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propriety in so doing. It is singular enough that Tertius, who wrote the Epistle to the Romans, see chap. xvi. 22, should make use nearly of the same phrase; I Tertius, who wrote this Epistle, salute you in the Lord: though he writes in the name of Paul in the beginning of the Epistle, he ends it in his own name; and in no part of it says he had written by the direction or advice of the apostle. From the above circumstances, all those Epistles which have not the mark or token of this attestation of Paul, ought to be considered as of less authority in points of doctrine than those which have it; as we are assured by the apostle himself that they proceeded from his own pen. Indeed, this is St. Paul's argument why we should not receive any epistle, as written by him which wants this essential characteristic, but should only be considered by us as the apocrypha of the
I should be happy to gain attention to this simple statement by any of your learned Correspondents in your valuable Miscellany, where every subject meets with a candid reception, and is so treated; and the more so, it must be acknowledged, as being of so much importance to the Christian world, and is by no means exhausted by any thing heretofore written on the subject.
Permit me to remark, that I do not recollect any one of the writers in the Monthly Repository, on the final salvation of all meu, to have quoted from a work on this subject, published and printed for Dilly, in the Poultry, in 1784. It is handled very masterly by the Author, who is nameless. Its running title is, "Proofs of Universal Salvation, with Objectious answered." The Author is, or was an Arian, but this opinion is unconnected with his argument. It would be doing an acceptable service to the religious world if a few of his Scripture proofs could appear in your Miscellany occasion ally, especially the Author's proof from 1 Cor. xv. 24-29, p. 197, which appears to me, as well as to the Author, to be decisive of itself, were there no other text in all the Bible of the like import.
On the Rev. Samuel Newton's Objections to the Improved Version. LETTER II.
worthy author of the "Trinitarian's Appeal Defended," having proved to his own satisfaction, and that of his admirers, that no persou is qualified to be a translator of the New Testament who is prepos sessed in favour of any system, unless that system be the true orthodox faith, proceeds
2. To exercise, I will not say his critical knife, but his critical hatchet, in hewing down the Editors of the Improved Version without ceremony and without mercy; and, I must add, with an assurance scarcely to be paralleled. "What I judge of the Version," says this prince of critics, p. 33, "you have partly seen and shall see further. What are we to judge concerning those critics who make an archiepiscopal translation of the Scriptures the basis of their Version, and who in the third page begin to print two pages in italics," &c.;-" concerning critics who tell us that part of the first, and the whole of the second chapter of Matthew are of doubtful authority," &c.;-" critics who receive the genealogy, and reject the miraculous conception," &c.;-" critics who found their objections upon the death of Herod," &c.;-" critics who tell us that yiropas is used seven hundred times in the New Testament, but never in the sense of create?" &c. &c. And so the gentleman goes ou in the same self-complacent style of interrogatory through four pages, sometimes stating, and sometimes misstating, what the Editors of the Improved Version have asserted or assumed, never condescending to examine either their arguments or their authorities, and in the end coming to this most satisfactory conclusion: "So
their general character as critics is FAIRLY impugned, and we cannot expect from them a Version, with the excellencies which they are pleased to ascribe to that which they have published."
In any writer but the author of the Trinitarian's Appeal, &c., the above mode of treating the defendants in the case would be thought a matchless specimen of vanity and insolence.
But considering that those poor witlings, as this writer is pleased to describe the Editors of the Improved Version, had no better authority to plead than that of Locke, who knew not how to construe a common Greek sentence, or Dr. Clarke, who was little better, or of Lindsey and Priestley, who were flimsy lucubrators, or of Sykes, whose authority is not worth notice, or of Wakefield, who is a lame biblical critic, or of Evanson, to whom it is folly and ignorance to appeal, or of Simpson, who is an obscure referee, or of Newcome, or of Law, or of Williams, or of Pierce, or of Hallet, or of Cappe, and many others, who, in the estimation of this great and self-constituted umpire of critical controversy, are like the notorious Hugh Farmer, mere ephemeral insects delighting in their own buzz; taking, I say, all these premises into consideration, one cannot but approve of the short work which this supreme judge in the high court of criticism, this Bentley of theological erudition, has made with the Editors of the Improved Version, in striking them off at once by summary process, together with all their authorities aforesaid, by his own sic volo, sic jubeo, from the rolls of criticism, and consigning them to their proper place and station among Grub-street vagabonds.
