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endeavours to account for the origin and progrefs of religion in the world, including the Patriarchal, Jewish, and Chriftian, without having recourfe to any divine or fupernatural interpofition. As far as this account refpects the earlier ages, and is unconnected with the facred hiftory, it must, from the nature of the fubject, and the want of information, be very uncertain, and will be thought more or less plaufible, according to the reader's prior views of the matter. And with respect to the Old and New Testament, it appears to us that miracles and prophecies are fo interwoven with the history as to render all attempts to feparate them prepofterous and vain. The latter part of the chapter contains a number of obfervations on the joint influence of reason, philofophy, and religion, in enlightening and improving the human mind, the effect which the example of one or a few righteous perfons may have in reforming mankind, and raising human nature to its full perfection, according to the doctrine advanced in the chapter on Redemption, and the analogy which may be traced between the progress of the human fpecies towards perfection, and that of fingle perfons, through the ftages of infancy and youth, to complete manhood.
The next chapter, entitled, Imitation of God, contains fome additional remarks on the admiffion of evil into the system of nature; tending to prove that this will not juftify us in doing evil that good may come.
To this fucceeds a long chapter, entitled, Chriftian Scheme, which is little more than a repetition of what is contained in the three chapters, entitled, Grace, Trinity, and Redemption. Indeed the repetitions in different parts of the prefent publication are numerous, and often needlefs. We cannot but think that if the Author had lived, he would have greatly abridged it. In our opinion, the whole of what is ufeful and valuable in it, even on his own plan, might have been comprised in half the prefent compass.
The remaining chapters of the fixth volume are entitled, Divine Services,-Sacraments, -Difcipline,- Articles. Divine Services are juftly confidered as deriving their value and obligation from the influence they have upon the human mind, in fixing good impreffions, nourishing in us an habitual trust and de pendance upon the Almighty, and ftrengthening all our virtuous affections and refolutions. The chapter on Difcipline is chiefly taken up in a very lax interpretation of the call which the candidate for holy orders muft profefs to have before he can obtain ordination, as intending nothing more than a perfuafion, after due deliberation, that the Chriftian miniftry is the station or employment in which he is likely to ferve God and mankind to beft purpose. Of Mr. Tucker's manner of interpreting
the Articles we gave an inftance in a former Review *, fhall refer our Readers to the remarks which we there offered upon what he has advanced in favour of Articles and Establishments in general.
The fubjects treated in the feventh and laft volume are of a practical nature. The titles of the chapters are, Doing all for the Glory of God,-Doing as we would be done by-IndolenceFondness for Pleafures-Self-denial-Habits-Credulity and Incredulity-Employment of Time-Content-Rule, Custom, and Fashion From the topics of philofophy and religion,' fays Mr. Tucker, in his fummary of the whole work, I have defcended to fome practical fubjects applicable to the conduct of life, which having been treated of more amply by many able hands, I could not expect to add any thing material to what has been done by them, but was willing to how that my fpeculations may be turned to common ufe, by deducing from, or regulating by them fuch rules and obfervations as may prove of general fervice: fubjoining thereto a few thoughts relative to education, and fuch methods for curing the fear of death, as in the purfuit of them may prove profitable to us while living, and yield us a benefit for ages after.'
Such is the modeft account which he gives of this part of his performance; an account far beneath its real merit. Though the fubjects have been frequently difcuffed, the Reader will meet with many uncommon thoughts, judicious reflections, and falutary maxims and cautions, which will amply reward his attention. We could have wifhed to have made. fome extracts from thofe chapters in particular which treat upon doing all for the Glory of God, and on Education. But the limits we have prefcribed to ourselves will not permit.
