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In treating on the origin of the first three Gospels, he supports the opinion of Griesbach and Townson, that Mark compiled his gospel from those of Matthew and Luke, ' with the exception of about four-and-twenty verses, which contain facts not recorded by either of his predecessors, but illustrative of the general subject. p. 667. With the utmost respect for names of such anthority, we fear that the requisites of the case are not answered by this hypothesis, though it is less objectionable than the unsatisfactory and too complex one of Professor Marsb. It is not sufficient to account for the verbal coincidences: the verbal differences, also, in the relation of the same fact or discourse, must be provided with a solution. In an inquiry of so much doubtfulness, and yet interesting to the Christian as well as the scholar, we shall be excused if we propose a theory, which, in our judgement, possesses more advantages and fewer embarrassments than any other with which we are acquainted. It appears to avoid the charge of derogating from the sacred character and inspiration of the evangelists; it demands no violent conjectures, but only such suppositions as few will deny to be in a high degree probable; and it seems sufficient to account for all the phenomena.
The great objects of the apostles, in their official labours, were, first, to convert men to the faith and obedience of Christ; and, next, to inform and edify those who were, from time to time, converted. In discharging the duties of the second class, the apostles would be solicitous to communicate, as the converts were deeply concerned to know, all suitable details relative to the actions and discourses of the Lord Jesus. We have a clear, though quite incidental, proof of the circulation of such information, in an instance not recorded by any one of the evangelists, in Acts xx. 35. The relations thus given would be of various matter, according to the topic of immediate instruction; and they would comprehend one or more anecdotes or discourses, as the judgement of the inspired relator might dictate the propriety of selection. We need not remark on the value of such relations, from those who had been “the eye witnesses and attendants of the Word,” and who had the promise of his unerring Spirit to bring all things to their remembrance. Within the confines of Judea, the apostles would usually deliver their discourses in SyroChaldaic, the current language: in other places they commonly spoke the Alexandrian Greek.
It is not probable that any of the apostles, during the first few years of their labours, would commit to writing any large accounts. But they might, on request, write down such or such a particular relation or discourse of their Divine Master. Or some one of their hearers or disciples wrote those reJations from their mouths. In each of the communities of Christian converts which they formed, it may be presumed that one person, at least, was competent to do this. The revision of the particular apostle from whose dictation the record had been written, would be solicited, whenever opportunity permitted. Thus a number of detached portions, some very brief, and others longer, some in Syro-Chaldaic, but most of them in Greek, would obtain justly the credit of apostolic sanction; and would be preserved, read, copied, and reverenced accordingly.
The application of this hypothesis is easy. - To the evangelists, Mark and Luke, who were not apostles, they were invaluable. It may be presumed that they would diligently collect them, that they were able fully to appreciate their authority, and that they would introduce into their respective narratives those which they knew to be of indubitable authenticity. Some of these fragments might have been inserted by St. Matthew himself in his original gospel; or some of them might be select extracts from his work, or Greek translations of them. It is evident that a large part of the gospel of Luke consists of detached anecdotes, not even connected by a succession in the order of time; and it may be inquired whether the 'Απομνημονεύματα των αποστόλων, mentioned by Justin Martyr, were not fragments of this valuable and authentic description.
From the whole, we venture to suppose, that, where we find continued verbal agreements in the three, or in two, of these sacred writers, there we are reading an apostolic Greek fragment, which each possessed, and faithfully inserted; and that, where the coincidences are not verbal, but lie in the order of clauses and sentences, each evangelist had before him a copy of the same Syro. Chaldaic fragment, and that be translated it for himself.
We have looked in vain for a solution of the difficulty in Luke iii. 1. relative to the year of Tiberius; and yet such a subject was certainly more to be expected in this chronologi, cal work than the theological criticism with which it is filled, The history of the woman taken in adultery, and the doxology in Matt. vi. 13. are largely commented on, but without any notice of the question upon the genuineness of those pas. sages. The passage in the copies of Josephus, usually called his testimony concerning Christ, is zealously maintained to be genuine, but with no force of argument that we can discover, and without even an attempt to remove the weighty objections against it. Dr. H. contends, that external baptism is regeneration; but, from a variety of better sentiments avowed in his work, we hope that he sincerely believes, and practically enjoys, the renewing and purifying influences of the Holy Spirit,
In his interpretation of the prophecies yet to be accomplished, our author finds matter for the most melancholy forebodings. We cannot belp supposing that he is unacquainted with those more encouraging signs of the times which cast many beams of light across the gloom of national difficulties ; or that, from some unworthy prejudices, he is unwilling duly to appreciate them. He anticipates the deepest depression of the pure religion of Christ, and the triumph of infidelity, popery, and persecution; and he terrifies himself with the picture of the British empire, and its now free and favoured metropolis being the seat of the last and most dreadful persecution. The subject is too serious to be trifled with ; but we can scarcely forbid a smile in discovering that the most dis. nal presages of our hastening woes are drawn,-not from the profligacy and immorality of the high and the low ranks of our countrymen; not from the guilt of the blood of millions sacri. ficed at the shrine of war; not from the prostitution of holy institutions, not from the number (we thank God that we hope it is daily diminishing, and the opposite class increasing) of clergymen who deny and revile, under pretence of refuting, the doctrines to which they have solemnly subseribed ; not from the ignorance of the poor who perish for lack of knowledge ; not from the perversion, by scandalous peculation, of the noble provisions made by parliament for the instruction of the benighted and superstitious population of Ireland ;-not from such causes as these does Dr. H. sound his alarm,—but on account of the spoliation of church lands at the Reformation, the alienation of tythes in some instances, and a compesition for them in others, the increase of itinerant and lay preachers, the admission of papists in Ireland to the elective franchise, and, as the last and most terrible calamity of all, the removal (should it ever take place) of all penalties and disabilities from those whose consciences or whose prejudices will not allow them to conform to the church by law established !
