Abbildungen der Seite

several Turks standing by as spectators. This being over, they retire out of the church, and most of the pilgrims are entertained by the father guardian at the convent,


[ocr errors]


MAGAZINE SIR, TN your number for September last, p. 180, your corre

spondent S.C. objects to Mr. Ludlam's opinion respecting the “share which the actual sinfulness of mankind has in subjecting them to, or continuing them under, the sentence of mortality." The opinion which is thus objected to, is contained in Mr. Ludlam's “ Remarks on Mr. Locke's Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St. Paul,” inserted in your Number for August last, and is there thus expressed : “ It seems as if the sin,or rather the sinfulness, i. e. the disposition to yield to sinful motives, had some share in producing the present situation of mankind. For the Apostle says-As by one man sin entered into the world, (i.e. the state and condition of mankind became a sinful state), and death (the appointed punishment of disobedience to God's commands) by sin, and so death possed upon all men, for that (i. e. because) all have sin, ned:Rom.v. 12. There is, I believe, no real difference of opinion between your correspondent and Mr. Ludlam; yet he seems, by not 'entering fully into the meaning eir ther of Mr. Ludlam or the Apostle, to have thrown into the subject a little confusion, which it may be proper to remove. His mistake of the former arose, probably, from his confounding sinfulness with actual sin." Mr. Ludlam does not say, that the actual sins of men, but their sinfulness, i. e. the disposition, derived from Adam's transgression, to yield to sinful motives, has some share in produca ing their present situation, i. e. their subjection to death, *The meaning of Mr. Ludlam, therefore, who had before "admitted, that “ death was the consequence of Adam's

transgression," transgression,” amounts to no more than this that the depravity of human nature, the disposition to yield to sina ful motives, which is derived from Adam's transgression, and which was foreseen to be the consequence of it, had a share in drawing forth the sentence of mortality, which was passed upon the human race. There is nothing, surely, in this, which “ tends to confound any rational and consistent scheme of divinity;" neither is it inconsistent with your correspondent's opinion, that “ the sentence of mortality is to be referred to Adam's transgression.” In one sense, this sentence may be referred to Adam's transgression, and Mr. Ludlam himself has so referred it; in another, it may be referred to what was perhaps the necessary, and undoubtedly the foreseen, consequence of that transgression; and these two references are by no means inconsistent with each other. If we admit God tohave foreseen the effect of Adam's transgression on his offspring, to have foreseen, what we know to have been verified by fact, that all mankind would “corrupt their way upon the earth," and become sinners, there must be a liberty, unless it be taken away by a revelation to the contrary, of supposing, which is all that Mr. Ludlam has done, that the foresight of this corruption was one of the reasons, that gave rise to the sentence of mortality, under which mankind now lie. After the fall of Adam, the nature of man became so depraved, that, morally speaking, perfect or unsinning obedience became impossible; and it is not improbable, that, after the first introduction of sin, such a renovation of the nature of man, as could not be effected but by his suffering death, or a change adequate to death, was necessary, in order to his restoration to a state and capacity of happiness. “We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed: for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

But further, Mr. Ludlam is supported in his opinion by the authority of St. Paul. The meaning of Rom. v. 12. undoubtedly is, that death passed upon all men, because all men, in consequence of that depravity of their nature, which followed upon Adam's transgression, have sinned. The passages in v. 14, and v. 15, which S.C. supposes to be inconsistent with this meaning, will not be found to be really so. In v. 14. St. Paul says, “ Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them, that had not sinned after .. .. 22