Mr. Tucker has made an apology in the laft chapter, entitled, Conclufion, for any impropriety of diction, or want of harmony and elegance of compofition, that may be observed throughout the work. We give him full credit for the fincerity and benevolence of his intentions, and cannot fufficiently extol the great liberality of fentiment which he every where difcovers. fame time we think that he has difgraced his judgment, and in fome measure defeated the usefulness of his work, by his mistaken regard, we are tempted to fay, affected deference to public authority in matters of religion, which has led him to attempt to reconcile contradictions, and to introduce fuch a licentious interpretation of words and phrafes, as, if generally admitted, would render the moft folemn profeffions and engage ments uncertain and deceitful, and destroy all confidence between man and man.
* See Review for February, p. 85.
ART. V. Three Differtations on the Infpiration of the Holy Scriptures. By John Kiddell of Tiverton, Devon. 8vo. 2 s. Dilly. 1779.
R. Prieftley, and fome other Socinian writers, have confidered the general notion of infpiration as an incumbrance on the evidence of Chriftianity. Carried to the extreme to which it hath been, by fome men, of more zeal than difcretion, it is certainly liable to very great objections. Infidel writers have taken an advantage of fuch exaggerated accounts; and Lord Shaftesbury particularly hath fixed on them, in one of those merry and good-humoured moments, when, as he informs us, he always found himself in the beft difpofition to fpeculate on religion. Mr. Kiddell hath wifely taken the middle path between fuch writers as Dr. Owen, who will not give up one jot or tittle of the Maforetical reading of the Old Teftament, and Dr. Priestley, who thinks himself authorized to make fo free with the New as to dispute the reasoning of St. Paul. It is not our bufinefs to decide on the comparative danger of those two extremes; but we cannot avoid obferving, that by giving fo little to the authority of fcripture, even in matters that may be deemed of a fpeculative kind, we take off a great deal from its general credit in matters of greater confequence: we make it a law and no law: we make it the fport of caprice: a fhifting and unfteady object: in fine, a mock-terror that owes all its influence to the imagination of individuals.
Our pious and fenfible Author attempts to give a plain and rational folution of the following inquiries, viz. 1. What fcriptures are divinely inspired? 2. In what fenfe the holy fcriptures are fo? and 3. What proofs have we of it? These inquiries are of the laft importance to the cause of religion; and our Author hath acquitted himself in the solution of them with great credit as a Christian and a Divine. The curious fpeculatift, indeed, will find but little in thefe difcourfes to gratify his tafte for novelty. The Author indulges himself in no fanciful hypothefes; nor is he, on the other hand, the dupe of any eftablished fyftem. He confiders the fcriptures of the Old and New Teftament, as containing fuch a revelation of the being and attributes of God; of our duty to him and one another; and of our expectations of his present and future favour, as is fufficient to direct and fupport us in every fcene of this probationary state. By inspiration is plainly meant, in general, (fays Mr. Kiddell) that the facred writers all wrote under the direction and influence of the Spirit of God. The only end and intention of God's thus influencing and inftructing those facred writers, in the compofition of their writings, was, that what was written by them, might be kept free from all error and falfehood; contain nothing but pure and unadulterated truth;
and be received and believed as of infallible certainty: fealed and attefted by the authority of God himself. Now, then, whatever influence and affiftance from the fpirit of God is fufficient to answer this end, is fufficient to answer all the purposes of a divine infpiration. And therefore each of those facred writers is truly, and to all important purposes, divinely inspired, if, by the influence and affiftance of the Spirit of God, his writings are preferved free from all mixture of error and falfehood. But to answer this great end of divine infpiration, the fame degrees of influence and affiftance are not neceffary and expedient for all the facred writers alike: and therefore when applied to different writers, divine infpiration muft admit of different fenfes and limitations.'-This idea of infpiration our Author applies to the historical, the moral or devotional, and the prophetical paris of fcripture. He is fupported in his qualified notion of this delicate fubject by fome venerable authorities of the Chriftian Church. The very orthodox Pictet of Geneva, who fat in the chair of his uncle Turretine, freely acknowledges, that the inspiration of the fcriptures is not to be applied to every fact related in them, or to the peculiar mode in which the different authors of the facred books expreffed their fent ments. In many cafes infpiration-plenary, immediate infpiration would have been fuperfluous and therefore out of refpect to the majefty of it, it ought to be limited to thofe fubjects which abfolutely required it. This idea of infpiration is alfo contended for by the very learned Bp. Warburton; and fo far as it refpected the language of the New Teftament, it was vindicated by Dr. Hurd from the exceptions taken at it by Dr. Thomas Leland of Trinity College, Dublin.
In the narration of historical facts, that fell within the obfervation of the hiftorian, nothing but fidelity was requifite. In relating them on the teftimony of others, infpiration might be neceffary to guard the relation from error and miftake. In the delineation of moral or religious duties the Writer might be left, in all common cafes, to the obvious dictates of his own understanding and confcience; and the fuperintendence of Divine inspiration might alfo, in fuch inftances, be more properly regarded in the light of a fecurity than a direct impulfe. But the prophetical parts of feripture have a claim to a higher degree of infpiration-even to that which is communicated to the mind by the immediate in4uence of the Spirit of God. Now there cannot be a ftronger proof of this higher kind of inspi
* Non neceffe eft fupponere Spiritum fanctum femper dictaffe prophetis · & apoftolis fingula verba quibus ufi funt.- Quædam fcripfere quæ non opus erat ut fpiritus fanétus faggereret, ut ea quæ ipfi jam nírant, &c. &c. Picteti Theol. Chrift. lib. i. c. 7.
ration than the foretelling future events with a precision an fwerable to the facts and the circumftances that attend them→ especially when those circumstances are not of a common and equivocal nature, but marked with fome ftriking and fingular characteristics, which are vulgarly supposed to owe their existence to those innumerable combinations of chance and accident which cannot be reduced to any regular fyftem, and are beyond the limits of general speculation :-we fay, general speculation, which proceeds on the plain ground of obfervation and experience, and from what hath been, may guefs, with tolerable certainty, what will be: so that in common life, and in all affairs which are conducted by established laws, it may with great propriety be faid, that "he is the beft prophet who conjectures well."
But fcripture prophecy hath objects in view which infinitely tranfcend the reach of human fagacity. It draws the veil from, and traces the rise and progress of, events which are folded up in the darkest coverts of futurity; and of which there were no appearances that could lead to certain conclufions relating to any particular facts, that fall within the fphere of what is called chance and accident. Much lefs could human fagacity, however brightened and improved by obfervation, forefee the exact feafon when thofe apparently fortuitous and adventitious events would take place, or determine any nice and critical circumftances that should concur to produce, or be united or blended with them. Thefe objects come only within the compafs of omniscience; and wherever a knowledge of future events is communicated to mankind, it must be for the wisest purposes : and the agreement of prophecy with facts (as in the cafes of the deftruction of Babylon and Tyre-the coming of the Meffiah- the defolation of Jerufalem and its Temple-the difperfion of the Jews-the ufurpation and tyranny of an Antichriftian power, &c. &c.) is a demonftration of Divine truth, and is the testimonial of heaven itself to the miffion of the prophet.
Mr. Kiddell makes very pertinent and fenfible remarks on that fpecies of inspiration which, if it did not abfolutely dictate the moral and devotional parts of fcripture, yet fecured all the important purposes of truth and virtue, by overruling the facred penmen in fuch a manner as to prevent the intrufion of all human prejudices from which the best and wisest of mankind are not at all times guarded; and with which the fineft maxims of moral philofophy are too frequently blended. Mr. Kiddell very justly confiders natural religion as the foundation of revealed. It is undoubtedly the ultimate criterion by which its precepts are to be tried. But the question is, "How far natural religion extends, and where is its authority lodged ?" Our Author perhaps expreffes himself in too unlimited a ftyle when he says