3. In the next Letter, p. 38, the reverend gentleman suspecting, perhaps, that, whatever he and his admirers might believe, there might be some old-fashioned readers who would not be quite so easily satisfied with his brief and fair way of disposing of the Editors of the Improved Version, vouchsafes to descend from his lofty station into the arena of debate, and condescends to offer his arguments, such as they are, to confute the positions and reasonings of the Version. It is quite needless to enter into the general question concerning the miraculous conception of Jesus, which has been so ably discussed, and I may say settled by Dr. Priestley, Dr. Williams, Mr. Pope and Dr. John Jones. I shall, therefore, ouly touch upon one or two points which are particularly insisted upon by the author of the Trinitarian's Appeal, &c.
The Editors have stated, upon the authority of Epiphanius, that Cerinthus and Carpocrates received the
genealogy of Matthew, though the Ebionites rejected it. The author of the Appeal, &c., disputes the fact, which in truth is not of the least consequence whatever. There the genealogy stands, at the beginning of Matthew's history; and there is no sufficient reason for rejecting it. But what the Editors maintain, and what cannot be disproved, is this: that the writer of the genealogy could not be the historian of the miraculous conception, for their intentions were directly opposite-the design of one being to prove that our Lord descended from Abraham and David, because he was the son of Joseph; and the design of the other being to prove that Jesus was not the real but only the reputed son of Joseph. So that if the history of the miraculous conception be true, it would appear to the Jews that Jesus of Nazareth was deficient in an essential qualification of the promised Messiah, viz. the descent from David.
Now how does our learned divine get over this difficulty? In the easiest and handsomest way that can be imagined, viz. p. 41, "These men," i. e. the Editors of the Improved Version, "suppose what they please, and then infer the iron obligation of necessity. There appears indeed to be a necessity-a fatal one-in their logic, their faith and their impudence. The matter is settled, but where? Only in the minds of some prejudiced witlings. The generality of commentators believe, and with reason, that Matthew had no such design in his genealogy as they ascribe to him-he expresses himself thus: And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ:' a most extraordinary way of shewing his design to prove that Joseph was the father of Christ."
Now, Sir, I am of opinion that there are some persons in the world, and perhaps those impudent witlings the Editors of the Improved Version among the rest, who may be simple enough to believe that one of the strongest presumptions that a man is the father of a child is, that he is the husband of the mother. This, however, according to the reverend gentleman, is a most extraordinary mode of proof. Perhaps he may understand these things better, and may take
exceptions to the proof. I for one, however, firmly believe that Mary the mother of Jesus was a woman of a strictly virtuous and most excellent character; nor can I ever be induced to admit, without evidence much superior to any which has hitherto been produced, that she was with child when she was married to Joseph, and that she made her good-natured husband believe that the father of the child was the Holy Spirit, or as we are taught by a learned divine of the Established Church, the angel Gabriel. Neither could the evangelist Matthew believe any such thing, when he states as his reason for introducing the genealogy, that Jesus Christ was the son of David, the son of Abraham which he must have known that he certainly was not, if Joseph was not his father.
"But," says the reverend gentle"the generality of commentators believe, and with reason, that Matthew had no such design in his genealogy as they," the Editors," ascribe to him." I have, I think, sufficiently shewn that they do not believe with reason: and as to the rest, if they like to be lieve, let them believe on.
4. Dr. Lardner has proved to the satisfaction of the learned, that the death of Herod happened seventeen or eighteen years before that of Augustus; and Luke relates that Jesus was thirty years of age in the fifteenth year of Tiberius. It is evident, therefore, that the birth of Christ happened two or three years after the death of Herod. Dates are stubborn things, and will not yield to passion and prejudice and these dates completely overset the whole fable of the miraculous conception. The Editors of
* The angel Gabriel is the Holy Ghost. See this doctrine most learnedly and elaborately argued by the Rev. Reginald Heber, in the fourth of his Bampton Lec. tures. Such is modern Oxonian divinity. What would Dr. Wallis and his contemporaries have thought of this doctrine?
