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where tyranny bears down the mind in debasing captivity. The state into which we wish the controversies of religion to subside, is widely different from the state into which the authority of the Church of Rome would impel those jarring elements, and cannot possibly be produced by the coercive methods which she employs. The reduction of these disorders into harmony must be effected by the evidence and the force of truth, making mauifest the errors from which they proceed, and introducing into the understandings of the erring, the light of knowledge. In joining himself to those who keep the unity of the faith in the bond of peace, every man must perceive the way by which he is to advance to that fellowship; he cannot surrender himself to ignorant guides, or to a conductor who refuses to give satisfactory proof of his competence for the office. Now, this is precisely the character of the Church of Rome. Her pretensions are high, even to extravagance. But she produces no vouchers by which her pretensions might be established, and her vaunts justified. Her living infallible interpreter of Scripture is a fiction. Her traditions, declared by the partisans combined to support her usurpations, and practising intrigue and fraud in her service, to be of equal authority with the word of God contained in the Holy Scriptures, are ouly the
opinions of men. Her methods of instructing mankind in Christian verities, possess no advantage which should raise ber to eminence; and she is unable to furnish them with the means of discriminating truth from error. In these respects, the slightest investigation of her claims is sufficient to shew her entire destitation of the supports necessary to establish their validity, and will enable us to detect and expose her assumptions as being among the grossest absurdities and the most monstrous impositions which have ever been practised on the credulity of the world.
The only mode of ascertaining truth is the examination of its evidences, and its influence and effects are to be expected, only as it shall be received on the conviction of the mind to which its proofs are addressed. Prejudices can be successfully opposed only by the means of knowledge, and erroneous interpretations of Scripture must be displaced by the circulation of those which are correct. Existing diversities of religious sentiment cannot be remedied by the interposition of authority in alliance with ignorance; but they may be moderated and abated by the labours of wise and good men directed to the consideration of ine causes in which they originate, and to the investigation of the records to which the parties professedly appeal. In this service, the Author of the present work has engaged. He writes for the purpose of promoting
agreement among Christians on the great doctrines of the Gospel; and, regarding the manner in which they have generally been exhibited as defective, and as less spiritual and abstract than is requisite to induce a correct acquaintance with them, he proposes to take new views of some of the subjects comprised in the Epistle which he has selected for illustration. With the spirit which pervades bis discussions, we have been uniformly pleased; it is calm and Christian : but to some of his positions and arguments we have not been able to give our assent. The former appear to us to be deviations from the simplicity which belongs to the Apostolic doctrines ; and the Author's reasonings in support of them are too recondite to allow us to hope that he has discovered the principle by which the agreements of the Scriptures are to be demonstrated. There are readers among those for whose use his work is intended, to whom we should fear his statements will in some instances seem less perspicuous than is necessary for the ready perception of their import, and to whom some of his arguments will appear forced and inconclusive. He has, however, calculated on the slow and partial reception of his modes of instruction, as well from the disinclination of readers in general to such methods, as from the novelty with which some of his interpretations are invested. A peculiarity of his Exposition consists in an endeavour to point out the spiritual view which should be taken of the scriptural doctrines.
. It is from a suggestion in the second chapter of this Epistle (v. 13), that the notion of so viewing them has been derived. It is true, indeed, that this notion is founded on a different rendering of the
passage from what is given in our version. But there are various opinions about its true meaning. The translation here given has not been adopted without the fullest consideration of both the passage itself and the connexion, and I have explained my reasons for it in the notes. I may, however, here remark, that assuredly this is the appropriate way of viewing the doctrines, and the only one in which their real meaning can be discerned ; moreover, that it is that in which they must ultimately be considered. But doubtless, it is not to be expected that the generality of persons will be at once induced to enter into these abstract and spiritual views of religion. All that can be reasonably hoped, is, that this mode of exposition should be silently and gradually received, and so work its own way on the mind. But I am inclined to think, that it is only as Christians accustom themselves to this mode of reflection that they will ever come lo an agreement on the great doctrines of the Gospel. The ordinary representations of them, under sensible images, and notions derived from the present life, have necessarily in them so much of uncertainty and imperfection that, while so considered, they will always be open to doubt and cavil. Indeed, the leading object throughout this Epistle seems to be, to draw the reader to this spiritual mode of reflection in as easy and familiar a way as the nature of the subject will admit of; for this is the point of view in which its topics are chiefly considered.' p. ix.
