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REV. JOHN DAVISON'S “ INQUIRY INTO THE ORIGIN
“My son, God will provide himself a lamb."-GEN. xvii. 8.
AND 148, STRAND.
* MR. Benson, in his Hulsean Lectures, has preceded in attacking the theory which maintains the divine institution of Sacrifice; but Mr. Davison is not a less formidable assailant; and the advocates of that theory, it is reasonable to suppose, will not suffer it to be crushed by these vigorous enemies, without lifting a hand in its defence. The cares and duties of the Episcopal office are but little favourable to literary research ; but it would much rejoice us should the present publication rouse the Prelate alluded to, the ablest champion of the opposite party, to take the field, convinced as we are that this keen intellectual contention, conducted as it would be by rare abilities, aided by profound erudition, and with a bold and manly candour, must finally contribute to the interests of Eternal Truth *.".
The Review, from which the above extract is taken, first drew my attention to Mr. Davison's work, and induced me to purchase it, for the purpose of more closely examining the ground-work of a theory which appeared to me highly objectionable. It cannot be necessary to describe what increase of cares, and occupations the Christmas holidays usually bring upon the father of a family of seven chil
* Quarterly Theological Review, No. iv. p. 298.
dren, and the Minister of a populous parish. These, together with various interruptions and peculiar disadvantages of situation, and, I shall frankly confess, much greater difficulty in the subject than I had anticipated, contributed to disappoint my sanguine expectation of furnishing an answer with very little trouble, and in a very short time. Mr. Davison, and those who have inyestigated minutely the points which he has discussed, will be sensible of the wide range, over which their examination necessarily leads the enquirer; and of the continual temptations which it presents, alluring him to the pursuit of various interesting subjects remotely, but not essentially, connected with the main argument. :.'.
* These circumstances will account for so long a period as upwards of three months being employed in the investigation of the subject, without leading the reader to expect from it too much. I mention them not for the purpose of averting critical indignation from myself in case of a failure ; but to shew, that there are some deficiencies of the advocate, as well as disadvantages under which the book is written, to which a failure might be attributed without considering the cause itself as indefensible.
. It is the more necessary that I should make this observation, (not that I feel the slightest want of confidence in my positions), but because many of my arguments are original, and I believe new; and it