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are at least admirably useful in shewing the corruption of nature, by so unnatural sentiments and suggestions.
a Nonconformist divine, born 1628, died 1680, was the author of some of the greatest of uninspired productions,-Discourses upon the Existence and Attributes of God, Lond., 1684, fol., and later editions.
"Perspicuity and depth; metaphysical sublimity and evangelical simplicity; immense learning, but irrefragable reasoning, conspire to render this performance one of the most inestimable productions that ever did honour to the sanctified judgment and genius of a human being."-TOPLADY.
"Mr. Charnock with his masculine style and inexhaustible vein of thought."-HERVEY.
OF GOD'S KNOWLEDGE.
God hath an infinite knowledge and understanding. All knowledge. Omnipresence, which before we spake of, respects his essence; omniscience respects his understanding, according to our manner of conception. This is clear in Scripture; hence God is called a God of knowledge (1 Sam. ii. 3), "the Lord is a God of knowledge," Heb. knowledges, in the plural number, of all kind of knowledge; it is spoken there to quell man's pride in his own reason and parts; what is the knowledge of man but a spark to the whole element of fire, a grain of dust, and worse than nothing, in comparison of the knowledge of God, as his essence is in comparison of the essence of God? All kind of knowledge.
He knows what angels know, what man knows, and infinitely more; he knows himself, his own operations, all his creatures, the notions and thoughts of them; he is understanding above understanding, mind above mind, the mind of minds, the light of lights; this the Greek word, Oɛòs, signifies in the etymology of it, of Osova, to see, to contemplate and Cayor of Law, scio. The names of God signify a nature, viewing and piercing all things; and the attribution of our senses to God in Scripture, as hearing and seeing, which are the senses whereby knowledge enters into us, signifies God's knowledge.
1. The notion of God's knowledge of all things lies above the ruins of nature; it was not obliterated by the fall of man. It was necessary offending man was to know that he had a Creator whom he had injured, that he had a Judge to try and punish him; since God thought fit to keep up the world, it had been kept up to no purpose had not this notion been continued alive in the minds
of men; there would not have been any practice of his laws, no bar to the worst of crimes. If men had thought they had to deal with an ignorant Deity, there could be no practice of religion. Who would lift up his eyes, or spread his hands towards heaven, if he imagined his devotion were directed to a God as blind as the heathens imagined fortune? To what boot would it be for them to make
heaven and earth resound with their cries,
if they had not thought God had an eye to see them, and an ear to hear them? And indeed the very notion of a God at the first blush, speaks him a Being endued with understanding; no man can imagine a Creator void of one of the noblest perfections belonging to those creatures that are the flower and cream of his works.
2. Therefore all nations acknowledge this, as well as the existence and being of God. No nation but had their temples, particular ceremonies of worship, and presented their sacrifices, which they could not have been so vain as to do without an acknowledgment of this attribute. This notion of God's knowledge owed not its rise to tradition, but to natural implantation; it was born and grew up with every rational creature. Though the several nations and men of the world agreed not in one kind of deity, or in their sentiments of his nature or other perfections, some judging him clothed with a fine and pure body, others judging him an uncompounded spirit, some fixing him to a seat in the heavens, others owning his universal presence in all parts of the world; yet they all agreed in the universality of his knowledge, and their own consciences reflecting their crimes, unknown to any but themselves, would keep this notion in some vigour, whether they would or no. Now this being implanted in the minds of all men by nature, cannot be false, for nature imprints not in the minds of all men an assent to a falsity. Nature would not pervert the reason and minds of men. Universal notions of God are from original not lapsed nature, and preserved in mankind in order to a restoration from a lapsed state. The heathens did acknowledge this: in all the solemn covenants, solemnized with oaths and the invocation of the name of God, this attribute was supposed. They confessed knowledge to be peculiar to the Deity; scientia deorum vita, saith Cicero. Some called Novs, mens, mind, pure understanding, without any note Exóns, the inspector of all. As they called him life, because he was the author of life, so they called him intellectus, because he was the author of all knowledge and understanding in his creatures; and one being asked, whether any man could be hid from God? No, saith he,
not so much as thinking. Some call him the eye of the world; and the Egyptians represented God by an eye on the top of a sceptre, because God is all eye, and can be ignorant of nothing.
