תמונות בעמוד

into a mean, contracted system of favouritism. It pleased God (fays this writer) to command the veil from my eyes, and I saw things in some meafure as they really were, Believe me it was not a whim or a dream that changed my sentiments and conduct, but a powerful conviction which will not admit of the Jeast doubt; an evidence which, like that of my own existence, I cannot call in question without contradicting all my senses.' In a letter to a friend, the Author says, 'you place the whole stress of your enquiries upon reason. I am far from discarding reason, when it is enlightened and fanctified; but spiritual things must be spiritually discerned, and can be revived and difcerned no other way'; for to our natural reason they are foolilhners. This certain something I can no more describe to those who have not experienced it, than I could describe the taste of a pine apple to a person who hath never seen one.'

It was necessary to discredit natural reason, in order to establith such an unnatural pofition as the following: unless mercy were afforded to those who are faved, in a way peculiar to them. felves, and which is not afforded to those who perish, I believe no one foul could be saved. For I believe fallen man, universally considered as such, is as incapable of doing the least thing towards his salvation, till prevented by the grace of God (as our article speaks) as a dead body of restoring itself to life.' Ś There is a discrimination of persons by the grace and good pleasure of God, where by nature there is no difference, and all things respecting the falvation of these persons are infallibly secured by a divine predestination. I do not offer this as a rational doctrine (though it be highly so to me) but it is scriptural, or else the scripture is a mere nose of wax, and without a determinate meaning. What ingenuity is necessary to interpret many passages in a lense more favourable to our natural prejudices against God's sovereignty.'

We are not at all surprized to hear men of such principles, as this Writer espouses, exclaim so bitterly against reason. They are conscious of an irreconcileable hatred between the common sense of mankind, and a faith that sets, all reason and nature at defiance. The abettors of this dark and dreadful creed, escaped from the common feelings of humanity, take refuge in the foveo reignty of God, and under the pretence of submission to his will, fully biş noblest attribute of benevolence. But we reflect the highest dishonour on the deity, by supposing that his proceedings are under the direction of mere arbitrary sovereignty. Upon this supposition we have no fecurity for any thing. Order may give way to confufion; misery may prevail over happiness; wisdom, justice, truth and mercy, may in one moment yield to that sovereignty, which, armed with omnipotence, may unsettle the universe, and turn heaven to hell.


That God created the world merely for himself, as if he needed it to make it a theatre on which to display all the varieties of his power, is an hypothesis that shocks the humane and pious heart; but which, though not expressed in so many words, is the very hypothesis contended for by those writers who have established predestination as the beginning and everlasting punishment, as the final event of a reasonable creature's doom, Upon the genuine principles of this hypothesis, if pursued to their natural consequences, there is no security for the happiness of any created being in the universe :-no, not even for the happiness of the Elect. But our Calvinistic casuifts are disposed to tell us, as that though God might justly have condemned 66 them, as well as others, yet he hath promised that he will not; fos and it is impossible for God to lie." How (we afk) are they certain of that? Wherein lieth the impoffibility of it? If the Divine Being can act against all the claims of justice in one case, may he not in another? But perhaps it will be said, " that we can. “ not judge of the nature of Divine rectitude from that con“ traćted Itandard of justice which is adapted to the sphere of “ civil society; and therefore as no comparison can be made, lo “ no conclufion can be drawn.” We may reply, on the same principles, that truth in man, may not be of the same nature with truth in God, and therefore we cannot argue from the one to the other. If God may break through all the laws of what we call justice, by decreeing the eternal damnation of the greateft part of the human race, on the condition of leaving them in the state in shich it fhould be imposible for them to avoid finning; and all this to execute his vengeance for the sake of one man's guilt, before any of bis offspring had received their exista ence, or were capable of joining actually in his offence :- if God can act thus contrary to the sentiments which we are formed, by the very spirit which he hath given us, to conceive of juflice, we can readily believe that he may act as direaly contrary to all our natural sentiments of truth; and then the foundation of the EleEi's happiness is by no means fo fecure as thev fondly presume it is.

