Page images
PDF
EPUB

REVIEW.
“ Still pleased to praise, yet not afraid to blame."-Pope.

[ocr errors]

rancour.

Art. I.—Dr. Carpenter's Examina ness to receive it without examination,

tion of Bishop Magee. and, in fact, Dr. Carpenter's Review (Concluded from p. 304.)

of it in Volume IV. pointed out most

of the errors and deviations from the HE Improved Version of the New title upon which Bishop Magee and tarian Society naturally falls under Bishop Magec's angry censure.

Dr. Carpenter defends this work with abi- readers, that we need not dwell upon it,

This topic is so familiar to our lity, though he candidly states some

The severest criticism has established points on which he differs in judgment the character of the Version as being from the Editors. The readers of the substantially Archbishop Newcome's, Monthly Repository have already seen in a letter of Mr. Belsham's, (XV. cular to Griesbach's amended text. No

and agreeable in every important parti212—214,) that he pronounces some

attack upon it can succeed that shall what too broadly that Mr. Belsham

not overthrow the authority of those alone is responsible for the character two eminent biblical scholars. They of the Version.

are not infallible, nor is the Improved It is a novelty in the history of bib- Version perfect ; but by their aid the lical literature amongst Protestants, at Editors have furnished the English least, that an attempt to improve the reader with a better guide than before translation of the Scriptures should be existed to the knowledge of the pure treated as an offence against religion. Christian Scriptures.

And, notwithAll other sects have made the attempt standing the clamour that has been without reproach : the Unitarians alone raised against them, they have reason are stigmatized for not resting conlented with King James's translation. have encouragement to expect a still

to be satisfied with their success and There is scarcely a pulpit in the king- further portion of the Divine blessing dom from which improvements in the rendering of holy writ have not been upou their labours. suggested, and there is no denomination deviations by Newcome from the

Dr. Carpenter points out certain of Christians that does not welcome Public Version which he thinks needthem when they are favourable to its own peculiarities. What is the loudlyFaunted argument of Granville Sharp

“ One of these, which necessarily and Bishop Middleton in favour of the strikes the attention, is the change of Deity of Christ, but a new and sup- where, into happy. Blessed, when used

blessed (panapos) in Matt. V. and elseposed improved version of certain pas- in reference to human beings, seems alsages of the New Testament? Worse than idle, then, is the cry against the ways to convey the idea of happiness as Unitarians on account of the Improved dence ; and in some instances the use of

resulting from the ordination of ProviVersion, as if they had fabricated a

happy appears improper, as, perhaps new Bible. The only fair question necessarily, implying a present state of is, whether this work' answer to its inind, which blessed does not. A person title, and the Unitarians are as eager may be blessed when he is in deep disas any of their opponents to bring it tress; but he is not happy : and afflictions to the test of criticism. Our early

may be blessings, but they are not happi. Voluines, especially the Ilird, IVth

That blessed, in a different sense, and Vth, testify a sufficient unwilling- is used as the translation of evdoyntos

, is no sufficient reason for employing a

word which does not convey the force * We observe a new translation of the required.”—P. 293, Xote. Hebrew Scriptures by Boothroyd is com

« There is one word of frequent occurmended by some of the reputed Evange

rence in the Epistles, which is, I think, lical publications, although it bears the unhappily rendered by Newconie, whom formidable title of an Improved Version.

the Improved Version in this case follows

less :

ness,

throughout. I refer to zapos, grace, nistry in the 15th year of Tiberius, which favour. According to Mr. Rennel, ( Ani- commenced Aug. 19, A. U. 781. If we madv., p. 48,) to the word grace, when place the Baptism of our Lord in the used in theological writing, the general following January or February, A. U. consent of our nation has attached the 782, (which is the earliest date we can idea of the furourable influence of God on assume,) and suppose that he was pot the human mind, or the effect of that yet thirty one years of age, (as St. Luke's influence. If this had been the extent of words, ch. iii. 23, appear clearly to imply,) the common theological import of the we must place his birth in A. U. 751. word, I suspect that Newcome would “ Now there is nothing in St. Luke's not have left the usual mode of expres. Introduction inconsistent with this. All siou. Still it does not appear that favour that the statement in ch. i. 5, requires does, or ever can, express the frequent us to admit, is, that the heavenly mes. force of xapos; and I decidedly prefer sage to Zacharias occurred in Herod's reverting to the word grace, leaving it to reign. If Herod, as is most probable, the theologian to ascertain its import. died in March, A. U. 750, St. Luke's In the religious application of the term, Introduction renders it necessary to place I understand xapes to denote the favour our Lord's birth before the middle of A. and mercy offered to us in the Gospel, the U. 751.- INDEPENDENTLY of the Introgracious benignity and favour from ichich duction to St. Matthew, there is no chroit proceeds, and the various blessings we nological difficulty whatever in St. Luke's derive from it: and grace, in my judg. Introduction.”—Pp. 299, 300, Note. ment, much better expresses all this than favour."—P. 294, Noie.

