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ciples, and a statement of the same arguments and interpretations emanating from the declared advocates of the doctrines and views which they have a tendency to promote. As the former treatise furnishes excellent materials in controversy, by pointing out, in almost every case that can arise, some eminent champions of orthodoxy who have repudiated it as irrelevant, so this has a value independent of direct controversy, by assisting the student in his endeavours to ascertain for himself whether these things are so. It presents, in a distinct and luminous arrangement, a reference to most of the scriptural arguments and evidences which are commonly considered as bearing upon this question. The interpretations are often original, and when otherwise, the author has well represented the opinions of others. After a brief tabular view, by way of introduction, of the forms of belief adopted by different Christian sects on the points involved in the Trinitarian controversy, the author distributes his subject into two parts, the first of which is entitled “Scriptural Evidence for Unitarianism," while the other is occupied by an examination of the scriptural arguments commonly alleged on the opposite side. Each part is divided into three chapters devoted to the views embraced by each party, of God, of Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. The first part may be considered as positive and dogmatic; the second, as negative and controversial. Each chapter is divided into sections, containing an enumeration of the most remarkable passages which have a bearing on some particular point of the discussion. Thus we have, first, passages of Scripture proving the strict unity of God,-passages in which the one God is characterized as Jehovah alone, passages in which the one God, Jehovah, is pronounced to be unequalled by any being in the universe,-passages of the New Testament in which peculiar titles, epithets or attributes, are ascribed to God, the Father, &c. Some of these are of course only specimens of the prevailing language of Scripture; in others, the enumeration is nearly, if not quite, exhaustive, and to each section are attached a series of observations giving a distinct and forcible statement of the author's views of their general tendency, with which for the most part we are fully disposed to coincide; and the result of the whole is such as could not fail, we think, to bring conviction to every candid and reflecting mind;-at least we should have thought so, were we not well aware of the influence exercised by early prepossessions and the general habits of thought and feeling, to bias unconsciously even many who are sincerely and earnestly bent on the search after truth.
In the list of texts (p. 11) entitled “God styled Holy One, Mighty One, &c.," it is possible that the unlearned reader might imagine that the argument depends on a stress intended to be laid on the word One considered as emphatic, whereas it is merely a consequence in our Translation of the peculiarity of the English language; there being nothing corresponding to it in the original, except the fact that the accompanying epithet is in the singular number, which we have no other means of representing than that which the translators have adopted. In p. 20, after adverting to the argument founded on the very few instances in which God is represented in the Old Testament as speaking in the plural form, the just remark is added, that there is not in Scripture a single example of the Deity being addressed in the plural number; which certainly might have been expected, if these occasional forms of expression had been meant to imply a plurality of nature. “The doctrine" (he continues) “that God is One, one person, one mind, one intelligent agent, is so clearly revealed in the portions of Scripture which have been cited in these sections, that it seems impossible for human language to exhibit this fundamental principle of Unitarianism in characters more resplendent with light." Without the conviction of the extensive influence of early prejudices over the best-regulated understandings, it might well be deemed astonishing that any man could peruse these forcible and sublime passages without having a strong persuasion that the dogma of a Triune God is the invention of speculative and erring men, unsatisfied with the noble simplicity of the Bible.
· In Section 9, a tabular view is given of the various uses of the term God in the New Testament; from which it appears that this term is applied to the Supreme Being as distinguished from Christ, 1326 times; to Christ himself, 13 times (alleged); to other divine messengers or to magistrates, 3 times; as an epithet of strength or excellence, 6 times; to idols or heathen deities, 13 times. But of the alleged instances of its application to Christ, it should be remembered that every one is a subject of dispute; one, a mere prophetic name; two, almost universally admitted to be false readings; two others supplied by our translators; and of the small remainder, only one (Heb. i. 8) can be admitted, our author thinks, as even probable; and in this admission we take leave to say that he goes further than we can follow him. The words appear to us to be not addressed to Christ at all, but to be said of or concerning him, the form of expression corresponding exactly to what is said concerning the angels in the preceding verse. * At all events, if they are addressed to Christ, they are also addressed, in the same sense, to Solomon.
