Imatges de pÓgina
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work for me to undertake; neither do I ever mean to trouble the world with any of my scribblings, and least of all with translations, (which is ordinarily but the spoiling of good books; the robbing of others without enriching one's-self); but if you will appoint me any chapters of it which may be of use to you, or any point handled in it, I shall most willing ly translate them faithfully at least, and as well as I can, and send them sheet by sheet to you. The whole work, I think, will not be of use to you; therefore you may know the contents of any who hath and understands the book. Then be pleased to set me my task, and I shall speedily go about it. It will be to me no more trouble than to read; for I can read or write English out of French with as much ease as read or write English. If, therefore, I can thus serve you in this or any other French or Italian book, command me freely; for Spanish books I shall also make a shift. This offer is no compliment, for 1 shall be most really pleased to be employed by you. By being thus an amanuensis to you, I shall be more useful than any other way I can propose; besides, my respects to you are so real, and so above all compliment, that it shall be a great satisfaction to me in this or any other way to witness myself, Sir, a true honourer of you, and

"Your most affectionate, real friend and servant, "LAUDERDAILL.

Windsor Castle, 17th August, 1658. "To the Rev. and much-honoured Mr. Richard Baxter, Minister of the Gospel

"At Kiderminster."

LETTER II.

"Windsor Castle, 20th Sept. 1658. "Reverend and much-honoured,

"Yours of the 7th came to my hands on Thursday the 16th late; and the diligence I have used since to procure the book, in order to my obeying you, hath been the reason of my delaying my answer. Friday was spent in seeking for the book at Eton, and I was amazed not to find it in some good libraries, especially seeing one of the owners of a very good one

does understand French. On Saturday early I employed a servant to seek at London, who was as unsuccessful that day as I have been here. In Paul's Church-yard it was not to be found ready bound. Always he hath this morning borrowed it for me, and I have it here; it is Mr. Bates' book.

As the choice you have made of me to do you this inconsiderable service was an effect of your justice, (because my time may indeed better be spared,) so give me leave to understand it as an effect of your friendship to me. And if you suffer by the choice by my not doing it so well, I must appeal to that friendship for a pardon; seeing, I as sure you, I do undertake it as willingly as any friend you have, I shall do it as well as I can, and by God's assistance I shall endeavour to give you his sense faithfully. I have been looking on his preface, and I find him apologise for his translating Barive, King, (where an Emperor is meant,) and iɛpevs, sacerdot. This way will be more tolerable in me, and therefore I mean to take it, that is, not to trouble myself nor you with polishing the English of it, but squarely to give you the author's true meaning in any intelligible word which suits it best, and which first venerit in buccam. Neither will I spare the English language more than Blondel hath done the French: where he renders Sacerdot, I will do so too, (for I am sure it is as good English as it is French); in a word, I write for you; if I make it intelligible to you, I hope you will excuse me if I do not care for polishing my English. Before I saw the book I did intend to have followed your method, but now I will do quite contrary. For in the last place you desire an account of the sum of the contents; and seeing I find it well printed, I will in the first place translate the send to London translated this week. contents, which I shall, God willing, And while I am expecting what chapters or sections you will choose as most proper for the purpose, I shall be going on in satisfying your other two queries. But when you have the contents, I shall entreat you to pitch on the sections which you are most curious to be satisfied in, and I shall do them first. Be confident I shall be as diligent as I can, and therefore I shall wish you may not put out your book

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till you have what you desire out of Blondel. Spare not my pains, and use nothing to me like compliment; I am a plain man, and be assured of this great truth, that I honour you so really, that I am hugely pleased to do you service, and I will vie with any body in my respects to you. Nay, I intend more; there is a French book, in two volumes, folio, entitled,Of the Liberties of the Gallican Church; it is above twelve years since I saw it, but I have heard it exceedingly commended; and if I be not mistaken, there are many authentic testimonies in it against the Pope's usurped power. It was written, as I remember, by a French President, and when I was a dealer in books, (for now I am but for small ware,) it was very dear, which spoke it much esteemed. I have also sent to London for those two volumes, and at idle hours I shall run over the contents of them, and acquaint you with them. For I desire that you may have all the helps you can before your book comes out; you may expect answers, and therefore do not hasten. Pardon me if I be not so quick as you expect, and believe it I shall strive to conquer my natural laziness.