One Chapter of the Examination

(Chap. IX.) is “ On the Beneficial With his customary frankness, Dr. Tendency of Unitarianisin,” which (as Carpenter expresses his dissent from our author fully shews) encourages most of the notes of the Improved and rewards the sound exercise of the Version on the Introduction of St. understanding in matters of religion, Luke's Gospel, and from some of those presents One Object of Religious on the Introduction to St. Matthew's. Worship, One Object of the highest He thus explains his views of the fa- affections of the heart, throws no immous chronological difficulty: pediment in the way of the great prac

"I quite agree with Mr. Belsham in tical principles of the Gospel or of rejecting the hypothesis, that St. Luke Christian liberality and affection, and reckoned from the time when Tiberius shines forth resplendently in respect assumed the proconsular government in to the Character and Dispensations of conjunction with Augustus. I have re- the Great Father of all. Dr. Carpenter peatedly considered the arguments of would, we think, confer a great benefit Lardner, with a perfect willingness to upon the Unitarian cause if he would receive his opinion; but I can see nothing suffer this chapter to be printed in the amounting to proof, that St. Luke em- form of a paniphlet for the use of our ployed a date, which, to say the least, Tract Societies. It speaks at once to was extremely unusual at that period, the understanding and the feelings, and of which no clear iustauce is adduced. and is a beautiful example of the piety The hypothesis is necessary to reconcile which it vindicates and enforces. the date assigned by St. Luke to the commencement of John's Ministry, with

An Appendix to the volume conthe statements of the Introductory His. tains a specification of the unnoticed tory prefixed to St. Matthew's Gospel; departures of the Improved Version but not with those of St. Luke's own from the text of Newcome's revision, Lutroduction. If this be taken indepen- remarks on Bishop Magee's strictures dently of the former, (and to me it on certain Unitarian interpretations of appears that they cannot be reconciled in Scripture, observations on the use some other respects,) the chronological made by Bishop Magee of the Unitadifficulty vanishes at once. And when rian reviewer's statements respecting any one gives up the genuineness of the the variation of the Improved Version Introduction to St. Matthew, he has no ground to employ it to invalidate the from Griesbach's text, and on the Introduction of St. Luke.

system adopted with regard to the “ Taking St. Luke's Gospel alone, Greek text by recent critics, an ori(considering it, for instance, as the ginal Letter from Dr. Priestley to Dr.

most excellent Theophilus' naturally Estlin, and a notice of the late Mr. would, an independent history,) the case Bretland. stands thus : The Baptist began his Mi We close the volume, of which we

book :

lainent that our narrow limits will not ference to or rejection of real Christienable us to give a fuller account, with anity, and to point out the sources of the sincere gratitude to Dr. Carpenter for multiplied mistakes which are made with this valuable contribution to Unitarian regard to its nature. I have here made literature, and with an earnest hope some observations ou the indis position of that the work will meet with such the human mind to attend to an argument encouragement (and here we appeal,

which opposes any favourite inclination ; not to the liberality, but to the justice prevailing current of the human charac

on the opposition of Christianity to the of the Unitarian body) as will quicken ter ; and on the bad effects arising from the learned and able author in his the common practice of deriving our noimportant design of answering Bishop tions of religion rather from the compoMagee's arguments in behalf of the sitions of men than from the Bible. popular doctrine of Atonement. Infidels are not in general acquainted,

through the Bible itself, with the system

of revelation; and, therefore, they are Art. II.-Remarks on the Internal inaccessible to that evidence for it which Evidence for the Truth of Revealed arises out of the discovery that its docReligion. By T. Erskine. London. trinal facts all tally exactly with the Pp. 104. 12mo. Hamilton. character which its precepts inculcate.

I have here also illustrated this coinciTHI THIS writer gives, pp. 17, 18, the dence between the doctrines and the prefollowing as the substance of his cepts of the Bible in several particulars.

