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arising out of existing circumstances, excluded from the fellowship of the and for the information and direction church. of a few friends. Yours, A LOVER OF ORDER.
1 3. “What, in such a case, would be the
| duty of such individual members as April 17, 1822.
wish to adhere to what may appear to
them scriptural order, that they may be 1. “Is it at all consistent with the enabled to walk in the fear of the Lord, simplicity and integrity of the Christian and the comfort of the Holy Ghost, and character, for any member of a dis- be edified ?". senting church, much less a deacon of ? such a church, to contend for the office To this question it is sufficient to of Churchwarden, or even to accept of answer, that if the church be so deploit?"
rably corrupt, that they can tolerate
such practices in any of its members as We answer, Certainly not! and that those referred to, we think the line of church must be in a dreadfully corrupt duty must be very plain and obvious to state, which can connive at any such all those who have an ear to hear what conduct, either in a deacon or a private the Spirit saith unto the churches :member; in fact they would be un- “ Come out from among them, and be worthy the name of a Christian church, ye separate, and touch not the unclean
thing, and I will receive you, saith the 2. “ If the church should inconsider- Lord, and I will be a father unto you, ately bear with such a deacon, would not and ye shall be my sons and daughters, this be a virtual tacking of itself to the saith the Lord Almighty," Edit. Establishment-a dereliction of principle destructive of all order;-so much so, that the members might feel them
LITERARY NOTICE, selves at liberty to worship with their
The Lollards. brethren or not, as to them may appear The Tale of the Lollards, which has · convenient; and thus occasion the most just made its appearance, by the author fatal errors, both in principle and of Calthorpe and the Mystery, is not a practice?”
novel, but a faithful narrative of the
persecutions of the fifteenth century, What we have said upon the first with accurate pictures of the manners query, will equally apply to this second. of the times. It gives in detail 'the When a man asks admission into a affecting histories of the virtuous John Christian church, and obtains it, he Huss, and “ the good Lord Cobham," necessarily becomes pledged to fill up who sealed their faith with their blood; his place in the body by a stated and the latter principally for favouring punctual attendance on the public wor- English translations of the Bible. The ship of the church; and if he neglect to sufferings of such men must be read fill up his station, by voluntarily absent- with interest by Christians of the preing himself and going to other places, sent day, who would recal the fearful he should be dealt with as an offender; difficulties which beset the gospel path and if he persisted, he ought to be in other days.
Stretch'd on the cold damp earth the mourner lay;
To soothe his grief, or wipe his tears away.
A mighty victim to the ruthless storm ;
Stripp'd of its every leaf, and scath'd its form,
Whose oft repeated strokes bad pierc'd his soul;
No word reproachful from the suff'rer stole.
Dealt by his hand;- yet will I trust in him.
T, W. H.
The Scripture Testimony to the Messiah: / manner in which this has been dilated an Inquiry, with a view to a satisfactory on, is apt to excite a suspicion in the determination of the Doctrine taught in minds of those who are not acquainted the Holy Scriptures, concerning the Per- with Dr. Smith's character, that it is son of Christ; including a careful Ex- something more than could have been amination of the Rev. T. Belsham's expected from him. Calm Inquiry, and of othe Unitarian Besides, we are much mistaken, if Works on the same subject. By J. P. the candid and gentleman-like manner Smith, D.D. Vol. II. London, B. J., in which he has uniformly treated his Holdsworth, 2 parts, price & l. in bds. opponents, has not, in some instances
at least, produced a slight degree of In resuming our notice of this truly dissatisfaction among his brethren. excellent work, we would beg leave to This idea was suggested by the followintimate to our readers, that the presenting most remarkable paragraph in the article will be merely introductory to London Christian Instructor, No. XLI. others that are intended to follow itp. 257. The reviewer of the Doctor's without interruption, in our succeeding work says:-“As far as temper and numbers, till the review be completed. suavity of manner is concerned, it is, It will be recollected, that we gave a perhaps, unique as a work of theological brief sketch of the contents of the first controversy. We do not know that volume, in our No. for January, 1819, there is a fairly objectionable epithet to when we intimated our intention of re- be found throughout the three volumes. turning to the subject on a future oc- We hope his example will be extensively casion. Till now, however, this has followed." been unavoidably delayed; and, since To this we most heartily say, Amen; that time, the volume before us has and should have been happy if this remade its appearance. The work is now viewer had practised what he applauds. before the public in a finished state; But, he adds-"At times, indeed, we and, we proceed to lay before our have been a little afraid lest the Doctor's readers a view of the arguments which compliments to some of his opponents compose the second volume, making, should be misunderstood.” Why so ? at the same time, such references to are they ambiguously expressed ? or are the first volume, as the nature of our re- they paid at the expense of any of the marks may render necessary.
important points for which he conIn our review of Mr. Orme's Memoirs tends ? No:-but, “ We do not observe of Dr. Owen, we made a passing remark any complimentary language in the on the spirit and temper in which the Bible to the perverters of the good ways Socinian controversy is usually con- of the Lord.* We can view Socinians in ducted. We there referred to the Lec-'no other light than that of enemies to tures of Dr. Wardlaw, as proof that the cross of Jesus Christ; and, as such, this, as well as any other controversy in we can employ towards them no terms religion, may be conducted in the spirit which admit the existence of candour, of meekness; and, it is with unfeigned humility, or devotion, in their mode of pleasure, that we here add the name of treating the sacred Scriptures." John Pye Smith, whose volumes now! And does this reviewer really suppose before us demonstrate the same fact. that he stands on a level with the It is not our intention, however, to writers of Scripture? We fear the Sodwell upon this circumstance; several cinians will suspect him to be one of contemporary journals have paid Dr. those self-appointed ambassadors, who Smith high compliments on the amiable are perpetually running the parallel spirit that pervades his work. Now, to between themselves and the apostles, this we have no objection whatever; I without being able to shew the necesbut, we would just remark, that the sary resemblance. But, he immediately informs us that, “In the Socinian use is as a professed disciple and minister of that expression, he holds, on such a of Him, who came into the world to theme, 'tis impious to be calm.” We save sinners,' is a question too awful suppose, then, that had he undertaken for human decision; it will be deterthe work of Doctors Smith and Ward- mined in its own time by the RighteoUS law, instead of recollecting that the JUDGE, from whom the Lord grant Bible is the free gift of Heaven to that he may find mercy in that day!'" Unitarians and Trinitarians in common, What is there in all this, we would ask, as much as the air they breathe, or the that is in any way liable to misconsun that shines on them; and that they struction: justice and truth required both approach it as fallible creatures, such a testimony; and, truly, the cause and equally regarding the sacred in for which the Doctor pleads, can well junction- Let every man be fully per- afford it. When religious controversy suaded in his own mind," he would shall cease to be the medium of mahave at once advanced towards Mr. Bel. lignant invective, and personal abuse; sham, and thus addressed him:-“O full when the advocates of Christianity shall of all subtilty, and all mischief, thou renounce every hidden thing of dishochild of the devil, thou enemy of all nesty; and, despising the use of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to carnal weapons, shall speak and write pervert the right ways of the Lord.”) of the things of God, in sincerity, as in Such a Philippic we could easily ex- the sight of God, and in the prospect of cuse from Dr. Hales, or the Right Rev. the review of the day of the Lord, then, the Bishop of Raphoe, but for a re and not till then, can we reasonably exviewer in a work which professes to be pect it to be productive of much regulated by the principles of inde- good. pendency, thus to attack Dissenters, ap And such, to us, appears to be prepears not a little inconsistent.
cisely the path pursued in the writings If Mr. Belsham, and other Unitarian of Wardlaw and Smith: as far as the writers, have been guilty of misrepre- Socinian controversy is concerned, this sentation respecting the sentiments of is a new thing under the sun; the good their opponents; if they have con- that has already been effected by the descended, as it is well known they have former, is too extensive to admit of dedone, to treat with indecent ribaldry tail; and, without a doubt, the latter and profaneness, subjects the most will also speedily obtain a wide circuawfully sacred, sneering instead of rea- | lation, both in the eastern and in the soning, and substituting contempt for western hemispheres. We have no. candour, are they to be combated most idea of separating between what we successfully by the use of the same firmly believe will be the happy result weapons ? surely not. We may, it is of these writings, and the accompanying true, by such unhallowed means, suc- agency of divine power; but, then, beceed in pressing into our service some cause we know that the divine agency of the baser passions of the human uniformly .connects itself with such mind, making them for a time bear means as are most consonant with the upon our opponents; but, we should divine mind; because these works are recollect, that when we have gained the production of men, who, by their our point, by affixing odium to the extensive talents, their meekness, their characters of others, we have not wisdom, the calm and peaceful manner thereby subdued error, the only legi. in which they have pursued their intimate end of religious controversy. I quiries, and the unequivocal display of But, let the reader judge for himself human kindness manifested in their how far “ the Doctor's compliments to writings, shew that they were extenhis opponents are suited to excite fear sively under the guidance of such lest they should be misunderstood." | agency;-and, because “ the words of The most alarming of these is the fol- the wise are as goads ;" because the lowing compliment to Mr. Belsham : words of wise men are heard in quiet, 6 The author of the Calm Inquiry is re more than the cry of him that ruleth spectable for his age, his knowledge, among fools, we are absolutely certain and his talents, for the amenity of his that these productions will live, and be manners in social life, and for the venerated, when the plough-share of obvariety, the copiousness, and the agree-/ livion shall have passed over all those ableness of his conversation. What he little works which have been con
structed on the spur of the moment, human intellect; and, surely, it ought and from which, for ages, the poisoned ever to be remembered that, if the arrows of malice and rancour have been united efforts of the wisest of mankind, discharged in dense showers.
during the lapse of six thousand years, Thus far we deemed it necessary to have utterly failed in attempting to exbear our testimony in favour of the plain the manner of the union between work before us; and, if we have trans- the soul and body, it is the very extragressed in departing from the etiquette | vagance of presumption to attempt by of review in recommending at the com- searching to find out God; and, we may mencement, instead of the conclusion add, it is the most glaring inconsistency of our remarks, we hope our readers to admit the doctrine of divine inspirawill forgive us this wrong, and we shall tion in the case of the prophets and the immediately proceed to examine the apostles, and to object to a fact which all-important subject which occupies was evidently the subject of prophecy, this volume.
and which is so plainly asserted on the The plan which Dr. Smith has authority of God. Dr. Smith has not, adopted, and to which he has closely however, passed over these disputed adhered in this second volume, is to passages, as they are called, without point out the various evidence on the shewing in the clearest manner, by a great question of the person of The patient investigation of the testimony CARIST, as it presents itself to us by the of both friends and foes, that their auopening and the gradual progress of the thenticity stands inseparably connected New Testament dispensation. This with a strong preponderance of eviplan naturally led him to commence dence; and that, several of the statewith a consideration of the narrative of ments of Mr. Belsham are chargeable the miraculous conception.
with a woful want of accuracy. Every objection against the grand But, the seeming difficulties that truths of Christianity arises from the press on these passages, are amply nonatural pride of the human mind; vain ticed by Dr. S. and solved in a manner man would be wise, though man is born as satisfactorily as such points can like the wild ass's colt; and, it is not at possibly be. Perhaps the reader need all surprising, that this circumstance, scarcely to be told, that these are the which requires the lowest prostration of common objections respecting the star the haughtiness of man, should meet in the east; the Magi, and the murder with the strongest resistance. Accord of the young children by the command ingly, we find, that those whose minds of Herod. The star he very rationally revolt at this highest discovery of the supposes to have been merely a mewisdom of God, have exerted their inge- teoric flame, visible at no great disnuity to the utmost, to get rid of those tance, otherwise it could not have portions of the Scriptures which make “stood over" a particular house, and beit known to us. “The disputed pas- come extinct when its purpose was ansages' of the evangelists, Matthew and swered. The visit of the Magi to JeLuke, Dr. Smith acknowledges, are rusalem, he says, was certainly a most pressed with seeming difficulties, more remarkable fact; but, he adds, such an than any other part of the evangelical occurrence might meet with less attenhistory. And the plausible objection tion, and be sooner forgotten, than it which Unitarians urge against these deserved. A fact of much more astopassages is, that, if the relation which nishing magnitude and importance is they give of the miraculous conception, related by Matthew in the most brief were true, it is utterly unaccountable and unimpassioned manner; a fact that those extraordinary events should which, so far as it was known, “could have been wholly omitted by Mark and not have failed” to excite great attenJohn, and that there should not be a tion, but must have produced impressingle allusion to them in the New sions the most overpowering and alarmTestament.
ing, yet a fact which no “contemporary It is a fact that is perhaps too little writer has noticed," and which the anattended to in reading the Scriptures, notator on the Improved Version passes that they seem to be uniformly sparing over without any mark of doubt, diffiin description, or to maintain a profound culty or explication. “The sepulchres · silence upon subjects in proportion as were opened, and many bodies of holy those subjects rise above the limits of persons who had slept were raised;
and, coming out of the sepulchres after, mate, that he was the minister of his his resurrection, they entered into the human nature. Dr. S. seems to think, holy city, and were made visible to that the modern interpreters, to whom many," Matt. xxvii. 53. This is cer- he refers, confound two very distinct tainly a very happy solution of the ap- images when they make the terms, taparent difficulty, and the way in which bernacle and sanctuary, to signify the the objection, drawn from the silence of same thing. But this seems to be done contemporary writers, respecting the by the apostle, when he says of Jesus, murder of the children is disposed of, is that he is “a minister of the sanctuary no less so. Herod had exercised nu- and of the true tabernacle,” &c. For, merous acts of cruelty in murdering his at all events, it must be allowed, that own children, his wives, his nearest re- the place where Jesus ministers as the latives, and his friends; after this, as High Priest of the Christian profession the author whom Dr. Smith quotes, ob- is heaven itself, the holiest of all; and serves, it would not appear a very great in chap. ix. 3. we find the apostle exmatter to order the execution of the pressly designating—the tabernacle, the children of one town or village and its place that was beyond the second veil, adjacent country; a massacre which, in the holiest of all: that place was evia very small place, could not be exten- dently a type of the holy place into sive; since, not all the children, but which Jesus has entered, even heaven the males alone, and of them, such only 1 itself. as were under two years old, were cut! While, however, Dr. Smith prefers off. Bethlehem was a small town, and the opinion above stated, and supposes of little consideration: the population that the passage contains an allusion to including the neighbourhood, scarcely the miraculous conception, it is but reached a thousand; so that the num- justice to observe, that he says, in his ber of male infants within the pre-own truly modest style, that it appears scribed age, could scarcely exceed ten to carry an implication of the fact; and, or twelve.“ Josephus makes no men- that the writer of the epistle to the tion of the murder of the infants; but, Hebrews seems to put the outer taberhe also consigns to silence many other nacle as the sign of the flesh, or human facts, the truth of which is indubitable, nature of the Messiah. We shall close and which could not be unknown to our remarks for the present, by obhim. It should, also, be considered, serving, that, although in no part of the that, excepting Josephus, there are no epistolary writings this important fact contemporary writers extant, nor do we is referred to in express terms, there even know that any ever existed, from I are numerous passages in them which whom a reference to these facts could clearly imply all that it involves; and, be expected.”
perhaps, those passages which assert We do not think, however, that the the immaculate purity of Jesus, while learned author of the Scripture Testi- they represent him as in all things mony is so felicitous in his attempt to made like unto his brethren, are not find a reference to the fact of the mira- least in point. culous conception in Heb. ix. 11, 12. By the term,“ Tabernacle,” he seems to
[To be continued.] think is meant our Lord's humanity; and that the words, " which the Lord pitched and not man,” imply its mira- Letters to W. Wilberforce, Esq. M.P. to culous formation! This opinion is sup
which is added, an Answer to Melancthon, ported by the names of Calvin, Grotius,
his Vindicator: demonstrating the inconCappel, and Owen. But, although it has certainly a shew of plausibility, and
sistency of a Protestant Christian, and
the impolicy of a British legislator, in displays considerable ingenuity, it is at. tended with insuperable difficulties.
advocating the Roman Catholic claims.
BY AMICUS PROTESTANS. London, For, if by the tabernacle here mentioned, our Lord's human nature is
Simpkin and Marshall, 1822, pp. 260,
8vo. price 5s.6d. signified, then the language of the apostle in the 12th verse would inti We are unwilling to lose any time in maté, that Jesus entered his human calling the attention of our readers to nature with his own blood; and the the publication before us. The subject language of chap. viii. 2. would inti- of which it treats is of momentous im.