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proved, at least let no Christian, who holds the bonour of liis Redeemer, and the welfare of souls in estimation, with hold his práyers for the success of the undertaking.' P. 175.
Of the moral and historical difficulties in the book of Ge: nesis, Mr. Benson selects and illustrates the following: The Offerings of Cain and Abel — Noah's Curse upon Canaan-God's Temptation of Abraham--Abraham's Obedi-' ence and Faith in offering Isaac-Jacob's supplanting Esau -Joseph's Conduct to his Brethren--and some Minor Difficulties. These are ably discussed in their order; and while the author reviews and satisfactorily obviates the chief objections which Deists have advanced, he demonstrates in a powerful manner the fitness of these histories in the inspired records, and their consistency with the divine attributes. As it would far exceed our limits to follow Mr. Benson through his examination of all these points, we shall only present to our readers a specimen of the manner in which he vindicates the Sacred Writings. In treating of the history of Jacob's supplanting Esau he allows all the actors in the transaction to be culpable, and, after shewing in what each was peculiarly to blame, he observes,
“ Thus it appears that every one of the individuals engaged in the transaction under our review had something to blame in themselves. Isaac, in the partiality of a fond and foolish affection, founded on weak or unworthy grounds,would have counteracted, had it been in his power, the designs of an unerring Providence. Esau, after having in levity thrown away his rights, would yet have retained the benefits attached to those rights, and evaded the consequences of his own regardlessness of his holy birth. Rebecca framed a fraud, where she should have exercised her Faith ; and Jacob consented to be a partaker in her subtilty. Thus all were sinners ; but who is there that is otherwise ? The best of human beings have many frailties to weep for, and to contess ; and in the best of our deeds we may generally find more of imperfection and frailty than in this, and that too without having, in general, the same good and religious end in view ; without one thought either of God or his promises, ever entering our minds. To such then as would pass a sentence of unmitigated severity upon all, and censure the Holy One and the Just, for having perunitted his favours to rest upon such imperfect creatures as Isaac, and Rebecca, and Jacob,- to such I would say, Who art thou that judgest another, and expectest mercy for thyself ? Look to thine own heart and repent; and remember, that if God were extreme to mark what is done amiss, there never was, nor is, nor will be, either Patriarch, or Prophet, or man, the holy and blessed Jesus alone excepted, who could escape the wrath of God if tried upon
the question of
his own intrinsic merit. With that exception alone, then, it is evident that if favour be shewn to any upon earth, it must be to a sinner, forasmuch as all have sinned. They are not, therefore, to be held 'unworthy of God's mercy, merely because sinners, since their sin, after all, was not of so deep a dye, and since God mingled a full and sufficient measure of judgment with the mercy he shewed. In fact, as Jesus stands forth pre-eminent and solitary in his spotlessness amid surrounding guilt, so will the workings of Providence, also, in the history we are contemplating, be found single and superior in untainted rectitude amidst the crooked and perverse doings of each of the inferior instruments. For there was not one of these erring agents who did not reap the bitter fruits of his deviation from righteousness ; not one who was not punished in proportion to his guilt, and in a mode exactly analogous to the nature of his guilt. God visited each in his turn with just the manner and measure of suffering which his sin would seem to have required ; and has thus vindicated before angels and men his hatred to the evil, and his respect unto the good, impressing upon all the warning which their proneness to corruption demands, and the hope which may yet save them from despair.” P. 329.
The author then goes on to shew how each individual was subjected to punishment for his share in this culpable transaction.
The selected class of Scripture difficulties is illastrated in a manner generally so judicious as to command the reader's assent, with the exception perhaps of his remarks upon the offerings of Cain and Abel. This, after the Fall, is one of the earliest events recorded in the history of the human race, and at the same time has been a stumbling block to many sincerely religious minds. Each of the brothers made an offering onto the Lord out of their possessions ; each by so doing expressed his sense of dependence upon the Creator ; each performed an act of worship, and reverence, and gratitude ; and each in a manner appropriate to his occupation ; whence, then, was it that Abel's offering was accepted, and Cain's rejected? And how is this partiality to be reconciled with the equity of Jehovah? The solution given by the most eminent divines is, that the Almighty, immediately after the promise of a great Deliverer in the Seed of the Woman, instituted the ordinance of animal sacrifices to prefigure the atonement and sacrifice of Christ; that Abel by offering the firstling of his flock complied with the divine ordinance, and testified his belief in the appointed propitiation for sin, but Cain, by presenting a different offering, shewed his unbelief; and that consequently the former was accepted, and the latter rejected. This appears to us to rest upon as firm grounds as the nature of the case admits; but Mr. Benson rejects the divine institution of sacrifices, and attempts (we think unsuccessfully) to refate the arguments alleged in its favour. How then does he account for the preference of Abel's offering? He attributes it to Abel's Faith in the promised Redeemer.
“ Since it is certain that the promise of a redemption and a Redeemer had been already cominunicated to man, and that even before the sacrifice of Abel he had received a revelation of a fu. ture deliverance, we are directly and undeniably authorized to assert that it was for his Faith in that peculiar and benevolent declaration of God's will, a Faith as clear as the obscurity of the terms of the promise allowed, and as full and firm as the nature of the case required, that the Lord had respect unto him and his offering.' And from the same principles we as clearly inter, on the other hand, that unto Cain and to his offering the Lord had not respect,' because he was deficient er devoid of that excellent gitt.” P. 22).
