentary, written by a sensible and well informed man, the necessities of whose creed, however, suggest such laws of interpretation as, if applied to the classics, would render them utterly unintelligible. The examples surely require no other remark, than that if such principles be the real doctrines of the Bible, it is the most obscure and ill contrived book in the world ; it is calculated to convey, in almost every page, erroneous notions, and has in fact conveyed them wherever it has been read; it must therefore forfeit all claims to divine origin, and be considered as the disgrace of even human literature.
We should add, that the work is destitute of any merits that could render it serviceable to those who are satisfied with the plain meaning of Scripture, and have no wish to see it perverted into some kind of conformity with the Socinian creed.
SKETCH OF THE LIFE AND CONVERSION OF THE LATE DR. GOOD.
A volume has lately been published in England, entitled “Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Character, literary, professional, and religious, of the late John Mason Good, M. D. F. R. S. F.R.S. L. &c. &c. By Olinthus Gregory, LL. D., Professor of Mathematics in the Royal Military Academy." From a Review of this volume in the Eclectic for June last, we extract the following sketch of the life and conversion of Dr. Good.
“ DR. Good occupied a prominent place among his literary and professional compeers. His works (extending to two quarto and many octavo volumes) are singularly laborious and diversified ; comprising, Medical Literature, Poetical Translation, Natural History, and Biblical Criticism and Philology. His leading faculty was that of acquisition, which he possessed in a remarkable measurer His diligence was as extraordinary as were his versatility of talent and his powers of retention. His philological attainments, if not profound, were singularly extensive. The exuberant stores of his knowledge were methodized and connected together in his mind by principles of philosophical arrangement. The range of his acquisitions, and his readiness in applying them, might entitle him to the denomination of a living cyclopedia.
“ With the mathematical sciences he was almost entirely unacquainted; but, making this exception, there was scarcely a region of human knowledge which he had not entered, and but few indeed into which he had not made considerable advances; and wherever he found an entrance, there he retained a permanent possession ; for, to the last, he never forgot what he once knew. .“ In short, had he published nothing but his Translation of Lucretius, he would have acquired a high character for free, varied, and elegant versification, for exalted acquisitions as a philosopher and as a linguist, and for singular felicity in the choice and exhibition of materials in a rich store of critical and tasteful illustration. Had he published nothing but his Translation of the Book of Job, he would have obtained an eminent station among Hebrew scholars and the promoters of biblical criticism. And, had he published nothing but his Study of Medicine, his name would, in the opinion of one of his ablest professional correspondents, have gone down to posterity, associated with the science of medicine itself, as one of its most skilful practitioners, and one of its most learned promoters. I know not how to name another individual who has arrived at equal eminence in three such totally distinct departments of mental application. Let this be duly weighed in connexion with the marked inadequacy of his early education (notwithstanding its peculiar advantages in some respects) to form either a scientific and skilful medical practitioner, or an excellent scholar; and there cannot but result a high estimate of the original powers with which he was endowed, and of the inextinguishable ardor with which, through life, he augmented their energy, and enlarged their sphere of action.”
Dr. Good has left behind him, a Translation of the. Book of Psalms, with a Dissertation and critical Notes, and also of the Book of Proverbs.
“On comparing the Dissertation and Notes which accompany this Translation of the Psalms, with those which are published with Dr. Good's Translation of the Book of Job, we perceive a great difference, not in point of talent, but in reference to the simple exhibition of devout sentiment. In the former (the last mentioned,) there is much learning, much research, and some display ; in the latter also, the learning and research are equally evident; but they are evinced in the results, not in the effort of the author, whose intellect seems absorbed, while his devotion is enkindled by the holy inspiration of the sublime compositions to which his best feelings were so long enchained. Hence, I think that it will be found, that though the fancy has predominated in sketching the history of the several psalms, yet, with regard to fixing the precise meaning of the text, a more uniform sobriety of interpretation prevails, than in any of our author's previous attempts as a sacred commentator."
Up to the year 1807, Mr. Good was connected with a Socinian congregation; he was, moreover, an avowed materialist, and had adopted the notion of the Universalists' respecting future punishment. In that year, however, he gave the first decided proof of a growing dissatisfaction with the doctrines of scepticism, by breaking off his connexion with the society. The reason he assigns for this step, in a letter to the minister of the chapel, will shew that it was not taken upon slight grounds. It appears that the reverend apostle of disbelief had, on the preceding Sunday, asserted in the pulpit, that it is impossible to demonstrate the existence and attributes of God; or had at least treated the a priori demonstration of the Divine existence as unsatisfactory and 'exploded,' without putting his audience in possession of any better method of proof. The following is part of Mr. Good's letter.
“I sincerely respect your talents and the indefatigable attention you have paid to biblical and theological subjects; I have the fullest conviction of your sincerity and desire to promote what you believe to be the great cause of truth and Christianity ; but I feel severely that our minds are not constituted alike; and being totally incapable of entering into that spirit of scepticism which you deem it your duty to inculcate from the pulpit, I should be guilty of hypocrisy, if I were any longer to countenance, by a personal attendance on your ministry, a system which (even admitting it to be right in itsell) is at least repugnant to my own heart and my own understanding."
