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illegal manner. His conduct in the affair of Magdalen College is a very remarkable instance of this. The illegal HIGH COMMISSION COURT was expressly instituted for this very purpose. In the year 1697 James issued a declaration of general indulgence in religious matters to all his ribjects, a step which most refleding men of that time considered as preliminary to the subversion of the Protejiant religion. In the year 1688, Mr. Humë informs us, “ the king published a fecond declaration of indulgence, almost in the same terms with the former ; and he subjoined an order, that, ima mediately after divine service it should be read by the clergy in all the churches." The following letter contains an account of the conduct of some of the inferior clergy on that trying occasion, which account reflects immortal honour on their memory; and, as the LONDON CURATE observes, “affords a brilliant example to after ages," Doubtless there were many naturally of a timid and weak temper, who, like the great ERAS MUS; “ pofleiled not the spirit of a martyr,” and therefore through fear might be induced to comply with JAMES's arbitrary and illegal demand; but, for the honour of the Protestant religion, very few it will appear from the following letter were of this disposition in the several dioceses there mentioned.
In the following copy I have thought it right to preserve Dean Hickes's orthography, that you might depend upon the said copy being exact, but I have not, I find, been so particular in the extract I have given in my ancestor's memoirs, p. 263, et seq. I am, Gentlemen, your very humble servant,
Thomas COMBER. .- Dear Sir,
June 9, 1688. ' " I have this 9 dayes deferred answering your letter, to see if some difficulties, wch hinder me from meeting you at Nottingham, would, by God's good Providence, be removed. The first was my own weaknesse after a feavour, and a most severe method of phyfick to pluck up the feavour by the roots (as the doctor phrased it), but this I thank God is well over, and as I am able to take the journey, so I believe it would do me good. The second is the sicknesse of my wife, who hath also had the new feavour, and cannot be well enough in to short a time as to justify my leaving of her (especially in this juncture) to fee any other friend. And the third thing that detains nie is the obligation that I am particularly under to be allisting to our bishop, if he should be carried up for not distributing the declaration, as it is probable he will be within 14 dayes ; and if that should be, I would not be wanting when I should be most serviceable to him : and truly to take such a journey to see a friend upon such an occasion, would I believe give fonie umbrage of jealousy, as if I had contrived the journey, when I was expected to appear elsewhere, because I had a mind to be out of the way. I pray prefent my services to Mr. MomPESSON, and thanks for his kind invitation.
" In the neighbouring dioceles of OXFORD, LYTCHFEILD, and HEREFORD, where the DECLARATIONS were dillributed, I cannot hear of above 4 or 5 ministers in each dioceffe that read them. Not one was read in Oxford town or university, but one in HEREFORD town, and the people went all out of the church. I should be glad to hear how the declaration faired in your dioceffe, and the bishoprick of Durrham, where the newesletters tell us it was zealously recommended. I am extremely troubled I cannot meet you, I think it necessary for every church to have its Apojiolos
Vol. II. Church. Mug, June, 1802,
or Messengers, in these times, that we may communicate our councills with more conveniency and privicy to one another, for the common good. I hope we shall all do our duty to our religion without transgressing our duty to our Soveraign, it being our common principle to obey him in all things where we can in conscience, and where we cannot, to submit to his royal displeasure patiently and meekly, after the example of the primitive confeflors that have gone before us in the faith. I hope the ROMAN Cath. will not be too severe upon us, if they consider how their clergy would have received such a declaration in countryes where their religion is established, and what they would have don here if they had been commanded to read the xxxix Articles, or the “ ACT OF UNIFORMITY” to their people. Nay, as to the declaration, I am persuaded that neither the Pope, nor any Popish Counfill, nor the College of Sorbon, would give it under their hands, that an unbouuded toleration is agreeable to the doctrine of UNITY in the Gospel, and the writings of the Fathers, or the conftitution of the Cath. Church. However, let us bear all with christian meeknesse, and pray day and night unto God for our gracious Sovereign and the Church.” Cæt. defunt.
" Ffor the Reverend Dr. Cumber,
THE RULE OF INTERPRETING HOLY SCRIPTURE, To The EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE..
GENTLEMEN, THE judicious “ Observations on the Fall,” by your truly orthodox
correspondent Cephas LINCOLNIENSIS, p. p. 259-263. of your Magazine for May, 1802, are entitled to much praise. : I not only agree with your correspondent that we have great reason to regret " that any friends of revealed religion should so far err in judgment as to coösider the Mosaic account of the fall as only an allegorical representation of the origin of sin and DEATH,” but likewise coincide in opinion with him that “the advocates of infidelity have been fully aware of the advantages to be derived from this injudicious conduct of commentators, &c."- Do. not both the above remarks of your correspondent fully prove the absolute necessity of having some certain rule of interpreting holy Scripture, in order to avoid the dangers complained of? In writings composed in so highly figurative a style as are many parts of the facred Scriptures, and in particular the Old Testament, from the genius of the original languages in which they were composed, we must be liable to numberleis mistakes, unless we can obtain some rule to direct our judgment in this very weighty point; it has accordingly been considered as a matter of the first consequence, by all who have attempted to comment on or explain the holy Scriptures, to ascertain, if possible, this -RULE. A recent orthodox and pious writer* says on this particular point to “ It is expedient to adjust the RULE by which the holy Scriptures are to be interpreted. Now it has been unanimousy admitted, I think, by the best critics, that, in all cases, we must take THE LITERAL SENSE OF SCRIPTURE, except when the meaning of a passage foʻtaken would be manifestly absurd, and repug.
