Imágenes de páginas
PDF

ing; by kindness; by the Holy Ghost; by love unfeigned. Let us approve ourselves as the ministers of God. Never let us remder railing for railing; if reviled, let us not revile again. “Let us make it evident that we ourselves are churchmen on principle; but that we can charitably allow the rights of conscience to those, who may consider it a duty to differ from us. Steadfast ourselves in unfeigned and unshaken attachment to the Church of England, let us shew that we wish to assume no other influence than that of reason, truth, and goodness. “The hitteness of opposition never fails to increase opponents. The sure way to make a man an enemy is to act as if we thought him so; but kindness, charity, and candour, descend soft as the snow from heaven; at the same time with an influence gradual, tender, and irresistible. “By seriously and devoutly conducting the Divine Service; by holding forth the word of life; by visiting the sick and afflicted; by relieving the necessitous, according to our ability; by instructing the ignorant publicly and from house to house; by catechising the youth; by establishing and superintending schools for the education of the children; by being patterns to the flock; we sliall, through the Divine blessing, most ef. sectually subserve the interests of religion and of the Church of England. “By such means we may not only exhibit what we consider to be “the more excellent way, but we may, as in many instances hath occurred, bring back the wanderer; we may conciliate the disaffected ; we may prevent that defection from the Establishment which every true Churchman views with unseigned concern, prays against, and deplores," pp. 33-29.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Out object, in bringing this success. ful effort of academical industry to the knowledge of our readers, is not so much te bestow praise on the author, as to recommend to those who have not the means, or the time, or the inclination, to make themselves acquainted with the able and eloquent, but desultory defence of Christianity contained in the justly celebrated treatise of Origen against Celsus, this meat, concise, and perspicuous abstract of his reasoning. Of the original work of Celsus, no trace is now left. It would have been wholly unknown in modern times, had not every thing, that appeared material in it, been preserved in the ages of the Christian advocate. # Celsus, therefore, never been. refuted, the modern infidel would have been deprived of the greater part of his means of offence. In truth, scarcely an argument of any weight has been adduced to disprove the truth of Christianity in the

present day, which was not satisfactorily answered by Origen near sixteen hundred years ago. The infidel's employment, since that period, is most aptly described by a Christian poet in the following lines:

“He gleans the blunted shafts that have

recoiled, And aims them at the shield of truth again.”

Mr. Cunningham has made a judicious arrangement of his materials. He collects the objections of Celsus, and the refutations of Origen, under the following heads:— The History and Writings of the Jews; the Scriptures; the History of Christ; Miracles; Character of the early Christians; Doctrines of the early Christians. It is not our intention wo, follow him through these several divisions. On the last head we will merely' remark, that the objections of Celsus as clearly prove that the doctrine of Justification by faith was held by the first Christians, as the writings of the present Bishop of Lincoln prove that this tenet is held by a body of men, whom he calls the evangelical clergy. We will lay before our readers the whole of Mr. Cunningham’s conclusion, which will both put them in possession of his general argument, and furnish them with a specimen of his style. “Having thus noticed, in succession, the several topics which are chiefly insisted on in the work before us; and having endeavoured to deduce from each, the distinct evidence in favour of Christianity, which it seemed to afford, it remains only to sum up the general testimony thus borne to our religion. “Let the evidence be first considered, which arises from the concessions and objections of Celsus. In the first place then he proves the existence of the Scriptures in his own times, he relates some facts extracted from them, and he corroborates many others, which would otherwise stand upon their unsupported authority; and thus he authenticates both the religion, md the Bible. "In the next place, as Celsus is usually considered the most subtle and malignant of the ossilants of Christianity, the weakness of his assault discovers the difficulty of the Chust, Qassav. No. 124.

attack, or, in other words, the strength of the religion. “In the third place, his admission of many facts, which he would have rejoiced to deny, is a strong testimony to the general belief of the facts, at the period at which he wrote. “Fourthly, His wary suppression of some circumstances incontrovertibly established by the authority of other persons, of much evidence which strengthened, and many writers who had served the Christian cause, betrays his conviction that such facts could not be promulgated with safety to his arguinent. “Let us turn next to the reasonings and the reply of Origen, and to the evidence for Christianity supplied by them. “In the first place, as the infidel may find in the objections, all the weapons by which he is now accustomed to assault religion, so the believer may find in the answers of Origen, the shield which has repelled, and is sufficient to repel them for ever. “The confidence with which Origen appeals to the Scriptures, evinces the reverence in which they were held at an age when their spuriousness, if they had not been genuine, could so readily have been detected. “The exact correspondence of the scriptural passages extracted by him, with our own copies, establishes the integrity of the sacred canon. “The confidence with which he challenges an investigation of the miracles, and the miraculous powers of the Church, for some ages, leaves us no room to doubt of their txistelace. “The firm faith of such a man as Origen, at a period when the evidence of Christianity lay most open to a scrutiny, is no smail testimony of the truth of the religion. “The very rashness which is charged, and justly clarged upon Origen, is so far satisfactory, that it assures us, the flieuds of Christianity, however injudicious, could open no avenues of attack through which the most dextrous adversaries could successfully as