If the Christian character is the character "1. As it is a matter of the very of true and immortal happiness, the syshighest importance in the study of reli- tem must be true which necessarily leads gion, to be fully satisfied that there is a

to that character. real connexion between happiness and

“ V. I have endeavoured to shew the the knowledge and love of God, I have need that men have of some system of commenced these remarks by explaining spiritual renovation; and I have inferred the nature of this connexion. I have from the preceding argument, that vo here endeavoured to shew, that the ob- such system could be really efficient, unject of a true religion, must be to present less it resembled Christianity in its structo the minds of men such a view of the ture and mode of enforcement. character of their great Governor, as may

« VI. I have shewn the connexion beuot only enable them to comprehend the tween the external and internal evidence principles of his government, but may also for revelation.” attract their affections into a conformity After reading the above summary, with them.

who would expect to find the author " 11. I have made some observations an advocate for the system of modern on the mode in which natural religion reputed orthodoxy, and an asserter of which it appeals to the human under. some of its most unintelligible and standing and feelings. And here I have anti-scriptural doctrines, in their grossremarked the great advantage which a

est form ? That this is the case the general principle of morality possesses in following quotations sufficiently shew : its appeals to minds constituted like ours, “ God became man, and dwelt among when it comes forth to us in the shape us. He himself encountered the terrors of an intelligible and palpable action, of guilt, and bore its punishment; and beyond what it possesses in its abstract called on his careless creatures to conform.

sider and understand the evil of sin, by “ Ill. I have attempted to shew that contemplating even its undeserved effects Christianity possesses this advantage in

on a being of perfect purity, who was the highest degree; that its facts are

over all, God blessed for ever."-P. 40. nothing more than the abstract principles of natural religion, embodied in perspi

Again, crity and efficiency; and that these facts " That God in human nature should not only give a lively representation of himself become the victim, is a scheme the perfect character of God, but also which, indeed, outstrips all anticipation contain in themselves the strength of the and baffles the utmost stretch of our most irresistible moral arguments that minds, when we labour to form an idea one man could address to another on any of perfect benevolence and perfect holihuman interests.

pess; but yet it is the only scheme which “ IV. I have endeavoured to analyze can fully' meet the double object of some of the causes of the general indif- strongly attracting our love to God, and,

at the same time, of deeply convincing what the light of nature teaches ; let us of the danger and baseness and ingra- him but follow these principles fully titude of siu."--P. 67.

out, and he will think no more of a Again, he speaks of the “ self-sacri- tain many notions which he at present

'self-sacrificing” God, nor longer reficing benevolence” of God to men; cherishes. and of " self-sacrificing solicitude on

R. the part of God for their welfare." Pp. 46, 72. Again,

“ The identity of the Judge and the Art. III.- An Enquiry into the Orivictim dispels the misty ideas of blind gin of Christmas-duy: shewing that vindictiveness with which this scheme this and the other Festivals of the inay sometimes have been perversely en

Christian Church are Continuations veloped; and he approaches God with of the Heathen Feusts of Antiquity. the hunble yet confident assurance that Together with Remarks on the cehe will favourably receive all who come lebrated number Three, ichich has to him in the name of Christ."-P. 76.

been made Şacred by Pagan SuperBut enougii ; we had thought the

stition. By Israel Worsley. 12mo. day was gone by when men of sense

pp. 66. Hunter, and Eaton. and learning would roundly assert, that THE Christianity of the New TesGod suffered and died; but, it seems,

T

tament consists in spiritual worwe were mistaken; the present writer ship and moral excellence; not in the appears to be a person both of sense observance of fasts and festivals, a and learning, as well as of piety and blind assent to unintelligible dogmas, no mean talent ; on this account we and a superstitious regard to useless have taken more notice of his book ceremonies. Very ditferent are the than we should otherwise have done; systems established by worldly policy and we hope he will reconsider the and power, which have long usurped system which he has adopted. We the venerable name, and been substithink his leading error has been what tuted in the place of the pure and he himself avows, p. 60: “In order undefiled religion taught by Jesus and to understand the facts of revelation his apostles. The able writer of the we must form a system to ourselves," pamphlet before us, shews that such &c. On the contrary, we think, that in systems symbolize much more with the order to discover truth, it is necessary superstitious and idolatrous notions we should direst ourselves as much as and practices of the ancient Heathen, possible of all systems of doctrines than with the rational and heavenly and preconceived opinions. If Mr. E. doctrines of the Christ and his divinelywill but compare one part of his book commissioned messengers, or the prac, with another, closely scrutinize his tice of the primitive Christians ; and own reasoning, and determine to re- that, not only many ceremonies, obtain no worris' with which he cannot served by the Established sect, are of connect distinct ideas, we are per- Heathen origin, but also, the Trinity saded he will find that to give up and vicarious punishment, so far from some part of his present views is una- belonging to genuine Christianity, voidable; he must either become more the proper doctrines of Paganism. or less rational. Can he deliberately We cannot better describe what octhink that the doctrine of a dying, casioned the writing of this sensible “ a self-sacrificing God,” is “nothing and useful tract, than by quoting the more than an abstract principle of notice prefixed to it : natural religion, embodied in perspicuity and efficiency”? Do not na