* The Rev. John Graham, Rector of St. Mary, Bishophill, York, in his " De fence of Scripture doctrines, as underflood by the Church of England, c.". + Defence of Sco.doct. p. 3.
aant to the analogy of Scripture.” The writer proceeds to illustrate his meaning by one or two instances from the sacred writings. “ Thus," adds he, “ when our Lord says, “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again, I leave the world and go unto the Father,' I see no reason why I should not understand him literally : I therefore so understand him. But when he says to his disciples, 'I am the vine, ye are the branches ;" the absurdity of understanding him literally is selfevident.” If the above rule, which it seems hath the fan&tion of the "best critics" to support it, be admitted, we have an easy mode of interpreting many difficult passages of Scripture, which, without some such dire&ion, would be difficult to understand,
We may however err on the other side of the question, by taking a manifestly figurative passage in a literal sense, unless confiderable care be taken to apply the second part of the rule laid down above, but when we prudently apply it there will not be much danger of our erring materially in our interpretation of holy Scripture. A remarkable instance of not attending to this part of the rule occurs in the interpretation which the Church of Rome has put on that passage in St. Matthew xxvi. 26. upon which misinterpreted text they have erected the doctrine of TRANSUBSTAN, TIATION. Afsuredly we have as much reason to understand the expression of our Lord, that he was the vine, Sc. in a literal sense, as that the bread which he held in his hand was his own body : both these pas. sages taken literally are impoflible and absurd; both of them interpreted figuratively convey much beautiful and useful information. · Having been led to mention Mr. Graham's tract above, I will add that it is, as its title declares, a " reply to a pamphlet, intituled, Scripture the only guide to religious truth," &c. which was put out by " a fociety of Baptists in York;" and the erroneous methods they had taken of interpreting the Scripture made it “ a sure guide to religious" deception. Mr. Graham's pamphlet is a masterly defence of the leading, and most important, articles of the orthodox faith, and well deserves the attention of all sincere Churchmen : the edition I have before me was published in 1800, by Mathews, in the Strand ; the price then was half a crown. I am, Gentlemen, your moft obedient humble servant, June 10, 1802. , .
TAUNTONIENSIS, DR. WATKINS'S SCRIPTURE BIOGRAPHY. · TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN's MAGAZINE.
Gentlemen, | HAVE been much delighted by a perusal of Dr. Watkins's recent pub
lication, intituled, “ SCRIPTURE BIOGRAPHY, or the Lives and Characters of the principal Personages recorded in the sacred Writings; practically adapted to the Infiruction of outh, and private Families.”. This is a very inodest title prefixed to a very excellent book. A scholar will read it with satisfaction, and a youth cannot fludy it without benefit. I have not seen any work of the kind more fit for “ Family instruction on Sunday Evenings; " nor better calculated for the use of schools and academies. The younger clergy will find it a book of great utility, · Dr. Hunter's “ Sacred Biography” is in the form of sermons; and the set of volumes costs a good deal of money;--Dr. Watkins's book may be purchased for the small price of 4s. 6d. The prescriptive form in which a sermon is conceived, prevents the writer from descending to all the necefsary minutiæ of dates and facts ; --Dr. Watkins at the head of each life Tt2
settles the point of chronology according to the best authorities. Your profoundly learned correspondent INSPECTOR, to whon all lovers of biblical criticism are under high obligation, will be glad to learn that Dr.' Watkins places Job before Moles Dr. Hunter notices the lives of Adam, Cain, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Melchizedec, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Mofes, Aaron, Balaam, Deburah, Ruth, Hannah, and Jesus Chrift; fixteen personages ;-Dr. Watkins gives, in elaborate detail, the lives of Adam, Cain and Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Balaam, Joshua, Ruth, Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Esther, and Mordecai, St. John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ ; twenty-four in all. I mark with Italics those lives in either work which do not occur in the other.-I with not to institute any invidious comparison between the two works ;-I am only stating their distinct characters, the peculiar form in which each is conceived, and the personages whose lives are recorded I have read, some time fince, Dr. Hunter's volumes with great satisfaction, and most willingly bear testimony to their merit. At the same time, it is clear that the number of lives is greater in Dr. Watkins's work than in his ; and, moreover, that the selection of lives by the latter gentleman gives us a more closely connected and a more lengthened chain of biography. Between the lives of Hannahi and Christ, we find a vast Hiatus in Dr. Hunter's work ;- which is profitabiy tilled up in Dr. Watkins's, with the lives of Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, Daniel, Elther, and St. John the Baptist.
