« EdellinenJatka »
his character, first calls Him“ Immanuel *;" and then denominates Him“ Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty “God.” Prepared, indeed, must that person be to give gold for brasst, and silver for dross #; to take a coarse daubing for a fine original picture, or a dead corpse for an animated body, who would change our received translation of the New Testament, and our Liturgy which contains a summary of its doctrines, for a work in its principles so scanty, cold, and cheerless ; a work which would leave us with no Sacrifice atoning for our sins; with no Holy Spirit, who, if we earnestly supplicate Him, will direct us in the perplexities of our minds, will comfort us in the anguish of our souls; with no Advocate, who will make our imperfect prayers acceptable to the Almighty ; with no Lord, to whom we may cry for help, in the time when we need support under difficult trials 8; with no confidence that although our bodies will die, yet our souls will continue to retain the powers of sense, thought, and activity; with no prospect but that body and soul shall lie dormant, till the final period of general resurrection. ||
* Isaiah, vii. 14. — ix. 5. See Bp. Lowth's notes on those passages, annexed to his New Translation of Isaiah. + ΙΙ. 6. 236. Χρυσεα χαλκειων.
| Isaiah, i. 22. Ś The note subjoined to 2 Cor. xii. 8. in the New Version, denies that the example of St. Paul can authorise us in praying to Christ. To the same effect is the note on Acts, vii. 59., on which passage, observable are the words of Markland: “It is so far from “ being necessary to understand soy after etiranoupenoy, that it is “ quite contrary to Stephen's intention, which was to die a martyr “ to the divinity of Christ. So that it is him only he invokes, as if « it had been written επικαλούμενον (τον Κυριον Ιησουν) και λεγοντα, Κυριε “ 1750, &ca., &c., calling upon the Lord Jesus, and saying, Lord “ Jesus, receive my spirit.” Bowyer's Conjectures.
11 The notes on Philip. i. 21. and 1 Thess. iv. 18. in the New
Yet scanty, cold, and cheerless as are the principles of this standard and system, they have proved injurious ; for they encourage means, by which to exclude from common readers the peculiar doctrines of Christianity. The truth of this assertion will sufficiently appear from a single instance. We are all well acquainted with what in its genuine substance was an edifying book, “ The Great Importance of a Religious “ Life.” The third chapter of it dwelt particularly on the redemption of mankind by the Son of God * ; whom it describes as the propitiation for our sins; and whom it sets forth as the object of devout praise in a state of eternity. Zeal for proselytism has stooped so low as to take that book in hand ; by exenteration to pluck from it all the contents which in a distinguished manner were Christian; and then, under the title which it first boret, to throw it again into the world devoid of its Christian doctrines, like an empty casket plundered of its jewels. Surely such a procedure will justify an intimation that vigilance against error must still be exerted.
10. Continuance of such exertion will prosecute the good work in which men of erudition and research, of perspicacity and judgment, of faith and conscience in the sight of their God and Saviour, have successively been engaged. Thanks be to God!
His gracious Providence has never left us destitute of circumstances favourable in their nature and tendency. If, within the course of some few years past, endeavours have been used to mistate the doctrines of Christian reli
• In the Thirty-first Edition. - See p. 84. 93. 76. † For a minute statement of the several parts in which Mr. Melmoth's original work has been altered by the modern Unitarian editor, we are indebted to the “ British Critic” for January, 1813. — See p. 48.
gion ; for our consolation and joy, within the same period, supporters of the Gospel and of Gospel truths have intrepidly stood forth and victoriously combated the writings of misrepresentation. This remark might be verified by appeal to many Works produced in the present century. Propriety, however, suggests, that we should confine ourselves to those only, the contents of which are immediately applicable to the subjects just considered, tending as they do either to confirm right opinions, or to correct mistaken sentiments of religion. Under such description will come the following works: “ A Collection of Evidences for the Divinity of our “ Lord,” by Mr. Freston.* “ Certain Principles ex
amined, in Eight Discourses,” by Mr. Falconer. The second, third, fourth, sixth, ninth, and eighteenth sections of “ An Address to his Parishioners,” by Dr. Valpy. “ Critical Reflections upon the important
Misrepresentations contained in the Unitarian Ver“sion of the New Testament,” by Dr. Laurence. The third edition of “ Discourses on the Scriptural Doc“ trines of Atonement and Sacrifice," by Dr. Magee. " Animadversions on the Unitarian Translation of the “ New Testament,” by Mr. Rennell.
