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possible. We are not sure that remains of a beloved parent; and ihese remarks do not especially ap- yet, in the case of public men, (and ply to biographical productions. as a public man is Mr. Drew now At any rate, to deal no longer in brought before us,) the morbid as general observation, we wish the well as the healthy appearances author of the volume before us ought to be distinctly pointed out. had, in the course of its composi. Mr. Jacob Drew, if we understand tion, fallen into a train of thought him rightly, seems, indeed, to think · like that which its perusal has sug- otherwise. He says, gested to ourselves. In this case
“ The great end of biography is to exwe are persuaded we should have
cite emulation,- to call forth the latent had a book far less questionable in or dormant energies of the mind,- to character and tendency, and likely show that what man has done, man may to be far more useful, than the one do,--that the field of honourable labour he has given us. Whether Mr. is open, and the reward offered, to all Jacob Drew really thinks that bio- who will exert themselves ;-in short, to graphy ought to be all eulogy, or
lead to the practical application of that that, in the character and opinions pithy, exhortation, Go, and do thou of his father, no marks of weakness, likewise.'” (Page 5.) imperfection, or error are to be That this is one end of life-writing, found, we pretend not to determine; we allow; but surely it is not the but certainly on one or both of only, or even the chief, end. If it these principles the work appears were, then, only the lives of the very to be written. And this is one of the excellent ought to be written, and, inconveniences (to use the mildest in these, nothing ought to be interm the case will allow) which arise serted that is not exemplary and from the injudicious selection of exciting. We shall not pause, howa biographer. Ordinarily, brief ever, to discuss the general princisketches, particularly of spiritual ple. Mr. Jacob Drew, by its adopexcellence, are, perhaps, best fur- tion, has given a very explicit chanished by some near relation of the racter to the account of his father's deceased; but the case is different life and opinions. We refer not to as to public men. Justice requires minute and subordinate particulars. that the biographical portraiture of We thoroughly condemn the practhese be most faithfully drawn and tice of making a man an offender coloured. The infirmities, if such for a word. But both candour and there be, of their more private life, justice require us to regard this their trivial and harmless mistakes, volume as an unreserved recommenit may not be necessary to emblazon; dation of the example and opinions but, so far as their public character of the late Mr. Drew, in all the is concerned, its defects as well as points which his biographer has its excellencies should be pointed enumerated. On some of these out; so far as their opinions are points, for this reason, we shall feel noticed, their incorrectness as well it our duty to animadvert, perhaps as correctness should be stated. to animadvert strongly. We regret And, therefore, the biography of this ; but no alternative is allowed deceased parents is, except in rare us. Mr. Drew is placed in connexion cases, very improperly entrusted to with Dr. Clarke and Mr. Watson, their children. In this case, the and, in passage quoted from one whole character is seen with the of the public papers, "the Methoeye, and sketched by the hand, of dist Connexion” is represented to filial affection. A task requiring im- have lost, in the decease of these partial fidelity ought not to be com- men, “three of its brightest lumitted to those from whom such miparies.” (Page 452.) That he was impartiality neither can nor ought a man of eminent talent, we have no to be expected. We envy not the wish to deny ; but he has no claim feelings of the son who could con- to the honourable position here asduct a post mortem examination, signed him. A master in the art of however necessary, of the mortal metaphysical verbiage he might be ;
but he was not a clear-headed, are two other considerations which
It is well known that Mr. Drew
tual character. Strictly speaking,
mination was more influenced than
pher, speaking of his youthful days,
to dislike dogmatism in others, he
himself. There was much more
metaphysical demonstrations seem
contempt with which they look him into an unpleasant dilemma." down on all who venture to doubt (Page 380.) the soundness of their argumenta
Antipathy? This, surely, must be tion. Mr. Drew, his son informs a slip of the pen. The anecdote, as us, was a man of very independent it appears to us, discovers somemind, and therefore, as a matter of thing very unlike antipathy. course, he greatly disliked “arbi. “ A wealthy member of the Wesleyan trary power.” But mental indepen- society at St. Austell had been charged dence, to be a virtue, inust result with oppressive conduct in some temporal from something more pure and ex
transactions; and, at a meeting of inalted than a natural “recklessness quiry, it was resolved, perhaps too preci. and hardihood.” The independence pitately, that he should no longer be which is the effect of just principle, considered as a member.” (Page 381.) rather than of natural temperament,
That is, that he should be expelled will always be modest, and unwill. the society, and this, too, without ing to give offence. Whether Mr. hearing what, as afterwards apDrew's “decision of character,” peared, could have been given, an and “settled dislike to the exhi- explanation of the affair complained bition of arbitrary power,” were of; in fact, the decision was formed altogether the result of principle, in the absence of the accused party. is rendered, we think, somewhat But let Mr. Jacob Drew finish the doubtful, by a couple of anecdotes story. with which his son furnishes us.
