Imatges de pÓgina


Greek Language bond of Union to Unitarians. taken away. (But did they dispute,then, dle of sticks, this important lesson in syllogisms and in writing? I question has become almost a truism, and to it.) And p. 26, if he could see a confer. dilate upon it would be tedious. But ence, whose moderators were design- if all are ready to acknowledge this ed to see all done in strict form of truth in theory, all are not so successargument, and the ratiocinators on ful in reducing it to practice ; and as both sides might have days given them regards the Unitarian body, while to review if any thing had slipped from there is much ground for congratulathem, that there might be no lying at tion on the increasing spirit of cothe catch; he should hope by such a operation that exists ainong us, there counsel as this to see the church in is also much room for regret that this her ancient splendour and glory. And spirit has not attained a still greater what hindered but the bishops might degree of strength and perfection, hare had such a one they had desir. What energy has a well-cemented sysed it? And what advantage got Dr. tem given to the Wesleian Methodists! Gunning, Bishop of Chichester, by They move in a inass, and the strength disputing with Mr. John Corbet of the whole body is brought to bear And did not Bishop Morley lie at the on every point of their operations, catch with Mr. Baxter?

The esprit du corps animates every “But its time to end. Might it not member, and engenders cordial warmth do well to reprint some of Mr. Bax- and indefatigable exertion. In enterter's little pieces together, as his ing into their society, a man expects • Call to the Unconverted ;' Now or not only to worship in a manner conNever ;'. And they made Light of genial to his sentiments, but to obtain Him; his Sermon before the House a numerous band of friends and allies, of Commons, before King Charles II. both in temporal and spiritual concoming in; and bis book of • Catho cerns. It must be adınitted, that this lic Communion or Unity, in 8vo.) as is sometimes carried so far as to give I think he calls it? Dear Sir, I pray cause of complaint, trīs rEw, for want God be with you in this good work of impartiality and good neighbour. you have a very fair opportunity to ship, and God forbid that any such ieach all sorts many useful things, sectarian spirit should ever narrow and you have a grave, savoury style; the open-hearted philanthropy of Uniand as I said at first, make not toó tarians. Still something is due to that much baste, though you be pressed to common cause which unites us toge. it. It will prove a work of many ther, and without cordial union and months to do it well; and sat cito systematic co-operation no cause can (you know) si sat bene. Excuse this ever succeed. It is not, however, my freedoin from

present scope to enter at large into “ Your unfeigned friend and ihis subject. The great sources of

servant, “ T. union, unanimity of sentiment, Chris, " These

tian love and good church order, might “ For my worthy friend

afford much to say, and not unseaMr. Matthew Sylvester, at

sonably; but my present work lies in his house in Charterhouse-Yard, a humbler department. The things London.”

which unite bodies of men together are very various ; some are intrinsi

cally important, some, on the other The Study and Use of the Greek Lan- hand, are trifles : but, perhaps, the guage, recommended as a bond of trifles are scarcely less powerful, in Union to Unitarian Christians.

this respect, than the more important

matters. What unites the Freemasons It ;

think not without reason, that and an oath to keep nothing a secret? Unitarians are not cemented together I think it not unlikely that the Quaby so powerful a spirit of union as is kers are held together as powerfully desirable. Perhaps among all the by their tutoyer and broad brims, as Christian sects, there is not a more by their fancied immediate inspiration. loose and straggling connexion than And the quaint plainness of a Methoours. Since the old mythologist por. dist's dress may have entered into trayed to the world the power of Wesley's calculation as much as his union by the quaint emblem of a bun, class-meetings and love-feasts. A fa.



vourite national air is as mighty to as to secure a common pronunciation rouse the patriotic enthusiasm as the in all countries in which Unitarians most consuminate harangue, or the might adopt the plan, I should proconsideration of the highest personal pose, that we should follow the ancient interests; and the flag of our country mode of utterance, as far as that is appears amidst the battle like its guar- pretty well agreed upon by the learned, dian angel. Do not apprehend, Sir, as, in fact, it is in the main. We that I am about to propose for the should thus have in use throughout adoption of Unitarians any of those our whole body, in all countries, a whimsical singularities which make common and beautiful language, in a some of our neighbours, with all their considerable measure peculiar to us ; excellencies, seem such odd sort of a thing which, I conceive, has a more beings as they sometimes do. I am conciliating and cementing efficacy not going to advise any particular di. than any external circumstance whatrections for the tailor or mantua-ma

While in all common interker. Let us, by all means, dress like course we should freely use our verother people, speak good Englisin, and nacular dialects, we should still, those deal with all our neighbours iinpar- at least who were tolerably educated, tially as men and brethren, But be sufficiently frequent and familiar though, I trust, I shall recommend no in the use of Hellenism, to give it a foolery, yet I am aware that he who characteristic effect, and to recognize suggests any new plan, which deviates each other readily by it; especially by a little froin the beaten track, must the aid of our more of pronunciation, prepare himself for the smile of pity, which, while it would be the genuine and if not the sneer of contempt. But beautiful utterance of ancient Greece, these are light evils, and no more than would also be, more or less, peculiar many an excellent project has pro- to ourselves, in the present day. I cured for its first proposer. Many think all the advantages derivable from little things are great in their effects, a characteristic and sensible token of and he that will not consider this, is our community, would thus be seneither a philosopher nor a politician. cured, and that in a way which would The features of a friend's face, though produce no singularity observable by in themselves insignificant, are inex- our neighbours, though affording a pressibly valuable, because they are ready distinction to ourselves. associated with his mind, and a single It is alınost needless to dwell on glance at them puts us in full posses- the collateral advantages of this plan : sion of his presence. So any thing they are such, I conceive, as would that, by a ready notice to our senses, alone repay all the labour which it distinguishes those brethren, whose requires, which is indeed not very consentiments are most congenial to our siderable, if well managed. The Greek own, excites our affections very pow- is not essentially a hard language to erfully, and has a strong cementing acquire. It is regular and perspicuous; influence, owing to the ready and ra. natural and easy in its construction; pid play of association.

its idiom, as has often been observed, But, without further proem, I will much resembling the English, with pow come to my plan, and, I trust, which, indeed, it has a kindred origin; it will appear to be one which, while the accent is always marked, and the it answers the purpose of a character- quantity, unlike the Latin, generally istic, involves no singularity of dress, self-evident. Nothing is wanting but speech or behaviour, in common life; suitable books and a rational mode of and is not only unobjectionable in all instruction, to render the acquirement these respects, but has inuch intrinsic of this language far from a formidable utility, independent of the end for undertaking. The Greek language, which it is now more especially pro- meanwhile, is not only the most beauposed. It is this : that Unitarians, tiful and perfect which mankind has as far as can conveniently be done, ever spoken, but in respect to the should, in a peculiar and character- advantages of being acquainted with istic manner, adopt the study and use it, is the most important of all that of the Greek language among them are accustomed to add to the selves, somewhat in the same way as knowledge of our mother tongue. It the Jews do the Hebrew. And to give is the sacred language of Christianity, a more characteristic effect, as well the groundwork of theology, the na


The Divinity of Christ adopted by the Pagan Philosophers.


tive dialect of freedom, the fountain it no unworthy pursuit to add this head of literature, and the key of sci- interesting branch of knowledge to ence. The learned and philosophic those they have already acquired, a have always been enraptured with its task which I have known several ladies praises, and those ingenious men, who undertake with much ultimate satishave proposed an artificial, philosopli. faction; that where circumstances adcal language, should have considered mit of it, some knowledge of the that in the Greek they had one already Greek Testament should be given to prepared, infinitely more perfect and the most meritorious and intelligent beautiful than any they could hope to children in our Sunday-schools; and, devise. As far as Christianity extends, lastly, that in every congregation, this tongue will be revered and stu- such as like the plan should form an died; as far as science is diffused, its Hellenistic association, for carrying it nomenclature will be naturalized ; into effect among themselves. The wherever the muses wander, they will economy of such an association would bear it with them as their native be simple and obvious; but I cannot tongue, and its inimitable bards will

now go into detail. be read with delight. The lapse of ages, Such, Sir, is the proposal which, sweeping less perfect dialects from the though marked by a little singularity, earth, will add new honours to this : I have ventured to lay before your in short, if true religion and civiliza- readers, deeming it not unworthy of tion are destined to encircle the globe, their serious attention. and maintain a permanent sway, the “Εκαςος τα εαυτώ δοκώντα πραττέω. knowledge of this sacred and incom

HELLENISTES. parable tongue will do so likewise : it will be the universal language of enlightened education.

The Divinity of Christ adopted by To Unitarians a good acquaintance

the Pagan Philosophers as an ariwith Greek is peculiarly desirable, as

ful device to set aside the truth of it is connected so closely with the de

Christianity. of their tenets. So N last paper (pp. 33–38) I

[ocr errors]

case, that I have actually heard the for the miracles of Christ, supposed study of Greek disapproved of, as him to be a God; I will now shew leading to Unitarianism, while that of that they adopted the supposition of Hebrew was commended as having a his divinity to set aside the claims of contrary tendency. This Calbalistic his Gospel. The Heathen philosoantipathy is not, I believe, without phers thought themselves called upon some foundation. To some kuow- only to account for the miracles of ledge of this tongue, I can trace my Christ, and for his appearance after own first persuasion that Unitarianism death. If he were a demon or God, was truth, and my present satisfaction the phenomena required no investigain this belief is not a little derived tion beyond his personal nature. They from the same source. · My case, I night 'say he performed the works presume, may not be singular. More- ascribed to him by virtue of his own over, an extensive cultivation of this power; he survived death by virtue of language among us would also have his own nature. This was sufficient: this advantage, that it would qualify farther inquiry would be unnecessary, many for superintending education, or a mere matter of curiosity. On and thus would be favourable to the the other hand, if the dictate of Paextension of our sentiments among ganism were discarded, and Jesus the rising generation.

considered, as he appeared to be, a Towards carrying the proposed plan mere man, in order to account for his into execution, so far as it shall ineet miracles, it was then necessary to rewith approbation, it would appear ne- ceive his doctrine, and the records cessary that parents should make the containing it. And here they would acquisition of Greek an essential part view him held forth as a divine teacher of their children's education, and that coming from God, the Creator and for both sexes ; that those adults who Governor of the world, with the most have leisure and ability, should think important information to mankind,

calling upon them to repent, to mend Jesus had to undermine his claims, their lives, and to lead a new course was to represent him as a supernaof virtue, as a proper qualification for tural being, or a supernatural being a higher and nobler state of being, in as united with him. which vice would be followed by inde

2. In order to set aside the argufinitely great misery, and viriue by ment that Jesus Christ was the means indefinitely great happiness. To prove of destroying the demons, Plutarch that he announced these glad tidings represents him as being himself one at the command of God, he did, with of the demons that perished. To this the power of God, things which no be it added, that the object of the other power but that of God could do. magicians in the court of Tiberius, on He voluntarily laid down his life as a proposing to place our Lord among proof that lie himself believed the doc- the Pagan gods, could be no other trine which he brought to light, also, than to destroy his claims as the mesas an example of the happy influence senger of heaven, and to assimilate which it produces under trials and his religion with the religion of the suffering; and, lastly, as a step previ. Pagans. ously requisite to establish the truth 3. The Emperor Alexander Severus of his subsequent resurrection. And had the same object, as is thus attesthere it must be observed, that the ed by Ælius Lampridius, a writer simple humanity of Christ is essential whose testimony, as being a Pagan, to the validity of the whole scheme. cannot reasonably be called in quesJesus Christ rose from the dead as a tion. “He (Alexander) intended to pledge of the resurrection of mankind: build a temple to Christ, and to rehe must, therefore, be in nature and ceive him among the gods ; which constitution one of that kind. For if Adrian also is reported to have dehe inherited the divine nature, it most signed; who ordered temples to be obviously followed, that a being who, erected in all cities, without statues. by virtue of his superior nature sur. But he was hindered by those who by vived death, is no proof of the resur- consulting the oracle had discovered rection of an inferior race, who, by that if such an event had happened to the conditions of their being, are sub- the person desired, all would become ject to death. This was the argument Christians, and other temples woult which the Pagan writers wished to be forsaken.” See Lard. VII. 364. inculcate, and if it be solid, the gospel, 4. Hadrian, in his letter to the which contains the glad tidings of a Consul Servianus, preserved by Vofuture state to man, falls to the piscus, (in Saturnino, c. vii.) or Lard. ground. In proof of the assertion that VII. 363, asserts that the devotees of they proceed on this ground, and with Serapis were believers in Christ. Ili this view, in holding the divine nature qui Serapim colunt. Christiani sunt, of Christ, I briefly cite the following et devoti sunt Serapi, qui se episcopos facts.

