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House, Walworth ; William Bousfield, The Ninth Auniversary of the Unita-
Tue Annual Sermon, recommending Esq., 20, Russell Square; Benjamin
this Institution, will be preached by the Shaw, Esq., 72, Cornhill; Isaac Sewell,
Rev. John Burnett, Camberwell, on WedEsq., Salters' Hall; Richard Taylor, Esq.,
nesday, the 13th of April, at the Rev. Red Lion Court, Fleet Street; John
Johu Clayton's Chapel, Poultry. SerWilks, M. P., 3, Finsbury Square; Thos.
vice to begin at Twelve o'clock preWood, Esq., Little St. Thomas Apostle ;
cisely. William Yockpey, Esq., Bedford Street,
The subscribers and friends of the Coreut Garden.
Society will dine together at the Albion, ROBERT WINTER, Secretary
Aldersgate Street, on the same day. 16, Bedford Row.
The Annual General Meeting of the
subscribers and friends of the Society Manchester College, York.
will be held on Tuesday, the 26th day of
April, at the Queen's Arms, Cheapside, At the Forty-fifth Annual Meeting of at one o'clock precisely, to receive a Rethe Trustees of “Manchester College, port of the Proceedings during the past York," held in Cross - Street Chapel- year; to choose a Treasurer, Secretary, Rooms, Manchester, on Thursday, the and Committee of Managers, for the year 24th March instant, Nathaniel Philips, ensuing; and to transact the other usual Esq., in the Chair,
business of the Annual Meeting. It was resolved vuanimously,
The following motion will be discussed That the grateful thanks of this Meet- at the General Meeting : ing be given to Joseph Godman, Benja “ That the Widows of such Ministers min Cotton, and John Coles Symes, of the Scotch Secession Church, resident Esgrs., and the other parties beneficially in England, as at the time of their death interested in the estate of the late Richard were recognized by the Presbyterian MiGodmau Temple, Esq., of Bath and Roe. nisters of their respective neighbourhampton, in the county of Surrey, for hoods, as belonging to their denominatheir munificent benefaction of One tion, be eligible to receive allowances Thousand Pounds for the general pur from this Fund, under the same regulaposes of the College.
tions as the widows of other Protestant S. D. DARBISHIRE, Secretaries.
Dissenting Ministers of the Presbyterian, J. J. TAYLER, S
Independent, and Baptist DevominaManchester, March 24, 1831.
The Annual Association of the Kent The premium of Ten Guineas for the Unitarian General Baptists will be held best Essay on the Evidence of the Acts at Cranbrook, on Tuesday, May 3, on and St. Paul's Epistles as to the form or which occasion the Rev. John Marten, mode of Christian Baptism, (ride Mon. of Dover, is expected to preach. The Repos. for November last, p. 800,) has public service will commence at eleven been awarded to the Rev. H. Green, of o'clock in the moruing. Koutsford.
THE MONTHLY REPOSITORY
NEW SERIES, No. LIII.
LETTERS FROM GERMANY.
· Heidelberg. I send you a specimen of the moral and religious philosophy of Rationalism. It indicates the road by which many of its advocates have reached their present opinions on the subject of revelation : and whatever may be thought of its soundness, it may deserve notice as a doctrine in the German schools, which, with some difference of expression, is embraced with full conviction, and recommended with ardent zeal, by men of intellectual and literary distinction in Germany. What follows is an abstract from several recent numbers of Zimmerman's Allgem. Kirch. Zeitung. The writer, Charles Hey, Archdeacon of Gotha, proposes to explain briefly the principal facts of our mental experience-sensations, ideas, consciousness, thought, identity, will, personality, the religious and moral feelings-by deducing them from one source, the element out of which all are successively developed. He is evidently a disciple of Jacobi,* the last improver on Kant's moral theory. The treatise is entitled, “ On the Life of the Soul, especially in its Religious Development.” It is remarkable for its coincidence with the doctrine of universal divine illumination, as explained by some of the earliest teachers in the Christian Society of the Friends, and with the same result of a diminished respect for the instruction of a dead letter.
* Jacobi's doctrine of immediate knowledge (intuitive truths) is, that there is kpowledge at first-hand, from which all knowledge at second-haud first receives its conditions, a knowledge without demonstration, which vecessarily precedes demonstrable knowledge, is the ground on which it rests, pervades it, and presides over it; that the ultimate elements of all our knowledge are original, immediate feelings and determinations of our senses and of our reason; that out of these elements the understanding constructs all our kuowledge; and that, therefore, from them is constructed the knowledge, not only that there is a God, but also what God is, that he is the sole being of pure reason (the vernunftiges).
“ The whole of our mental experience, from the earliest excitement of the soul by the first sensation to the ultimate development of its intellectual and moral powers, is expressed by one word, the life or active state of the soul. In the investigation of our interior being, two errors seem to have been committed in the analysis of the powers of the soul ; either the inquirer has lost sight of the unity, which is implied in its existence, or the soul itself has been regarded wholly as a thinking being, and from its capacity to form ideas, all its actions have been derived. This is an imperfect view, which makes a right exposition of what is within us impossible, and which Jacobi wished to avoid, when he derived that which is highest in our intellectual life, religious belief, not from the capacity to know, but from the capacity to feel; or, as it is commonly denominated, the heart. The life of the soul commences with its first feeling, with its first sensation of pain by means of its connexion with the body, and through it with the external world. Through the impressions thus made the various affections and powers dormant in the soul are excited and developed. Without such excitement it would never awake out of its sleep, and the life or active state of the soul would never exist. Through the body the soul is put in a condition to act upon the external world, and becomes capable of its various manifestations. The body having performed its office is released from its service ; and as was the birth so is the death of the body, the passing of the soul into a new sphere of existence. Through the effects of the external world, high manifestations of the life of the soul are revealed; but there is a yet higher influence acting upon the soul; there is a divine influence, that spirit which comes from God, and binds the soul to God ; in other words, God acts immediately upon the soul; he wakes in it holy stirrings, and the more it follows them, the more it is united with God. Thus the soul is endowed with various capacities : but they require development, and a fit object to draw them into outward expression. This development and this object are of two kinds, from within and from without; through the body or by the soul itself; and they come from God and from the external world. Neither body nor spirit (in this peculiar use of the term) are the soul itself, but both are given to her, the body that she may rule it, the spirit that she may obey it. This distinction accords with the language of the Scriptures, 1 Thess. v. 23, ' And I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved," &c. Gal. v. 16, Walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.' Ch. vii. 8. He that soweth to the Aesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the spirit shall from the spirit reap life everlasting.""
On Consciousness. “ Through the attention, which accompanies sensation, a higher grade of life is soon awakened and manifested, that is, conscious existence. The soul is now not merely a being that feels desires and is excited, but also a thinking being, and therefore a being which has in itself the cause of its own actions. It has an inward eye, by wbich it can discern itself, and perceive what passes within itself. It brings the various changing feelings and affections before its own consciousness as ideas, and can now retain them there. These it is able to unite after the necessary laws of its own consciousness; it thinks. In this consciousness we discern the soul as an abiding existence, and through it we have the conscious being, myself, With the light of conscious existence the soul comes out of its former darkness, having found the chord which strings all its different states to one another, and now she can say to herself, I exist; I am myself; and I am perpetually the same being."
On Will. “ By the affections which accompany feeling the will is developed, the highest manifestation of the life of the soul, its power of self-motion; the power which it possesses to follow one or another of its different and often conflicting appetencies ; to govern them, more or less, also its feelings and ideas; and to do this freely, that is, independently of any compulsory determination to act thus or otherwise ; and therefore to direct its power upon this or that point, self-determined, but confined within the circle of its affections. This freedom of the will is an internal fact which no unbiassed observer can deny, because every man is conscious of it in every self-determination. By the freedom of the will every endeavour of the soul becomes its own act and deed, and by this the active, conscious being is raised to personality. The actions of men do indeed proceed out of the heart, in which is the spring of the affections which give to human life impulse and aim; but desire is not will; it is a merely passive state; it furnishes to us the objects of action, but it does not determine the direction of the active power. This is done only by the highest power of the soul, the will, through which its course of living becomes its own act, and through which it raises or degrades itself, according as it yields itself up to the higher or lower affections. Thus the relation between the three faculties of the soul, capacity to feel, consciousness and will, and the order in which they are unfolded, appears to be this—the heart is the source out of which the others flow, and out of which they create their matter and their object.”