He that would understand the nature of Christ, on which undoubtedly rests the doctrine of atonement, nust study the Psalmıs of David with attention. Our Lord himself, 24 Luke 4+, refers his disciples to the testimony of the Psalms, as well as to the law and the prophets. Dr. Watkins notices the typical relation which David bears to Christ, “ in all refpects, as a Shepherd, Prophet, Priest, Warrior, King, and Mediator, we can trace the lines of perfect resemblance." The doctor laments that the limits which he had set to his book would not allow him to enlarge on that fubject so much as he wished. “ The limits, says he, of this volume will not allow me to perform what it would be a pleasure to execute. The reader, however, can easily mark the reseinblance himself, especially if he will take as his companion and his counsellor, that inestimable work, Bishop Horne's Commentary on the Psalms ; a bouk which no family, nor any pious Chriftian, ought to be without."-Dr. Watkins, in his life of Christ, gives frequent references to the Book of Psalms; and in particular he makes admirable use of the 24th Pfalm in pages 483-4-5, where he treats upon the ascension of our Lord. But, Gentlemen, you may judge of Dr. Watkins's ORTHODOXY by the way in which he speaks of Bishop HORNB. In the Life of Christ the author never forgets that our RedEEMER was GOD MANIFEST IN THE FLESH.
As a Parish Priest, and a Father of a Family, I presume publicly to thank Dr. Watkins for the work which he has executed ; it already forms a part of the library of my young folks, and already has its turn in the daily routine of their lessons, in which a resolute and Justematic attention is ever paid to religious instruction. I am, Gentlemen, your's truly, . June 10, 1802.
A LONDON CURATE,
· TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE, .
Gentlemen, PERMIT me to say that the reply of your valuable correspondent In. 1 lpector, to my query on the verse in the Septuagint version of the Book of Job, is in the highest degree satisfactory;, to the above Gentleman and the London Curate I take occasion to return my best thanks for their polite attention, and heartily concur with the latter in trusting that the unenlightened of the Irish nation may have the clouds of papal darkness removed from their eyes by means of publishing the sacred volume in their native language, and thus causing the clear light of the Gospel to shine upon them.
It is devoutly to be wilhed, that the practice of catechifing was more generally adopted; many of the clergy are fully equal to the talk, among whom no one more so than the worthy Secretary to the Society for propagating Christian Knowledge. It would afford me the truelt satisfaction to hear of him, and all others who are capable, (and few, if any, I trust there are amongst the pastors of our Established Church who are not so) joining with those of their cotemporaries who have already engaged themselves in the labour of love; and may the Holy Spirit descend into the hearts of ministers and people, that the good feed thus sown in the youthful mind may bring forth fruit an hundred fold.
Reading lately in an Hebrew Plalter, I could not avoid remarking a beauty in the last verse of the 150th Psalm; the word our translation renders breath, is in the original Dw which my only guide to the sacred language, Buxtorff trandates Nomen ; the verle then is literally, “ Let every thing that hath a nume praise the Lord.” To me it appears evident that the Royal Plalmist, elevated beyond measure by his all-glorious theme, calls upon the inanimate as well as the animate parts of creation to join in hymning forth the praises of the Almighty. In this sense the verse may be regarded as an epitome of that sublime composition the Benedicite. I am, Gentlemen, your's, &c.
THEODOSIUS. London, 8th May, 1802.
To the EditoRS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.'
GENTLEMEN, YOUR correspondent Iota, V. I. p. 469, observes, that the term Me
thodism was originally an honourable appellation. I perfectly agree with his very sensible remarks. But, fince you do not reject from your Miscellany, works of fancy, and efforts of imagination, permit me to derive Methodilm from Medodela, Methodeia The efforts of Methodists, their intrigues and cabals against the established Church, and the modes by which they endeavour to gain profelytes, would, in some measure, lanction the derivation. Especially when Methodeia is used in the sente St. Paul attaches to it, Eph. iv. v. 14. and c. vi. v. 11. The commentators explain it in thefe paifages by μηχανην, τεχνας η δολες, machination, arts or deceits. According to them, Mellodeuw fignifies “ to deceive and to overcome by artifice, which is effected by wiles both in words and actions.” In the Septuagint, 2 Sam. c. xix. v. 27, it is used as the rene dering of ba to calumniate. Polycarp, in his Ep. to the Philippians, ules the verb for artfully perverting. Os av MEOOAETH, ta nolla te
up?8 apos tas idas em Quuias. “ Whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lufts:" Vide Suicerus, in verbum.