And the same nation made eyes and ears of the most excellent metals, consecrating them to God, and hanging them up in the midst of their temples, in signification of God's seeing and hearing all things; hence they called God Light, as well as the Scrip*ure, because all things are visible to him. Discourse upon the Existence and Attributes of God.
ON THE WISDOM OF GOD.
The wisdom of God is seen in this way redemption, in vindicating the honour and righteousness of the law, both in precept and penalty. The first and irreversible design of the law was obedience. The penalty of the law had only entrance upon transgression. Obedience was the design, and the penalty was added to enforce the observance of the precept (Gen. ii. 17): "Thou shalt not eat; there is the precept: "In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt die;" there is the penalty. Obedience was our debt to the law, as creatures; punishment was due from the law to us, as sinners: we were bound to endure the penalty for our first transgression, but the penalty did not cancel the bond of future obedience: the penalty had not been incurred without transgressing the precept; yet the precept was not abrogated by enduring the penalty. Since man so soon revolted, and by his revolt fell under the threatening, the justice of the law had been honoured by man's sufferings, but the holiness and equity of the law had been honoured by man's obedience. The wisdom of God finds out a medium to satisfy both the justice of the law is preserved in the execution of the penalty; and the holiness of the law is honoured in the observance of the precept. The life of our Saviour is a conformity to the precept, and his death is a conformity to the penalty; the precepts are exactly performed, and the curse punctually executed, by a voluntary observing the one, and a voluntary undergoing the other. It is obeyed as if it had not been transgressed, and executed as if it had not been obeyed. It became the wisdom, justice, and holiness of God, as the Rector of the world, to exact it (IIeb. ii. 10), and it became the holiness of the Mediator to "fulfil all the righteousness of the law" (Rom. viii. 3; Matt. iii. 15). And thus the honour of the law was vindicated in all the parts of it. The transgression of the
law was condemned in the flesh of the Redeemer, and the righteousness of the law was fulfilled in his person: and both these acts of obedience, being counted as one righteousness, and imputed to the believing sinner, render him a subject to the law, both in its preceptive and minatory part. By Adam's sinful acting we were made sinners, and by Christ's righteous acting we are made righteous (Rom. v. 19): "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." The law was obeyed by him that the righteousness of it might be fulfilled in us (Rom. viii. 4). It is not fulfilled in us, or in our actions, by inherency, but fulfilled in us by imputation of that righteousness which was exactly fulfilled by another. As he died for us, and rose again for us, so he lived for us. The commands of the law were as well observed for us as the threatenings of the law were endured for us. This justification of a sinner, with the preservation of the holiness of the law in truth, in the inward parts, in sincerity of intention, as well as conformity in action, is the wisdom of God, the gospel wisdom which David desires to know (Ps. li. 6): "Thou desirest truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom;" or, as some render it, "the hidden things of wisdom." Not an inherent wisdom in the acknowledgments of his sin, which he had confessed before, but the wisdom of God in providing a medicine, so as to keep up the holiness of the law in the observance of it in truth, and the averting the judgment due to the sinner. In and by this way methodized by the wisdom of God, all doubts and troubles are discharged. Naturally, if we take a view of the law to behold its holiness and justice, and then of our hearts, to see the contrariety in them to the command, and the pollution repugnant to its holiness; and after this, cast our eyes upward, and behold a flaming sword, edged with curses and wrath; is there any matter but that of terror afforded by any of these? But when we behold in the life of Christ a sustaining the minatory part of the law, this wisdom of God gives a well-grounded and rational dismiss to all the horrors that can seize upon us. Ibid.
ON THE POWER OF GOD.
