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maker thereof was accounted a great clerk in the law; for, therein, after he had bequeathed to his son Humphrey an hundred marks per annum to be paid ont of his tenements in the hundred of Pyder in Cornwall, he concludes, et religa omnia, &c. and the rest of all my lands, goods, &c. I leave to my son Edward Noy, whom I make my executor, to be consumed and scattered about, nec de eo melius speravi, &c. But Edward lived not long to enjoy the estate, for within two years after, he was slain in a duel in France by one Captain Byron. In the place of attorney general, Noy was succeeded by Sir John Banks; and the next year by Sir Robert Heath, who being removed from the chief-justiceship of the King's Bench for bribery, Sir John Finch came into play, whereupon these verses were made:
“ Noy's flood is gone,
The Banks appear ;
And Finch sings there."
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Jewish Prophecy, the sole Criterion to distinguish between
genuine and spurious Christian Scripture; or an humble attempt to remove the grand and hitherto insurmountable obstacles to the conversion of Jews and Deists to the Christian Faith, affectionately submitted to their serious consideration. A Distourse preached before the Rev. Dr. WILLIAM GRETTON, Archdeacon of Essex, at his visitation holden at Danbury, on Tuesday the 8th of
July, 1806. By FRANCIS STONE, M.A. F. S. A. Reco tor of Cold Norton, Essex, author of " A Call to the Jews.” 8vo. pp. 48. F any thing had been wanting to confirm what we
have repeatedly alledged on the lamentable loss of discipline in the church, the very extraordinary pamphlet before us would afford an ample, though melancholy
proof of the fact. The judicious appointment of episcopal and archidiaconal visitations for the purpose of enquiring into the condition of particular districts, and of inspecting the conduct of the clergy, appears to have dwindled away into mere formality, or at least to be attended with no other, benefit than the regulation of such abuses as relate merely to externals, which are of minor consideration ; while the iinportant concerns of doctrine and morals are passed over unnoticed. It is true we often meet with excellent charges and sermons delivered on such occasions, and which being printed at the request of the clergy, proves that religion and learning have still their able advocates and zealous admirers; but in an ecclesiastical sense, it is to be feared that our strength is departed from us, and that our glory is faded.
While every other church, and every petty sect, hold their synodal meetings, their general assemblies, . and their conferences, wherein the conduct and preaching of their ministers are made the subjects of particular enquiry and representation, the Established Church of the united kingdom is deprived of such a privilege, or is afraid to exercise it. Hence her enemies increase in numbers around her and insult over her; hence schism is encouraged ; and heresies prevail even in her very bosom; and the natural consequence of all is, that there is a general indifferency to the truth, joined, as is always the case, with a laxity of manners.
Such is the state of things at present, and if not roused from it to watchfulness and vigilance, the hour of total darkness may come suddenly upon us. Happy will it be if the example of former churches shall have a powerful and timely influence in producing a spirit of holy zeal, whereby we inay" strengthen the things which yet remain, that are ready to die.”
We have been led to these gloomy reflections from the perusal of this. Visitation Sermon, in which the great founder of the Christian Church is openly vili, fied, and his holy gospel pronounced to be a vile imposture.
Many divines and even dignitaries of the established church have of late broached doctrines, through the medium of the press, at direct variance, with the articles they have subscribed, and the creeds which, in
Vol. XI. Churchm. Mag. for Oct. 1806. Q9 the
the public offices of devotion, they are obliged to pronounce; but it was reserved for the author of the disa course before us, to render bimself pre-eminently conspicãous by blaspheming bis Saviour, and accounting the blood of the covenant an unholy thing," openly from the púlpit, in the face of his superior and brethren in the ministry. How such a man came to be appointed to the office of preaching the sermon on that occasion, can only be accounted for upon the supposition that his principles were unknown ; otherwise surely it was highly reprehensible to give him an opportunity of venting his pernicious opinions, and of staggering, as we know he did, the faith of plain and unlettered hearérs, by the boldness of his assertions.
To add to his guilt, this hoary apostate has sent forth his libel on the gospel into the world, that it may do as much mischief as possible. He professes it to be his in- ; tention to give the profits of the publication to the " widows and orphans of the clergy of the Archdeaconry of Essex;" but we hope better things of the clergy of that archdeaconry than to believe they will contaminate their fund with the wages of unrighteousness. Profits so arising must prove a cańker to their charity; as it would be the price of the " blood of souls;" and may be fitly compared to the “ thirty pieces of silver,” which even the hypocritical chief-priests and elders would not defile their treasury with,
We now proceed to a particular examination of the discourse, in which there is nothing new, except it be in the peremptoriness, audacity, and indecency of its language.
