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tian in the Pilgrim ' s Progress proper for your valuable Repository , they are much at your service . I propose to make a few remarks on that ingenious allegory for insertion , if you approve , in a subsequent Number , wherein also
I shall suggest a plan , the adoption of which would , I think , render this popular , but in my view erroneous work ^ greatly subservient to the cause of rational piety , pure Christianity and moral practice . T , HOWE .
Sir , T appears to me that the train of Iargument pursued by 1 * . J . J . on " Divine Influence , " [ XV . pp . 580—585 , 3 has very much'the character of deistical reasoning , and has an inevitable tendency to promote scepticism with regard to the miraculous interferences of the Great Author of nature , and
the visible display of agency , usually inscrutable , recorded by the historians of the Old and New Testaments . " There are indeed many good men /' observes the writer , with the air of
candid allowance for the weakness of inferior intellects , " believe that the Supreme Being frequently interposes in human affairs , particularly ia
those of considerable importance ; and 4 ; his conviction very naturally leads them to supplicate for his interference on many occasions . "
If we deny the probability of such interposition of the Deity now , the probability is lessened that he ever interposed in former time ; and as the God of the Christians would be placed precisely on the same footing with the God of the Deists , the question
naturally occurs , Why , if the world be so governed now , it might not always have been so governed ? And the shutting God out of the human universe , except in so far as the phenomena of the ^ niHi an mind are originally referred to him , is nothing more nor less than Deism .
Among these " many good men , " I 6 hould be inclined to rank those who receive as truth what is . stated to them ia their Bibles : for though it may be convenient for the writer ' purpose to
fix our attention exclusively on displays of miraculous agency or instances of preternatural illumination , the Bible contains something more ; it contains tin explicit revelation of God ' s ordinary
dealings with mankind , and repeated clear declarations of the course of his providence . In the bobk of Job we find , xxxiii . 26—28 , " He shall pray unto God , and he will be favourable
unto him : he looketh upon men , and if any say , I have sinned , " &c , " he will deliver his soul from going down into the pit : " and ver . 29 , cc Lo ! all these things worketh God oftentimes with man . " In Psalm cvii . 17—19 , it is said , " Fools , because of their
transgression , are afflicted . Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat . —Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble , and he saveth them out of their distresses / ' In the same Psalm , Jehovah is represented as turning " a fruitful land into barrenness , for the wickedness of them that dwell therein : "
pouring contempt on princes , " " getting the poor on high from affliction . " In Psalm lxv . he is designated as . he that heareth prayer , unto whom all flesh should come : " " confidence of all the ends of the earth : ** as stilling not merely ** the noise of the seas , " but " the tumult of the
people . " It may be attempted to fritter away such texts , as conveying the ideas of men accustomed to visible instances of the interference of God , and impressed with visitations of temporal good or evil , under the miraculous theocracy or present earthly sovereignty of the
Deity , exercised over his peculiar people : but this plea will not avail in a variety of passages , clearly general in their import , and embracing the methods of God ' s providence in his dealings with the human race at large . In Isaiah xlv ., the prophet says to Cyrus , in the name of Jehovah . " " I I e-irded in the name of Jehovah girded
, thee , though thou hast not known me . " Now the restoration of the Jews and the rebuilding of their temple by Cyrus , was not accompanied by any open or supernatural displays of miraculous power ; but , like the destruction of that city by Titus , appeared to be in the course of natural events . We know
that it was otherwise , because it is so revealed to us . The reasonable inference is , that in the general system of human affairs , whether relating to nations or individuals , though the " holy arm of the Lord" is no longer " made bare before the nations , " it is not therefore idle and inoperative , but only veiled . The Bible is full , from the
1 $ Christianity not Naturalism .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1821, page 18, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2496/page/18/