We repeat it again, that we are not surprized that this Author makes such a grievous outcry against reason. Whitfield did the fame; and complained most bitterly of the obítruction which it occafioned to his labours. This hath been the common com-. plaint of designing fanatics in every age. Reason was at first insulted, that priestcraft might gain some credit for nonsente; and nature was degraded, that contradiction might triumph. It was on the ruins of humanity and common senle, that puritan. ism in the last age, and methodism in the present (following the fierce Calvin, who followed the dogmas of one of the later Fathers) erected those mischievous systems. of theology, which


represent God rather as a tyrant than a parent ;- partial, re-
vengeful, inexorable !-to a selected few; a very few, all mercy
and grace :- to others, the great bulk of mankind, unmingled
vengeance, and eternal destruction ! To these forsaken wretches,
who are fast sealed up under the irrevocable decree of reproba-
tion; grace, though offered with one hand, is restrained by the
stber! Why? - That they may. be punished for refusing what
they were, by an invincible fatality, unable to accepe! Thus
what is a privilege to others, becomes a curse to them : and that
which bears the face of mercy, in offering them grace, contains
virtually those very principles which in the end will prove their
double damnation ! Well did Calvin, on a review of this doc-
trine, both in its principles and conclusions, exclaim horribile de je

The 1.479. cretum! Here honest Nature was for once permitted to speak; and in spite of the sophistry of metaphysicians, and the cant of enthusiasts, it will have the last word,


Art. V. A Complete Digest of the Theory, Laws, and Practice of

Insurance; compiled from the deft Authorities in different Languages, which are quoted and referred to throughout the Work ; and arranged in Alphabetical Order, under many relect Heads, with ample References, and a general Index ; affording immediate and full Information on every distinct Matter, Queltion, or Point, &c. By John Welket, Merchant. Folio. 21. or, with the Preliminary Discourse, 21. 55. Richardson and Urquhart. 1781. T HE Public are now in possession of an elaborate work,

T for which their expectation was prepared by the Prelimi. nary Discourse, noticed in our Rev. vol. Ixi. p. 422.; and for which the mercantile world, under the former uncertain state of the doctrine and practice of insurances, are greatly indebted to the intelligent and industrious Author.

'The performance is digested in an alphabetical form, under those heads that will naturally be fought for when the various circumstances relating to insurance are in question ; and abounds with rules, cautions, reports of decided cales, and the neceflury forms of obligation in contracting to insure against naval risks. As the subject is however too diffulive and intricate in the various circumstances and events of marine transactions for the entertainment of general readers, it will be sufficient for the purpose of giving an idea of the work, to exhibit Come one ara ticle inrire, to shew how it is executed. In our present hoftile circumstances, perhaps no argument may be more leasonable, than that on insuring the ve Tels and property of enemies, ay init the arms of our own country. We shall therefore select the article


- ENEMY. 1. It has long been the subject of great controversy in the com: mercial world, " Whether it be right, advantageous, or even legal; to insure an enemy's flips, or merchandises, in time of war or bos. tilities ?" I fall therefore colle&t, and lay before my readers, an abstract of all the arguments which have been made use of for and against the practice, with some interesting remarks thereon.

2. • Those who maintain the affirmative of his question fay,-that it is idle to make laws to prevent a transaction which may be carried on by means of a written correspondence; and that, even if such prohibitions could put a hop to the practice, it would be highly impolitic to lay such a restraint on the commerce of insurance, which produces a certain profit:--that we ought to be cautious when any new regulation is proposed with respect to trade, especially a regula. tion which may perhaps strip us of the only branch of trade we enjoy almost unrivalled, and may very probably transfer it to our enemies : that there is a great deal more of the insurance bufiness done In. En Hande i than in all Europe besides; and it is such a trade as must always leave a large balance in ready money here in England, from the great profits made by the insurer, the profits made by the broker or office.keeper, the profits made by the factor, and the profits made by our dealers in exchange:that as soon as the French Tould hear of a prohibitory law being passed here, public offices of insurance will increase in France, and multitudes of sich men there will undertake the business:-chat the French merchan's will find an easy and secure access to insurance at home, the very moment we exclude them from it in England:that if the premium of insurance be so high, that no profit the merchant can expect will answer it, and something more for his owni trouble, and the use of his money, he will certainly resolve to send out no cargo at all; therefore if, by the success of our squadrons aod cruisers, we should be able to raise the price of iniurance upon French Tips to such a height, that no trade can bear it, we shall much more effectually and more safely put an end to the French commerce, at least in their own fhips, than we can do by prohibit. ing insurance on them ; and if they should fall upon any way to carry on their commerce in neutral bottoms, this regulation can no way affect it:--that if you cramp the business by prohibitions, you will extinguish the Spirit here, and you may, you certainly will, raise it in France ; so that in a few years the French migh: become the chief insurers of Europe.