What does Bishop Burgess even now think
of it? Will he allow that the angel Gabriel is a person but not a being? And that this nonentity was the father of Jesus Christ? What is Dr. Moysey's opinion? Does he believe that the angel Gabriel includes the whole idea of God and some. thing more?
the Improved Version have referred to Lardner's account of the death of Herod; and their opponents falsely charge them with appealing to Lardner as agreeing with them in the rejection of the miraculous conception. This writer, as usual, joins in the cry of the pack, and with great simplicity he produces Lardner's words as a confutation of the assertion of the Editors, p. 44: "When St. Luke says, Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius,' &c., he may intend some computation of the reign of Tiberius different from that of his sole empire after the death of Augus tus." He may intend. What! is a direct assertion of the sacred historian to be set aside by a conjecture even of Dr. Larduer? Who ever dreamed of a double computation of Tiberius's reign, except for the sole purpose of cobbling up this great chronological difficulty? This distinction was indeed very common in the Lower Empire, but was not known in the reign of Augustus, and could never be applied to Tiberius, who, it is plain from Tacitus, was far from being confident of an undisputed succession. Let this reverend gentleman now surmount this "mighty chronological argument," and "wing his little way over this lofty mountain" as best he may.
5. This author, though no great friend to argument, bows with the most profound veneration to popular authority.
It is stated by the Editors of the Improved Version, that "if the account of the miraculous conception of Jesus be true, he could not be the offspring of David and Abraham." How does the author of the Trinitarian's Appeal, &c., reply to this plain fact? To me," says he, p. 49, "it appears sufficient to reply, the Chris tian world in general believed and do believe, that Jesus was miraculously conceived, and that he was the offspring of David and Abraham." This is an easy way of getting over a difficulty. The evangelists give the pedi gree of Joseph to prove that our Lord was descended from Abraham and David; but the Christian world it seems supersede the authority of the evangelists: they believe the contrary they deny that Jesus was the son of Joseph; they maintain that Christ
descended from Abraham in a way
different from that which is stated by Matthew and Luke; and this satisfies our critical author.
He bows to similar authority in a case of still greater importance. In 1 Cor. xv. 13, the Apostle Paul avers, that if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if the dead rise not, then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ are perished: an assertion which is utterly inconsistent with the doctrine of an intermediate state of percipient existence between death and the resurrection. To such an expectation, therefore, it is impossible that he should refer in the Epistle to the Philippians, (i. 25,) where he expresses a desire to depart and to be with Christ. How does the reverend gentleman, who maintains the doctrine of an intermediate state, solve the difficulty? By his usual summary process. Believers, who think as he does, cannot be mistaken. "Plain people," says he, p. 81, "understand, and cannot but understand, the meaning of the apostle; and they are not such conjectures of impossibility as these which will prove effectual to subvert their faith.' That is, plain people first believe that virtuous souls exist in a state of happiness separate from the body between death and the resurrection; and the same plain people also believe that, if there be no resurrection, all that have fallen asleep in Christ are perished. These "plain believers," says the author, " understand, and cannot but understand, the meaning of the apostle;" but I am sure it is not for such witlings as the Editors of the Improved Version to understand these plain believers. But at any rate it is very clear, that they who believe what these plain people are reported to believe, need not stick at any thing. Contradictions are a trifle. Transubstantiation would be nothing. Alps are no Alps to them. Difficulties are no obstacles to them. In short, there is no knowing to what sublimity of absurdity the author and his plain friends "may wing their little way," after the notable specimen which they have thus exhibited of the transcendent vigour of their faith.
Sur la terre on le peint le premier des tirans ;
Mais icy c'est un père; il punit ses enfans."
Of these lines any of your readers, to whom the original is not familiar, may, if they please, accept the following translation; in which I have endeavoured to convey the poet's sense: Think not, said Louis, in this dreary clime,
The allotted pains exceed the sufferer's crime;
Or that the forming Pow'r, by justice sway'd,
Delights to ruin what his hand has made. No, boundless is the recompence he pays, Lavish of good, his wrath alone he stays. On earth portray'd, a Tyrant, vengeful, wild;
Here, as a Father, he corrects his child.
