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simply for the illustrating of the mercy of God in some of a race of intelligent beings to be created; and his justice, in the damnation of others of them. There is nothing in the Article, deciding on the merits of this point of difference. Accordingly, as the latter opinion here stated cannot possibly be brought into an agreement with the Thirty first Article, while it may be held in alliance with the other; this is the sense to be annexed to what is affirmed concerning predestination and election in the Seventeenth Article. As to reprobation, there is nothing concerning it in any of the Articles.
The construction here given will the more appear, on having recourse to the Homilies. There is indeed no Homily on predestination or on election: and this is a proof; that the sense of the compilers was not in unison with those confessions and sys. tems, which enjoin and maintain the propriety of preaching on this point. But in the Homilies, there are passages confirmatory of the sense of the Thirtyfirst Article. The passages especially contemplated, and which shall only be referred to, are in the Homily for good Friday, and in that on the Sacrament.
But the principle pervades the prayers also. There is that in the communion service, which speaks of the Redeemer as having made on the cross—"a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, obla. tion, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world.” In the same service, the minister, deliver. ing the bread and the wine to the communicants, says to each of them-" The body and the blood of Christ, which was given for thee:" although he cannot be supposed to know what proportion of them are fit recipients. Still in the same service, in an address made to those who live in the manifest delinquency or neglect of the Holy Ordinance, the minister says-“And as the Son of God did vouch. safe to yield up his soul on the cross for your re. demption; so it is your duty to receive the commu.
nion, in remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, as he himself hath commanded."
There might be made many other extracts from the different services; some bearing directly, and others incidentally on the subject. But it is thought, that the above are suficient. Nothing can be more evidently to the purpose, than sundry passages in the Catechism: accordingly, they have been noticed in the lecture.
SECTION IV. CONCERNING “AN IMPROVED VERSION” (80 CALLED)
“ OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.”
The work is further defined to be “Upon the basis of Archbishop Newcome's New Translation; with a corrected text, and notes critical and explanatory."
The remarks to be made will be arranged under certain positions, to be given in the progress. And the contemplated limits, falling far short of a full examination of the book, will allow of no more than such suggestions, as may prove a clue to the detection of the most conspicuous of its errours.
In regard to the first two sections of this disser. tation, to which the present section is supplementary, the author takes occasion to remark, that being desirous of doing justice to the opposite theory referred to, he found a difficulty in this particular. He knows of no two subjects, on which opposition has so often changed its ground, as on those of the divinity and the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ. It was desirable to advert to such explanations of texts, as were the most modern: and it was thought, that no work had such fair pretensions to notice-it being an esteemed standard on the other side-as the book now proposed to be in part reviewed. Accordingly, he had regard to it principally, in the stating of objections.
But the more he attended to that work, the more it appeared to him to abound with errours, in regard as well to facts as to opinions; to leave no standard for the determining on the genuineness of any passage, or of any book of what is generally re. ceived as scripture; and even to do away all cer. tainty of there being any such volume as that of the New Testament, handed down from the time of the apostles. For this reason, he has thought him. self called on, by the considerations which led to the present work, to take especial notice of the version here referred to. He neither judges of the motives of any description of people; nor does he calculate the degree of influence which unperceived prejudice may acquire, in the formation of such statements as are to be noticed. The contemplated object is independent on the characters of persons; but the discharge of pastoral duty, in pointing out what is here thought to be a depraving of the word of God; not by human reasonings only, aś is common in controversy, but in many instances, by an unwarrantable alteration of the text itself.
The contemplated limits, falling far short of a full examination of the book, will allow of no more than such suggestions, as may prove a clue for the detection of the most conspicuous of its errours: which will be essayed under the following remarks.
First Remark: The liberty taken with the first two chapters of the gospel of St. Matthew, is contrary to the principles of sound criticism; and destructive of all certainty, as to the genuineness of holy scripture.
The whole of the first two chapters is printed in italicks, except the first fifteen verses of the first chapter. The reason given in a note, is that they are of doubtful authority: and the note is so constructed, as to intimate the belief, that they are spurious. They are acknowledged by the Im. provers, to be found in all the manuscripts and versions now extant: but they are said by the same persons, to have been wanting in the copies which
were used by the Ebionites and the Nazarenes: and this allegation is rested on the authorities of Epiphanius and Jerome. *
The present author has consulted the works of these two fathers-he believes with sufficient care -without finding any such testimony in either of them, concerning the Nazarenes. But of this sect he finds the former father affirming-“They have the Hebrew gospel of Matthew: for this most cer. tainly, as it was written in Hebrew letters, they keep to this time entire. But I know not whether they have cut off the genealogies, which are brought down from Abraham to Christ.” Epiphanius' had no doubt as to any part of the book, except the genealogy. He testifies to their retaining of all which the Improvers have omitted, on their alleged authority; and he only doubts of a few verses which the Improvers retain, although they suppose that there is not the authority of the Nazarenes, as to that exception.
The above would not be said without an apprehension, that something apparently to the effect of che version might be in the voluminous works of he said two ancient authors; were it not, that if so, t must have been overlooked by the exact and diligent Michaelis. For after giving from Epiphanius hat part of the preceding quotation which relates o the genealogy, he adds— Jerome, who had the greatest knowledge of this subject, has no where positively declared, whether the Nazarene gospel had these two chapters, or not.” This silence is ac
The Improvers might and ought to have acknowledged, that the two cha teis, besides the support of all the ancient copies and versions, have that of ancient authors also; imong whom Justin Martyr might have been particu. ularly mentioned: also Celsus, a noted enemy of Christianity, pho wrote not long alter. His work, as quoted by Origen, ontains express references to the chapters in question. Jusn noices the coming of the Magi and the slaughter of the inocents in St. Matthew; and the interview between the angel abriel and the Virgin Mother, in St. Luke:
counted for from the circumstance, that Jerome had given a translation, which is lost. Michaelis goes on to exhibit certain passages of that father which show, that the second chapter at least was acknowledged by the Nazarenes. These were inci. dental references; and although they have a positive bearing as to one of the chapters; yet there being none such for the other, will not prove that it was wanting
That the Ebionites rejected the first two chapters of the gospel of St. Matthew, is fully attested. But by what authority do the improvers call that sect and the Nazarenes, the ancient Hebrew Christians? There is not a particle of any such authority; or any evidence that either of the sects existed, be. fore the rebuilding of Jerusalem under the name of Ælia, when about a quarter of the second century had expired. This was a juncture peculiarly favour. able to the rise of those sects; both of which were characterized by their adherence to the ritual law. The Jewish Church had subsisted under bishops of the circumcision, until the period referred to; and the names of the bishops have been handed down, beginning with that of St. James, with as much appearance of authenticity, as the names of the Rc man emperours. The prejudices of the sects in ques tion must have been the remains of the attachmert of the Jewish Christians generally, to their law; which received its first shock by the result of the council held in Jerusalem, as related in the fifteenta chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. After this, the Church of Jerusalem flourished in the profession o the common faith of Christians, before the rise o those sects, during their existence, and after the had gone to ruin. When that Church, perceiving unequivocal evidence of the destruction of the Jeu ish polity, had done away all observances discrimnating between them and the Gentile Churches,it is not to be wondered at, that a secession took plae on this ground. Of these seceders, some, under tie