Though God hath a power to furnish every creature with greater and nobler perfections than he hath bestowed upon it, yet he hath framed all things in the perfectest manner, and most convenient to that end for which he intended them. Every thing is endowed
with the best nature and quality suitable to God's end in creation, though not in the best manner for itself. In regard of the universal end, there cannot be a better; for God himself is the end of all things, who is the Supreme Goodness. Nothing can be better than God, who could not be God if he were not superlatively best, or optimus; and he hath ordered all things for the declaration of his goodness or justice, according
to the behaviour of his creatures. Man doth not consider what strength or power he can put forth in the means he useth to attain such an end, but the suitableness of them to his main design, and so fits and marshals them to his grand purpose. Had God only
created things that are most excellent, created only angels and men; how, then, would his wisdom have been conspicuous in other works in the subordination and subserviency of them to one another? God therefore determined his power by his wisdom: and though his absolute power could have made every creature better, yet his ordinate power, which in every step was regulated by his wisdom, made every thing best for his designed intention. A musician hath a power to wind up a string on a lute to a higher and more perfect note in itself, but in wisdom he will not do it, because the intended melody would be disturbed thereby if it were not suited to the other strings on the instrument; a discord would mar and taint the harmony which the lutinist designed. God, in creation, observed the proportions of nature: he can make a spider as strong as a lion; but according to the order of nature which he hath settled, it is not convenient that a creature of so small a compass should be as strong as one of a greater bulk. The absolute power of God could have prepared a body for Christ as glorious as that he had after his resurrection; but that had not been agreeable to the end designed in his humiliation: and therefore God acted most perfectly by his ordinate power, in giving him a body that wore the livery of our infirmities. God's power is always regulated by his wisdom and will; and though it produceth not what is most perfect in itself, yet what is most perfect and decent in relation to the end he fixed. And so in his providence, though he could rack the whole frame of nature to bring about his end in a more miraculous way and astonishment to mortals, yet his power is usually and ordinarily confined by his will to act in concurrence with the nature of the creatures, and direct them according to the laws of their being, to such ends which he aims at in their conduct, without violencing their nature.
HON. ROBERT BOYLE, seventh son of the "Great Earl of Cork," died in London, 1691. He was the author was born in Munster, Ireland, 1627, and of many treatises narrating the results of his investigations and experiments in pneumatics, chemistry, medicine, and kindred subjects; published some theological works, and founded the Boyle Lecture, “designed to prove the truth of the Christian Religion among Infidels."
"To Boyle the world is indebted, besides some very acute remarks and many fine illustrations of his own upon metaphysical questions of the highest moment, for the philosophical arguments in defence of religion, which have added so much lustre to the names of Derham and Bentley; and, far above both, to that of Clarke. . . . I do not recollect to have seen it anywhere noticed, that some of the most striking and beautiful instances of design in the order of the material world, which occur in the sermons preached at Boyle's Lecture, are borrowed from the works of the DUGALD STEWART: Dissert., First Encyc. Brit.
THE STUDY OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY FAVOURABLE TO RELIGION.
The first advantage that our experimental philosopher, as such, hath towards being a Christian, is, that his course of studies conduceth much to settle in his mind a firm belief of the existence, and divers of the chief attributes of God; which belief is, in the order of things, the first principle of that natural religion which itself is prerequired to revealed religion in general, and consequently to that in particular which is embraced by Christians.
That the consideration of the vastness, beauty, and regular motions of the heavenly bodies, the excellent structure of animals and plants, besides a multitude of other phenomena of nature, and the subserviency of most of these to man, may justly induce him, as a rational creature, to conclude that this vast, beautiful, orderly, and (in a word) many ways admirable system of things, that we call the world, was framed by an author supremely powerful, wise, and good, can scarce be denied by an intelligent and unprejudiced considerer. And this is strongly confirmed by experience, which witnesseth that in almost all ages and countries the generality of philosophers and contemplative men were persuaded of the existence of a Deity by the consideration of the phenomena of the universe, whose fabric and conduct, they rationally concluded, could not be deservedly ascribed either to blind chance, or to any other cause than a divine Being.
