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tempt to paint the spectacle which presented itself on the flames being extinguished : it was truly horrible. Their ashes were collected and thrown into the Assan; and shortly after, a pile of stones, similar to those before mentioned, was erected on the spot where the suttee had taken place.'
Many highly interesting extracts might be made, from parts where the Author describes remarkable scenery, or ruins, the magnificent and daring sport of tiger-hunting, the manners of the court of Lucknow, or the state of the agriculture in the various districts, and the condition of the ryots or cultivators, which is truly a picture of misery. But it will be quite enough to indicate such subjects, as being displayed in a sensible and lively manner.
Art. III. An Essay on the Doctrine of the Trinity: attempting to
prove it by Reason and Demonstration, founded upon Duration and Space; and upon some of the Divine Perfections, some of the Powers of the Human Soul, the Language of Scripture, and Tra. dition amung all Nations. By the Rev. James Kidd, A.M. Minister of the Chapel of Ease, Gilcomston, and Professor of Oriental Languages in the Marischal College and University, Aber.
deen. 8vo. pp. 602. Price 12s. Hatchard. 1815. IT T is difficult to adjust the balance between the approbation
due to a good intention, and the sense of disappointment and displicency produced by defective execution. But when the attempt has been made with discretion, care, and modesty, and when the failure, whether total or partial, results from the greatness and profound nature of the subject, we feel it to be entitled to respect and indulgence : magnis excidit ausis. The Author of the book before us, however, would spurn at such respect. He every where takes the highest ground, and claims, for every one of his arguments, the rank of demonstration. We have rarely met with a writer who puts himself more in the posture of defiance to criticism. The appearance of method is stamped upon the surface of the work ; Axioms and Definitions are formally premised: the matter is divided into large portions, to the head of which is prefixed the word PROPOSITION; each of the portions has a summary of its alleged Contents, and is divided into paragraphs arithmetically distinguished: but a closer approach discovers a singular compound of wandering irregularity in the disposing of the matter, the grossest truisms adduced in the most pompous manner, continual repetition, and the most wearisome verbosity.
Yet these faults are not decisive proofs of the absence of all solid argument. Among loads of loose material, there may be masses of rock: and it is our duty, though a toilsome one, to undertake the search.
The title of this work professes to establish the doctrine of the Trinity by metaphysical reasonings, scriptural testimony, and scattered notices or traditions among heathen nations. But it is the first of these classes of argument that is the most largely and elaborately treated.
That the fact of a Trinity of Subsistences in the Divine Nature might be evinced by rational considerations, drawn from the necessary Essence and Perfections of the Infinite Being, was maintained by some theologians and philosophers of former days. Aquinas, and his rival Duns Scotus, have some obscure and tedious argumentations on this point. The great and good patriot of France, de Mornay, has a train of reasoning in his work on the Truth of the Christian Religion, Chap. V. remarkably similar (except in the article of style, for the French nobleman's is plain and simple,) to that which Mr. Kidd has spread through so many close pages. Mr. Howe, in his Calm and Sober Enquiry concerning the Possibility of a Trinity in the Godhead, has inany profound remarks on this mode of viewing the great mystery of the Divine Existence. But Mr. Howe does not advance those remarks as antecedent and independent proofs, but as arguments to evince that there is no impossibility or incredibility à priori, in the doctrine of Three distinct and Personal Subsistences in the ONE Divine Esence.
But Professor Kidd is not content with the humble and modest reasoning of Howe, though we cannot but think that, by: the imitation of it, he would have conferred a signal advantage upon bis own work. He assumes the high tone of Demonstration, and never betrays a doubt of the infallibility of those processes which he is pleased so to denominate.
An Axiom, according to the dull and antiquated doctrine which we were taught, is a position the truth of which is evident and indubitable, as soon as the mind perceives its meaning. But in the new metaphysics of Professor Kidd, any thing may be called an Axiom, which is expressed in a dogmatic form and printed in a single and detached sentence. He might as well have collected the general positions which he professes to establish throughout his volume, have printed them in the form of sententious affirmations, and have called them Axioms. We take a specimen.
1. · The Divine Essence being necessarily, naturally, and inost perfectly spiritual, must be immaterial, simple, and indivisible. 2. The immateriality, spirituality, simplicity, and indivisibility, of the Divine Essence, does not prevent it from subsisting in persohality, according to all the qualities and attributes of its own nature.
6. ! One mode of subsistence, or personality, of that which is eternal, immense, and immutable, can never exercise or manifest its own moral perfections, according to the law of the activity, energy, and operation of their own nature ; because no perfection can be both agent and object at the very same time, and in the very same act.
9. That which is necessarily eternal, immense, and immutable, if ever, in any one instance, it be exercised at all, according to its own nature, must be exercised eternally, immensely, and immu. tably.' pp. 1, 2, 3.
Our readers can be at no loss to form an opinion of a writer who can give the name of Axioms to such paragraphs as these. The first, few persons would contest; but it is not a self-evident truth : it is a deduction from several processes of reasoning. The second is ambiguous: for does the writer mean one personality,' or more? If the former, he says nothing applicable to the purpose; if the latter, the assertion is a mere petitio principii. The sixth is actually given in the form of an argument; and whether the argument be sound or weak, the conclusion from it is the very question in debate. The last is either an identical proposition, or a gross untruth : it is either an affirmation, (grounded upon the qualifying clause,' according
to its own nature,') that what is necessarily eternal, immense, and immutable, is eternal, immense, and immutable; or it involves the notion that all the exercises of the Eternal Mind, including of course the production of the dependent universe, are eternal, immense, and immutable. Perhaps other meanings may be invented for these declarations; but, whatever may be their intention, they are far enough removed from the rank of Axioms.
We shall place before our readers all the Definitions, or as the Author calls them Explunations of Words ; because, if we were to make a selection, we fear that we might be suspected of taking the weakest and most extraordinary.
• Mode, in the following Essay, signifies the continuation of the Divine Essence and perfections, identically the same in moral distinction.
• Personality is considered as the same with the identical mode of subsistence, in moral distinction.
Subsistence, or to subsist, means the same mode of the essence and perfections continuing in an immutable moral relation.
• Relation means the order of distinct subsistence.
• Distinction means the connection between the essence and its attributes, or between one mode of subsistence and another, real in nature, and conceivable by the mind.
• Procession means the constitution and economy of the Divine Nature, in exhibiting its own personality, in order to its own existence, perfection, and happiness.
• Communication means the economy of the Divine Essence, in the full and perfect exercise of its own moral perfections, according to all the attributes and qualities of its nature, in the most perfect personality, that the divine being may be absolutely perfect in itself.
A mode, or person, arising in the Divine Essence, means the personality of that essence, exhibiting itself in the order of its own nature. pp. 3, 4
To these Definitions we must in justice add another, which occurs by itself, in a note at the end of the Preface.
•N. B. The phrase, in Moral Distinction, is used in a few places in a peculiar sense in this Essay, and means that we cannot ascertain the personality of the Divine Essence, but by the medium of its own moral excellence.' Pref. p. xxviii.
Here, then, are Axioms and Definitions wor hy of each other. Such a confusion of thought, and so violent an exercise of arbitrary power in the use of words, it would be difficult to parallel. From a beginning like this, we cannot augur very auspiciously of the progress of the work. But to enable our readers to judge for themselves, we shall present them one or two extracts; and they shall be from those which we deliberately and conscientiously regard as the best portions in the whole volume,
• In speaking of the Divine Being, we always keep in view the Divine Essence, the Divine perfections, and the divine modes of subsistence, or the divine persons respectively. Thus, in beginning the thought from the views of duration and space, we consider the Divine Being as necessarily self-existent, necessarily possessing life, spirituality, intelligence, moral excellence, and efficiency; and we consider these as perfections which are inseparable: And though we may contemplate them distinctly, yet we must ever suppose them inseparable from the Divine Essence, and from one another, and necessarily possessing underived activity, energy, and operation. In speaking of the modes of distinct subsistence, after showing that the Divine Essence and perfections must subsist distinctly in three, and can subsist in neither more nor less than three; when we fix, our thoughts upon the mode, we must attend to order; and contem. plating the first mode as naturally and necessarily constituted by the economy of the Divine Essence and perfections, and having the whole of the Divine Nature in itself.-now, contemplating this, and knowing that the Divine Essence necessarily possesses life, spirituality, intelligence, moral excellence, and efficiency, and there. fore must naturally be active, energetic, operative, and influential; in order that we may account for the full and perfect exercise of the whole of these, to the very uttermost of their own nature, we say,--the First Mode, according to all the qualities and attributes of its own nature, communicates the whole of the Divine Essence and perfections necessarily, eternally, immensely, and immutably, that they may subsist in a mode distinct, not separate, from what they do in itself; and as this communication which is a full and perfect manifestation or display of the divine efficiency, according to its own nature, and, together with it, the whole of the Divine Essence, and other perfections, which we have already proved to be inseparable; and as this communication is entirely founded upon the activity, energy, and operative influence of the Divine Essence and per. fections, as already proved; and as the Divine Nature is thus ne. cessarily and essentially active, energetic, operative, and influential, so is the divine efficiency or power. For the
divine power is derived from the Divine Nature; and as the divine efficiency is active, energetic, operative, and influential, so is the divine will : for the divine will is derived from the divine power or efficiency. And thus we see, it is the very nature of the Divine Being, as subsisting in the first mode, to communicate, according to the economy of its own nature, by the divine efficiency, the whole of the Divine Essence and per. fections eternally, immensely, and immutably, that they may subsist in another distinct mode : and nothing less than this can be a full and perfect exertion or manifestation of the divine efficiency, to the very uttermost: And this communication of the Divine Essence and perfections, together with this distinct mode, necessarily and es. sentially constitute personality. Thus we discover, by demonstration, that there must necessarily be, by the law of the activity, energy, operation, and influence of the Divine Essence and perfections, two distinct, not separate, modes of subsistence in the Divine Essence. And as the Divine Essence is the same in each, and in both these distinct modes of subsistence, it must necessarily partake of each and of both; and as this distinction is in personality, the Essence must necessarily partake of personality from each and from both, and from each and from both alike; for the distinction is in nothing else but personality. Therefore, we discover a third mode of distinct subsistence, or personality, in the Divine Essence; and thus we clearly demonstrate both distinction and union of personality, necessarily and essentially in the Divine Essence, according to its own nature.' pp. 61-64.
• The second person necessarily and essentially arises in the Divine Essence, as well as the first, according to the law already mentioned, each, being co-essential, co-equal, co-eternal, and coimmense, in the Divine Essence; or, according to the foregoing law, which is absolutely necessary to the very existence of the Divine Being, because it is a peculiar perfection of the Divine Essencethe first, being necessarily constituted, consistently with real distinction of personality, by necessarily communicating the whole of the Divine Essence, together with the whole of the divine intelligence and goodness, in all immensity, thereby constitutes the second. Now, it is plain, that the first could communicate no more than the whole of the Divine Essence and perfections, natural and moral ; for more there cannot be in the Divine Being : and it could communicate no less, except the Divine Essence were divisible, which is impossible; and it is equally plain, that as the Divine Essence and perfections are distinguished in the first and second persons, and as