3. ' On the other hand, it is urged, that by the Stat. 25 Edw. 3, and by the constant practice since that time, it is declared high trea. fon to aid the king's enemies either within or without the realm ; and it is usual in his majesty's declaration of war against France, expressly to forbid us to hold any correspondence or communication with the subjects of the French king :-ihat without a cheap, easy, and secure access to insurance, no nacion can ever acquire, or long preferve, an extensive commerce; and by preventing the French merchants meeting with any insurances here, during a war, we shall very much distress, if not altogether suin, their commerce, and force many of them out of trade, by the captures we might make; for, from experience we know, that an opinion prevails generally among the merchants in France, that they cannot depend upon any insura ances but chose they meet with in England :-that there is reason to suspect, that some of our insurers may give intelligence to their correspondents in France, so far as they can learn, of the stations and course both of our cruisers and privateers :--that we ought to take every method in our power for distressing the declared enemies of our country :-that although to evade these arguments, it is said, that the French might resolve to carry on their commerce, and supply their colonies, by means of neutral ships, which might be all infured in England; yet we mighi prohibit insurances being made upon any ship bound to or from any port in the French dominions; and with regard to their colonies, they could not be supplied even by means of neutral ships ; for, as their colonies can be supplied no way but by sea, if we should block them up by sea, in order to force them to surrender for want of subfiflence, we should have a right, by the law of nations, at least to seize, if not confiscate, every neutral Thip that attempted to carry them any provifions:-chat, as our infurers in rure at a cheaper rate, and in case of a loss pay more punctually, than the insurers of any other country are found to do, we fall by the same means recover the possesion of this business whenever we pleale:-that the practice gives the enemy all the advantages of the principle of insurance, and defears the first principle of war with refpe&t to the insurers ;-that if commerce is the source of mari. time power, and it is the first principle of war to weaken and destroy that power in your enemies, undoubtedly you are guilty of the greatest possible folly and madness, if you render the commerce of your enemy secure, and give her new sources of maritime power :that besides, if money is the soul of war, it may be more advantageous to your enemy to be paid ready money for thip and cargo, when taken, by means of io sarance, than to wait the flow return of the merchants to whom the cargo was consigned, had it arrived in safety :--that supposing your insurers to be considerable gainers, yon must be fenGble this must be a branch of commerce conducted on false principles; for individuals would gain, while the nation suffered by having the hands of her enemy strengthened :-that, however, if the naval power of the insurers is superior to that of the insured, it is most likely that the insurers would lose by this illicit commerce with che enemy; and thus what the superior naval strength of our country gained on the one fide, would be thrown away by the merchanc-insurers on the other.


4. · During the war in 1747, the parliament of Great Britain, at the time they prohibited all trade with France, took into con Giderarion whether the insurance of goods, imported or exported from Fraoce, and her colonies, should not likewise be prohibited ?- Many merchants magnified the advantage arising from this particular branch of insurance: several speeches made in parliament on this occasion, all agreed in this fundamental point, that " no asistance, or means to preserve the fubfiance of the enemy, ought to be allowed of:"but chose persons, whose immediate interest it was to execute che orders for these insurances for the enemy, infifted with great confidence, that they were attended with large profits in general; and al


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