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upon his head, and to exhibit him as a be confined to the narrow circle of paragon of excellence as the monopo- those old fashioned Christians, who list of more than human perfections, love truth and religion for their own and the fit and deserving object of uni. sakes; and therefore approve and supversal idolatry.
port whoever honestly labours to adBut I must close this detail of admo- vance them, although he may neither nitions, lest I tire your patience. Let have the fortune to coincide with them
however add, as a general princi- in all their prejudices, nor the complaiple, that conscientious impartiality, and sance to encourage their failings, or quiet moderation, may be very good flatter their foibles. qualities, but they are not very profita C-r, Oct. 1802.
T. D. ble ones; and, therefore, if
you would thrive and prosper, you must make haste To the insertion of the above letter, to discard them. If you follow my ad- which we have received from a very vice, I shall entertain some hope of your kind, and evidently partial correspongrowing success. But if you reject it- dent, we have only felt one cbjection ; if you prefer the solid and temperate ap. namely, that it bestows on our work probation of the sober-minded, to the more unqualified praise, than, we fear, impassioned and clamorous admiration it deserves at the expense too of other of the enthusiastic and impetuous-if publications, from the comparative you prefer the doing good, to the gaining worth of which we have no wish to defame; and the promoting genuine piety, rogate. We are sensible of our own to the supporting a human system, or fallibility, and of the temptations to the pleasing a religious party—if you which we are exposed, as well in conrefuse to gratify the lovers of contro- sequence of the opposition of enemies, versy, by fierce contentions; or the ad- as of the too partial approbation of mirers of slander and sarcasm, by bitter friends. But we can assure our reaphilippics—is, in short, you are obsti- ders that it will be our anxious wish nately bent upon making no sacrifices not to purchase popularity by sacrificto popularity; and upon pursuing peace, ing what we deem to be the sober truth, and righteousness, at all hazards; truth at the shrine of any party; and you must reckon upon many a lost also to maintain still more uniforinly, friend, and, I fear, a very contracted that moderation for which T. D. is circulation : for your readers will soon pleased to commend us.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
LVIII. Illustrations of the Truth of the Chris- of applause, which few other literary
tian Religion. By Edward MALTBY, B. D. achievements can challenge. To such Domestic Chaplain to the Lord Bishop of Lincoln. Burges, Cambridge ; Rivington, honourable claim, by his «Illustrations
a tribute Mr. Maltby has preferred an White, and Hatchard, London.
of the truth of the Christian Religion.” To establish the faith of man in the After a dedication to the Bishop of revealed truths of God, is an object of Lincoln, in which that prelate's “strict such great extensive, and even eternal and discriminating inquiry into the preimportance, that whoever zealously en- tentions of candidates for holy orders,” deavours to contribute to its accom- is placed foremost in the enumeration plishment, deserves praise for his de- of his merits and a Preface, in which sign, however moderate may be his the occasion and object of the work are abilities, and however inconsiderable briefly declared; Mr. Maltby proceeds his success. But when to such a lau- to a discussion of the internal evidable design is added an execution, dence of genuineness and authenticity which displays respectable talents, ad- in the books of the New Testament.” vantageously exerted in elaborate and This evidence he collects from the folextensive investigation, we feel our- lowing circumstances in the evangeliselyes called upon to render a tribute cal writings.com 1. Style and idiom.Christ. Observ. No. 11.
2. Minuteness of detail.-3. Absence questionably considered, and still do consider of all pariy spirit.-4. Candour of the their religion as delivered immediately from
God; they believed that the author of the uniwriters, in relating their own failings.
verse watched over its preservation; and that 5. Agreement of the facts, with the he punished or rewarded them, according as supposition of a miraculous interfe- they conformed to its regulations, or disobeyl'ence.-6. Uniform preservation of ed its injunctions. With them too, religion character.” Various other proofs are
was not abstracted from civil concerns, nor
from the privacy, or the engagements of doadded, “arising from a comparison of
mestic. life ; it did not stand aloof, as it were, the genuine Scriptures with the Apo- from their ordinary occupations, but it was cryphal books.”
entwined with their very thoughts, and inter“ The proof arising from the nature woven with their habits; it mingled itself and strength of the prejudices of the with the familiarity of social intercourse, and Jews,” constitutes the subject of the clung to the discharge of every public duty.