In the Second Chapter, we have first a collection of the passages which prove that Jesus does not possess the essential attributes of Deity; and, secondly, those which prove him to be inferior to God by various titles, &c., relative to his nature, character and mission. The first section concludes with the following observations :
"Whence hath this person this wisdom, and these mighty works?' What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?' These are questions which in relation to our Lord seem to have perplexed some minds upwards of eighteen centuries ago; and they form at the present day one of the most interesting subjects that agitate the Christian world. The Trinitarian says that Jesus Christ is the all-wise and omnipotent God, the second person of the Trinity, equal to the Father;' that he taught in his own name and without appealing to any authority but his own;' that he acted entirely by his own power, and manifested forth his own glory;' that though as Mediator he received the authority from the Father, he possessed in himself as God the ability by which he was enabled to exercise the authority.' The Unitarian, on the other hand, regards such language as entirely opposed to scriptural truth, and says that our Saviour did not represent himself as equal in power and glory to his Almighty Father--did not call himself the second person of the Godhead, did not teach in his own name, did not act by his own inherent power,-did not seek his own personal glory. And well may the Unitarian make the denials; for, as we have seen, the unerring Teacher expressly declared, that it was by the appointment and inspiration of Jehovah he preached the gospel; that the doctrine which he taught was not his own, but His that sent him ; that he had not spoken of himself, but uttered only what had been commanded him of the Father; that he was a man who told the truth which he had heard of God. Well, indeed, may the Unitarian make these denials, and affirm that the Lord and Master of Christians derived all his knowledge and power from the Source of wisdom and inspiration ; for, as has been proved, the holy being who had been intrusted by his Father, for the best and most benevolent of purposes, with a control over the laws of nature, was in the habit of addressing in prayer Almighty God, and of characterizing himself as a docile and obedient Son who receives all his instructions from his Father, and whose filial piety is so strong, 80 affectionate, that he does nothing and can do nothing but what he is permitted by his beloved Parent to perform. And while Jesus attributed to the Father who dwelt within him the wisdom and the power which were so conspicuous in his doctrine and in his miracles, he never at any time disclosed the cabalistic view of his person, that he thus spoke and acted in the lowest and most insignificant of his capacities --viz, in his human nature,--at the very time when, according to the same system, he possessed also an infinite nature, capable, without the aid of the Father, of revealing the most important truths, and performing the most astonishing works!
* Luther's translation seems to be the most exact representation of the original. Ver. 7: Von den Engeln spricht er zwar, &c. Ver. 8: Aber von dem Sohne; Gott, deine Stuhl wahret von Ewigkeit zu Ewigkeit.
"May we not, therefore, without subterfuge or equivocation, say with the apostle Paul, that the HEAD OF CHRIST I8 God?"-P. 74.
(To be continued.)
An Answer to Anti-supernaturalism ; intended to shew that Christianity affords ample Proof of being a Divine Revelation, without Appeal to the
Testimony of the Four Gospels. By J. R. Park, M.D., F.L.S., M.R.I. 8vo. Pp. 123. London-Nisbet. 1844.
The author is one of those excellent persons who, admitting the propriety and duty of free inquiry, are nevertheless sincerely attached to the cause of Christianity, and are anxious to extend a knowledge of its evidences far and wide. Admitting, then, the general good design of this little work, and though we recognize talent and learning in the execution, we are not quite so much pleased with the mode and form of the defence. Because Strauss, of Germany, and a former Christian preacher of this country, Mr. Philip Harwood, have attacked the historical truth of the Gospels upon utterly insupportable grounds, (the proper reply to which may be derived from the direct evidence contained in the works of Lardner and Paley, of Priestley and Maltby,) our author chooses to shift his ground, like Evanson of the last age, though without his aberration, and rests his defence solely on the argument from prophecy. Now, we are perfectly satisfied that Christianity does derive confirmation from prophecy, both of the Old Testament and the New; but we think our author mistaken if he supposes that the man who has brought himself to believe that the truthful and artless narratives of the evangelists consist of little more than fables, will be much inclined to believe on the credit of ancient prophecy. The evidence of the genuineness of these books must be established before we can proceed to argue from their contents; but this is precisely the same as that of the historical books; and the supernatural event is just as much (and no more) a departure from the common course of nature, as the declaring beforehand what comes to pass distinctly as was foretold, when no merely human foresight could have descried it.
