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cy, there would be some reference to his mission, and the work he was to perform, or to the end and design for which he was given, but nothing like this appears, if the common rendering of the words el geber, be the proper rendering:

The other appellation in this text referred to by the Remarker on Stone's Sermon, as expressive of the divinity of Christ, is, “ The everlasting Father,” or as he renders it, “The Father of eternity.”. But is there any sense in this rendering? Can the terms father and eternity have any relation to each other? Can eternity have a father'The common reading everlasting Father is intelligible, and perfectly applicable to Jesus Christ. It imports nothing more than that his seed should be eternal, or as the scripture expresses it, “ endure for ever.” Dr. Gill, who was a rigid trinitarian, renders it, “ the Father of the future age.” The Septuagint, “ the Father of the world to come.” Lowth says*, “I am persuaded it is from the authority of this text, that the state of the gospel, or the kingdom of the Messias, is called in the New Testament, me).Awe awy, the age or world to come."

Whatever therefore, may be the import of these titles, it could not be the design of the prophecy to convey the idea, that the child who is the subject of it, was the very God, possessing in himself proper divinity.

The Remarker's next reference, is to Zechariaht, who, he says, “ dignifies him (Christ) with the incommunicable name of Jehovah, representing him, nevertheless, as sent by Jehovah." It would be difficult to find in polemical writers, a proposition more inconsistent than this —that the name, Jehovah, is incommunicable, and yet that a person sent by Jehovah is dignified with it.” From which proposition it will follow, either that the person so dignified had the mere name conferred upon him, and was not himself Jehovah, which would be ruinous to the Remarker's scheme, or else that there are two Jehovahs, the one the sender and the other the messenger sent by him, which is subversive of one of the most obvious truths of reason and revelation, the unity of God. These consequences can only be avoided by another supposition equally absurd, that is, that Jehovah is the messenger of himself

But is the assertion, that Zechariah dignifies Jesus Christ with this name, true? Nothing like it appears in the prophecy, It refers to Judas covenanting with the chief priests, for thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus; to his bringing again the thirty pieces of silver, and casting them down in the temple ; and to the chief priests buying with them the potter's tield. “ This whole prophetic scene,” says Lowth*, “is transacted in the single person of Zechariah, just as Ezekiel sustains the type or figure, both of the Chaldean army that should besiege Jerusalem, and of the Jews themselves that were besieged.” Ezek. iv. 1 — 12. The words referred to by the Remarker, are all of them the words of the prophet, as sustaining different characters in this scenical representation, and are not the words of Jehovah. He it is, that says, v. 12." I said unto them, if ye think good, give me my price; so they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver, and the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter." "A goodly price," continues the prophet, 5 that I was prised at of them, and I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter, in the House of the Lord.” Besides, could any one reading this prophecy, or the history of its fulfilment, ever suppose that the subject of it was Jehovah, that he was to have a price set upon him by the chief priests to be sold by Judas ! and to be bought by them? Could the prophet, or the historian, or any of the persons concerned in the transaction, entertain such an idea?' It would be absurd to suppose it. How little foundation is there, then, for the assertion of the Remarker, that in this prophecy, • Zechariah dignifies Jesus Christ, with the incommunicable name of Jeho dah ?"

* Chap, xi, 8-3

* In loc.'

These observations, if you think them worth inserting in your valuable Repository, shall, with your permission, be followed with some others on this subject, in another letter or two. March, 12, 1807.

I. M.

DR. JAMES FOSTER'S PRAYER AGAINST THE PAPISTS.

To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. SIR, I, in common with your readers in general, have been much pleased with your worthy correspondent J. T.'s Biography of the excellent Dr. James Foster. The character given of the Doctor is unobjectionable : he was an amiable writer, a rational divine, and a sincere Christian. It might have been added however, that he was not always consistent with bimself— that he sometimes failed to exemplify the virtues which he recommended. The following paragraph is extracted from his Offices of Devotion affixed to his Discourses, which are generally ex

In loc.

tolled, and which J. T. pronounces, “rational and sublime," but which in my opinion are too wordy and too argumentative: the spirit of this prayer is so wrathful, the manner of it so outrageous, the language of it so coarse, that I much question whether the most fiery papist of the times could have exceeded it in his curses of the Protestants. One trembles to contemplate the nature of religious zeal, when euch petitions to Almighty God, are heard to proceed out of the mouth of the gentle, “ modest Foster.”

" But as we are concerned for the purity of thy Churches, and the honour of the true Christian religion, we are bound more parti, cularly and earnestly to pray, that thou wouldst utterly subrert the Antichristian Romish Church, which thou hast permitted, for ages, to be an ungodly and wicked faction against the common rights of man. kind. Discredit, and bring into everlasting contempt, and detesta. tion, all its monstrous innovations, its enormous pride and tyranny, its multitude of vain traditions, that make void thy holy command. ments, its boundless superstitions, its tritling commutations for sin, its impious doctrines, the horrors of its inquisition for blood, by which she has been long filling up the measure of her sins, and preparing herself for the day of rengeance.

