Abbildungen der Seite

sible trades and professions. "A notary of the second order? in Paris had been called upon to advance 30,000 francs, before he could obtain permission to practise. Interest is allowed, but not very regularly discharged. The bills by which the receivers pay the taxes into the treasury, have, in consequence of the state of public credit, been negotiated by government at the enormous discount of its per month. The caisse d'amortissement, or sinking-fund, is such only in name, being diverted from the professed object of reducing the national debt, to supply the general wants of government. It is stated as a notorious fact, such is the bad faith of the French treasury, that no intelligent merchant in America will take a bill upon it, from the highest accredited agent; that the most unquestionable claims are refused payment, and thrown into the arrear, which bears interest, but which no provision has been made to discharge ; a sacrifice, however, of half the claim, to an officer or clerk, will procure prompt payment of the remainder.

The net revenue is estimated at something more than 40 millions sterling : the gross burdens on the people, inclus ding expenses of collection, hire of substitutes for the cons scription, &c. &c. at about 60 millions. The expenses of the court are conjectured to be very near two millions; they are publicly estimated, indeed, at more than 1,100,0001., little less than the expenses of the former court. The whole amount of the public burdens, before the revolution, was calculated by Necker at about 23 millions : the people were then enabled to pay, by the flourishing state of their manufactures and commerce; and the parliaments opposed an effectual check to the exactions of the crowi),

The author draws an afflicting picture of the present conidition of France, the extinction of public spirit, and of the influence of public opinion, the depopulation and decay of the great towns, the decline of agriculture and manufactures, the stagnation of internal trade, the stern dominion of a mili. tary police, the petty oppressions of the soldiery, and the number of mendicants.

The necessities of the French exchequer, so far exceeding the means of the people, are considered by our author as rendering foreign booty an indispensable resource. The de termined hostility to commerce, secretly entertained by Bonaparte, as by every other despotic power, is ably explained, by remarking the tendency of mercantile habits and a free inters course with foreign countries to diffuse knowledge, acute, ness, activity, a love of order, and a spirit of independence. Notwithstanding the pretence of zeal for the liberty of the seas, and the parade of attention to commercial concerns, the French ruler has not always been able to disguise his contempt for trade... He told a deputation of merchants at Hamburgh, that he detested commerce and all its concerns.' (p. 219.) On this principle, in a great measure, the alledged hatred.of Bonaparte to the Americans is accounted for. It is asserted in the most confident terms, that he entertains a design of recovering the territory of Louisiana ceded to them under his auspices by Spain, and that it was with this view he resisted the liberal offers of their government to purchase the Floridas, a most convenient station to facilitate his projects of violence or intrigue. The arts of corruption he employs in America, and especially the activity of hireling presses in his favour, are pla aly and forcibly exposed. The author concludes with inculcating the importance of an union between the two great commercial nations Its temporary inconvenience, he insists, will be abundantly compensated to America by the eventual security it will afford, and its tendency to exalt the national character; the degradation of which he regards as singularly conspicuous, when, at the news of the Spanish war, the people and government of America seemed to rejoice at the triumphi of the invader, and frowned on the efforts of his victims. (p. 252.)

We had intended to insert an eloquent panegyric upoñi this country, to desire the ruin of which, says the author, is, in an American, little less than impious. But we have only room to add, that his warm feelings and lively imagination have led him into a manner of vehemence anu exaggeration, which renders some degree of caution necessary in receiving bis statements; and that the want of method, as well in the general structure, as in particular divisions of the work, will injure both its reputation and its effect. Art. IX. Thoughts on the Sufferings of Christ. By the Author of the

Refuge. 8vo. pp. 76. Price 28. Button, 1810. THE HE letters before us belong to that class of publications,

on which the nature of our work forbids us to decide. The author, we doubt not, is pious and sensible; and his object, in publishing them, is to correct what appear to him important errors, as to the nature of Christ's sufferings, into which he conceives many Christians have fallen. He maintains that Christ did not merely bear the punishment of our fransgressions, but that he was, in strictness of speech, properly punished, that his sufferings were accurately propor, tioned to the number of sins with which all the elect stand charged, and such as distributive justice' required, and that there is an exact transfer of all the sins of the redeemed


to Christ, so that every sin met with just so much punishment as it deserved, and that the aggregate of the punishments due to each of these offences constituted the numerical sum of suffering which our Lord endured upon the cross. He sets out with the following position, I am convinced that the sufferings of Christ were proportioned to the guilt of the many sinners he had undertaken to redeem, and that had the unworthy objects of his merciful regard been more numerous, these sufferings would have likewise been augmented.' (p. 10.) In support of this proposition, he contends, that it would be absurd to suppose that Christ would have suffered as much as he did suffer on the cross, if he had undertaken to redeem only one sinner; and therefore that it follows, as an unavoidable consequence, that his sufferings were an exact. punishment for the offences of just so many as shall be saved, and no more. (p. 11.) By the way, we apprehend the author has deduced his conclusions from a gratuitous assumption ; and that an opponent would demolish his system by simply remarking, that it does not appear to be absurd, that, if Jesus Christ should have thought it right to undertake the exclusive redemption of a single individual, he should suffer what was necessary for that purpose, though those sufferings should have been exactly what they were on the cross. The absurdity seems to lie not in the quantum of suffering, but in the solitary redemption.