On the Ideas of Morality and Religion. “ An idea is the necessary inward image of the received impression; it is not a creation; it is only a representation. The clearer the impressions, the more distinct are the ideas produced by them. These are retained and expressed by us through the instrumentality of language ; and a word has been described the vehicle of a thought formed out of an invisible breath, The information of others can obtain entrance into the mind only as it has a relation to our prior experience. We understand it only as it is composed of ideas which we can recognize; but if it contains any thing quite insulated, and which has never stood before our attention, it is not intelligible by us; for the soul can conceive only what it has experienced, and by no art can we raise in one born blind an idea corresponding to our idea of colour. It is the same with the ideas of intellect as with those of sensation : we obtain them only by reflection upon that which has first been felt by us. Whence should the thought of a suprasensible world occur to us, if not suggested to us by our internal feeling, by that inquisitive and monitory intimation from which the thought of it is at length clearly developed How should the belief of immortality be awakened in us, if the heart did not feel a reluctance from annihilation, and an appetence to a continued existence ? And how should we attain to the idea of a divine government, if the active feeling of our dependence upon a higher power did not force it upon our minds? The feelings exist within us before the ideas which represent them. They are the offspring of our inmost nature. They are not derived from impressions of the sensible world: rather, their source is a secret to ourselves, and we can ascribe them only to the influence of the great Creator: for this reason they are represented in the Scriptures as effects of the Holy Spirit. This source of ideas which are obtained from
feelings 'awakened in us by God, appears most plainly in that lofty idea out of which as a centre all the rest emanate, in the idea of holiness or moral goodness. What it is, we feel. It is the liveliest feeling of the heart. It is recognized in the involuntary homage which we pay it, in the inward satisfaction with which it is contemplated, and the dissatisfaction which is excited by its contrary, of both which the feeling is distinct and complete. The soul is conscious of the feeling, and seeks to make it plain to itself through the understanding; but the feeling is so far from being generated in us through the idea of the morally good, that the idea comes far behind the feeling, and it is long before it can assume a distinct form. We all feel what moral goodness is, but in whom does an exact and precise idea of it exist ? Many thinking men have tried to set forth its essence, but none have been able to give a satisfactory definition; and the poet's expression, in its fullest sense, is true of virtue ; • What no understanding of the wise sees clearly, the feeling of the child puts forth simply in practice.' Were there, indeed, a being who could think, yet wanted the moral feeling, in no way could we give him the idea of moral goodness. He would have no sense, no organ for its reception. It would be to him as foreign as light to the blind. For this reason all moral instruction consists in awakening the moral feeling, more or less dormant in another, by placing before him our own, that he may by his own responding experience apprehend what is the morally good. This is, in fact, confessed by 'Tzcherner, when he says, the suggestions of the religious and moral feelings are sleeping tones, which then only awake to clearness and distinctness when they are awakened by words which strike upon them from without. The conclusion is, that not knowledge, but feeling, is the element out of which all the powers of the soul are developed. But when we derive ideas in this manner from the indwelling feelings, it is scarcely necessary to say, that by this is not meant the feelings and affections occasioned by the changes of human condition, or excited by the images of fancy, often very delusive, and to which the weakest souls are most a prey ; but those deep feelings which lie originally in every soul of man, and which we may more or less benumb, confuse, and silence, but can never utterly extinguish within us; and such are the moral and religious feelings. These are so far from being changeable, uncertain, and obscure, that they are rather what is most determinate and abiding in our souls."
On the Nature and Origin of Moral Evil. “ When the soul is not well instructed in the relation of its sensual feelings and instincts to its higher affections, and does not order and rule them according to this view of them, they master the whole life of the soul, they manifest themselves as vehement desires and blind passions, which, like a torrent, carry the heart before it, and overwhelm in their unbridled course the more elevated feelings. In such a condition man is spoiled of his dignity, and is as if he were fallen under ibe dominion of a blind physical force, All the sensual inclinations and desires come out of self-love, the wish to be and to possess that which gratifies us; an affection of the mind which is not only innocent, but useful, since it is indispensable to the unfolding of the powers of the soul. But when, instead of ruling and moderating this selflove, we suffer it to be unbridled in its strength, and to contradict the dictales of the spirit, it settles into selfishness, the fountain of all moral evil.
The sensual desires by their nature easily pass into selfishness; they seek only their own gratification; they wish to be, to possess, to reject, solely for