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of confent touching true religion. He refumes this fubject in another chapter, entitled, Articles: in which he pleads for the utmost, latitude of interpretation. We ought to prefume,' fays he, the compilers of our articles framed fuch as in their judgment contained the foundest fyftem of religion, and most expe dient for inftilling falutary fentiments into the minds of the people. As they were men, they certainly were not infallible; and in articles prepared for national ufe, there may poffibly be fomething occafional, not neceffary for the maintenance of true religion at all times, but calculated upon the condition of the prefent; if any thing of this fort fhould appear, there is a legiflature always in being who may rectify whatever, upon proper examination, might be found amifs, and accommodate what might be judged unfuitable to the temper and occafions of our



And for the manner of underftanding them, this may be and has been accommodated to the current ways of thinking, by tacit confent of the people themfelves for whoever will examine the writings of the laft century, comparing them with thofe of our cotemporaries, may perceive, that although we ftill retain the fame fet of articles, we find in them much lefs of the myfterious, the marvellous, and the magical, than our forefathers did a hundred years ago. Therefore I hope it will be allowed a lawful and honeft intention, however defectively executed, with which I go through my prefent labours; for implicit faith will not go down now-a-days; men are not easily filenced without being convinced, nor will they be made to fwallow myfteries, to them unintelligible, by the drenchinghorn of ecclefiaftical authority. It is then working in the fervice of the Church to endeavour fhowing, that without change of a single word in her doctrines, they may be fo expounded as to render them confiftent with the difcoveries of Reafon and Philofophy, and to bear ftanding a close inspection by the Light of Nature,'

As a fpecimen of Mr. Tucker's manner of interpreting the Articles, we fhall give our Readers the following paragraph: The harfheft expreffion I can recollet, is that used in the eighteenth Article, where it is declared, that thofe are to be holden accurfed who prefume to fay, that every man fhall be faved by the law or fect which he profeffeth: but why should we give the Accurfed here a larger compass than the Damnable in the oath of abjuration? or understand any more thereby, than that fhe,' that is, the Church, would have her members look upon it as a pernicious and fatal error to imagine the choice of one's religion a matter of indifference, to be made at pleasure lightly, or upon temporal convenience, amongst all that are current in the world; and would have them fhy of perfons at

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tempting to juftify that error as dangerous perfons for them to converfe with.' It is aftonifhing that it fhould not have struck fo intelligent a Writer, it is aftonifhing that it fhould not strike every perfon who thinks upon the fubject, that to allow of a latitude of interpretation is to defeat the very purpose for which the Articles were framed, the preventing of diverfities of opinion. If, notwithstanding the Articles, various and contrary opinions may be innocently holden and maintained respecting fuch doctrines as, the Trinity, Original Sin, the Juftification of Man, and the Infpiration of the Spirit of God, what end can be anfwered by requiring fubfcription to them? Uniformity of profeffion without uniformity of opinion is, in our view, a crafty diffimulation, inconfiftent with Chriftian fimplicity and fincerity; and hath a tendency to weaken the principles of veracity and integrity, and to create a general indifference with respect to truth and falfehood.

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Mr. Tucker proceeds to ftate the ground and neceffity of the diftinction between Efoterics and Exoterics in the following manner: Yet is this liberty,' the liberty of entertaining a diverfity of opinion upon moral and religious fubjects, to be ufed cautiously for fpeculative opinions may have an influence upon practical, and one man's fpeculations, though innocentand falutary to himself, may caufe difquietude, and do mischief in the mind of another, who perhaps will draw inferences from them the Author never intended nor would think confequential, tending to overthrow fome established tenet, or even fubverfive of religion and good manners. For in every science, those who make it their bufinefs to dive into the depths of it, find a very different fcene of things from those who take only fo much as is requifite for common ufe; and fuch as have bestowed much thought upon the foundations of right and wrong, discover many contrarieties and abfurdities in the popular notions; as on the other hand their refinements appear unintelligible and abfurd to the generality. Therefore it behoves every man to regard not only what is rational, confiftent, and wholesome to himfelf, but what will continue fo when thrown into a diverfly moulded imagination; referving the former for his private use, or for thofe of a fimilar caft, but dealing out the latter only to all comers.

Hence the fo noted diftinction among philofophers of their efoteric and exoteric doctrines, the one to be trufted only with Adepts, the other communicated to the Vulgar: or if they did fometimes venture the former in a mixed audience, they couched them under fuch enigmatical and myfterious terms that nobody could tell what to make of them without the enigmatical key. But this referve of theirs has been commonly placed in a wrong light; as if proceeding from a vain and niggardly temper,

fond of hoarding up their treasures for themselves, and thinking any worthless fcrapes good enough for the Vulgar. Nor has the word Vulgar contributed a little towards encouraging this notion, as fignifying with us a perfon of mean understanding, little knowledge or accomplishment: fo that Adept is regarded as a title of honour, and Vulgar as a word of reproach. Whereas in former times the terms were relative to fome art, or science, or profeffion, refpectively comprizing all who were or were not mafters therein fo that the philofopher himself was among the Vulgar with regard to commerce, mafonry, navigation, or other business he did not understand, and acknowledged fuch as were fkilful in each profeffion for Adepts.'

Now all this may be a good reason why authors or inftructors fhould not throw out crude and indigefted notions at random, and that they fhould endeavour to guard their fentiments or language against any perverfion or abufe to which they might be otherwife liable; but can be no reafon that they fhould not endeavour to extend the knowledge of the truth, by afferting it in the cleareft light, and pointing out its connexion with the true intereft and happiness of mankind; much lefs will it juftify a philofopher or adept in confirming the vulgar or illiterate in their errors and fuperftitions, by talking the fame language, and giving them reason to think that he is of the fame opinion. The natural and almoft neceffary confequence of conformity to established errors and fuperftitions in thofe whom our Author terms philofophers and adepts is the prevalence of scepticism and infidelity. For this we may appeal to the ftate of things among the Greeks and Romans before the Chriftian era; and alfo to the present state of things in France and Italy, and we fear that we might add, in our own country..