But though it be true that God hath not
left himself without witness, even to perfunctory considerers, by stamping upon divers of the more obvious parts of his workmanship such conspicuous impressions of his attributes, that a moderate degree of understanding and attention may suffice to make men acknowledge his being, yet I scruple not to think that assent very much inferior to the belief that the same objects are fitted to produce in a heedful and intelligent contemplator of them. For the works of God are so worthy of their author, that besides the impresses of his wisdom and goodness that were left, as it were, upon their surfaces, there are a great many more curious and excellent tokens and effects of divine artifice in the hidden and innermost recesses of them; and these are not to be discovered by the perfunctory looks of oscitant and unskilful beholders; but require, as well as deserve, the most attentive and prying inspection of inquisitive and wellinstructed considerers. And sometimes in one creature there may be I know not how many admirable things that escape a vulgar eye, and yet may be clearly discerned by that of a true naturalist, who brings with him, besides a more than common curiosity and attention, a competent knowledge of anatomy, optics, cosmography, mechanics, and chemistry. But treating elsewhere purposely of this subject, it may here suffice to say, that God has couched so many things in his visible works, that the clearer light a man has the more he may discover of their unobvious exquisiteness, and the more clearly and distinctly he may discern those qualities that lie more obvious. And the more wonderful things he discovers in the works of nature, the more auxiliary proofs he meets with to establish and enforce the argument, drawn from the universe and its parts, to evince that there is a God; which is a proposition of that vast weight and importance, that it ought to endear everything to us that is able to confirm it, and afford us new motives to acknowledge and adore the divine Author of things.
giving men injurious and irreverent thoughts of it, and diverting them from allowing the Scripture the best way of justifying itself, and disabusing them. Than which scarce anything can be more prejudicial to a book that needs but to be sufficiently understood to be highly venerated; the writings these men criminate, and would keep others from reading, being like that honey which Saul's rash adjuration withheld the Israelites from eating, which, being tasted, not only gratified the taste, but enlightened the eyes. Of the considerations, then, that I am to lay before you, there are three or four which are of a more general nature; and therefore being such as may each of them be pertinently employed against several of the exceptions taken at the Scripture's style, it will not be inconvenient to mention them before the rest.
And, in the first place, it should be considered that those cavillers at the style of the Scripture, that you and I have hitherto met with, do (for want of skill in the original, especially in the Hebrew) judge of it by the translations, wherein alone they read it. Now, scarce any but a linguist will imagine how much a book may lose of its elegancy by being read in another tongue than that it was written in, especially if the languages from which and into which the version is made be so very differing as are those of the eastern and these western parts of the world. But of this I foresee an occasion of saying something hereafter; yet at present I must observe to you that the style of the Scripture is much more disadvantaged than that of other books, by being judged of by translations; for the religious and just veneration that the interpreters of the Bible have had for that sacred book has made them, in most places, render the Hebrew and Greek passages so scrupulously word for word, that, for fear of not keeping close enough to the sense, they usually care not how much they lose of the eloquence of the passages they translate. So that, whereas in those versions of other books that are made by good linguists the interpreters are
SOME CONSIDERATIONS TOUCHING THE STYLE wont to take the liberty to recede from the
OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
These things, dear Theophilus, being thus despatched, I suppose we may now seasonably proceed to consider the style of the Scripture; a subject that will as well require as deserve some time and much attention, in regard that divers witty men, who freely acknowledge the authority of the Scripture, take exceptions at its style, and by those, and their own reputation divert many from studying, or so much as perusing, those sacred writings, thereby at once
author's words, and also substitute other phrases instead of his that they may express his meaning without injuring his reputation, in translating the Old Testament interpreters have not put Hebrew phrases into Latin or English phrases, but only into Latin or English words, and have too often, besides, by not sufficiently understanding, or at least considering, the various significations of words, particles, and senses in the holy tongue, made many things appear less coherent, or less rational, or less considerable, which, by a more free and skilful rendering
of the original, would not be blemished by any appearance of such imperfection. And though this fault of interpreters be pardonable enough in them, as carrying much of its excuse in its cause, yet it cannot but much derogate from the Scripture to appear with peculiar disadvantages, besides those many that are common to almost all books, by being translated.