I question whether White, Stonehouse, Winchester or Vidler, have surpassed this unchristian poet, as I fear we must describe Voltaire, in a just representation of the Divine character, as it is loved and venerated by those who receive and understand the Christian doctrine of Universal Restoration.
The note quoted from Voltaire, at the close of the lines, (p. 103,) reminds me of an unmerciful Doctor of the seventeenth century. This was Lewis Du Moulin, who died in London 1680, having published, that year, "Moral Reflections upon the number of the Elect; proving plainly from Scripture Evidence, &c., that not one
in a hundred thousand, (nay, probably not one in a million,) from Adam down to our times, shall be saved." (Wood, A. O. 1692, II. 754.) This Du Moulin was a brother of Milton's antagonist, the author of Regii Sunguinis Clamor ad Cælum. The Moral Reflections produced the same year Mercy Triumphant: the Kingdom of Christ enlarged beyond the narrow bounds which have been put to it, by Dr. Lewis Du Moulin, in his most Antichristian Book. By Edward Lane, M. A., Cambridge." (Ibid. I. 898.) Of this writer I know nothing but what Wood further relates, that he "was educated in Paul's School, and afterwards in St. John's College, Cambridge," that he became Vicar of North-Strobury, [perhaps Shoebury,] in Essex, by the favour of the Lord-Keeper Coventry, 1630, and was thence removed by the same hand to the Vicarage of Spersholt, near Rumsey, Hants." His answer to Du Moulin was reprinted in 1681, “together with several arguments about Transubstantiation, not in any author yet;" and an Answer to Hickeringill's "Second Part of Naked Truth."
J. T. RUTT.
S one of your Correspondents (p. 295) has been pleased to notice some remarks of mine, which you lately inserted on the subject of Final Restitution, (p. 87,) perhaps you will allow me to add a few words further in support of what I then advanced. As to the general observations made in the paper alluded to, they are just, I think, and liberal, and I heartily approve of them. I love free inquiry as well as any one, though I believe there is not much room for it on the present subject. What I maintained was this: that the arguments by which the doctrine of Final Restitution is supported, are feeble and unsound in their nature, and can form no just ground for allowing this doctrine to pass for a part of religious truth. Now I argued that in attempting to deduce this doctrine from the attributes of the Deity, we enter on a field where we have not sufficient experience to guide us. In answer, your "Occasional Reader" observes, that we may indeed be thus in the dark as
to particular events, which are neces sarily involved in complicated circumstances, but that in a question which, like this, regards the final result of the Divine government, certain necessary consequences from the Divine attributes may be manifest enough. Now this, as a general remark, appears very just, but I wish to shew that it is not applicable to the present question; that is, that we are as unable to deduce the doctrine of the final happiness of all men from what we know of God, as we are to prophesy distant events from what we know of the course of things in this world.
Let us consider the sort of argument by which this doctrine is maintained. "God," it is said, " is almighty, and just and good: it is highly improbable that such a being should create such a race as mankind, and afterward suffer any of that race to perish;" that is, as the matter stands, that he should suffer any man to fail of final happiness through obstinate impenitence. Here the question arises, Why is it improbable? How is it at variance with any known attribute of God? Is it unjust? It is inconceivable on what ground any one can complain of injustice, if by wilful, persevering mis conduct, he forfeit a gift to which, were he innocent, he could have no claim, and which, were he penitent, he could not receive but through an act of pardoning mercy. Some, indeed, have most fool-hardily denied that God can justly punish transgression at all, inasmuch as a creature can be neither better nor worse than his Creator has made him. The premises here are not unjust: God asserts for himself that he creates evil as well as good: he has not so constituted the world as to prevent sin and evil from entering; that is a fact, and we do not now attempt to explain it by the hy pothesis of two creators; but would it mend the case to suppose that God allows this evil to proceed without check or punishment? No: sin and punishment must come together. That sin should exist may be a mystery, but it is a fact; but then that punishment should follow sin, is no mystery, but perfectly natural: God would be unjust if it did not. He would be destitute of every moral attribute. But perhaps I have dwelt too long on