The Exposition before us has, in many particulars, been conducted on the peculiar apprehensions of the Author respecting the commission and circumstances of the Apostle Paul, to whom he represents the doctrine of salvation by faith in a crucified Redeemer as having been confided for delivery in an original and singular manner, and from whom the other Apostles received the full knowledge of it; and he describes him as failing, in consequence of his appointment to the Apostleship being altogether unconnected with that of the Twelve, to receive from them such countenance and support as would give personal consequence to his ministry. For these views, Mr. Tolley refers us to some of his former publications, which have escaped our notice, and on the statements and reasonings of which, therefore, we are not prepared to pronounce an opinion. But to us it seems a most unwarrantable hypothesis, to consider any deficiency in respect to Christian knowledge as existing in the other Apostles, which was to be supplied by communications from the last appointed of the extraordinary ministers of Christ. To us it appears that the promise of the Redeemer assured to the Apostles the full measure of all Christian truth; and in the fulfilment of that promise, which respected the perfection of their qualifications as religious instructors, they must have been furnished with the most clear and entire knowledge of the principles which gave the gospel to which their ministry was dedicated, its distinction, as exhibiting the doctrine of salvation through faith in a crucified Saviour. The conversion and Apostolic mission of St. Paul, however necessary they might be in other respects, could not be indispensable towards the completion of the endowments of the other Apostles. For those events they never appear to have waited, as if previously to their occurrence they could be exercising only a partially enlightened and inefficient ministry. No intimation is conveyed in the New Testament of his being appointed their instructor : their ministry would seem to be in every respect independent of his call and designation. That the Apostle did not always receive the deference which was due to his high character and office, the contents of his epistles sufficiently attest; but the neglect and opposition which they detail, or which may be included in any of their references, do not appear to be chargeable to the account of the other Apostles, all, or most of whom, were the objects of similar hostility, and were partakers of the same kind of treatment. In what manner Mr. Tolley has attempted to establish the positions in question in his former publications, we have not the opportunity of learning; but unless his reasonings. be of less questionable charac!er than the following specimen in the work before us, they cannot be of much force.
* 1 Corinth. iv. 9. “Us, the last apostles,”-that is, Paul and his company. He was literally the last apostle. But I think there is an allusion to his having been appointed subsequently to the twelve, and then only by a private communication to himself and Ananias, with. out any notice to the heads of the church, or explanation to them of the reason of this unlooked for increase of their number (Acts ix. 1-30). This circumstance, in the mode of his appointment, was a great obstacle to the proper influence of his authority, as will be evident to those who attentively consider his history. In fact, it set upon him, in the public opinion, a mark of inferiority to the twelve, which was increased by the want of that cordial support from them, which their not immediately perceiving the true nature of his doctrine, prevented them from giving him (see my sermon, " St. Paul's Thorn in the Flesh explained”). And, therefore, what he says in this verse, and in some other passages, in this and other Epistles, in derogation of his apostleship, is with reference to those things.'
Note. p. 184. The Greek construction is clearly against this explanation of the passage, and requires the rendering of the Public Version, God hath set forth us the apostles last.'—
TOUS A TOOTOROUS εσχατους, is the reading, not τους αποστολους τους εσχατους, which would be necessary to justify the version approved by Mr. Tolley. We have not in detail the history of the other apostles, but there is no reason for doubting that their circumstances and sufferings were similar to those of St. Paul. The predictive address of their Lord had intimated to them the sufferings which were in reserve for them-Ye shall be • hated of all men ;' and we cannot therefore suppose that the Apostle Paul would describe himself as forming in this respect ad example singular and unprecedented.
The subjoined extract, comprising the text of a part of the Epistle in the translation of the Public Version, with Mr. Tolley's Paraphrase, contains the passage to which he refers in his preface, and which we have already quoted, from which his mode of interpreting Scripture is professedly derived.
• CHAPTER II. '1. And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
< 2. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
• 3. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
** 4. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
5. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
• 6. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
• 7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.
• 8. Which none of the princes of this world knew : for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
*9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God bath
prepared for them that love him.
• 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit ; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him ? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
• 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
• 13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth ; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
• 14. But the natural in:n receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can be know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
• 15. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
• 16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he way instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
PARAPHRASE. 1. • And accordingly, brethren, when I came to you in the dis
charge of my apostolical commission, I came not declaring to you the testimony which Christ sent me to give respecting the dealings of God with mankind, with the supposed excellence of arguing in support of my preaching on the principles of human
reasoning, or of delivering a system planned according to human 2. wisdom. For I did not think that even among you who are dis
tinguished for intellectual acquirements, there was need of knowing any thing as a principle for regulating the conduct, except
that Jesus is the Messiah, and that he was as such crucified. 3. And, accordingly, I addressed you on these considerations,