"I have read your answser to Pierce, wherein you fully satisfy me of Grotius being a Papist. I was at Paris acquainted with Grotius; he was there Embassador for Sweden in the year 1637, and though I was then very young, yet some visits passed among us. My discourse with him was only in Humanities, but I remember well he was then esteemed such a Papist as you call Cassandrian, and so did Cordesius esteem him, who was a priest. The owner of that great library, now printed in his name, with him I was also acquainted: he was a great admirer of Grotius, an eminent enemy to Jesuits, and a moderate French Papist. This opposition of Mr. Pierce makes me expect you will have more from that sort of men; and therefore to justify what you say of the new-fashioned bishops of this isle, I shall desire you to send for a book entitled, Considerationes Modestæ et Pacifica Controversiarum, per Gul. Forbesium, S. T. D. Episcopum Edinburgensem. It is newly printed at London. In it you will see Popery enough, if the defending images, prayer for dead, a new-fashioned purgatory

and the mass to be a propitiatory sacrifice for living and dead, if these be Popery. I have looked but an hour into it. It is set out by an excommunicate Scots Bishop, now living in Edinburgh under the shadow of the English army. If you be called on any more, this book will help to justify your charge. I intended to have told you how I have escaped a very uneasy remove lately, but this is too long already. Be pleased to tell me how I shall address your papers to you; and direct mine to be left with Peter Cuninghame, at his house in Duke Street, near Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, and they will come safe, ĺ hope, and speedily to, "Sir,

"Your true friend and servant,
"LAUDERDAILL.

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"You shall here receive the contents of that book. I have been as diligent as I could in hastening it to you, for I shall do no more until I hear from you. Now you will easily know what is in the book, and you can better choose what is fit for you. Be pleased, therefore, to send me word what section you pitch on : do but design the chapter, the section and the heads of it, (according as it is here,) and I shall with all the speed I can send it to you. Blondel, in his Preface, gives his reasons why in dealing with Card. Perron he begun with the second part of his book. 1st. Because that was the most elaborate, most cried up and fullest of collections beyond all the rest of the reply. 2dly. For vindication of the honour of Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, whose office, in the decline of the last ages, hath been so much invaded. 3rdly. Because most of the Papists, who have dealt in controversies of late, set themselves chiefly to maintain the interest and the grandeur of the Pope, which they set within the body of religion, as Phidias did his own picture in the centre of that buckler

which sustained the statue of Minerva. From hence he concludes that the jealousy of that great and formidable interest being the principal hindrance of the restoring the ancient faith of the Catholic Church, and spiritual peace among her children, whosoever desires to procure effectually that restitution must first discuss the pretensions of the Court of Rome, inquire into their beginnings, and make all Christendom remark the long and dangerous consequences. For these reasons (he says) he begins with that part of the Cardinal's book which does concern the primacy. And in the Preface he hints at some of the heads of his work, and gives an account of his translation of some citations (of which I gave you a touch in my last letter on Monday last, late). Now, let me say a word or two as to my translation. I shall not repeat what I said, nor say more for my retaining the words sacerdot and pontif, wherein I follow my original. I do the same in the word episcopat, and for this reason, because bishoprick in our language regards rather the benefice nor the office. I do retain the French word deference, because I cannot in one English word express the full meaning of it, for it is not so much as submission, and it is more than acknowledgement. You will find one harsh expression in the second page, cited out of Prosper, Dungeon of Religion,' but I knew not how to help it, for it is the same word in the French, only dongeon in French signifies also the strongest part of any fortress, which may serve for a retreat in any extremity, which may be the signification here intended. In the title of the 26th chapter, I translate as I found it, Letters formed, which it seems was one of the designations of the Communicatory Epistles, which anciently went betwixt bishop and bishop (of which Blondel, in the examination of that chapter, discourses at large). You will find in one or two places that French word, which is in Latin vestigium, translated by me vestige, which I rather choosed than footstep, because it is the mark of the footstep there meant. But I shall rather expect your pardon than trouble you more about such faults as I have in this, and may in the remnant commit in my translation; for I do not mind the polishing of it; all I

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intend is faithfulness, which, by God's grace, I shall answer for. The rest you have goodness enough to pass by, and I do only intend it for you.

"In my last, I told you I had scaped a troublesome remove, and it was this: the day before the late Governor died, it did please his Council to order me forthwith to be removed to Warwick Castle, which would have been very grievous to me to be again hurried into a strange place, and nothing is more inconvenient for a long journey than want of money, (a disease I have long been under,) but I bless God my wife prevailed to get the order recalled. So here I am, and shall be ready to go on in obeying you. Liberty I do not expect.

"Together with my scribbling, receive a copy of a sermon, which was given me by the author, who is a pretty man, my neighbour, and, I think, my good friend. He gave me more copies, and allowed me to send one to you, and I have many times heard him express a great respect to you.

"In my last, I desired you to send me word by whose hands I might convey the papers to you, that they may not miscarry, and I desired you to send any letter for me to London, and there appoint it to be delivered to Peter Cunninghame, at his house in Duke Street, near Lincoln's Inn Fields. This I do because your last was ten days by the way, and I doubt was opened, for the seal was spoiled. "I am, most heartily,

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Sir, "Your real friend and servant, "LAUDERDAILL.

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"Windsor Castle,

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23 of September,

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1658.

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which those who are of your correspondent's way of thinking appear to me incorrect. The first is, that they abandon the use of scriptural terms, or even disapprove of them. An instance of this occurs in Mr. A.'s paper. He hesitates to acknowledge any such doctrine as that of redemption by the blood of Christ. To reject the use of scripture terms is in general inexpedient, even where the sense is retained; but too often it arises from the sense also having been really abandoned, and the terms having therefore become inappropriate for expressing our ideas. And this leads to my second ground of complaint, namely, that the sense of the language of Scripture is unduly lowered and limited by your correspondent's mode of interpretation. This is done by denying the immediate and proper connexion, by Divine appointment, of the death of Christ with the forgiveness of sins, and recognizing no other than such as may be traced in the natural course of intermediate events, losing sight of that great moral propriety which the Divine Being saw, and has declared there to have been, in such a method of reconciling the world unto himself. In addition to my former arguments, I think I may illustrate this case by another, to which our Lord also himself compares it. "As Moses," said he," lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth on him may not perish, but have everlasting life.” The Israelites had sinned through their unbelief, and were perishing by the bites of the venomous serpents; but at length it was the will of God to pardon them, and deliver them from the consequences of their transgression. A brazen image of the fatal reptile was ordered to be raised on high, that whoever had faith to regard it might be saved. Vainly shall we in this case endeavour to trace any efficacy that such a means could have had towards their forgiveness; we may safely say that it had no natural efficacy whatever-none was wanted; the forgiveness of sins is a sovereign act of God, and what he requires is a moral propriety in the circumstances and manner in which he dispenses it. Such a moral propriety his wisdom, no doubt, discerned in the mode here chosen for pardoning

the Israelites, and such, we may be assured, in an eminent degree, was found in the steps of the Christian redemption.

I have now, stated and illustrated what I apprehend to be the Scripture doctrine: I have represented the death of Christ as an event appointed by God as being proper in order to the forgiveness of sins. We might now inquire into the reasons of this appointment, the grounds on which the propriety of such a transaction rested. But I will own that on this point I am disposed to say but little: the Scripture enters into no explanations; our private opinions cannot therefore have much authority or much importance. It was not necessary to the Jews of old to know why Jehovah directed Moses to erect the serpent for their deliverance; nor can it, I conceive, be necessary for Christians now to know the counsel of the Almighty, in adopting that particular method of redemption which the Gospel discovers. We may be deriving the highest spiritual improvement from the death of Christ, without being ourselves aware that it was with a view to this very end that he suffered for our sins. So, if a man believes, he is justified by his faith; but it is comparatively of little importance whether he knows this doctrine or not. However, I am far from intending to discourage serious inquiry into the reasons of this Divine appointment, so far as they can be discovered. On the contrary, I deem such inquiry edifying and useful, and therefore in a former paper proceeded to point out those salutary and seasonable lessons, naturally flowing from the death of Christ, which I thought might, in part at least, have been the grounds on which Infinite Wisdom adopted this method of reconciliation. But neither in this have I been so fortunate as to satisfy your worthy correspondent. I am greatly surprised, I must own, that he should find a difficulty in admitting that such an event as the death of Christ tended to establish the Divine authority. When I contended that it did so, I meant that it tended to produce that fear of God which deters from transgression. Can it be necessary to enlarge on such a point as this? Where then is the force of that warning, "He that despised Moses's

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law died without mercy; of how much sorer punishment shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing?" Or that other, "Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear, forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, but with the precious blood of Christ"? Judging by my own feelings, I should say that nothing can impress the Christian with so deep a dread of sin as the spectacle of the cross of Christ; and if this be the case, how does it not maintain the Divine authority? And why may not this tendency be among the chief reasons for its being appointed to introduce the dispensation of remission? There appears to me an evident moral fitness in such an arrangement.

There is one passage in my paper on which your correspondent has animadverted, I think, not unjustly; I mean my parable, if I may call it so, of the father forgiving his child. Due consideration would have led me to see that our Lord himself had done the same thing which I was aiming at, infinitely better. The illustration I attempted was unsuitable, because the nature of the mediation of Jesus is not such as occasions a moment's delay or impediment in the reconciliation of a returning peninent, but on the contrary, has anticipated repentance, invited the sinner to return, declared the Father's love, and opened wide the gates of mercy. In this particular, therefore, I willingly stand corrected, and am happy thus to derive increase of light from friendly controversy.

In the discussion of the present subject it is usual to agitate the question, in what sense our Lord's death was a sacrifice for sin; whether literally, or only figuratively. Bishop Magee is of the former opinion. He says, "If the formal notion of a sacrifice for sin, that is, a life offered up in expiation, be adhered to, nothing more can be required to constitute it a sacrifice." Here I think we meet something of that inaccuracy, if not sophistry, which is so common in this writer. A sacrifice, literally speaking, is essentially a religious rite. The writer could hardly have been unaware of this; but to have noticed it would

have spoiled his argument. Now the death of Christ had no resemblance whatever to a religious rite: it was a judicial proceeding, a punishment inflicted by the civil magistrate for an alleged crime. To say, therefore, that it was a sacrifice strictly speaking, seems to me an abuse of language. Moreover, had it been literally a sacrifice, it would have been a human sacrifice, a thing which God abbors. But while I thus agree with those who say that the death of Christ was a sacrifice only in a figurative sense, I think that the force of the figure is not always justly apprehended. Any great expense is indeed sometimes called a sacrifice, as we say, “ a sacrifice of time or labour:" but the idea of expense or cost is not that, I conceive, which will satisfy the sense of many passages of Scripture, and espe cially of the train of argument pur. sued in the Epistle to the Hebrews. A sacrifice for sins was literally a cer tain kind of rite, appointed by God to be performed as requisite for remission. Now in transferring the term to Christ, the leading ideas must still be retained: the death of Christ was not indeed a rite, but is yet said to have been a sacrifice because it was providentially appointed as requisite for the forgiveness of sins. This I apprehend to be the true view of the subject: but some have said that the sacrificial allusions of the New Testament were used merely in accommodation to Jewish ideas. This I shall not deny; they were the form in which the common Christian doctrine was most conveniently inculcated on the Jewish believers. But what of this? The truth was the same, however expressed; and why may we not gather that truth as well from expressions primarily addressed to the Jews as from any other parts of Scripture, if we only take care to interpret them correctly? But especially, when we cite these passages merely in confirmation of evidence derived from other parts, I can conceive no reasonable objection to their testimony. I make these remarks principally with a view to the Epistle to the Hebrews. The writer, exclusively addressing Jews, uses language which he would not have adopted in writing to Greeks; but still, if what he says be true, it must be so to us as well as to them.

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