- Remarks on “ the Version of the New Testament lately edited,” by Mr. Nares. To the authors of those Works are due, and are now made, our grateful acknowledgments for their seasonable labours ; by which strength is given to our former persuasions ; increase is added to the knowledge before acquired; and from their being placed in points of view, under which they had not hitherto commonly appeared, many subjects now engage our attention, which heretofore were not so accurately noticed.
* These discourses expose the contradictions, the unphilosophical requisitions, the unwarrantable assumptions, in Mr. Evanson's “Dissonance of the Four Evangelists.” See p. 22. 57. 81. 87. 90. 146. 210. of the “ Discourses,” on those several points.
11. Encouraging is the retrospect on those writers. And why should we doubt that others of a similar kind will assist our cause, as occasion may require ? The fountains of our education are still pure. The clergy of the United Kingdom are still earnest and learned. In the highest degree of estimation are still holden the works of Hooker, Chillingworth, Hammond, Stillingfleet, Barrow; of Pearson, Bull, Sherlock, Butler, Wake, Secker. These are circumstances which indicate the prevalence of right taste, and of right principles in those sources of philology and religion from which, with reason, we may hope will proceed a copious supply of ability well qualified, and of resolution determined to maintain the cause of truth. And as the sentiments of the heart will find corresponding utterance, when that is dishonoured which we should hold in most sacred veneration, even the name of the Lord our Redeemer, most high in the glory of God the Father ! * we may confidently expect there never will be wanting defenders of our received doctrines, received by us of the present age; by the fathers of the English church at the period of the Reformation ; by the primitive Christians of highest antiquity ; because consonant with the substance of all the apostolical epistles ; because inculcated by that most extraordinary convert and preacher St. Paul, who expressly styles Christ,“ over all, God blessed for ever !” + received, because warranted by the more than usually grand introduction of St. John's gospel ; received, because conformable with our Lord's declaration of the Divine purpose, “ that all men
“ Gloria in Excelsis,” in the Communion Service. + Rom. ix. 5.
should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father * ;" received, because deducible from the
very words by which at our baptism we devoted ourselves to the acknowledgment and religious worship of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. To that Trinity in Divine power, and Unity in Divine nature, may we never cease to render praise in the language of our accustomed doxology. But retaining the usage, and perpetuating the sentiments of the ancient churcht, with all the humility and with all the gratitude which become Christians who are blessed with creation, redemption, and sanctification, “to the Father, and to the Son, “ and to the Holy Ghost,” let us steadfastly persevere in ascribing “ glory.”+
St. John, v. 23. + See Dr. Comber's “ Companion to the Temple," p. 71. Fol. Ed. 1688. - Mr. Shepherd's “ Critical and Practical Elucidation “ of the Morning and Evening Prayer,” p. 101. Ed. 1796.
† “ Baptising, we use the name of the Father, of the Son, and of “ the Holy Ghost : confessing the Christian Faith, we declare our “ belief in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost : “ascribing glory unto God, we give it to the Father, and to the “ Son, and to the Holy Ghost. It is anotitos Tou op @cu opornuatos, “ the token of a true and sound understanding for matter of doctrine “ about the Trinity, when, in ministering baptism, and making “confession, and giving glory, there is a conjunction of all three, “ and no one of the three severed from the other two.” — Hooker's • Ecclesiastical Polity," p. 246. Fol. Ed. 1682. Book v. s. 42.