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Art VII . —A Letter to Thomas Erskiney Esq ., in Reply to his recent Pamphlet in Vindication of the West Country Miracles . By the Rev . Edward Craig , M . D ., Oxon , Minister of St . James ' s Chapel , Edinburgh James Nisbet , London . Mr . Erskine , the author of the preceding tract , has recently adopted , it seems , some modification of his religious opinions , which has set the regular orthodox in array against him . This might be well enough . A great divergence from the truth has sometimes only to be continued to approximate to more rational and sober seutiments . Thus , however , it is alleged that miraculous evidence has in our days been afforded in favour of this peculiarity of theological doctrine . Two cases have been proposed as satisfactory instances of this divine
interference . " A young person of the name of Campbell , occasionally , hi certain moments of inspiration , seizes the pen or pencil , and writes like lightning a number of unknown characters or figures , which have been affirmed by some persons to be Persian , by others Chiuese ,
by others Japanese , and by some to be most probably one of the languages of the interior of Africa . But be they what ihey may , they are declared to . be a writing of an unknown tougue , under the immediate influence of the Holy Spirit , and a proof that God is with his people of a truth . "
The second case is this : "At a prayer-meeting in Port Glasgow , at which two gentlemen attended with a view to ascertain the real state of the case , a man named Macdonald prayed ; and at length while he prayed the gift of tongues was poured out upon him ; and he prayed in an unknown tongue for a quarter of an hour , ending with two words , on which he laid a great stress , * disco capito . * One of the gentlemen
present , not satisfied with this gift only , said , * It is written , Pray that ye may interpret , ' on which Macdonald prayed again , and wus soon answered by this gift also ; for he arose , and , with a voice lik thuuder , cried , ' I have the interpretation ; disco capito , the shout of a kingdom is in the midst of you . * It appears , however , that the interpretation only exteuded to the two terminating words on which the man had laid so
much emphasis . At the close of the meeting a young female stated to these two gentlemen , that she had received
that , evening a most wonderful answer to prayer ; for that previously to the meeting being assembled , she had retired with a young friend , and prayed for an increase of faith and holy boldness , and that the shout of a king might be in the midst of them ; * and you see , Sir , ' she coutinued , * in the interpretation now giveu , what a wonderful testimony we have received . * This young person , it must be observed , however , was the sister of the man Macdonald who had received the gift ; and whom , according to their own account , oniy a few days before , he had raised from a bed of sickness by an instant command to rise . "P . 7 . This case , taken with all its peculiar features , ^ was so satisfactory to the two gentlemen , that they considered all the miracles of the New Testament to be not more satisfactory than this coincidence of expression : they cousidered it to be a commanding miraculous testimony which ought to be implicitly received .
Mr . Craig has very successfully shewn the entire absence of all suitable evidence of miraculous interference in these cases . With reference to the writing of Miss Campbell , the declaration of Professor Lee , of Cambridge , to whom a fac-simile had been sent , is given iu this pamphlet ,
that in his judgment * it contains neither character nor language known in any region under the sun . ' There is an important lesson which may be learned from such occurrences , which is very necessary for those who incline to fauaticUni , and that is , concerning the use of reason in matters of religion .
Art . VIII . — The Reason of Autumn , as connected with Human Feelings and Changes A Sermon occasioned by the Death of JV * Hazlitt . By J . Johns . The Livingness of the Departed . A Sermon on occasion of the Death of Mr . Thomas Madge , Sen ., of Crediton . By J . Johns .
These Sermons are both characterized , the first in au eminent degree , by those beauties of thought and style , of sentiment and imagery , which our readers know Mr . Johns to possess . We regret in both an occasional remoteness of allusion , the introduction of which is more allowable in a poem than in a sermon ; and an occasional attempt at the coinage of expressive words , which is not expedient in either . But these are foibles on which we are nut dieiioavd to dwell
Critical Notices . —• Theological . 57
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1831, page 57, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2593/page/57/