born 1628, died 1688, will always be remembered as the author of The Pilgrim's Progress (first edition, First Part, Lond., 1678, fp. 8vo), of which Lord Macaulay remarks:
the inhabitants of the country called them the holy people, the redeemed of the Lord, sought out," &c.
Now, as they walked in this land, they had more rejoicing than in parts more remote from the kingdom to which they were bound; and, drawing near to the City, they had yet a more perfect view thereof. It was builded of pearls and precious stones; also the streets thereof were paved with gold; so that, by reason of the natural glory of the City, and the reflection of the sunbeams upon it, Christian with desire fell sick. Hopeful also had a fit or two of the same disease. Wherefore here they lay by it for a while, crying out because of their pangs, "If you see my beloved, tell him that I am sick of love."
"There is no book in our literature on which we could so readily stake the fame of the old, un- But being a little strengthened, and better polluted English language; no book which shows able to bear their sickness, they walked on so well how rich that language is in its own proper their way, and came yet nearer and nearer, wealth, and how little it has been improved by all where were orchards, vineyards, and gardens, that it has borrowed. . . . We are not afraid to and their gates opened into the highway. say that, though there were many clever men in England during the latter part of the seventeenth Now, as they came up to these places, becentury, there were only two great creative minds. hold the gardener stood in the way; to One of those minds produced the Paradise Lost, whom the pilgrims said, "Whose goodly the other, The Pilgrim's Progress."-LORD MA- vineyards and gardens are these?" He anCAULAY: Review of Southey's Edition of the Pil-swered, "They are the King's, and are grim's Progress; Edin. Rev., Dec. 1830, and in Macaulay's Essays.
THE APPROACH TO THE GOLDEN CITY. Now I saw in my dream that by this time the Pilgrims were got over the Enchanted ground; and entering into the country of Beulah, whose air was very sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly through it, they solaced themselves there for a season. Yea, here they heard continually the singing of birds, and saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard the voice of the turtle in the land. In this country the sun shineth night and day: wherefore this was beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and also out of the reach of Giant Despair; neither could they from this place so much as see Doubting Castle. Here they were within sight of the City they were going to: also here met them some of the inhabitants thereof; for in this land the shining ones commonly walked, because it was upon the borders of heaven. In this land also the contract between the Bride and the Bridegroom was renewed: yea, here, "as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so doth their God rejoice over them." Here they had no want of corn and wine; for in this place they met with abundance of what they had sought for in all their pilgrimage. Here they heard voices from out of the city, loud voices, saying, "Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh! Behold, his reward is with him!" Here all
planted here for his own delight, and also for the solace of pilgrims." So the gardener had them into the vineyards, and bid them refresh themselves with the dainties; he also showed them there the King's walks and arbours, where he delighted to be: and here they tarried and slept.
Now I beheld in my dream, that they talked more in their sleep at this time than ever they did in all their journey: and being in a muse thereabout, the gardener said even to me, Wherefore musest thou at the matter? it is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vineyards, "to go down so sweetly as to cause the lips of them that are asleep to speak."
So I saw that when they awoke, they addressed themselves to go up to the City. But, as I said, the reflection of the sun upon the City (for the City was pure gold) was so extremely glorious, that they could not as yet with open face behold it, but through an instrument made for that purpose. So I saw that, as they went on, there met them two men in raiment that shone like gold, also their faces shone as the light. Now, you must note, that the City stood upon a mighty hill: but the pilgrims went up that hill with ease, because they had these two men to lead them up by the arms: they had likewise left their mortal garments behind them in the river; for though they went in with them, they came out without them. They therefore went up here with much agility and speed, though the foundation upon which