Christi dicunt. “They who worship 1. First, the Pharisees, when they Serapis profess Christianity, and the could no longer deny the works of very bishops of Christ are devotees of Jesus, asserted that he was aided by Serapis." These devotees were doubta demon. “ This man could not cast less such believers in Christ as Haout these demons but through Beel-drian himself was, that is, they were zebub, the prince of the demons," believers in his divinity, thinking, or Matt. xii. 23. By this they meant to affecting to think, that the God which say, not only that Beelzebub assisted dwelled in him was the same with Jesus, but that he resided within him. Serapis. Those bishops of Christ's, yet This is evident from the words of worshipers of Serapis, were the GnosMark, who represents the Pharisees as tic teachers, of whom the celebrated saying that he had an unclean spirit, Busilides was the chief. The devotion chap. iii. ver. 28. This is an incident of that impostor to Serapis, while he of great importance, though the con- affected to be a believer in, and teacher sequence of it has not been

sufficiently of Christianity, appears from a story observed by learned men. For it told by Tacitus, which represents him clearly shews that the surest and most among others, as instigating Vespasian plausible way which the enemies of to cure a blind man at Alexandria,

[ocr errors]

as an artful device to set aside the Truth of Christianity. 209 with no other view than to obtain, in clothed himself with fesh, he appearhonour of the Egyptian divinity, the ed a man, and that after he had even counterpart of a miracle actually per- then shewn the greatness of his nature, formed by Jesus Christ. The sup- le disengaged himself from the flesh, position that Christ and Serapis were again resumed his Godhead, and is the same, was as natural to the people still a God as he was before he became of Egypt, as it was in the Jews to a man. Euseb. Præp. Evan. lib. xi. suppose that he was animated by xix. See Lard. VII. 160. Beelzebub; or in the magicians at I need not tell the reader that the Rome, that he was the son of Mer- Barbarian here meant was Jolin the cury and Penelope ; or in the people Evangelist. Here Aurelius, an enemy of Lystra, that Paul and Barnabas were of the Gospel, acknowledges the diJupiter and Mercury.

vinity of Christ, and admits the truth 5. Those who first believed, or of his miracles, by saying, that while affected to believe, that our Lord was in the flesh he displayed the greatness a supernatural being, changed Christus of his nature. This is a remarkable into Chrestus, an epithet which the fact : a Heathen asserts the divinity Pagans applied to such of the demons of Christ to be true, in order to set as they deerned benign and useful to his Gospel aside as false. For he mapkind. In this number seems to understood, or affected to understand, have been Suetonius, who briefly says the Evangelist as aiming to prove that that Claudius expelled the Jews for Christ, who performed the miracles, disturbing the city at the instigation of was the same with the Logos, who Chrestus. Judæos, impulsore Chresto made all things. He, moreover, intiassidue tumultuantes Roma expulit. mates that Heraclitus taught the saine This writer well knew that Jesus bad doctrine respecting the Logos, and been put to death in the reign of Ti. that the Barbarian, John, had adberius; yet his language implies that vanced nothing but what the Greek Christ was still living and instigating philosopher would have advanced had the Jews in the time of Claudius. he been then living : which amounts Suetonius, therefore, must have adopt- to this, "that Christianity, as far as it ed the vulgar notion that Christ was is true, is included in the Gentile phia demon, and still in existence, though losophy; whilst, as far as it is new the man Jesus, in whom he had for a and peculiar, it is false and unnecestime resided, had been long since putsary.” to death.

This proposition, when properly The philosophers, who flourished investigated and ascertained, cannot in the second century and afterwards, fail to have great effect towards decidand who formed the celebrated school ing the controversy between the advoof Alexandria, had recourse to the cates of the Orthodox and those of the same reasoning ; and there is reason Unitarian faith. As the views of manto believe that they exerted all their kind shall open, the providence of God talents and reputation to destroy will appear to furnish wonderful proChristianity, upon no other ground visions for restoring Christianity to than that the founder was himself its original purity, and to establish its supposed to be a supernatural being. truth throughout the world. And it A passage of Aurelius, a disciple of will seem, in future times, surprising Plotinus, and one of the bitterest ene- that, even in the nineteenth century, mies of the Gospel, is decisive on this the great majority of those who prosubject. “This truly is the word fess the Christian religion, hold that Logos, by whom, as being eternal, all doctrine to .be essential to it, which things were made, as Heraclitus would its enemies at first adopted as the most have acknowledged: and, indeed, the specious and effectual means of setting Barbarian, assigning to him the rank it aside as false; a sure proof that and dignity of being in the beginning, Christianity, as vulgarly received and asserts that he existed with God and established, whether by prejudice or was God; that by him were all things power, contains the very essence of made; and in him every thing that is Antichrist. made has its life and being ; that

J. JONES. hafing descended into a body, and VOL. XVII.

2 E

« AnteriorContinua »