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suffered before. A few years since Dr. Chalmers, that ornament of the Scottish Church, was accused of ut. tering from the pulpit_what he never conceived. That so humble a man as I should be similarly accused, is then no matter of surprize.—My defence is as follows:
1. When I went to Drumachose, to preach in the face of Arianism, and in the midst of Arian spies and critics, did I not know that every word I uttered would be watched, and seized, and weighed, and tortured ? Know. ing all this, is it likely that I should utter an absolute falsehood, that every tyro in theology could detect? What end could I serve by it, but to injure the cause of truth, and ensure my own disgrace? Will any man believe I could be so foolish or so wicked ?
2. Supposing me ignorant of Griesbach's opinion, how durst I venture a criticism on conjecture, before men waiting for my halting, and ready to pounce upon me at every opportunity. Can any man believe me so infatu. ated, as to run such a desperate risk for no valuable object, and to expose myself to such danger, where there could be no possibility of escape ?
3. But did I presume upon thie ignorance of my audience ? I could not judge so foolishly. It is possible, no doubt, that upon many congregations a literary fraud may be literary and religious fraud, I dared not do it in the face of Ministers, Physicians, Lawyers; above all, in the very centre of Arian polemics, and Arian watchfulness, and Arian hate.
4. But supposing I had read Griesbach, or any, who quote him, why should I venture to falsify his authority? What end could it serve ? None. Laying, therefore, all direct evidence of my innocence aside, the public will be enabled to discover the utter improbability that I could be guilty of such folly and falsehood at the same time.
5. But I have offered direct evidence of my innocence. 1. I have offered my own solemn denial, and let it weigh what it is worth. 2. I have offered to submit the full manuscript of my sermon, unaltered since I preached it. 3. The notes used on the occasion, amounting to four close pages. I have appealed to the Rev. Mr. M+Laughlin, the individual who assisted me to fix them in his own Bible. Let him recognize them if he can, or deny them if he can. 4. I have adduced the evidence of many of my audience, who recollect no such assertion; and of Counsellor Sproule, in particular, a gentleman of learning, who was not likely, had it been utlered, to forget such an assertion.
6. Now, let the public reflect that I am called upon, in my defence, to prove a negative, the most difficult of all demands—a work often impossible to the most innocentand, weighing these things, let them decide between Mr. Porter and me.
In this case we are presented with the melancholy spectacle of the very Minister by whom I was invited to preach, becoming my betrayer, and acting as the right hand companion of my Arian accusers. To give currency to his testimony, Mr, M'Laughlin tells us he has strained every nerve to oppose Arianism.” If by this he means that he carried Mr. Porter's handbills, he is correct; but in Rothing else have his nerves been strained during the controversy. Farther, when I adduce the protecting and exculpatory evidence of his Elders, he tells us, as a session, they would have nothing to do with it" I grieve
bring him forward again; but self-preservation compels me to submit the following document, by which the public will judge of Mr. M‘Laughlin's qualifications to represent his people:-“At a meeting of the Session and Committee of Drumachose, held on the 8th August, for the purpose of considering Mr. Porter's charge against Mr. Brown, they unanimously declare that there was no attack made on Mr. Porter by Mr. Brown.-Signed, by order, Jobn Hamilton, Clerk." But Mr. M.Laughlin affirms, that of the forty members of his congregation, who signed my exculpatory document, seven are forgeries. If so, it rests between him and his session, who sent me all the names not subscribed in my own presence, except a few. sent by a respectable Minister, whom he will scarcely venture to accuse of sorgery. But Mr. Porter is pleased to represent my witnesses as so contemptible, that their aspect would excite laughter in any court,-and for proof he has appealed to the Rev. R. Dill, their former Minister. Let the public, then, hear Mr. Dill's testimony:-"I deem it my duty to say, that with the majority of the names at, tached to your vindication in No. XI. of The Orthodox Presbyterian, I am well acquainted; and I hesitate not to pronounce them men of high respectability in their respective stations; of strict moral integrity; and do consider ihat their testimony would command credence in any case, which they would be capable of supporting by their testi. mony. With a few of the individuals, whose names I see, subjoined, and to whom, perhaps, Mr. Porter alludes, I am totally unacquainted, as they were not connected with my charge, during my ministry in Drumachose.”
But while I thus defend the character of my witnesses, by the individual to whom Mr. Porter appeals, I venture to arraign Mr. Porter's witnesses under the following eharges:-1. As Arian witnesses, labouring to cast a stigma upon Orthodoxy, by injuring one of its Ministers. Dr. P. Smith has given a notable example of M. Chenevieré falsifying a quotation from "The Refuge." Have similar causes produced similar effects ?-or is it true, as reported, that Mr. Porter has entered into an association, to attack, not Orthodox opinions, but Orthodox men ?2. I arraign them as contradictory witnesses. One attributes to me the most unsocial nonsense,-another heard me “ with much satisfaction.” Can both be true? Dr. Moore conversed with Mr. Porter, on the evening after he heard my sermon, so was one of his earliest informers. Mr. Porter applies to himself, from this witness or some other, my simile of the Indian brandishing the tomahawk. Dr. Moore affirms, that I referred to “Unitarians" generally, Can both be correct? Are such contradictions admissible?
I protest not against the admission of such witnesses, so much as against the preference claimed for their contradictory-recollections to the impressions of a whole neighbourhood. I protest against the admission of Mr. Porter's own evidence; for, in the first effusion of his wrath, he affirmed, that the alleged evil had gradually spread over the whole district, and yet he has not been able to trace it beyond the limits of his own family.