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

tion to the sacred cause, that he sold his possessions for a daily allowance that would enable him to pursue the duties of piety and usefulness, without distraction. Such was his zeal, that he is said to have bequeathed to his fellow-creatures six thousand volumes, the fruits of his own labour. Nor is his character a solitary instance, upon the anmals of Christianity. The great mass of individuals who drank at or near the fountainhead of the religion, were evidently" made whole.’ They were animated by another spirit, and quickened into another life. 'Old things passed away, and all things became new." It was moreover in the power of these men to examine the sources of objection which were opened to them by Celsus; this they had certainly done, but their befief gathered strength by enquiry, and they sealed their testimony by their blood. We have in their conduct a proof of the impression which the arguments of Celsus made on their minds. “Paganism began to tremble, when she saw that the new religion was not only a new creed, but a new power; she anticipated her own downfall when she exclaimed, “See how these Christians love one another.’ This evidence is peculiar to the Gospel. By this, under the Divine aid, it ascended the throne, and grasped the sceptre of the world. By this it will continue to conquer, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

“Upon the whole, the reply of Origen to Celsus may be considered as one of the most valuable legacies of antiquity. The importance of the subject, the talents of the contending authors, the ample evidence it affords to our faith, claim for it our earnest consideration; the errors of Origen are such as a little sagacity may correct, his merit will ever be confessed, while religion shall need an apology, or talent and piety have any claim to admiration. It is true that the revolution of ages has afforded, as might be expected, to truth additional evidence, and to error fresh refutation. So much however was effected, in their distinct enterprizes by the early enemies and friends of Christianity. that the vanity of unbelievers should be subdued, by discovering most of their objections to have been before advanced, and the faith of Christians should be confirmed, by knowing them to have been long since refuted.” pp. 49–55.

We shall only add, that we have ourselves perused Mr. Cunningham's work with great satisfaction; that it furnishes honourable testimony both to the extent of his reading, and the correctness of his theological views; and that we hope that this, our author's first essay, will prove but the prelude to farther labours in the same cause.

REVIEW OF REVIEWS.

Review of Dr. MARs11's Inquiry, &c.

"IN our Review of Dr. Marsh’s InTuiry into the consequences of neglecting to give the Prayer-book with the Bible, in our last number, we find that we have, at p. 180, inadvertently mentioned the name of Mr. Simeon, as if he were a member of the Society for promoting Christian 'Knowledge; whereas, in fact, he does not belong to it. This circumstance, however, will be found not to weaken but to strengthen the argument, if it shall turn out, as we believe it will, that, with his own unassisted means, Mr. Simeon has done more to distri

bute the Liturgy than Dr. Marsh himself, though backed by a powerful society". But the argument, after all, does not rest on the conduct of any individual. At the same time, we have no doubt, that if an investigation were to take place, it would be found, that the members of the Society for promoting Chris

* Since the above was written, there have appeared Four Discourses, by Mr. Simeon,

on the Excellence of the Liturgy, preached

before the University of Cambridge, in November 1811, which are prefaced by an Answer to Dr. Marsh's Inquiry. Both the sermons and the answer are well entitled to Dr. Marsh's serious consideration.

[blocks in formation]

too secular a view of the Liturgy,

and as too much disposed to send it forth into the world authorised and accredited as an Act of Parliament. We ought here to have anticipated a rejoinder on the part of Dr. Marsh, stating that he has admitted the Bible to be the sole basis of the Church of England (p. 13), and that he has occasionally insinuated, that other sects and opinions derived from the Bible, have been so by means of the perversion or false interpretation of the sacred text (pp. 5,10, &c.) But let any man read the pamphlet, and attend to the general impression made upon his mind. "We shall be much surprised if any single person, the author himself excepted, will deny, that its general effect is that of placing the Liturgy, at least far too much, on a level, as to intrinsic worth, with the veriest excrescences and eccentricities that have deformed and libelled the name of Christianity. We have no doubt the result of the whole will be to leave the reader under an impression of the political authority P. Liturgy infinitely beyond its theological claims on our respect. And this is, we pronounce, #. Jacto, an affront, an injury, a

isrespect to the Book of Common Prayer, leading, we are bold to say, to the most pernicious consequences.