With them it was education, morality, law,cussecond chapter. From a well-conduct
tom, amusement, employment, rivetted by all ed review of these prejudices, it is the ties of habit, enforced by all the sanctions justly and ably argued, that it is in the of authority, and combined with all the feelings highest degree improbable that an inn- of prejudice. A Jew wore the mark of his relipostor, who wished his impositions to gion in his body ; it formed a part of his dress; succeed, would have maintained, against ject of his pride and of his affections. He consuch prejudices, an opposition so early, ceived its excellence to be equal to its permaso pointed, and so uniform, as that nence ; the one, as derived from the author of which was displayed by our Lord. all good; the other, as assured by the proThe prejudices which are most insist- mise of truth and omnipotence. He therefore ed upon, with a view to this argument, provement, than that it would be temporary
had no more conception that it wanted im. are ihose which arose from the high in its duration. He was as little disposed to opinion which the Jews entertained of admit the propriety of any alteration in it, as their peculiar dignity and privileges; he was to believe that its sacrifices would their expectation of a Messiah invested cease, its ceremonies be abrogated, or its temwith temporal sovereignty; and their tered the scorn and contempt of the rest of the
ple destroyed. For this he willingly encounconfident persuasion of the perpetuity world; and in defence of it, he was ready to of the sanctions of the Mosaic law. lay down his life.
The following extract from this chap Surely then, it may be affirmed, that it ter, contains some impressive observa
never could have entered into the head or tions, and may serve as no unfavourable fell, in any way, short of perfection ; that its
heart of a mere Jew, that the law of Moses specimen of the style and ability of the ritual injunctions were to be abolished; that the autlior.
distinction between Jew and Gentile was to be
utterly done away; nay, that the Gentile was “ If such was the conduct, and such were
to be admitted to the benefits of the promised the doctrines of Jesus and his Disciples, and if kingdom of the Messial, while some even of such were the consequences of the religion the once favoured children of Abraham would which they published to the world, it is to the be excluded. Far less likely were such ideas last degree improbable, if not moraliy impos. to occur to any one, who should take upon sible, that Christianity should have originated himself the title of the expected Messiah ; in mistake or artifice. If we consider it is an
whose office was universally believed to be human scheme, brought about by human that of restoring and extending the influence agency, it is necessary for us to recollect, that of the Mosaic law, and erecting a temporal Jesus being born in judea, of Jewish parents, kingdom, to rule without limitation, and to enand educated in the law of Moses, must have dure without end.” (p. 92–95.) felt from bis infancy a profound reverence for that law, and imbibed, with the very air he The third Chapter is occupied in a breathed, a firm conviction of its divine au.
review of the conduct of the disciples thority, and of its sacred obligation and unchangeableness. It would not be the case
of our Lord: many instances of wbich with a Jew, as with many of the heathens, are shewn to be wholly inexplicable, that he looked upon the religion of his coun: upon any other principle whatsoever, try as pari, or wholly, untrue ; to which he than that of the disciples having obtainconformed as a matter of state policy; for ed a thorough conviction of the truth of which, whether any other were substituted, those spiritual doctrines, which they and to which, whethier any additions were made, was perfectly indifferent, provided had received from Christ, and afterthere was a state religion. The Jews unwards taught in his name; a conviction
which is the more remarkable and im- designed for general perusal. That portant, inasmuch as it was not the im- vague and indefinite application of the mediate result of the first evidence term to a whole passage, which we have which was afforded them; but was often witnessed, is inconvenient to most established upon the gradual overthrow readers, and to some it is dangerous. of repeatedly reviving doubts, and It is inconvenierit, because many persons, strong and obstinate prepossessions. and those of no very low order as theo
A reflection occurred to us, in our logians, or even as scholars, when they perusal of this chapter, which it may are told that the phraseology of a pasnot be superfluous to record. In the sage of Scripture is oriental, are per134th page, it is said, respecting Christ plexed in their attempt to ascertain, in and his Disciples, that “he adapted his what particulars, and to what exteni, language to their national ideas, and an allowance is to be made for eastern declared, Verily, I say unto you, that imagery and sublimity of style, in order ye which have followed me, in the re to arrive at the literal sense of the pas. generation, w'en the Son of Man shall sage in question :-It is dangerous, since sit upon the throne of his glory, ye also it may lead, as it has led some persons, shall set upon twelve thrones, judging already predisposed to unsound opi. the twelve tribes of Israel." A note is nions, to resolve into mere orientalsubjoined, at the bottom of the page, in isms, all those passages of the word of which it is observed, that the phraseolo. God which contain doctrines not quite gy of this passage is highly oriental.-It agreeable to their prejudices, or not is not on the particular application of perfectly comprehensible by their unthe term, oricizial, in the present in- derstandings. stance, that we stop to reinark ;* but In the fourth chapter, Mr. Malthy on the goneral necessity of exercising takes a general view of “the miracles caution in the use of it, in every in- wrought by the Disciples during the stance ; especially in works which are life of our Lord,” and having adduced * We do not see the propriety of using the
the proofs, that this power was conferadverb, "highly,” in this instance.