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Mr. Tucker enters upon the more immediate defign of the publication, by confidering the attributes of Purity, Majesty, and Holiness, which he had omitted in the former parts of his work. Thefe being in his opinion, or according to his expla nation, of the exoteric kind, rather negative of what is in man, than affirmative of any thing in God.' By Purity he underftands the intire freedom of the Divine Nature from all human frailties, affections, and paffions; by Majefty, his being withholden from works and objects unbecoming the dignity of his character; and by Holiness, a negation of those moral impurities whereto our nature lies, liable. The chief part of a long chapter on this laft perfection is an endeavour to prove that notwithstanding the doctrine advanced in two chapters of the fecond volume, entitled, Providence and Freewill, that the machinations and actions of men as well as all other events,'that every minute motion, both in the human breast and among the bodies around us, was comprized and noticed in the

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plan of Providence,' the Divine Being is not the author or approver of folly and wickedness: or in other words that the admiffion of evil into the fyftem of nature is not inconfiftent with the perfect Holinefs of its author. Here Mr. Tucker has recourfe to the diftinction of characters in the Divine Being which he had fuppofed in Chap. 18. of the fecond volume; and upon the inutility of which we made fome remark that still appears to us to be juft. The great principles upon which the admiffion of evil among the works of God is to be reconciled to his perfect moral rectitude, are, that his eye never terminates upon evil, but regards it only as a means to work out a greater good; that no evils are admitted which will not redound to fome fignal benefit of the creation; and that the provifions which are made for the evils interfperfed among his works, are made with a view to the good whereof they are neceffarily productive. We have expreffed thefe principles nearly in the words of Mr. Tucker himself, and apprehend that they are fufficient to vindicate the moral rectitude of the Sovereign Difpofer of all things, in the character of Creator as well as that of Governor of the Univerfe. In his difquifition on this fubject our fagacious Author has introduced the unphilofophical diftinction between doing and permitting, and juftly placed it among the exoteric doctrines, which will not bear the examination of reafon, efpecially when applied to the great firft caufe of all.

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The next chapter is entitled, Things Providential: in which, because the chapter on Providence, in a former volume, was moftly esoteric, and fcarcely applicable to common use,' he hath felected the most remarkable phenomena in the works and laws of nature, which prove intelligence, wifdom, and defign in their Author.

The titles of the three remaining chapters of the fourth voInme are, Religion-Freedom of Thought-and, Vanity. We fhall give an account of their contents and design in the Author's own words, extracted from the fummary of the whole work, which we cited before: :**

The title Religion prefixed to the next chapter belongs rather as a running-title to the whole remainder than to this particular chapter, which contains little more than an address to both parties; that is, the Bigots, and the Freethinkers,

fuggefting a prefumption that if one would always ftrive to find a rational conftruction agreeable to our natural notions in the divine oracles, and the other would confider the Facts of the evangelic hiftory, though fuppofed to proceed from merely natural caufes, as events extremely providential, having an ex

*See Monthly Review, vol. xli. p. 243.


tenfive beneficial influence upon mankind, the result of both would terminate in a system of fentiment and conduct very little different in substantials: and exhorting them to deal with one another, not as adverfaries but as perfons in an amicable conference upon their common interefts, for fo the iffue of their conference may justly be deemed, because the general connection throughout the univerfe being borne in mind, whoever hurts himself hurts me, therefore if I think another in a wrong way, I fhall endeavour to bring him into the right by fuch me thods as are likely to prevail with him; but if I cannot do that, I fhall ftrive to turn his own opinions to his greatest advantage. But the work of reconcilement being a very nice bufinefs to manage, requiring a fober freedom and ftrict impartiality void of all bias or prejudice, it was needful enough for my own direction to examine what is true freedom of thought, and wherein it differs from Bigotry on the one hand, and that called Freethinking on the other; and to take warning against every danger that might threaten our liberty of judgment; whether from scrupulous fear, obftinate attachment to old notions, fondness for novelty, fecret felf-conceit, or the vanity of doing fomething extraordinary. This blemish of human nature creeping in fome measure upon us all, extending its influence to all our motions as well momentous as trifling, deferved a particular difcuffion, the drift whereof was to afcertain the difference between true and falfe honours for honour being the fource both of the brightest virtues and moft pernicious extravagancies it was attempting a good fervice to fettle it upon its proper foundation, which is the profpect of attaining, things excellent in themselves, rather than that of excelling or surpaffing other perfons.'

We recommend the whole of the chapter upon Vanity to the attention of our Readers. Moral writers in general have confidered emulation as a principle of action worthy to be employed by parents and teachers in the education of youth. Mr. Tucker is of opinion that the bufinefs of education, by a proper skill and attention, may be as effectually and more happily carried on without it. He juftly obferves that felf-approbation and complacency arife from the confcioufnefs of rectitude in our conduct, and that rectitude does not confift in doing bet ter than others, but in judging impartially upon the best lights the occafion affords, and conducting ourfeives accordingly without failure or deviation. The true fenfe of honour,' fays he, refpects only the laudableness of the deed, without reference to what is done better or worfe by another: for his acting rightly takes nothing from our rectitude, nor can his failing excufe our own.-Rectitude has nothing to do with comparison, unless where there is a choice of different actions, and then it


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