I have been menaced with a trial at the bar of my Presbytery. To this I invite my accusers; and God will stand by the right cause. But my accusers intimate that I should myself institute a public trial of the question. I must make the public aware of the trick intended here. According to the rules of the Synod of Ulster,--An accuser who fails in proof of his charge, is held subject to the censure that should have been awarded to the acoused, if brought in guilty. Mr. Porter is aware of this law; and therefore shifts the onus of the trial on me. No, Mr. Porter, “stand forth" as my accuser; and I hesitate not to affirm, that, on an impartial trial, and a little crossexamination of your well-drilled witnesses, you will stand before the world-a recorded and convicted slanderer..
I am, &c.
NOTICE OF BOOKS.
The Theories of Inspiration, of the Rev. D. Wilson, Rev. Dr. Pye Smith, and Rev. Dr. Dick, proved to be erroneous ; with Remarks on the Christian Observer, and Eclectic Review. By Alexander Carson, A. M. pp. 222, 12mo. 38. 6d.
Mr. Carson is the Minister of a remote corner in Ulster ; and is probably little known in his own country. He would, however, be an honour to any country. In Scotland and England, where he is better known than at home, he holds a high rank amongst writers on religious polemics. On matters of church order, it is well known we differ from bim; but as a scholar we honour him, as a Cbrisian brother we embrace him.
Mr. Carson announces as his fundamental principleand in which we most heartily concur-"That the honour of Revelation, the comfort and edification of the believer, and the truth and express statements of the Scriptures themselves, demand our belief that the Bible, as originally given, is DWINE IN EVERY WORD.” We look upon the doctrine of the perfect inspiration of Scripture, as Luther did on that of justification by faith : it is an article by which the church must stand or fall. Accordingly we heartily accord with Mr. Carson, when he observes,
“That they who deny the distinguishing doctrines of Christianity, should be anxious to free themselves from the incumbrance of the inspiration of the records that contain it; or, which comes to the same thing, should modify the doctrine so as to destroy it, while they retain the word, is very natural. But that any real lover of the Word of God should in any measure give countenance to such profane and impious conduct, is most deeply to be deplored."
Mr. Carson presents us with the following statement of Mr. Wilson's Theory of Inspiration. By this it appears, Mr. Wilson considers the Scriptures partly human, and partly Divine : human in manner, Divine in matter. Inspiration itself, he distinguishes into four kinds of sug. gestion--direction-elevation-and superintendence.
Of Mr. Wilson's Theory, Mr. Carson presents a mas. terly analysis and refutation. Our limits will not permit us to follow him throughout. But of his remarks upon the distinction between the inspiration of the matter, and the non-inspiration of the manner, as well as on the various species or degrees of inspiration, we must spare room for a quotation.
*** It is utterly,' says Mr. Carson, 'without foundation in the Word of God itself. What can we know of this, or of any other subject of reve. lation, but as the Scriptures themselves teach us? But where do they teach these distinctions? What portion of the Word of God asserts, that the matter and manner of Scripture are to be ascribed to different authors: Where do they teach that there are different kinds of inspiration ? If no such doctrine is taught by the Scriptures, then it is one of the traditions of men, by which they, like the Pharisees, have made void the word of God. The Scriptures declare that they are the inspired word of God; but in the whole Sacred Volume, there is not a hint that they are inspired in a different manner, or in a different degree. The man, therefore, who jovents a theory, that ascribes to Scripture different kinds of inspiration, is as inexcusable as the man, who, in explaining the account of the Creator, asserts that the earth was an old planet repaired, or a splinter from the sun. Where have our theorists found that inspiration is divided into suggestion, direction, elevation, and superintendency! Where the Phariseees found that it was a sin to eat with unwashen hands,
“Who dare make distinctions where God has made none? God has said, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,' without any hint of dif. ferent degrees of inspiration. Who then dare say, that one part of Scripture is less inspired than another?-None but the Holy Spirit can judge what is to be expressed, and what is to be omitted ; and in what phraseology it can be most suitably exhibited.
Mr. Wilson's theory of the degrees of inspiration may be exemplified in the following quotation from his lectures :
“The prophetical parts, the doctrines of pure revelation, the historical facts beyond the reach of human knowledge, all the great outlines of Christianity, both as to doctrine and practice, were probably of the inspiration of suggestion, both as to the matter and the words, (for we think in words.) Where the usual means of information, or the efforts of memory were enough, as in most
of the Gospels and Acts, the inspiration of direction may be supposed to have sufficed. Where the expo. sition of duty, or the rebuke of error, or exhortation to growth in grace, was the subject, the inspiration of elevation and strength may be considered as afforded. When matters more incidental occur, the inspiration, still lessening with the necessity, was probably that of superintendency only, preserving from all improprieties which might diminish the effect of the whole, and providing for inferior, but not unimportant points of instruction. Even the slightest allusions to proverbial sayings to the works of nature--to history-were possibly not entirely out of the range of the watchful guardianship.of the Holy Spirit.”
This exposition Mr. Carson justly characterizes as a “lamentable specimen of the folly and arrogance of the wisdom of man in the things of God."" For, as our author adds, if Mr. Wilson by his own authority decides, that in. spiration possibly extends so far, others, by a like authority, may decide, that possibly it does not go so far. And, indeed, we can see no reason to restrict the Socinian in the use of this licence, if we find it claimed and employed by an evangelical divine.