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with thousands who are engaged in the most servile employments, do\W to the mendicants, the lame, and the blind:—here, where extreme poverty is daily witnessed, with all its awful concomitants, our chief resource to alleviate its direful distress, is to assess the poor, and squeeze out of their acanty pittance, a trifling sum which will but partly satisfy the cravings of the hungry indigent, while the rich inhabitants in the city, who derive a. great part of their opulence from the labours of these very poor, (which are virtually their own,) contribute nothing to their relief.' pp. 6, 7.
This extract is a record of facts which have come tinder the observation of Mr. Hale, whose indefatigable attention to the poor of Spitalfields, deserves the most unfeigned congratulations of every friend of humanity. By the statute of the 43d of Elizabeth, cap. 2. provision is made for such extreme cases as Spitalfields by assessing neighbouring parishes. Wise, however, as those general regulations may be considered, through various concurring causes they are found to fail of that practical effect which the wisdom of the Legislature had expected; it is justly observed by Mr. Hale (p. 9) " that this clause has been often and is now acted upon in some manufacturing towns in the country, where the evil is upon a small scale; but in the metropolis it is of a magnitude too exten-, sive to come within the jurisdiction of the Magistrate."
As no relief could be obtained from a law which could not be put in execution, recourse was had to the legislature; and upon five different occasions Parliament interfered, and communicated some relief. The sums voted were very considerable; and Mr. Hale bears testimony to the lively interest which the legislature has always taken in the interests of the parish.
On one of these occasions, Mr. Henry Thornton became acquainted with the unspeakable distress of this parish; "At my request," says Mr. Hale, in a line passage, which we gladly record, ■ ~ }«m&4&b
'He went with me over the parish. I think I may with confidence appeal to him and say, that, terrific as the picture I drew appeared, there was not a single part too highly coloured. He saw (to use his own words) *« the extreme or distress ; • and, whilst his sympathetic heart heard the tale of plaintive woe, his generous hand bestowed an unexpected relief. I am not authorized to state the extent of his liberality during this trying period; hut I will give vent to my feeling*, and in the inimitable language of the inspired penman exclaim, that " When the ear heard him, then it blessed him; and when the eye saw him, it gave witness to him ;—rbecauss he delivered the poor that cried, the fatherless, and him that had none to help him:—the blessing of those that were ready to perish came upon hiiBt and he caused the widow's heart tQ sing for joy.*' j>p. 15, 16. -i^'ow;
^ '• " * Jobxxix. 11th to 13th rer*, !*,Tk£
But how great must have been the distress, and how imperfect must every attempt at description be, when, thousands(says Mr, H.) whom we had to assess for the poor, were literallxf starving., The weekly pittance allowed by the parish was known to be insufficient to purchase bread for half the time. The Collector, though a poor man with a numerous family, rather than discharge the dreadful duties of his office, gave, up his books, and a salary of 80/. a year.
The Justices of the adjacent counties, having no jurisdiction whatever over the inhabitants of the city of London, cannot put in force the provisions of the statute, where it would be both right and practicable. Nothing, therefore, but the authority of Parliament, can render the poor of Spitalfields any effectual reliefc Their claims upon the city of London, to which Mr. H. recommends that a share of the burden should be transferred, are exceedingly strong. " From a rough calculation, made in the year 1 SOU, it appeared that about four fifths of the poor ia his neighbourhood worked for people within the city." (p. 13.) This is a relation much more close and intimate than mere contiguity of situation; upon which the 43d of Elizabeth is evidently founded. Very little connection often exists between the poor and the rich of a parish; yet the rich are compellable to relieve, not only the necessities of the poor of their own parish, but, in cases of exigency, even those of other parishes, if in the same county. But this very regulation is founded on the supposed relation pi" master and servant, as is evident from many provisions, and all the legal reasonings, of the Poor Laws. When there is no such actual relation in a parish, it is obviously right to recur to another district, to which the relation does leaJly apply- -A* far as equity is concerned, therefore, the claim of tlie poor of Christ Church on the city of London is unquestionable; and Mr. H. informs us, that a very small assessment indeed would be perfectly sufficient to establish a permanent fund, fully adequate to the exigency of the case. He has very properly left the subject to the wisdom of Parliament, and does not presume to deliver any very decided opinion. We cannot doubt, however, that such a case as this will plead its own cause with every enlightened and patriotic Member of the Legislature; the heart which doe3 not throb at Mr. Hale's recital, and pant to afford complete alleviation to the calamities which it unfolds, is unworthy to reside in a human bosom.