The author's opinion of Christ's sufferings seems to be advanced in opposition to theirs who maintain, that, if the value of them be merely considered, they might, for aught they perceive to the contrary, be equal to the salvation of all men, but who nevertheless agree with him that they will avail only to the salvation of those who were • chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.' He appears to hold the doctrine that the election of sinners was prior, in the divine mind, to the gift of his son,--and that only such elect sinners should be exhorted to believe and be saved : whilst his opponents would contend that the gift of his son was prior, in the counsels of God, to the salvation of any particular portion of mankind, -and that sinners were elected, that this gift might not be in vain; these therefore think it right to invite sinners, as such, to believe and be saved. It might perhaps seem that this controversy turns upon a point of no real importance, and that he and his opponents are agreed on what is essential. The author, however, thinks differently, and conceives that the character of God-the demands of justice the analogy of faith-and the hope of believers are involved in this controversy. Yet in the course of these letter he advances so many principles, as points at issue, in

which there seems to be no difference of opinion between him and those whom we imagined to be the object of bis strictures, that we were alınost induced to believe that he had only in view the errors of Socinians. This, we think, may be safely asserted, that those persons whose creed assumes a Calvinistic form, will have but little to dispute with him on many of the subjects he advances as peculiar to his own system, though many of them will be far from acceding to the principles with which he sets out. We suppose, for instance, that there is no question between them whether the execution of the penalty of the law were

a matter of sovereignty or of justice; inor: whether sin were imputed to Christ; nor whether the curse or punishment which was due to us, were borne by him; nor whether by his death he made satisfaction to divine justice; nor whether there be any inconsistency between satisfaction and free remission ; por whether the law be relaxed in the salvation of sinners through a mediator. Yet if this be the case, a considerable portion of these letters, and especially the last, seems to be irrelevant.-We are disposed to think that the turning point of what is really disputable in this tract, would lie in the author's ideas of justice and imputation.' He seems to consider distributive justice' (p. 15.) as constituting the ground of Christ's satisfaction, and that every sin of every one of the redeemed, under every circumstance of mitigation or aggravation, must, in strictness, be laid upon Christ, and the exact punishment of the aggregate be sustained by him, before an acquittal can be pronounced at the bar of justice; while others maintain that, according to distributive justice (which is the treating of every individual according to his personal character), there is no room for a vicarious sacrifice at all, and that, as all have sinned, distributive justice requires all should snffer the penalty of transgression. Upon this principle, they contend that there can be no commutation either of person or penalty, and no room whatever for the exercise of mercy. They maintain, therefore, the doctrine of the atonement on the principle of public justice. This, they contend, is the guardian of all laws. Sin breaks in: upon order the infliction of a proper penalty is intended to repair this breach-and whatever does repair this breach, satisfies public justice. This makes way for a vicarious sacrifice; this admits of a commutation of persons and penalties, and opens a door of hope to the believer in Jesus. Hence, they do not so much consider what is the exact nature and quantum of the sufferings of Christ, as inquire whether God has accepted them as a satisfaction to publíc justice considering them as sufficient to maintain bis authority unimpaired, and make his law honourable:: and while they contemplate the union of the divine with the human nature in Christ Jesus, they feel no doubt that he has completely fulfilled the work he undertook. With regard to imputation, they think it enough to maintain that Christ was treated as though he had been a sinner, without supposing that an actual transfer of sins was made to him: and they entertain the same ideas of the imputed righteousness of Christ. It is not our province to adjust these points of difference : yet as the friends of vital religion, as having deeply at heart the peace and prosperity of the church, we cannot but express our regret that matters of such nice speculation are so frequently magnified beyond wbat appears to us their real importance. We can never forget that the first teachers of Christianity were men of plain sense, and addressed men of the same character; that neither they nor their converts were conversant with metaphysical subtilties; and that matters of

stly greater importance occupied their attention : nay, that they frequently inculcate cautions against a disputatious turn of mind, and urge the necessity of candour and mutual forbearance. We do not however mean to go the length of asserting that such controversies as the present ought never to be engaged in. Under particular circumstances, they may be indispensably necessary. Justice also requires us to say:

tlsat the author before us has conducted this controversy in a Christian spirit. We have noticed nothing that can justly offend those from whom he differs. He writes like a man who is fully convinced of the truth of his own sentiments, and is desirous of setting others right on the same points; but there are no personal allusions or reflections, and we give him full credit for being an amiable, well informed, and pious Christian. Art. X. A Letter to Sir John Nicholl, Official Principal of the

Arches Court of Canterbury, &c. on his late Decision in the Eccle, siastical Court, against a Clergymán, for refusing to bury the Child of a Dissenter : with a Preface, most humbly addressed to the Most Reverend and Right Reverend the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England. By a Clergyman. 8vo. pp. 70, Price 28. J.J.

Stockdale. 1810. Art. XI. The Judgement, delivered December 11, 1809, by the

Right Honourable Sir John Nicholl, Knt. LL. D. Official Principal of the Arches Court of Canterbury, upon the Admission of Articles exhibited in a Cause of Office promoted by Kemp, against Wickes, Clerk, for refusing to bury an infant Child of Two of his Parishioners, who had been baptized by a Dissenting Minister. Taken in Shorthand by Mr. Gurney. 8vo. pp. 48. Price 1s. 6d. ; large paper 28. 6d.

Butterworth, Conder. 1810. A MONG. the numerous events, of which the origin is evil

and the consequence good, we must class the offence of

« ZurückWeiter »