Allowing this, it may be asked, how could Abel's offering attest his Faith in the future atonement otherwise than by prefiguring that event? The preference was not alone for any internal disposition, for then it would have been the same whether there had been any offering or not, but it must have been in some way or other in consequence of the nature of the offering; but how could Abel's sacrifice shew forth his Faith in the promise of a redemption and a Redeemer,' except as it adumbrated that atonement and that Redeemer? in no other way could it be evidence of his Faith in the future expiation for sin ; and whether this sacrifice of Abel's was in obedience to a divine ordinance concerning sacrifice, or merely suggested by the promise of a redemption and a Redeemer,' tbe ordinance of sacrificial rites must be referred to a divine source. Thus, according to Mr. Benson's explanation of Abel's offering, sacrifice must be ascribed to a divine origin. In short bis account of the preference shown by the Almighty to Abel's vffering coincides, when closely examined, with that which is above stated, and now almost universally adopted. It is somewhat differently explained, but it comes to the same thing; for it attributes this preference to Faith. But Abel's offering could not testify his Faith unless it prefigured the Atonement, and it could be no evidence of his Faith except it was offered either by express appointment or in consequence of the promise made in the Seed of the Woman, and iņ either case the origin of sacrifice is divine.
As Mr. Benson's view of this transaction agrees, in principle at least, with that which is adopted by our most celebrated divines, it is to be hoped that he will see the futility of his objections to the divine appointment of sacrifices. There is no other rational mode of accounting for the acceptance of Abel's offering than that which ascribes it to his Faith in a future Redeemer, and it cannot be conceived how it could shew forth this Faith except as it typified the Redeemer's sacrifice. If, then, it was through this Faith that Abel offered his sacrifice, it must have been through a revelation of a future deliverence,' and consequently the origin of sacrifices is to be ascribed to a divine communication. to be the fair inference from our author's view of the history in question.
The Mosaic account of the Fall of Man, from its great importance, might well have claimed a distinguished place in these lectures. In the author's opinion, however, the Fall of Man, though intimately connected with the attributes of the Deity, yet seems more naturally to be united with the redemption and sacrifice of Christ, and, consequently, to belong more properly to the department of doctrinal difficulties.' (P. 248.) We are of a different opinion. All the histories, illustrated by the Hulsean Lecturer, more or less involve points of doctrine, and it was his design to elucidate' those moral difficulties which arise out of the historical incidents and representations of Scripture.' (P. 173.) To this class the Fall of Man certainly belongs ; and when the real difficulties which attach to it are considered, together with the cavils and ridicule of infidel writers, as well as its connexion with the doctrine of Atonement, no portion of the Bible History will appear more to deserve both elucidation, and a prominent place in the Hulsean Lectures.
Though the author can write, as many parts of this volume evince, in a strong and nervous style, it is too often marked by carelessness, and it is generally too diffusive. There are also many repetitions, which, however natural in discourses from the pulpit, are blemishes in a published composition. The first part especially is defective in this respect; and indeed the whole might be considerably compressed with much advantage both to the perspicuity of the style, and the force of the reasoning.
These imperfections, which our duty compels us to notice, are trifling compared with the preponderating excellence of the work. It is in truth a valuable performance, and ought to find a place in the Libraries not only of professed theologians, but of those who have the misfortune to feel perplexed by the difficulties of Scripture. Those in the book of Genesis, as far as they are of an historical nature, are elucidated in a manner both perspicuous and satisfactory, wbile the reader's heart will be warmed with the piety which mingles in the discussion. We cannot better express our general approbation of the work, and our sense of its utility, than by expressing a hope that Mr. Benson will, in due time, favour the public with an illustration of similar difficulties in the succeeding books of the Old and New Testaments, which he has announced in the preface to be his intention.
ART. II. Sketches in Bedlum ; or Characteristic. Traits
of Insanity, as Displayed in the cases of One Hundred and Forty Patients of both Sexes, now or recently confined in New Bethlem. 8vo. 352 pp. 10s. 6d. Sherwood & Co. 18:23.
It is difficult to conceive what motive could have induced the publication of this volume. Its details are not likely to afford any useful information to those who devote their thoughts to the subject of which it treats; and it is only a distorted and depraved imagination which could derive pleasure from contemplating the ruins of the human mind. There are few, we trust, who would seek amusement or mirth from the view of our nature in its most afllicted and degraded state,
If there be one condition that should, above others, excite the deepest feelings of sympathy and commiseration, it is that which succeeds the loss of the heavenly endowment by which man is distinguished from all ani. mated beings.
Although we disapprove of the style of the present work, we are far from thinking that an attentive observation of the symptoms of insanity, and the different features which it assumes would be wanting in utility. It has sometimes been a matter of dispute whether derangement is to be classed among disorders which are partly bodily, or those which are purely mental ; but there are many reasons for supposing that it belongs almost exclusively to the latter. It is perfectly consistent with an unimpaired state of health ; and exoept in cases of external injury, the closest examination has never succeeded in discovering any alteration in the organs of the brain to which it might have been attributed. It constantly happens, on the other hand, that aberrations of mind may be traced to circumstances which have produced too