“ Instead of the usual oral communicaSoon after he became a Local tion in such cases, the resolutions of the Preacher, he was accused of holding meeting were committed to writing, signerroneous opinions on the subject the accused. By this mode of procedure,
ed by the individuals present, and sent to of imputed' righteousness ;,. and, the signing parties subjected themselves from the language of his biogra- to an action at law, and a legal process pher, it is evident that the charge was commenced against each. Prompted was far from being without founda- by his feelings, Mr. Drew had taken a tion. Both father and son appear prominent part in the affair, and thus to have been exceedingly confused rendered himself particularly obnoxious on the question.
to the gentleman whose character was “ His views, then and always, were,
impeached. As the only condition of that the perfect obedience or righteousness suspending legal proceedings, it was reof the Saviour gave an infinite value to quired that the parties should pay the that sacrifice, which, appropriated by a
expenses already incurred, sign a paper living faith, forms the ground of a sin- acknowledging their error, and that this ner's acceptance with God.” (Page 96.) paper should be read by Mr. D. in the
public congregation. With these conWe might ask whether Mr. Jacob ditions it was judged expedient to comDrew understands what he has thus ply. The gentleman's resentment was written; but, passing that by, and temporary. An explanation of his coneven supposing his father to have duct was given, and the right hand of been both substantially and formally fellowship extended on either side.” orthodox, we proceed with the nar- Mr. Drew was not the first man rative. He was sent for, we
who, professing a most vehement distold, by the Superintendent, to Mr. like of arbitrary power when exercised F.'s, an influential member of the
on himself, proved himself not unsociety; and there, after some con- willing, when occasion offered, to versation, but, as the case is repre- exercise it on others. Of true inde. sented, without any thing like trial, pendence of mind, one unfailing required to give up his plan and characteristic is, that it uniformly class-paper. “Thenceforth,” we are
respects the independence of antold, (p. 98,) " he felt a settled dislike other. to the exercise of arbitrary power." We have already adverted to the How far this dislike went, our readers confused opinions which Mr. Drew shall judge.
held on some important theological “On a subsequent occasion, his inhe- subjects. If bis sentiments are corrent antipathy to arbitrary power led rectly described, on the relation
which “the perfect obedience or persuasion, were the late Mr. Watrighteousness of the Saviour" bore son, and the still living, and truly to his atoning sacrifice, we wonder venerable, friend and biographer of not that his Methodistical ortho- Mr. Wesley : men, surely, not less doxy was questioned. Nor were his intellectual than Mr. Drew, or any views of the sacraments more dis- of his correspondents. Yet of such tinct. From what his biographer men he could allow himself to write tells us, (p. 492,) he seems to have thus :been, on these points, very nearly a “I have sometimes thought that some disciple of Robert Barclay. On the persons, whom I need not name, indicatholic faith, respecting the divine rectly insinuate that reason is an enemy nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, to revelation, and that either the former he was equally unsound. He deni- or latter must be discarded: this may do ed the divine and eternal Sonship of for the meridian of Italy, but I hope I Christ, not because he deemed it shall never see the day when such a
monstrous proposition will unfurl its unscriptural, but because it did not accord with his pbilosophy.
standard in England. We cannot, how
The root of his theological mistakes is, ever, deny that reason is an incumbrance
to those who can do best without it; and we apprehend, to be found here. of these, perhaps, no contemptible numPractically, he did not hold the en
ber might be mustered. It is pleasing to tire supremacy of Revelation, but observe, in the perusal of this sermon, united "reason with it, as an equal how easily a few well-directed strokes and co-ordinate judge. In 1831, we can demolish a fabric which ignorance, find him returning a pamphlet which prejudice, authority, and blind submishad been lent to him, having this sion have combined to raise.” (Page title :
“ A Sermon, proving that 387.) Reason is to be our Guide in the Choice It is really astonishing, (if the subof our Religion ; and that nothing ject were less momentous, we should ought to be aumitted as an Article of say, amusing,) that Mr. Drew never Faith, which is repugnant to the come thought of defining this same Reamon Principles of Reason, or unintel- Is the simple faculty meant, ligible to human Understanding.” Of or the faculty in operation ? But the pamphlet itself we know no- neither of these can be a test. Are thing; but we are sure that if an the results of the reasoning faculty intelligent Socinian were permitted meant? But then comes another to occupy the position conceded to question. Are these to be the rehim in the title-page, his triumph sults of human reasoning, as uniwould be secure. In the letter ac- versally agreed upon? But where companying this pamphlet, he says, – shall we find them? And, even “ Where reason is forbidden to enter
could they be found, are the doc. we are wholly without a guide : both the tripes of a revelation from God to authority and interpretation of revela- fallen man,-man, with an intellect tion must submit to this test, and be and judgment weakened, beclouded, received or rejected according to its deci- and perverted by sin,—to be tried sion. On these, and other similar sub- by the standard of human opinion? jects, the reasonings of the author of the Are the results of individual reasonpamphlet are strong and conclusive. I ing meant? But these are only the regret that his name is not known. I opinions of individuals. And, as should much like to see it in print, but these vary among themselves, is the its appearance would raise the cry of judgment of any one person to be heresy." (Page 386.)