This decisive step naturally led to a re-examination of the principles and notions which Mr. Good had long held in common with the congregation from which he now seceded; and the result was, a gradual surrender of all the distinguishing tenets of the Socinian creed. Still, the change was, as yet, only a revolution in his speculative opinions ; an important and genial change, inasmuch as it involved an escape from the entanglement and delusion of fatal error and sophistry, and the removal of the most serious intellectual obstructions to the moral influence of divine truth. But his understanding was entirely convinced, long before his heart was transformed. It was a considerable time, we are told, before his more correct opinions'assumed the character of principles of action, and issued, by God's blessing, in the transformation of his heart and affections. For several years, subsequently to this period, he devoted a great portion of his Sunday mornings and evenings to the prosecution of his biblical studies, to which he always discovered a strong attachment. From 1808 to the beginning of 1812, these leisure hours were occupied with his translation of the Book of Job, and the notes which are appended to it. Within the whole compass of these notes, says his biographer,
“I am not aware that there is a specific reference to the plan of
the Gospel as a restorative dispensation, in which, by the atoning efficacy of a Saviour's blood, sin may be pardoned, and, by the purifying energy of the Holy Spirit, man may be raised to the dignity from which he has fallen, and again shine in the image of God. He did not appear, therefore, as yet, to regard this as entirely essential to true religion ; in other words, to consider the evangelical system as the only solid basis of a rational hope of eternal felicity and glory.”
Still, it was manifest to those who were most in his company and confidence, that there was a progression of sentiment, which evinced itself in the growing thoughtfulness of his habits, his increased anxiety to cultivate the acquaintance of pious men, and a certain mellowing of his character. In the summer of 1815, Mr. Good first distincly announced to his biographer, to whom he must have known how gratifying would be the communication, his cordial persuasion, that the evangelical representation of the doctrines of Scripture, is that which alone accords with the system of revealed truth.
“ He said, he had greatly hesitated as to the correctness of a proposition I had advanced a few years before, that there was no intermediate ground upon which a sound reasoner could make a fair stand, between that of pure deism, and that of moderate orthodoxy, as held by the evangelical classes, both of churchmen and dissenters; but that he now regarded that proposition as correct. At the saine time, he detailed several of the Socinian and Arian interpretations: of passages usually brought forward in these disputes, and, with his accustomed frankness, explained how he had come, by degrees, to consider them all as unsatisfactory, and, for an accountable being, unsafe."
Of this gradual modification of his sentiments, and of the decision which they at length attained, the manuscript notes in his Bible, and his private papers, present the most interesting evidence. Domestic anxieties and trials, the threatening illness of his daughter, and the death, in 1823, of his accomplished and excellent sonin-law, Rev. Cornelius Neale, appear to have had the happiest influence in confirming him in Christian principles, and inducing a greater degree of spirituality of mind. For the last seven or eight years of his life, Dr. Good was a zealous and active supporter of Bible and Missionary societies. To the concerns of the Church Missionary Society, more especially, he devoted himself with the utmost activity and ardor, as an able member of its committee. And during the few years immediately preceding the close of his life, his occasional papers exhibit a rapid advancement in meetness of character for the heavenly inheritance. Of these, we have several very impressive specimens : we select the first as being of convenient length.
And Enoch walked with God. Gen. v. 24. “ This is the only walk in which we can never go astray; and happy he who, amidst the innumerable paths by which he is surrounded, is led to the proper walk. To walk with God, we must take heed to every step of his providence and his grace; we must have a holy fear of not keeping close to him ; though he will never leave us, if we do not leave him. We must maintain a sacred communion with him, and have our conversation in heaven, rather than on earth; we must be perpetually receding from the world, and withdrawing from its attachments. We must feel our hearts glow with a greater degree of love to him, and, by the influence of his Holy Spirit upon our affections, become gradually more assimilated to the Divine nature. We must take his word for our directory, his promises for our food, and his blessed Son for our sole reliance, making the foot of the cross our only resting place. If we thus walk with God through the wilderness of life, he will walk with us when we reach the dark 'valley of the shadow of death ;' and though we cannot hope for the same translation as Enoch, still, like him, 'we shall not be, because God hath taken us.'"
As a specimen at once of Dr. Good's poetical talents and of his religious sentiments and feelings at this period, we insert the following stanzas, written apparently after hearing a sermon on John i. 1.
" () word ! O wisdom! heaven's high theme!
Where must the theme begin ?-
Yet sacrifice for sin!
Thy boldest powers excite,
And arın thee for the fight.
Of things to sense reveal'd,
Th' abyss of things conceald.
The sinner's contrite sighs,
Or frankincense to rise.
By logic's nicest plan,
Nor aught divine be man:
Whose fiat form'd the sky,
Nor breathe, and groan, and die.
Here learning I despise,
To heavenly minds supplies.
Of rapture and of grief!-
O, help my unbelief.” From the beginning of 1822, Dr. Good's health began to decline; and a severe fit of gout, which was brought on, in his own opinion, by too much mental excitement in completing his Study of Medicine, seems to have been regarded by himself as a providential