The author dwells chiefly upon the contents of St. John's Book of the Apocalypse; and we will not deny to him the merit of ingenuity; but we are surprised to find no allusion to the distinguished work of Sir Isaac Newton on the Prophecies. Had he studied this valuable work—not the less valuable because the part which relates to the Apocalypse has not been reprinted in England, as far as we know, for a century--for some of the best books in the various departments in Theology are not reprinted*-had our author known this labour of our great philosopher, he could hardly on the one hand have admitted, as he does in his Preface, p. vi, that he was not sufficiently acquainted with the prophecies of Daniel to attempt their explanation, nor, on the other, would he have confidently affirmed that “the Apocalypse was avowedly written much later than the Gospels, probably by thirty years.” The great critic we have mentioned, who has amply proved the close connection of Daniel and St. John, and the dependence of their predictions upon each other, maintains with much plausibility, and by reasoning which has scarcely been met, that the Apocalypse was written in the reign of Nero, i.e. before the destruction of Jerusalem, and that there are distinct allusions to it in the 1 Epistle of Peter and that to the Hebrews.
We are quite satisfied, with our author, that there is a remarkable prediction of the suffering Messiah in the Prophecy of Isaiah, written many centuries before the appearance of Christ. We admit the genuineness of the Apocalypse, and think that the off-hand rejection of it which has sometimes been exhibited,
* We will venture to refer in proof to the fact, that Porson's Letters to Travis, and Marsh's still more wonderful refutation of that redoubtable critic, have been long out of print, and cannot be procured but at a considerable price. We should be happy to promote their re-publication.
naturally leads to a similar rejection of the New Testament at large as a record of a divine revelation.
We suppose our author has been misled by a similarity of name in attributing a poetical version of the Psalms to Bishop Marsh; and the correct way of spelling another Bishop's name he has yet to learn; thus, Louth for Lowth.
In taking leave of Dr. Park at present, we beg to tender him our thanks for this contribution to Scripture interpretation, and, in the words of Geddes to certain Unitarian Editors, exhort him to beware of system. We believe that he is mistaken as to the religious opinions of that great man, Rammohun Roy. From acquaintance with all his writings, and personal intercourse with him, we have no hesitation in pronouncing him to have been a Christian. For the evidence, see Dr. Carpenter's biography of him, corroborated by the Rev. John Foster.
PERIODICALS. The Westminster Review, No. LXXXIX., June, 1846,- This is the best No. of the Westminster we have had for several years. The subjects treated are, Magnetism, Puseyism, the Lost Senses, Legislation of 1845, Forest and Game Laws, the Oregon Question, Fairy Mythology, Railways and Metropolitan Improvements, &c. The article on Puseyism being from the pen of Baden Powell, claims most of the space which we can this month spare. After some introductory remarks, the reviewer dwells on the unsoundness of the very foundations of “ Anglo-Catholicism.”
“Those who go thus far cannot stop there; they must by consistency go on till they have to choose between the two great diverging branches into which their road divides, and which lead either to Rome on the one hand, or on the other to a system which closely harmonizes with that of a school which they profess most loudly to denounce, but with whose tenets the consequences of their avowed principles exhibit the most singular and often startling accordance, and which recognizes Christianity altogether as a mere traditional legend."
