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dead to life. Even now we are furnished with living monuments of the divinity of their mission, by the prophecies which they pre. dicted, which have already been fulfilled, and are at this very time fulfilling.
The conclusion of the whole is this, that the Mosaic and Chris. tian dispensations have descended from above, from the Father of lights. Being his works, therefore, they must be perfect, and subservient to the highest interests of man, whilst they instruct us in every duty, and direct onr thoughts to another and a better world. The original writers of those revelations, were taught of God. The laws and the prophecies which they delivered were the vencrable declarations of his will. Every jota of then was therefore perfect. But, how then are we to account for the con. tradictions with which they are blended at present ? I answer, that these are not chargeable upon the original writers, but apon their uninspired transcribers and translators, and the temerity of some daring men, who did not scruple to mix their own conceits and impositions with divine truth. Besides, the lists of genealogies, and merely historical passages, are not to be considered as parts of those inspired scriptures, which are profitable for doc. trine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness. Mistakes, however, which are found in these, probably did not belong to the original. Another thing to be considered is, that contradictions are frequently supposed, which are not such in fact, but only thought to be such through the medium of our own ignorance or perverseness. Some people are very ready to assent to the posi. tion, that Matthew, or Luke, or Paul, were mistaken and con. tradict one another, when they only discover their own shallowness. But, where there are the most manifest contradictions, we should pause and hesitate, before we impute them to the sacred writers. We should first say, may not the translator or transcriber have unintentionally blundered, or the impertinent commentator given his own turn to the passage which afterwards crept into the text ? When we are informed in the second book of Samuel, that David paid to Araunah only 50 shekels of silver for his threshing tloor; bnt karn in the first book of Chronicles, that the price of this purchase was 600 shekels of gold--we cannot suppose that the real sum which was paid was not as well known to the one writer 'as to the other, but that the difference between them is entirely owing to some blundering copyist. The same thing may be observed concerning the clashing of Lev. xxiii. 18. and Num. xxviii. 27, and other similar passages. There are other places, where we may detect mistakes, which are also imputable either to the carelessness or the vanity of the transcriber. For instance, when the contributions of David and the princes are estimated at as many thousand talents of gold and silver, as Di. Prideaux observes would amount to above 800 millions of our money--we may be assured that some gross error has been introduced into the text. For this reason, the greatest possible diligence should be exerted, by the collectors of MSS. to restore the original text. But all errors of this sort that can be enumerated are of little consequence, as they cannot affect the scveral revelations, nor render the great salvation the less important. The purest morals are every where recommended to us, and are confirmed by the most substantial evidence,
But, here, it will be askel- may there not be besides an intermixture of some human inventions foisted into the sacred Code: This being answered in the allirma:ive will afford no ground for impeaching either the Mosaic or the Christiav dispensation. The grand leading doctrines are still the same; and whatever is not in perfect harmony with these may safely be rejected. But, in this case, we are not to act from the impulse of our passions, not to die cide hastily, but to examine fully every particular before we be finally determined. As the Jews, however, were likely to parallel some of their own practices with the divine laws, and in their corrupt state, to presume that these practices were allowable in them as a peculiar people, some doubts may arise, whether the Divine Being exculpatid the master who murdered his slave, because he was his
money, whether be directed the master, when a slave was willing to continne with him after the expiration of his servitude, to bore his ear through and fasten him to the door-post, and make him his servant for ever, and whether Le permitted some customs which were permitted with respect to fe. male captives taken in war. Even in the New Testament we have some manifest interpolations, such as i John v. 7. Besides, the Jews are well known to have corrupted some passages of their scriptures ris lating to the Messiah. When we discover any discrepancy, then, in the New Testament, with respect to those passages which are quoted from the Old, we may take it for granted, I think, that in the New Testament the original readings are communicated to us. I might also mention the difficulties arising to the English reader from wrong trans. Jations. I shall notice only one passage, where it is said, that Eli's sous would not hearken to him because it pleased the Lord 10 slay them. Instead of the word becausc, let us read wherejure as we ought io do, how very different the doctrine we are tauglit! and how devoutly therefore is it to be wished, that we could have a correct translation of the whole Bible! But, in our present most corrupt versions, the well disposed have still so perfect a rule of life, that he who runs may read it.
In the law and the prophets, and in Jesus Christ and his apostles, we have every thing that is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished in all good works. Our wholcduty is to lore God, and keep his commandments, or to do jasily, to love mercy, and walk humbly with our Cut, and the prize, that is set before us is eternal Life.
HARRISON'S MISCELLANIES. To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. SIR, For the satisfaction of your correspondent, who inquires after the book of Miscellanies, containing some of Mr. Grigg's pieces, (vol. ii. p. 86.) I beg of you to give him the following information. It is intiiled “ Miscellanies [in Prosc and Verse] on Moral and Religious Subjects. By Elizabeth Harrison." It is an octavo volume, which was printed by subscription in the year 1756. The list of subscribers is very respectable, and contains the names of a great number of the most eminent dissenting ministers. The work was published with the benevolent design of procuring some pecuniary assistance for the lady whose name is prefixed, who had, by some misfortune, been reduced to difficulties. If I mistake not, she kept a boarding school for young ladies at St. Alban's, where Mr Grigg resided, who was ready to every good work, and who communicated a number of little pieces, principally in verse, in order to make up the volume. Some of them are of the humorous kind, but others grave and devout, among which are several hymns. All his pieces have this signature at the end * * *.' This book has long been out of print, and is become very scarce. The only copy of it which I cver saw was my own, (which a few
years ago I lent and lost,) till very lately I met with an. other, very accidentally, in the shop-window of a dealer in old books. If your correspondent will make himself known to you, and give proper security for the return of this volume, he shall be welcome to the perusal of it.
A sinall collection of Mr Grigg's hymns bas lately been published. Had the editor known of this work he might have made a valuable addition to the collection. I embrace this opportunity of informing the Inquirer, and your other readers, that Mr Grigg, with whom I was intimately acquainted, had a considerable number of hymns and other poetical pieces in MS. which, he told me, the last time I saw him, he intended to publish ; and I well remember that he was then actually trans, cribing them for this purpose. But he died soon afterwards. Where his papers now are I know not, but most probably they fell into the hands of his nephew, the late eccentric Mritan's cett.
I am, Sir,
Respectfully yours, March 12, 1807.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository,
As TRUTH never suffers by investigation, and as every discussion of the contents of the sacred volume will lead us to set a greater value upon authentic scripture, I send you the fols lowing extract of a letter from a gentleman in Aleppo to his friend in Europe, translated from the Gazette de Marseilles, of Oct. 20, 1806 ; and shall be glad of the opinion of some of your literary correspondents on the probability of the fact asserted in the same.
Yours respectfully, Liverpool, April 10, 1807.
F. B. W.
WRITER OF THE APOCALYPSE.
“ A very extraordinary discovery, such as will confound a thou, sand systems of prophetic writers, has lately becn made. The Apos calypse, or Revelation of John, one of the apostles, has long been, the subject of doubt and endless disputation. For several centuries it was not considered by many Christiau fathers and churchmen as canonical, or the work of the inspired apostle John : even Luther re. jected it. Those who doubted its title to the canon, alleged it to be the fabrication of one Cerinthus, . who was cotemporary with the apostles, and a Christian heretic ; who denied the divinity of Christ, alleging he was but a teacher, and his doctrines or morals only divine.
66 The point in dispute secms now to be brought to a termination. Some labourers, belonging to a small town called Gios, in Asia Minor, lately removing some rubbish from an ancient edifice, and digging up its ruins, took up a small marble globe. They could perc ceive no aperture, and at first conceived it was solid. On taking it, however, to the village, it was found to be hollow, but with a shelt of thickness and weight, and was finally broken.
“ There was found in it a number of scrolls or writings in the Greck language, bearing dates between A. D. 58 and 98. They were most curiously done up, and continued in a perfect state of preservation.
“ They were found to be wholly the writings of Cerinthus, con taining his epistles to the Christian churches, and various dissertations on the points of controversy then subsisting among the Christians.
66 These' works appear written with great Sectarian zeal, some. what indicating an impaired brain ; but the most singular of the writings is a full draft of the Apocalypse, in the same hando writing as the rest, with erasures, alterations, and interlineations. In every essential particular it agrees with the book now called the
Revelation of John ; and from the erasures, alterations, and appear. ance, carries full evidence it was merely fabricated by Cerinthus, and published as John's after his death, by way of upholding some of the peculiar tenets of Cerinthus.
" This scroll, as well as the rest, is now in the possession of a great bishop; and authenticated copies and proofs have been sent to the Pope and other church diguitaries, of this most extraordinary discovery.”
PRACTICAL VIEW OF UNITARIANISM.
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. $18, Having heard some very respectable persons express a wish that your truly valuable Repository sometimes contained more pieces of a practical nature, 'I avail myself of an opportunity which offers, of transmitting a piece of that kind. “It is a letter written by one of the ministers emploved by the Unitarian Fund Society to itinerate occasionally, for the Promotion of Unitarianism, which I consider as another name for genuine Christianity. It was addressed to a few people who had been several times visited by the said minister, and, by his instrumentality, brought to receive the Unitarian doctrine. I wish its insertion in your useful Miscellany, the rather, because it furnishes proof that those who are called Unitarian Missionaries do not waste their time in teaching mere dry spe. culations ; because I think it calculated to shew how rital religion is intimately connected with the Unitarian doctrine ; and because, at the same time, it seems calculated to promote real piety among your readers.
I am very respectfully yours, &c. Feb. 26, 1807.
A CONSTANT READER. Dear BRETUREN, The several visits I have made among you have afforded me pleasure, and I hope have not been unprofitable to you. When absent from you, I have you often in my thoughts, longing after the edification of yon all, praying that you may daily increase in know. ledge, and adorn, by a holy life, the glorious doctrines you profess, that you may have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Permit me to put yon in remembrance of the Christian doctrines and duvies I have taught among you, and to urge you to the steady and diligent observance of them.
1. You have been taught that there is but one Ciod the Father ;that this God is one undivided being, not a compound being, con. VOL. 11.