red, and actually exercised ; le consiWe shall perhaps gratify some of our rea
ders the purposes for which it was ders, while we give a more correct view of the bestowed, and the effect it produced on above mentioned passage of St. Matthew's the minds of the Apostles. The.result Gospel, by laying before them the exposition of a well conducted discussion of these of Bishop Hall, who, in his treatise on "Epis. points, is a powerful .corroboration of copacy by Divine Right,” having quoted ihis text, says" In the regeneration, that is, as
the truth of our holy religion. Cameron well interprets in the renovation There are, in this chapter, some pasof the church ; for, under the state of the Gos- sages, upon which we deem it expedient pel, the church was as new born, and made to offer a few observations. In the anew, according to that of St. Paul, all things opening of it a quotation occurs from are become netu; alluding to the prophet Isaiah, ch.lxv. ver. 17. And Beza himself, though Wetstein, stating this distinction be. henade a difference in the pointing, and there. tween the prophets of the Old Testaby in the construction, yet grants, that accord. mentand Chrisi; that the latter bestowed ing to his second sense, the preaching of the the power of performing miracles, but Gospel by Christ and his messengers, is meant
the former could not bestow it. Mr. Maltby this regeneration ; quia velut de integro con. ditus est mundus."- Again, he says; the
by suggests, that to the justness of this twelve tribes are the church; the twelve alleged distinction, one exception may Apostles must be their judges and governors: perhaps be found; for which he refers their sitting shews authority; their sitting on to the instance of Elijah, mentioned in thrones, eminence of power ; their sisting on twelve thrones, equality of their rule; their of Kings. We confess, that we do not
the second chapter of the Second Book sitting to judge, power and exercise of juris. diction; their sitting to judge the twelve
see on what ground this instance can be tribes of Israel, the universality of their power considered as an exception to Westein's and jurisdiction. And what judgment could distinction; since whatever may have this be but ecclesiastical and spiritual, (for been the agency or instrumentality of civil rule they challenged not,) and what thrones but apostolical, and by ibeir deriva. Elijah, in the communication of those tion, episcopal ?"
spiritual gifts or faculties which Elisha
received; it seems evident, that it was that good and virtuous dispositions exist from God, and not from Elijah, that antecedent to any operation of divine those spiritual gifts or faculties pro- grace upon the heart. We should be ceeded.
glad also to ascribe to inadvertency, In Mr. Maltby's view of our Lord's the occurrence of the very objectionaconduct, while on earth, towards those ble phrase of men, “ deserving the who sought relief from his divine pow- favour of God by faith and obedience.” er, we by no means coincide. We do (p. 193.) not feel at all convinced, by the argu The subject proposed for discussion ments which Mr. Maltby employs, that in the fifth chapter, is “the Scheme of the faith, which Christ insisted upon, the Gospel :" in tracing which, Mr. was entitled to remuneration, as being Maltby particularly notices “the diffethe evidence of a virtuous disposition. rence between the mode and extent of (See p. 177.) That faith was required in Christ's preaching, and that of his all those who solicited the exercise of Apostles ;', and satisfactorily shews, Christ's healing power is certain : but, that the difference, instead of furnishthat 'this faith consisted of any thing ing, as a Chubb and Bolingbroke supmore than a persuasion of Christ's posed, an objection to the credibility power to relieve them, and a sincere of the Christian revelation, supplied desire to be relieved by him, is a point a very powerful confirmation of it. We which remains to be proved. It is ob were múch pleased with the manner in servable, that Christ' notices nothing; which this subject is illustrated, and he admires and applauds nothing, in with the ingenuity which appears in those who presented themselves to him, some parts of this chapter, and the on these occasions, but their faith. perspicuity which characterises the
We confess, likewise, that we do not whole of it.
see that the facts recorded, concern One short passage struck us, howing the origin and progress of the ever, as containing an expression which Christian dispensation, warrant us in seems to us to partake of the inaccuasserting an high degree of moral ex- racy already animadverted upon. He cellence for those who submitted their says, (p. 211); that Christ “ expressly erroneous opinions to the doctrines of declared that it would be almost imposJesus,, and bade defiance to pain and sible for the great men of the world to contumely, in order to embrace a life of render themselves worthy of admission mortification and self-denial, of repen- into his kingdom.” We here observe tance and amendment.” (p. 183.) It an instance of the disadvantage of dewould, in our apprehension, be more parting unnecessarily from scriptural correct, more consistent with the scrip- language, in expressing scriptural tural representation of man's natural truths. Had Mr. Maltby given our depravity, to represent a high degree of Lord's declaration respecting the diffimoral excellence, rather as the result of culty with which “they that have riches "a submission to the doctrines of Jesus,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaver," than as a disposing cause of such sub- in the words which our Lord employed; mission; and rather as the fruit or con he would have escaped the incorrect sequence of having "embraced a life of expression which he has here used: for mortification and self-denial, of repen- incorrect we must certainly consider it; tance and amendment;" than as a pre- inasmuch as it is not only almost, but existing requisite or motive to the em- altogether impossible for either the bracing such a life.
rich or poor to render themselves tvorWe are sorry to observe in the fore- thy of admission into the kingdom of mentioned, and one or two other pas. heaven-a kingdom into which, if we sages of this chapter, expressions which are admitted, it must be through the countenance an idea we should be glad grace of God, for the sake of the worto think the author does not really en thiness of him who opened this kingtertain, and did not intend to sanction, dom to all believers : and for which we being no less opposed to scripture than must be prepared by the sanctifying to the articles of our church, which is, influences of his Holy Spirit.