In some excellent passages quoted from Archbishop Whately and Professor Powell, the reviewer intimates his opinion of the consanguinity of AngloCatholic Orthodoxy and foreign Transcendental Scepticism. He fears the result will be in many cases total infidelity. Certain it is, the Anglo-Catholic, like the Anti-supernaturalist, gives up the defence of Christianity on the ground of reason and evidence. The one, it is true, betakes himself to authority, while the other rests on consciousness or intuition: both, however, are the mere creation of the will. We next meet with some excellent remarks on the much-abused word “Catholic.” The early use of this word, the reviewer thinks, "most probably originated in a reference to that great object of the apostles and their successors to break down the invidious but too prevalent distinction of Jewish and Gentile churches, and unite both in one Catholic' communion.” What follows on the subject of the alleged " apostolic commission" is admirable. Vehement will be the wrath of all the members of the High-Church party, if they chance to read the following brief but unanswerable confutation of the pretension of modern priests of the Church of England to be successors of the apostles:
"The further we go back into primitive times, the less evidence do we discover of it" (the apostolic commission), “and the more manifest does it become that this systematized scheme of the apostolic commission was gradually insinuated in after ages; in fact, the earliest and therefore most material authorities are, to say the least, singularly defective in support of it. In the writings of the New Testament, it will hardly be necessary to observe the total absence of all idea of a commission to be handed down, since the fact is distinctly admitted, and indeed avowed, by the Catholicists as the very argument for recurring to tradition. The silence of the written word is the reason for appealing to the unwritten, Viewed as a simple historical question, there is no evidence in the New Testament that the powers which Christ is recorded to have conferred on
the apostles were to be continued by them to others; that these powers had any reference to an exclusive administration of the sacraments; or that when the apostles delegated their authority to others, it was more than temporary or occasional, for the purposes of order and government. Then, supposing it granted that the alleged commission was regularly transmitted in later times, admitting that the chain may be traced through the lower and later portion of its length,-yet the highest links are absolutely wanting-the sole material part of the evidence is totally deficient. If a stCCESSION be proved, it is still not APOSTOLIC."
The “ Anglo-Catholic," again, looks at the establishment of the Church as the great end of the Christian system; the reviewer, on the contrary, holds the doctrine that it is simply the means by which Christian salvation is promoted ; important and useful so far as it secures this useless and prejudicial if it tend to hinder or prevent the accomplishment of this.
We have not space to follow the reviewer in his remarks on Tradition, and its utter superseding of Scripture,—on the Anglo-Catholic mode of treating the various articles of the Christian faith, or on Mr. Newman's doctrine of Developments. The reviewer thus speaks of the dismay created in certain quarters by Mr. Newman's defection to Rome :
“The secession of some leading persons of the high Anglo-Catholic school to the one unreformed, unchangeable, infallible Church, has of course been viewed with a perturbation and distress of mind which they are utterly unable to conceal or to calm, by all the less advanced votaries of the same school. They fancied they could say, Hitherto we will go, and no further,' and imagined they had erected a firm bulwark and an unassailable distinction in a Church which was • Catholic, but not Roman'- indefectible,' but not • infallible;' though conceivably liable to error,' yet in fact "unerring. But they have now found the very guides and teachers in whom they put their trust, at one stroke annihilating all their fancied securities, and leaving them to the dismal choice of their own private judgment, which they had hitherto repudiated as the most sinful presumption, or of following them to the sole, unchanged source of Catholic truth.
The reviewer returns at the close of his article to the idea with which he started, of the tendency of the Anglo-Catholic movement to coalesce with the Anti-supernatural. Speaking of Mr. Newman again, he says,
“The exoteric veil is too transparent to conceal the full proportions of an esoteric doctrine, tending, by no indirect process, to invalidate all commonlyreceived ideas of a distinct revelation of Christianity evinced by miracles."
In the concluding paragraph he says,
“ We may still look for further developments,' even under the profession of the Romish faith ; and we cannot help suspecting that the end will be that modification of the Romish faith, which, we apprehend, is now extensively prevalent, an external profession of a belief all-mysterious, all-mystical, all-supernatural, joined to an esoteric doctrine which supplies an explanation of a kind nearly allied to that of Rationalism."
In the Postscript to the present No. of the Westminster, we are glad to see that the Editor inserts a letter from the Rev. J. H. Thom, commenting on that portion of the review (by Baden Powell, in the December No.) in which temporary mental derangement is attributed to Blanco White. We wish we had space for the whole letter, which is a spirited and, to our mind, perfectly successful defence of the sanity of his departed friend. We can only quote one short passage from this interesting letter:
“I knew him in the closest intimacy for more than six years of his life after his quitting Ireland ;' until his death I never heard, what I could never have suspected, that any one had imputed mental derangement to him; and I now declare myself ready to bring forward any amount of testimony from those who were with him, and those who casually saw him, and those who corresponded with him, in all those six years, to the effect, that in circumstances of suffering and exhaustion fitted to develop insanity, if ever the seeds of it existed in the constitution, mental derangement never was betrayed."