the the similitude of Adam's transgression.” But here the Apostle cannot mean to say, that those, who lived from Adam to Moses, or any of them, did not sin at all. This would be inconsistent with his own assertions, that “all have sinned,” that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” that “there is none righteous, no, not one.” He only means to say, that those, who lived from Adam to Moses, did not sin as Adam did, and as those under the Mosaic dispensation did, by transgressing a positive command; and therefore, that the sentence of death, which was executed upon them, was not to be considered, properly speaking, as a punishment. When, v. 15, he says, that “ through the offence of one, many died,” he only means, what has already been admitted, that Adam's offence was the primary cause or occasion of man's mortality; which is not at all inconsistent with the idea, that the depravity of mankind, the effect of that of fence, was a secondary, or rather, with reference to the divine, foresight, a concomitant, cause or occasion of it. Lastly, the necessity of a state or condition of mortality, as arising from the depravity of human nature, is thus expressly, or at least by a plain implication, asserted by the same Apostle :--‘‘ If there had been a lawgiver, which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Gal. iii. 21. #. with a little change in the application of the passage, it may be considered as meaning this:—If a law could have been devised, which man was able to obey, and by which he might have been restored to that righteousness in which he was created, such a law would have been given, and he would, by obedience to it, have escaped death, the appointed consequence of sin. “But the Scripture,” continues the Apostle, “ hath concluded all under sin, the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe;” i.e. that the Gospel mode of salvation, which includes subjection to death, and deliverance from it by the intercession of Christ, might have place, as best suited to the necessities of the human race. This is the foundation of the opinion, which I have expressed in a note on Mr. Ludlam's Remarks, i.e. that, supposing perfect obedience to have been attained to, after the fall of Adam, there seems reason to believe, that it would have been a security from death. Whether this was the case of Enoch and Elijah, i. e. whether they so successfully resisted their native de


pravity, as at length completely to overcome it, and perer form a perfect obedience, or whether they were spared from «seeing death" upon any other account, I leave to be considered.

I am, Sir, yours, &c.

Jan. 22, 1806.




I WISH to say something in answer to the sensible and I humane letter of Ordinis Minoris, inserted in your last number, p. 19, though I have not much confidence of being able to say any thing which will be deemed satisfactory. Your correspondent asks, " Whether a minister is authorized in refusing to read the burial service over the corpse of a criminal who has suffered execution?" I have no hesitation in saying that he is not. As the rubric has not forbidden the rites of Christian burial to those criminals whose bodies are permitted by the sentence of the law to be delivered to their friends for interment, I entertain not a doubt, that, by the laws both of church and state, they are entitled to them. It would be strange, as both Dr. Burn and your correspondent have observed, that those who are admitted to the communion, the most sacred ordinance of our religion, should be dea pied: the privilege of Christian burial; which privilege , would be granted to persons, who, not being excommu... nicated, are yet liable to be refused admittance to the cominunion for any of the offences mentioned in the roa bric to that office. With respect to the difficulty which your correspondent speaks of, it is not necessary to reconcile the rubric with the two ancient canons to which Dr. Burn refers. The rubric, which has the force of an act of parliament, supersedes all canons previously made, which are inconsistent with it.


1, t, though I have no hesitation in giving this answer, I a..., inclued to think it very proper on these occasions, 1, make a few alterations in the prescribed burial service. It night be better, if these alterations had the sanction

of public authority; but as they have not, I see no harm,

since they arise from a sort of necessity, in their being inade by the officiating minister. Notwithstanding the uniformity which the church directs, extraordinary eases will occur, which cannot be supposed to have been in the contemplation of the compilers or imposers of the liturgy, and for which, therefore, they have not provided. Respecting these, the officiating minister makng a conscience of not deviating unnecessarily from the rules prescribed, must exercise his own discretion. it ought not to be supposed, the Church intends a gross in propriety; and to act on this supposition, for the sake of keeping to the letter of what is prescribed, is to sacrifice the end to the means. A minister therefore ought above all things to take care, while he is studious of con

forming to rules, not to employ the public services of re

ligion in such a manner, as to excite ideas of such impropriety in the minds of the people. The burial service must, of course, be miore or less appropriate, in proportion as the person to whom it is applied, has lived more or less attentive to the duties which Religion and the Church recommend. It would not be possible to prowide a service which would be equally appropriate to every case; neither is there any necessity for this. There is room, without the danger of any ill effect, for various degrees of propriety. When the application is strikingly proper, a sense of the sublime nature of religion, and of its power to give comfort under the greatst distresses of mortality, is excited, which naturally leads to the desire of imitating the virtues of the deceased; aid, when it is less so, a sentinent of pity and regret, not unmixed with that of terror, is excited, which is well adapted to guard others against similar faults and defects. ... in both cases, the attendants may be led, though by different ways, to form the same pious wish of “dying the death of the righteous.” There is, however, a limit, beyond which it would be preposterous to go, and from the transgression of which nothing but ill can arise. On this ground, I am of opinion, that in many cases, in which a minister of the Church would not be justified in refusing the lites of Christian burial, he would be fully

- - - justified

« ZurückWeiter »