For the modesty, the benevolence, and the patriotism of the author, whose time has been so much devoted to the distresses of his unfortunate neighbours, we know not how to express our esteem. His highly interesting and respectable pamphlet is intended solely to attract general attention to the case or of the parish of Christchurch; to make any verbal exceptions to such a work, would be like submitting Howard, as he entered a dungeon, to the criticism of a dancing master.
Art. IX. Dialogues, Letters, and Essays, on various Subjects. By A. Fuller. 12rao. pp. 306. Price 3s. 6d. bds. Burditt. 1806.
A/f ANY of our readers are so well acquainted with the writings of this respectable author, as to supersede the necessity for ary elaborate discussion of his present publication; and this is the less necessary, also, because a considerable part of it has already appeared, at various times, in popular periodical works. It may suffice, with regard to these Essays, barely to enumerate the titles, assuring the reader that he will find in them much judicious remark, acute reasoning, important truth, and useful admonition. Part I. or Fundamental Principles, comprizes nine Dialogues, on the Peculiar turn of the present age, importance of Truth, Connexion between doctrinal, experimental, and practical religion, Moral character of God, Free-agency of Man, (this is a very luminous defence of the Calvinistic tenet) Goodness of the Moral Law, Antinomianism, Human Depravity, Total Depravity of Human Nature; and five Letters, in farther elucidation of the last sentiment Part II. contains Miscellaneous Pieces, on the Nature of Regeneration, Degrees in Glory proporr tioned to works of piety, the Unpardonable sin, the Ministry, the Manner in which divine truth is communicated in the Scriptures, Connexions in which the doctrine of election is introduced in the Scriptures,. Evil things passing under specious names, the .Deity of Christ essential to Atonement, Sonship of Christ, Obedience and death of Christ, Necessity of seekingthose things first which are of first importance,Proper and improper use of terms. Part III. or Original Pieces, consists of three Conversations on Imputation, Substitution, and Particular Redemption, Answer to Three Queries (on the subject of predestination and human guilt,) Meditation on the nature and progressiveness of the heavenly glory.
The Three Conversations form, perhaps, the most interesting part of the volume, and may be considered, in some measure, as the counterpart to a sermon on the Divine Justice, noticed in our first Volume. In explaining the rationale of the scriptural account of vicarious obedience and atonement, p. 387. Mr. F. distinguishes two meanings of the word impute, nipn, koyttopca, a proper and a figurative; of which th» formeris used in charging aperson with what is actually his own merit or fault, and the second in charging him with what is actually another's. It is scarcely accurate to call these, twd hieam'ngs; but the distinction of the objects to which it is applied is obviously correct, and according to Mr.Fuller's reasoning of considerable importance. In this latter sense, he considers the sin of man as having been judicially imputed to the Redeemer and Substitute of Man, who suffered as if he hail been actually guilty. The idea of transferring guilt or righte-ousness, Mr. F. rejects as palpably absurd, and urges 'that these can only be imputed, while their effects are transferred t k can never be said that Christ actually sinned of wasguilty; nor that believers have actually suffered, and are righteous i but it is true, that Christ has suffered punishment forsinnefs," and that believers will enioy eternal life through him, in virtue of his vicarious substitution.