The sixth chapter presents us with are not known-nay priests, who have altoa masterly display of illustrations of the gether abandoned their profession-men, in truth of the Gospel, drawn from a con. tile sentiments, lave still supported with uni
short, of the most discordant views and hostemplation of the moral character of our form conviction, and maintained with unvaryblessed Lord. After some preliminary ing ardour, the truth of the Christian dis. observations, the opinions of writers pensation.” friendly to the Christian cause are no, ticed, and at the same linne occasion is
In another part of this chapter, Mr. taken to meet an objection, which is fre. Maltby has stated, that our Lord disquently urged against the solidity and played a vigorous and ferrent spirit of impartiality of their conclusions; and piety; and that he exercised and inculin the next place, concessions upon this cated an entire resignation to the will important point are produced from the of God, and an implicit submission to writings of Vaninus, Chubb, Boling his pleasure; saysbroke, Rousseau, Voltaire, Paine, Gib “ To suppose that Jesus assumed a ficti. bon, and Lequinio ; from whence it is tious commission, and forged imaginary cre. shown, that all the hypotheses which dentials from this supreme Being; that lie have been (framed to account for the name he was daily prostituting to his own
poured forth his soul in prayer to him, whose origin of the Christian religion, inde. vain or selfish purposes; that he continually pendently of its truth, will be found ut. exhorted his followers to reverence and obey terly irreconcileable with the acknow him, whom he himself was dishonouring by a ledged excellence of Christ's moral system of fraud ; that he acknowledged him character.
as the almighty author of a dispensation, which
he himself was endeavouring to abrogate ; the In the 243d page, Mr. Maltby, after omniscient framer of laws, for which he inasserting the incontrovertibility of the tended to substitute the fruits of his own inconclusions which Law, and White, and vention ; this is surely to suppose him guilty Newcombe, have drawn in favour of of the blackest hypocrisy, as well as impiety. the exemplary virtue of our Lord; reputation of the blessed Jesus by those, who
Yet this charge is plainly implied against the adds :
contend that he was engaged in a scheme of
imposture. This charge, however, as well as “ Nor should the vulgar consideration, that all the others, which tend to impeach the in. these writers were priests, and therefore in- tegrity of his principles, or the purity of his terested in drawing the conclusions for which motives, is directly contradicted by the whole they have contended, detract from the weighit tenor of his life; of a life spent in the exercise of their observations, or the soundness of their of his duties to God and man; of a life which, arguments. If, as priests, they be supposed according to the concessions of the very men to lean towards the cause of a profession, who urge the charge, itself repels and conwhich is sometimes attended with emolument futes it.” (p. 260.) or distinction ; yet the mere wish to serve & particular cause would not enable them 10 The following extract contains a establish a position, which must look for sup. very interesting and pleasing observaport to a series of historical testimony. It
tion: would not enable them to wrest facts to their purpose, which are inscribed in the linvarying “ It was the remark of a great judge of records of past ages; it would not enable them life, that the most celebrated and distin. to suppress or distort evidence, which is in- guished characters never appeared so estimaterspersed in the writings of men of every ble to those, who had an opportunity of apparty and of every country; it would not ena. proaching them more nearly, and of observing ble them to produce those internal marks of them more narrowly; as when the caution, intruth and nature, to which they have appealed duced by the presence of spectators, was rein confirmation of their opinions. Nothing moved ; and the exertion, occasioned by the but conviction could have impelled so many desire of gaining applause, no longer continuwriters to handle the same subject, to place it ed. Such a close and frequent inspection of in so many different lights, to support it with the human conduct serves, like the power of such unaffected zeal, and such overpowering an optical glass, lo discover that which is laarguments. We may moreover remark, that tent, to enlarge that which is minule, and to not merely priests of an established church, deform that which is beautiful. If however whose situation sometimes leads to wealth we apply the observation, which is so geneand consequence; but priests of every sect- rally true of human nature, 1o the narratives priests who have nothing to expect but oppo. which contain the actions of Jesus, his characsition, if they are known ; or poveriy, if they ter, even when subjected to this close inspec