We take this opportunity of adding, that the argument we have employed on this subject is not wholly an argumentum ad hominem, or a retort of the charge of disrespect towards the Liturgy upon those who have brought it against the Church members of the Bible Society. It is more: it is intended as an actual proof, that the possession and study of the Bible, even separately considered, has a tendency to prepare the mind, and bring it insensibly forward to a respect for the principles

of the Church of England; and, consequently, that the Bible, so given or received, will make both giver and receiver more attached to the Liturgy, and more inclined respectively to bestow or to accept that boon also. Thus, in our humble opinion, the habit of giving Bibles alone from one Society, so far from diminishing, may be considered as likely to increase the respect for the Liturgy, though obtained from another source. And of this effect we presume ourselves to be instances, when, in spite of our zeal for the Bible Society, and quite independently of the present argument, we have been found maintaining as above, with Dr. Marsh, the necessity of the Prayer-book standing in company with the Bible —a necessity, we argue, still more likely to be asserted, in proportion as Bibles shall be obtained to illustrate, and hold up to view, the beautiful conformity of our incomparable Liturgy with the principles of Scripture; and in proportion also as a more extended knowledge of that conformity will make men anxious to guard more carefully than ever against other, and therefore false, interpretations of the great standard of truth. But should Dr. Marsh still press his argument for the “natural and necessary tendency” of the Bible Society to supersede, in our estimation, the necessity of the Prayerbook, by too liberal a distribution of Bibles alone from one particular source; should he press it in opposition to the FACT of the prodigiously increased circulation of the Prayer-book; should he urge it in opposition to the argument by which we have endeavoured to prove that the Bible alone (and we now speak of it as alone) has a greater tendency to make Churchmen than Dissenters, and in opposition also to the suggestion which might still be added, that the importance of a man's own church and system will be ver much in his esteem what it was before, though he may have received 2 I 2

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

GREAT BRITAIN.

Is the press;-a work on the general, moral, and natural History of a considerable Part of India, where he resided many Years, by Mr. James Forbes, F.R.S.;-A History df Bengal, from the earliest Period of authentic Antiquity, to its Conquest by the English in 1757, by Professor Stewart, of the East Ihdia College;—A volume of the Elements of Chemistry, by Dr. Davy;-A fourth and fifth volumes of Tales of Fashionable Life, by Miss Edgeworth;-A work on the Life and Administration of Cardinal Wolsey, by Mr. Galt;-Dialogues on the Microscope, by the Rev. J. Joyce;— Sketches of Cottage Characters, by the Author of the Antidote to the Miseries of Human Life; — A Voyage round the World, by command of the Emperor of Russia, in the Years 1803 to 1806, in the Ships Nadeshda and Neva, communded by Capt. Wom Krusenstein; translated by R. B. Moppner, Esq.;-An Essay on the Misrepresentations, Ignorance, and Plagiarism of certain Infidel Writers, by the Rev. R. Walpole;—An Outline of Arguments for the Authenticity of the New Testament, and a short Account of the ancient Versions and some of the principal Manuscripts, by J. F. Gyles, Esq.;-And, A new edition of Dr. ower's elaborate work on the Epistle to the Hebrews, by the Rev. G. Wright.

Preparing for publication: A new work on the Jurisdiction of Justices of the Peace, and on the Duty and Power of Parish Officers, by Mr. T. W. Williams;-A His. tory of the European Commerce with India; —History and Antiquities of Fulham and Hammersmith, by Mr. Faulkner, of Cheł. sea;-A new History of all Religions, by Mr. Bellamy — A Journey into Albania, Romelia, and other Provinces of Turkey, during 1809 and 1810, by J. C. Hobhouse; —An Account of the Attempts of the Indiari Bramins to invest their Gods with the Honour of the Messiah, by the Rev. Mr. Maurice;—And, A volume of Tales, to publish uniform with his other Works, by Rev. G. Crabbe.

Camanipos. April 3.-The following are the subjects for the Members' Prizes sor the present year: Senior Bachelors—De Philosophia Platonica Distinctio et Judiclumn.

Middle Bachelors.—Utrum praecepth a Rhetorsbus tradita veræ Eloquentia profuisse am nocuisse dicemdum est?

Mr. Wilson has produced a stereotype edition of Johnson's Dictionary, in 8vo., remarkable for the heauty of its typography. It contains several thousand new words, distinguished from Johnson's by an asterisk.

« AnteriorContinuar »