“ The Author of these pages, a ministure and reason revolt at the idea of ter to a Dissenting congregation, fouud a suffering and dying God? Can the

some individuals of it partial to the obleast shalow of such an absurdity superstitious regard to thie’day, but he

servance of Christmas-day; not from a be found in the Scriptures ? He is probably a young inan; he has already made useful by the services of religion. some good ideas; he seems incapable He felt from conviction a repugnance to of receiving as true what he perceives giving to this day a solemnity and an to be at variance with reason, and with importance which belong exclusively to

are

TH

the Lord's-day; and, that he might unjust charges brought against Unitakeep back nothing that leads to a proper rian Christians. understanding of that religion of which

R. he has been appointed a minister, he delivered on the Sunday that next fol- Art. V. --Truth needs no Apology; lowed the day so called, in a discourse, the greater part of the following remarks

or, a Further Elucidation of the on Christmas-tide: and then left it to Reasons for Dissent: occasioned by his friends to consider, whether, after

the Affectionate Address" of the what he had stated of the origin and Rev. Samuel Wix, and the Subsenbject of the appointment of that day, he quent Apology,by the Rev. ought to keep it as a Christian festival." Samuel Newton. By a Layman. We recommend this little work to

8vo. pp. 24. Longman and Co.

1821. the serious perusal, not only of meinbers of the Established Church, but in

THE Layman is a stiff Noncon

formist, who thinks that in the particular of those among the Dissenters who, for want of a better Newton " the Truth has been com

controversy between Messrs. Wix and knowledge of the history and grounds promised.” He steps forward, thereof Dissent, are apt to fall in with fore, to denounce in the boldest tone established customs, in religion, only the errors and corruptions of the because they are fashionable.

Church of England, and churchmen R

can scarcely deny that he has hit some

palpable blots. But, Dissenters as we Art. IV.- Unitarian Christianity and are, we must allow that there is more

its Professors, vindicated from Po- of declamation than of argument in pular "Misrepresentation and Ca- the Layman's pages, and that his ealumny; in a Letter addressed to the gerness has betrayed him into soine inquiring Inhabitants of Plymouth errors. The “nolo episcopari” is a Dock: occasioned by the recent farce no longer acted, if indeed it ever Officiousness of a Clergyman and were, (See this subject discussed by his Friends. By Silvanus Gibbs. the late Rev. S. Palmer and another pp. 29. Hunter, and Eaton. correspondent in our VIIth Volume,

pp. 26, 88, 225 and 297.) The power IT de ;

misrepresented and calumniated, is strangely overrated by the Layman, notwithstanding the many plain and when he says that “ he can interpret explicit statements, and able defences the Christian faith in any way he thinks of their views and sentiments, which proper," can erect or cancel all have been presented to the public; bishoprics," and "can alter, amenil and, so long as they continue to be or omit any part of the Church sermisrepresented, it will be necessary for vice without any consultation.” These their advocates to vindicate them from mistakes, together with the confoundfalse charges, and to re-state and de- ing of Elymas and Simon Magus, (p. fend what they believe to be the genu- 19,) lay the Layman open to the lasl; ine doctrines of Christianity. Unita- of the critics of the Church, and disrianism admits of such an easy defence, serve, instead of strengthening, his arfrom reason and the plain facts and gument for Dissent. declarations of Scripture, that it is scarcely possible for its adversaries Art. VI.- Death and Resurrection. to shew themselves in hostile array A Sermon preached at the Dissentagainst it, in any district of the king ing Chapel, Lympston, on Sunday, dom, without rousing some friend of March 26, 1820, on the Death of truth and free inquiry, who is qualified Mrs. Howorth, Relict of Edward to repel their attacks with success. Howorth, Esq., who died March The writer of the above pamphlet 15, in the 85th year of her age. By shews much good sense and candour, the Rev. Thomas Jervis, 8vo. pp. in replying to the misrepresentation 32. Hedgeland, Exeter, and Longand illiberal attacks of the clergyman inan and Co., London. 1820. and his friends; and answers, in a TRS.

ter of a worthy and liberal

plain style, some of the popular'ana MRS. HOWORTH was

the daugh

« PreviousContinue »