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of violence have passed away, never to be renewed. The mild laws of Great Britain bestow numberless benefits; and security in person and property are realized to the inhabitants of India, beyond whatever they have experienced since the æra of the Mahometan conquest. They may now hope for a long repose from religious persecution, and Mahratta violence. Fifty millions of subjects enjoy a happiness after which their forefathers signed in vain. Slavery is unknown to India; justice is accessible to the poorest peasant, and oppression hides its head. We know and believe, that there is a superintending power, “ in whose band an empire weighs a grain,” which converts even the ambițion of man to its own wise and beneficent purposes. Long buried amidst a darkness the most profound, the slumbering Brahmin begins to raise his head, and views and fears the approaching light of reason and truth. He trembles for the fall of his numerous idols, and painfully anticipates the desertion of his dark temples, which time, ignorance, and superstition have rendered inexpressibly sacred. The Mahometan, equally ignorant, and equally bigoted, already begins to ask, “ what is truth?" Led by these great events, Truth, we trust, is about to illumine the Eastern world ; and if the God of Truth have decreed it, who, or what, shall impede her progress ? As friends of mental improvement, and human happiness, we rejoice in the persuasion, that India will soon feel, in various forms, and to a wide extent, the meliorating influence of genuine Christianity; and that her connexion with Great Britain will issue in her reception of the best of blessings, and her delight in the pure and benevolent morality of the Gospel.
at ignorant, and inexpressich time,' anticipateses for
Art. VII, Dr. Priestley's Notes on the Scriptures, concluded
from page 109. THE fourth and last volume comprises the notes and para
1 phrases on the Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. "The epistles of Paul are not placed in the promiscuous order which they occupy in the common editions of the New Testament, but are disposed according to the supposed dates of their composition; in which Dr. P. closely follows the judicious statements of Lardner. In this part of his work the annotator has evidently employed peculiar pains and address: for which, indeed, he had pressing reasons. · With all the benefit of his reserves and qualifications, his task was hard. Notwithstanding the de. nial of the inspiration of these epistles—the bold charges of ignorance, Jewish prejudices, and inconclusive reasoning-and the convenient covert of accommodated and figurative language; it is a most difficult thing, indeed, to recast the apostolic writings in the mould of modern Socinianism.
To follow Dr P. through the application of his scheme to the whole scope, or to the particular passages, of the several epistles, would far exceed the bounds of a review: that investigation will highly become the serious and studious reader. But we may, perhaps, assist such an inquiry, by a brief notice of what appear to be Dr. P.'s main principles of interpretation.
The chief of these principles is, that the epistles, though a , « very useful part of the canon of scripture," are “ certainly of much less consequence than the others;" that they “ were not intended, by the writers, for the use of the Christian church in all ages;" and that there is not " any appearance of the writers" imagining themselves to be inspired in the composition of these letters. Vol. iv. p. 3.6.
In opposition to these unwarrantable assumptions, we have the strongest grounds of scriptural evidence for affirining, that the dispensation of the Spirit by the ministry of the apostles, was essential to complete the revelation of Christianity; that this was the design of the Lord Jesus, in the commission which he gave to those honoured messengers; that for the execution of this design they were qualified by the perpetual presence of the Holy Spirit, to guide them into ALL TRUTH; that under this com mission they acted with strict fidelity and infallible certainty, in all that they taught, whether by speaking or by writing, on the subject of Christianity ; that their authority, in all matters of religion, was virtually and really the authority of Christ himself; and that the presumptuous despiser was guilty of rejecting, “not man but God, who had given to them his Holy Spirit." Dr. P. admitted that the apostles were honest and faithful men.
With what face then, could he assert, or can any of his fol· lowers receive, such audacious blasphemies against the infal
lible, truth, and the designedly permanent use of the apostolic epistles, when the writers of those epistles hold language like the following? “ We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God bath revealed unto us by his Spirit: which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth. We have the mind of Christ. We are not as many who corrupt the word of God ;* but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight
* Yet Dr. P. scruples not repeatedly to charge these holy and venerable men, not only with inconclusive reasoning, but with putting false constructions upon many passages cited by them from the Old Testament. How awfully applicable is the declaration of our Lord, “ He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth," or to what lengths of impiety his erroneous system may lead him!
helf our positions, t'ofibedley
of God, speak we in Christ. The things that I write unto you are the commandınents of the Lord. We are of God. He that knoweth God heareth us: he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
If our readers desire to see a judicious and satisfactory proof of these positions, they will find it in “. An Enquiry into the Nature and Extent of the Inspiration of the Apostles;”. by the Rev. W. Parry, of Wymondley.
Another principle of interpretation, which Dr. P., in common with other Socinian writers, applies to the New Testament, is, the supposition that the language of the sacred writers is so be. clouded with extravagant metaphors, obscure allusions, and harsh idioins, that its genuine meaning lies at a very remote distance from its apparent signification. We are warranted in drawing the conclusion to this extent, by observing the uniform manner of cutting many troublesome knots, which is adopted in the volumes before us. We readily admit that the scriptures are written in a style and idiom peculiar to the country, religion, and habits of the writers, and that a correct acquaintance with Jewish literature is a qualification necessary to an interpreter of the sacred books. But we are persuaded that the farthest extent to which this principle can be fairly carried, is entirely consistent with the clearness and perspicuity which should characterize a book, intended to be the guide of faith, and morals, to all the children of men, in every age, country, and condition. According to the notions of Dr. P. and his adherents, no book can be less qualified for answering its avowed purposes, than the New Testament; no book more unfit to be entrusted to the understandings of the general mass of mankind'; no book more likely to be misapprehended in the most egregious manner. The works of Homer, and Herodotus, are distinguished by peculiarities of idiom and dialect, in a degree, little, if at all, interior to those which occur in the apostolic writings. But will any ursprejudiced man assert, that close translations of Homer and Herodotus, are not intelligible for all the great purposes of history, to persons in modern times, who know nothing of Grecian and Ionic learning, and who never made antiquity their study ?-With respect to the figures and allusions which refer to the religious institutions of the Jews, it was evidently the design of the apostle Paul in particular, who uses them the most, to point out directly, or to intimate indirectly, the proper signification of emblematical rites and anticipations, and thus to illustrate the conduct of divine wisdom, in the establishment and arrangement of that dispensation, which was “ the shadow of good things to come.” But, so far from viewing the subject in this reasonable and scriptural light, to consign any passage to the shades of Jewish opinions
and observances, is apparently considered by writers of Dr. P.'s stamp, as equivalent to making them signify nothing at all.
Connected with this, in complexion and tendency, is another leading principle which runs through these Notes on the Scriptures. We allude to the practice of lowering and evaporating the plain meaning of those descriptions, and predictions, relative to the truths and religion of Christ which occur in the Old Testanient; and of denying the justness of their application when they are quoted by the New Testament writers. It is obvious that this cannot be done, without iinplicitly fixing a charge of ignorance, or dishonesty, on the apostles, and even on Jesus himself: but at this the soi-disant Unitarians never boggle, To save their system, they make no scruple of giving the lie to AIM who is “ the faithful and true witness !" ".
It is a frequent topic of declaination with these gentlemen, that every thing essential to Christianity, lies in the belief of the single proposition, Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah; and having said this, they take the liberty of pouring contempt on the doctrines the Deity and atonement of Christ, as being not only corruptions
of Christianity, but such corruptions, as had not even the faint · semblance of countenance, in the preaching and writing of the
three first evangelists. This is among the most popular of their arguments, and it has been repeatedly drawn out to great length, by the author of the work on our table. But ought not the inquiry to have been previously made, What is the true sense of the term Messiah? The proper answer is, doubtless, to be sought for in the prophecies of the Old Testament. There he is described as the man of sorrows, and as the Mighty God; as the Messenger of the Covenant, and as JEHOVAH, the Saviour and Shepherd of Israel ;, as wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, yet as seated on the throne of universal dominion, the heathen being his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth his possession. The fundamental doctiine, that Jesus was the Christ, therefore included a large field of all-important truth, which would be more and more elicited, by a diligent study of the acknowledged oracles of God. Hence it is no wonder that Dr. P. found it his interest to employ his utniost endeavours, to degrade the prophetic testimony, relative to the person and character of Christ.
While we find so much to disapprove and to pity in the work before us, we are happy to present our readers with a passage of a more pleasing description. It has, of late, grown into a fashion, among Socinian and seini-deistical scribblers, to treat the concluding book of the New Testament canon, with peculiar affectation of contempt, and with every possible mark of sceptical suspicion. With the following extract from Dr. Pi's introductory observations on that book, we conclude our remarks on the whole work.
• This * This book of Revelation, I have no doubt, was written by the apostle John, and probably about A. D. 96, after he had been banished to the isle of Patmos by the emperor Dornitian. Sir Isaac Newton with great truth, says, he does not find any other book of the New Testament so strongly attested, or commented upon, so early as this. Indeed, I think it impossible for any intelligent and candid person to peruse it without being struck in the most forcible manner with the peculiar dignity and sublimity of its composition, superior to that of any other writing whatever; so as to be convinced that, considering the age in which it appeared, none but a person divinely inspired could have written it. Also, the numerous marks of genuine piety that occur through the whole of this work will preclude the idea of imposition, in any person acquainted with human nature. It is, likewise, so suitable a continuation of the prophecies of Daniel, that something would have been wanting in the New Testament dispensation, if nothing of this kind had been done in it. For it has been the uniform plan of the divine 'proceedings to give a more distinct view of interesting future events as the time of their accomplishment approached.
Besides, notwithstanding the obscurity of many parts of this book, enough is sufficiently clear; and the correspondence of the prophecy with the events is so striking, as of itself to prove its divine origin. Indeed, some of the most interesting parts of this prophecy are at this very time receiving their accomplishment, and therefore our attention is called to it in a very particular manner; though it certainly was not the intention of divine providence to enable us, by means of thosc predictions to foretel particular future events, or to fix the exact time of their accomplishment.
It is, indeed, sufficient for us, and affords us much consolation, that the great catastrophe is clearly announced, and such indications of the approach of happy times, as lead us to look forward with confidence and joy. These prophecies are also written in such a manner as to satisfy us, that the events announced to us were really foreseen; being described in such'a manner as no person writing without that knowledge could have done. This requires such a mixture of clearness and obscurity as has never yet been imitated by any forgers of prophecy whatever. Forgeries written, of course, after the events, have always been too plain. It is only in the scriptures, and especially in the book of Daniel, and this of the Revelation, that we find this happy mixture of cleamess and obscurity in the account of future events,' pp. 573-575.
Art. VIII. Biographical Memoirs of Lord Viscount Nelson, &c. &c. &c. · with Observations Critical and Explanatory. Sparsa coegi. By John
Charnock, Esq. F. S. A. Author of the Biographia Navalis, and the History of Marine Architecture. With several Plates. 8vo. Pp526,
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