* Debts are transferrible; but crimes are not. A third person may can-.' Cel the one; but he can only obliterate the effects of the Other; the desert of the criminal remains. The debtor is accountable to his creditor as it private individual, who has power to accept of a surety, or if he please, to remit the whole, without any satisfaction. In the one case he would be just; in the other merciful: but no place is afforded by either of then! for the combination of justice and mercy in the same proceeding. The criminal, on the other hand, is amenable to the magistrate, or to the head of a famjlyj as a public person, and who, especially if the offence be capital, cannot remit the punishment without invading law and justice, nor,in the ordinarydischarge of his office, admit ef a third person to stand in his place. In extraordinary cases however, extraordinary expedients are resorted to. A satisfaction may be made to law and justice, as to the spirit of them, while the letter is dispensed with. The well-known story of Zaleucus, the Grecian lawgiver, who consented to lose one of his eyes to spare one of his son's eyes, who by transgressing the law had subjected himself to the loss of D6th, is an example. Here, as far as it wenti justice and mercy mere combined in the same act: and had the satisfaction been much fuller than it was, so full that the authority of the law, instead of being weakened, should have been abundantly magnified and honoured, still it had been perfectly consistent with free forgiveness.
- 'Finally: In the case of the debtor, satisfaction being once accepted, justice requires his complete discharge: but in that of the criminal, where Wtisfaction is made to the wounded honour of the law, and the authority of the lawgiver, justice, though it admits of his discharge, yet no, otherwise requires it than as it may have been matter of promise to the substitute. '\
'« I do not mean to say that cases of this gort afford a competent representation of redemption by Christ. That is a work which not only ranks with extraordinary interpositions, but which has no parallel: it is a work of God, which leaves all the petty concerns of mortals infinitely behind if. All that comparisons- can do, is to give us sgrac idea of 'lineprinciple on which it proceeds.' pp. 22*;—222.
Mr. F. may be considered therefore, as holding something like General Atonement and Particular Redemption, or as h'e expresses it, that " the particularity of redemption consists i#
Vol. Ill- N
the sovereign pleasure of God with regard to the application of the atonement; that is, with regard to the persons to whom it shall be applied." The nature of this atonement or reconciliation may be understood from the following passage in the third conversation, in which James represents Mr. F.; JPetet\a. higher Calvinist; and John, a moderating friend of both.
'John. What are your ideas of that reconciliation which was effected while we were yet enemies.
'James. I conceive it to be that satisfaction to the divine justice by virtue of which nothing pertaining to the moral government of God hinder* any sinner, from returning to him; and that it is upon this ground that dinners are indefinitely invited so to do. Herein I conceive is the great difference at present between their state and that of the fallen angels. To them God is absolutely inaccessible, no invitations whatever being addressed to them, nor the gospel preached to them ; but it is not so with fallen men. Besides ihis, as " Christ gave himself for us that he might redeem us f rum all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people," I consider the actual reconciliation of the elect in the fulness of time as hereby ascertained. It Was promised him as the reward of his sufferings, that he should " see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied."
* Peter. Is there any thing in the atonement, or promised to it, which" infallibly ascertains its application to all those for whom it was made?
1 James. If by this you mean all for whose salvation it was sufficient, T answer, There is not. Kut if you mean all for whose salvation it was intended, I answer, There is.' pp. 243, 244.
On these principles it follows, that there is no natural impossibility which prevents fallen men lrom turning to God, and obtaining eternal life; if they do not, it is because they will not. In this part of his views, Mr. F. has no controversy with the Anninians, though he considers that it is foreknown to whom this atonement will really prove beneficial, and they contend that it is contingent. ,Hero they are at issue on a point of fact; the real question, however, on which this dirlerr ence chiefly turns, is a question of mere mental science, whether moral accountability consist with the certain dominioriof motives on the human mind.
We cannot refuse to quote the exhortation which concludes these conversations. We recommend it to all who ar» accustomed to dispute on the topics in question.
• Brethren,. there are many adversaries of the gospel around you, who Would rejoice to see you at variance: Let there be no strife between you. You are both erring mortals; but both, I trust, the sincere friends of the Lord Jesus. Love one another!' p. 251.
. The concluding Meditation on the Blessedness of Heaven, extends to the length of fifty pages, and abounds with serious and pleasing reflections. Here we could readily multiply extracts, but we rather refer the reader to the work itself. He