Dr. H. concludes the present portion of his work by a laboured attempt to maintain the doctrine of the Chiliasts, of a “ first resurrection” of the martyrs and other saints, and their exercising a visible and earthly reign with Christ, as their secular Monarch, for a thousand generations (as our author conceives) previous to the final and universal judgement. To this sentiment, though a favourite with many, we cannot but entertain objections. The fons erroris, in the case, seems to be an unchristian opinion on the nature of true glory. Men, too much attached to the splendour of wordly greatness, have seen little to attract them in the beauties of holiness, the glories of à general conversion of mankind to the knowledge and practice of true Christianity. Hence they have literally interpreted the symbolical and figurative language of the scriptures, in describing the future extent and influence of pure religion. They have forgot, or they have not duly considered, that the kingdom of Christ is not of this world. Their notion is inconsistent with the existence of that discipline, duty, and trial, which the scriptures represent as the constant appointment of God for his church before the period of heavenly glory. That there will be a very happy and triumphant state of the Christian interest in the present world, we believe and gladly expect; neither are we terrified with the spectres which Dr. H. conjures up to deter the government and people of Great Britain from improving the church establishment, and enlarging the liberties of separatists. We augur well from the signs of the times, distressing as many passing events are: but they are really passing. Knowledge, education, the written scriptures, and the preached gospel, are widely and rapidly extending their benignant influence. From their triumphs, secular governments have nothing to apprehend. The order of society will go on undisturbed: its evils only will be redressed, by the silent and salutary operation of principles which will benefit nations in making individuals truly virtuous and beneficent, humble and holy. This, we presume to conceive is the promised kingdom of the Messiah in its ultimate and universal prevalence: a reign of holy principles, by the grace and spirit of Christ in the hearts of men, and of holy actions in their lives; “ a kingdom which is not meat or drink, " outward rites and forms, but “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”.
Art. XI. Pure and Undefiled Religion. A Sermon preached before the Go
vernors of the Scottish Hospital in London. On the 24th of November, 1811. By Robert Young, M. D. D. R. I. Minister to the Scotch Church, London Wall, and Chaplain to the Scottish Corporation. 8vo.
P.p. 52. Richardson, Cornhill. Hatchard, &c. 1811. THE very benevolent institution mentioned in the title. page we
have just transcribed, has found in Dr. Young, an able and zealous advocate. Selecting for his text the 27th verse of the 1st. chap. of James ("pure and undefiled religion,” &c.) he enlarges in an earnest, and frequently impressive manner, on the two propositions of which he is of opinion it consists: 1st. that the gospel, as the word of God, is pure, and ought not to be defiled: and 2d. the tendency of the gospel, pure and undefiled, is to produce charity in the heart, compassion towards the afflicted, and personal purity of life and conversation. Under the latter division of the discourse, we meet with several affecting descriptions and appeals, which however would have lost RO part of their effect, had they been somewhat less rhetorically
managed. Towards the close of the sermon, Dr. Y. enters into a few particulars respecting the Scottish Hospital, with a view, of recommend. ing its interests to public patronage.
• In the year 1665 it was incorporated by royal charter. At that time the number of our countrymen in London was exceedingly small. This circumstance induced them to believe, that, by erecting an hospital, or workhouse, they might sufficiently and most effectually provide for all their poor. A few years convinced them of their error. The happy union of England and Scotland, which was effected about the beginning of the last century, while it identified their mutual interests, and consolidated their mutual strength, opened, at the same time, a more general intercourse betwist the inhabitants of both. The eyes of the nation followed the royal presence, and the metropolis naturally became the resort of the ingenious and enterprising from all parts. The bold and adventurous spirit of the North soon drew multi. tudes away from their native homes. The superior education which, in their parochial schools, the humblest of the Scottish “peasantry received, and the virtuous habits which they had early imbibed in the bosom of their majestic mountains, qualified them, in general, for maintaining respectability in the new society into which they were received, and conducted some of them to considerable affluence
power. The success of a few, agreeably to the natural effect of human events, encouraged others to seek, upon a wider theatre, larger scope for their industry, ingenuity, and talents
. The successful candidates for wealth, independence, and distinction, are, in every society, however, necessarily few. While some were enjoying in splendour the fruits of their well-earned industry, many were drooping under disease, misfortune, and age, and sinking into the most abject poverty and helpless want. The house, or hospital, which was intended as the common receptacle of all their poor, was soon found altogether incapable of fulfilling the benevolent purposes of the charter. Besides, the very idea of such an housc, it was now discovered, was contrary and repugnant to all the honest and high-born feelings, which the Scottish peasant had inhaled with his native air; and that multitudes, sooner than become the inmates of a workhouse, were contented to suffer unnoticed, and die unpitied and uplamented.
• In the year 1775, under the auspices of our present venerable and beloved Monarch, the charter was again renewed, and the management of the charity materially and beneficially altered. Instead of receiving, the paor into one house, the Society now administered to them, either weekly or monthly, such stated or occasional assistance as their several circumstances required; and, instead of reserving their bounty, till the petitioner was no longer fit for any labour, it strengthened, by timely relief, the sinews of their remaining industry, and encouraged, by their countenance, their assiduity, and perseverance. The poor now ate their crust with comfort, in the midst only of their own families, and preserved to their latest age, the virtuous habits, and best feelings, of their younger years.
. In this state the Society now appears before the public, and exhibits I will venture to say, as much judgment in its management, and as VOL. VIII.