Convert these DEGENERATE SAVAGES, these enemies to humanity and mercy, if they still remain capable of any hind and soft impressions ; if not, confound all their devices, and speedily consume them with the spirit of thy mouth, und with the brightness of thy coming.Vol. II. p. 387.

I am not ignorant, that the Discourses were published in the year 1752, and written a few years earlier; but I know also, that charity is of no year or season; and judging agreeably to the requirements of Christian charity, I have no hesitation in saying, that such dammatory prayers as these, would have been unchristian, even if the Rebellion of 1745 had succeeded, and Dr. Foster bad been hurried, instead of Lord Kilmarnock, to the block.

I am, Sir,

A REFORMED CATHOLIC.

AUTHOR OF

" A DISSERTATION ON THE NUMBERS OF

MANKIND.''

To the Editor of the Monthly Repository.

SIR,

In reply to the query of your correspondent (Vol. II. p. 87.) I ber leave to inform him ihat the learned and ingenious Dr. Wallace, was the author of the “ Dissertation on the Nun). bers of Mankind.” He was one of the leading members of a Society of learned and respectable men resident in Edinburgh, who carried on for some years a private correspondence with Dr. Berkeley, the celebrated bishop of Cloyne, on the subject of his Metaphysical publications. They are said to have been numbered by him among the few, who completely comprehended the scope of his reasonings against the existence of matter.

Professor Dugald Stewart, in his Account of the life and writings of Dr. Robertson, (p. 6.) remarks, that the influence of this society, in diffusing that spirit of philosophical research, which has since become so fashionable in Scotland, had often been mentioned to him by those who had the best opportunities of observing the rise and progress of Scottish Literature.

Hackney-Wick, I am, Sir, your's &c.
March 17, 1807.

JOHN CHRISTIE.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST CHURCH DISCIPLINE.

To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. Sir, As I have been educated in the midst of orthodoxy, and have lived under all the rigours of Church Discipline, and in riper years have been led to renounce the errors of iny youth, and to enjoy that liberty with which Christ has made his followers free, I 'feel anxious to see the fullest compliance with your solicitation. (“Correspondence”, in the Ninth Number.) A subject which is supposed, on the one hand, to involve the interests of personal religion, and on the other to endanger the real independence of the Dissenters, must be considered, very important. I will endeavour as plainly as I can to state, and as well as I can to defend my opinion.

I am persuaded that the discipline observed in some independent congregations is such as no friend of religious liberty would attempt to defend; to attack this therefore, would be in fight with a man of straw. I have witnessed a Minister exposing in gross detail the pro and con of an offending member's crime, and then (supported by the apostolic precedent,) pronouncing judgment with uplifted hand, and solemnly committing the criminal to the world, and to the devil or satan*. I have been present at one instance, and have heard of more

• The unfortunate man continued as well in health as he had ever been, and though he repented of his sin, I believe he will always despise the ignor rance which dictaicd the sentence that was passed upon him.

instances, in which “ Deacons ” have exercised their inquisitorial authority, endeavouring with vulgar curiosity, to ascertain the religious experience, and with ignorant bigotry to discover the creed of those who proposed themselves to be admitted. I have heard them enquire what was the plague of the candidate's heart, and pray with characteristic fervour (for one Deacon was a butcher) that the Lord would water his soul with marrow and fatness, and all this and much more of the same kind : not in a society obscure and irregular, but popular, highly respectable, and in the metropolis.

But to enter upon the subject-I consider all discipline which goes beyond the preservation of order in public worship, and in religious meetings, discipline which any person undertakes to exercise over others, before they can share in any ordinance instituted by Jesus, as improper. Granting that there are just causes to lament the want of piety amongst us, that many members of our churches are speculatively Christians, and in their lives not so strictly virtuous as their Minister or their serious friends might wish, I consider all attempts to correct the evil by "narrowing the door of admission into our churches" as unjustifiable, and I would defend this view of the subject by the following reasons :

1. Any such limitations could not be made according to the estimate of morality, which the scripture contains, without injustice in their application. We are mostly conscious that with regard to particular opinions, it would be improper to establish any rules, because we cannot presume what sentiments are positively right and what erroneous. But if we consider conduct we shall find that the same, reason exists, to prevent our fixing any law by which, to exclude or admit persons who choose to unite themselves to our religious societies.

Though in some fow instances there is no disa pute about the morality of conduct, in some points of view this is a subject as unsettled and as difficult of determination as any controverted opinion. The profane, the intemperate, the debauchee we hold in abborrence; but is not the man given to the love of riches, who by almost every effort strives to gratify his favourite passion, nearly as culpable, considering the influence which his conduct

the cause of Christianity, and upon his own heart? In some sense, undoubtedly, conformiiy to the manners, and fashions and amusements of the world, may be carried to a degrading and vicious excess. Who then is to fix rules? Whose scrutiny is to detect the mean but legal frauds of trade? If then judgment be passed upon him who is more notorious because he is

may have upon

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