elevated above that of all others ? The last expression evidently al. If so, we again ask, in what conclave ludes to the persuasion, felt by many, is this infallible Pope to be elected ? that principles like these would, On Christian principles, what is if pursued to their legitimate re- divine revelation but an authentisulis, establish doctrines always con- cated communication to our fallen sidered by the Christian church to race, of that truth by which they be dangerously heretical. Among may be saved ? No advocate for the those who felt and expressed that supremacy of revelation denies that,
in the first instance, the authentic that, for instance, Cain and Abel cating evidences should be examin. would be the sons of Adam in exed, and their sufficiency made out. actly the same sense as Adam himBut, this having been done, what self was the son of God. What ad. follows next? that we are to try vocate of the catholic faith ever the authenticated doctrines by rea. asserted that the term Son, as apson, that is, by our previously form- plied to the divine nature of the ed opinions ? Surely not. What Saviour, bore the exact meaning revelation says, is said by a Judge which it possesses when applied to from whose decisions there is no a human being? To the Socinian appeal. But then should this re- objection, that one cannot be three, velation assert what is “unintelli- nor three, one, the proper reply is, gible to human understanding ?” that the terms are used of the divine Why, a divine revelation must assert nature in different respects. So many things that are thus unintelli- here: the second Person in the gible. Who understands the unity adorable Trinity is called Son, in of the divine nature? or the trinity regard to the mode of his existence in that unity? We can understand in the divine nature; eternal, bethe fact that the Scriptures teach cause that nature is properly divine. this mystery: we cannot understand The catholic faith has been, from the the mystery itself. And if we re- very beginning, not only that the fuse credence to a proposition refer. Scripture reveals the fact of a divine ring to the divine nature, till all its Trinity ; but that this revelation, asterms are, on human principles, re- serting the existence of three relatconciled to each other, it is not even ed, not unrelated, Persons in the at Socinianism that we shall stop. unity of the Godhead, describes the But, that we may not even seem to relation itself by terms borrowed be doing Mr. Drew injustice, we from the relations and circumstances give a specimen of his own method of our own being, as, in our present of applying the principle which he state, all terms referring to the diadvocates.
vine nature must be. It has pleased “On the subject of eternal nameship, God to employ a term descriptive of or sonship, as it is called, my objection a human relation, as presenting the to adopt the phrase lies within a very closest analogy to one actually subnarrow compass.” (Page 264.)
sisting in the divine nature. No one What, then, is the objection? ever supposed that the terms Father That the Scriptures do not use the and Son, as applied to the first and term Son, in reference to the divine second Persons in the Trinity, innature of Christ ? Nay ;-but that cluded all that belongs to them they cannot so use it.
when applied to human beings. As “In my view, the term Son neces- good metaphysicians as Mr. Drew sarily includes commencement of exist. have perceived the difference beence ; but the adjective eternal neces- tween similitudes, or exact resemsarily precludes all commencement of ex- blances, and analogies, or similariistence. Here, then, we have two ideas ties of proportion. Besides, Mr. mutually subversive of each other.” (16.) Drew's objection fails, because its
A skilful logician, not so much principle, when applied to another wishing to defend himself, as to dis- part of the subject, will either prove cover the truth, would not have what he adduces it to disprove, or changed "term,” in the first part of disprove what we are sure he would theargument, for “idea” in the other. not have renounced. Is derivation But, passing that by, the real prin- of existence the only notion preciple of the argument is, that scrip sented by the term Son ? Is not tural terms, when applied to the identity of nature likewise included ? divine nature, have precisely the Take, then, the proposition,--Christ same signification as when applied is the Son of God. “That is,” says to human nature. It might as well Mr. Drew," he is a man, formed, in be asserted that the converse of the a wonderful manner, by the power proposition would hold good, and of the Holy Ghost.”