The points assumed by the preacher are, that Jesus Christ was the mere son of Joseph and Mary, in the ordinary course of nature; that the doctrine of the Trinity, " whether Arian or Athanasian," was the invention of the Platonic school of Alexandria, and that “the satisfaction of divine justice by the vicarious punishment of Christ, is a disgusting impossibility.”
To support these assumptions our adventurous author gets rid of those passages in the gospel of St. Matthew and St. Luke, which assert the divinity and miraculous conception of Christ, by declaring that they are forgeries. But who forged them, or at what period, he has
pot condescended to inform us; though when a man sends forth such a declaration into the world, relating to any ancient and venerated writings, it is reasonably to be expected that he brings forward his evidences. Mr. Stone, however, has no other evidence than his own suspicions, and an arbitrary construction which he chooses very modestly, no doubt, to put upon those passages of the ancient prophets which are directly quoted or alluded to by the Evangelists.
His abundant wisdom and sagacity are strikingly disa played in strengthening his objection to St. Luke's genealogy of our Saviour, by urging what St. Paul says respecting genealogies in 1 Tim. i. 4, Titus iii. 9. Now to wave any observation on the objects of the apostle's censure, which even the most ordinary readers of the Scripture will not require, this reference makes directly against Mr. Stone's assumption ; for if such genealogies as those of Matthew and Luke were what St. Paul cautioned Timothy and Titas against, then they are not forgeries of a posterior date. Now if a forgery of this kind, and of so much magnitude, was known in the Apostolic age, how comes it that St. Paul in particular did not expressly mention it ?
But Mr. Stone is determined to believe what he pleases; and as to argument, it is obvious enough how it will be received by a man, who after fizing, without assigning any reason for it, his own sense upon the prophecies respecting the Messiah, declares, that “any passage in the received canon of Christian Scripture, which militates against that sense, he is bound to reject as an interpolated forgery?”
This is in other words to say, that having ascertained the precise meaning of the Old Testament prophecies, which must necessarily be obscure and involved, till the fulfilment clears away all the difficulty and determines the application, he will not believe in that fulfilment or application, if in a single point it shall be found to vary from that preconceived notion or judgement of the prophecy which he had formed in his own mind.
But what are the prophecies which Mr. Stone pronounces to be directly against the miraculous conception and divinity of Christ? They are few in number, and therefore may soon be considered.
“ By Isaiah the Messiah is prefigured as “ the rod out of the stem of Jesse," the father of David, and “the branch out of his roots." By Jeremiah he is distinguished as “ a righteous branch." “ Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice on the earth.” By Ezekiel, the Messiah is characterized under the patronymic of his his royal progenitor : “ i wilt set up one shepherd over them," the Israelites, “and he shall feed them, even my servant David; and again my servant David shall be their prince for ever.” Moreover Isaiah prophesies, “ of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and' upon his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgement and with justice, from henceforth even for ever."
From these isolated passages, broken and wrested from the whole connected and glorious chain of prophecy respecting the Messiah, this is the forced conclusion, that he must be a mere man, the “ joint offspring of a man and a woman, and in the case of our Lord's birth, of a man and his wife.”
It would be an insult to the common sense of our readers to waste words in refutation of such reasoning; but it is proper to shew the disingenuity of this writer, who makes such an outcry against supposed interpolations. He maintains, that all the prophets when speaking of the Messiah describe him as a mere man; and that the above passages in particular assert his simple and absolute humanity.
The very passages which he has cited and mangled, when taken with their correlatives, and considered in the whole continuity of the prophecy of which they only make a part, will prove the very reverse of what they are alleged to support. Thus in the case of the first quotation from Isaiah, this whole prediction of the person and kingdom of the Messiah, takes in both the 11th and 12th chapters; and in the last the same person, this king foretold to arise in the house of David, is expressly called the Lord JEHOVAR, and the “ Holy One of Israel."
But the citation from Jeremiah is more remarkable, and the liberty taken with it by Mr. Stone is still more impudent and dishonest. The entire prediction is this, " Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise