Imatges de pÓgina

appointed by the Meeting to super. immediately round the table where intend the printing. He thought this the clerk sits as its chairman, though the best mode, as stating objections not under that name. The result of in the Meeting at large, had a ten- this private consultation was, that dency to dissipate that solemnity Joseph Gurney should be asked to which reading such Epistles might state what parts of the paragraph bring over the Meeting.

he referred to in the terins aboveAfter this effort to discourage in- mentioned. By his explanation it quiry into the meaning of any expres- appeared that he principally objected sions in the Epistle of doubtful im to that part of the paragraph which port, or into their accordance with states it to be the belief of the Sothe testimony of Scripture, the Epis- ciety, that our Lord Jesus Christ tle was read. A well-known and caine down from heaven, and took on approved minister amongst them, him the likeness of man, in order to Luke Howard, on hearing it, I under- effect our salvation. This, Joseph stand, expressed his dissatisfaction at Gurney said, appeared to him, “to its having been altered since it passed put a limit on the goodness and mera the large Committee, in its way to cy of God, who he apprehended, had that Meeting. On this very proper saved men by the same power and observation being made, it was agreed upon the same principle, from the to be read again, paragraph by para- beginning of time to the present day." graph, as sent up by the Committee. The justice of these remarks was, I On being thus read, some observa. understand, not denied or questioned tions were made on various parts of by any person present, and the exit, when Friends were again exhorted pression was somewhat modified, but to state their objections, if they had 80 as to leave the import of the any, not to the Meeting, but to a small words much the same. Committee, as the clerk had recom Very few, if any, remarks were mended.

made on the other parts of the paraThis induced a sensible and respect- graph; but an elderly Friend, proable Friend, Richard Payne, to ob- bably from the country, expressed bis serve that he questioned whether the satisfaction that the Epistle was going Meeting would give that Committee, forth in its present form, as he he whose proper province was only to lieved " it would be very gratifying correct the press, power to alter the to great numbers who are not meinEpistle after it had passed the Meet- hers of our religious Society.” Whating and been signed by the clerk. He ever zeal for the trutli for its on was of opinion the precedent would sake, this Friend might possess, I be a very bad one, and that the prin- cannot pretend to say; but to suffer ciple on which it rested was unsound. such an observation to eseape him

On the paragraph which declares may shew, that he was sufficiently the principles of the gospel to be alive to the praise of men, and most unchangeable, and yet speaks of the likely of those who were reputedly pre-existence and divinity of Christ, orthodox. Fearing I have already exin unscriptural terms, Joseph Gur- ceeded due limits in reply to your ney, of Norwich, an approved minis- Correspondent, I forbear any farther ter of long standing in the Society, observations. whose orthodoxy as to its tenets, or

AMICUS. testimonies as they call them, I never heard called in question, inquired, The Doctrines of the Divinity and whether the Meeting was prepared Miraculous Birth of Christ, as to support every part of that para taught by the Gnostics in the Church graph on clear, scriptural evidence? at Rome, reprobated by the Apostle

This very pertinent, seasonable, and Paul. judicious call upon the Meeting, se AD the circumstances attending riously to consider whether they were about to give forth the mere doctrines into Rome been recorded and faithof man, or such as the clear intelli- fully handed down to posterity, the gible evidence of scripture would war doctrines of the divinity and miracurant, occasioned, it appears, no little lous birth of Christ would never hare stir and whispering among the Friends been deemed parts, much less essen

The Doctrines of the Divinity and Miraculous Birth of Christ. 571 tial parts, of Christianity. The Greek My object is to make a few remarks and Latin fathers, aware of this, suf on this passage, which may serve to sered, as if with unanimous consent, shew how necessary the knowledge of the events in Rome to sink in oblivion, facts is to understand the language of though by far the most singular, inte- the Apostle Paul. The impostors, resting and important in the whole when they taught the divinity of Christ, range of ecclesiastical history. The changed his name Xgosos into Xp750s, Gnostic systein, under pretence of good, henign, useful, an epithet of teaching and befriending the gospel, those superior beings whom Plato and is in reality an artful scheme to sink others supposed to be agents under it in the dregs of Heathenisin and Ju- God, in the government of the world. daism. Its base authors were among Hence the origin of a well-known fact, those very men who put our Saviour that the enemies of the gospel called to death in Jerusalem. When it was our Lord Chrestus, and his followers formed, their missionaries were sent Chrestiani : and frequent allusions to to every place where the gospel in its these names occur in the writings of purity was made known by the apos- the ancient apologists. The original tles. The missionary of the impostors term Xonsoreria occurs in no other to Rome is noticed loy Josephus. His place, and is a word coined by the associates were the Samaritan Simon, apostle to express the specions arts the priests of Isis, and other bad men, of the impostors in teaching the diviwho, by their supposed skill in magic nity of Christ, by making his very and astrology, had influence over the name indicative of his being a good mind of Tiberius. They succeeded in demon. The impostors, however, were making the emperor believe that Jesus ready to allow among themselves that was the god Pan, the son of Mercury the doctrine which they thus taught and Penelope ; and induced him to was false but useful, as calculated to propose his deification to the senate. remove the objections of Heathens to To give colour to the doctrine that he a crucified Saviour. In this sense, was a god, they invented the story of Xongohoya may be considered as his miraculous birth. Their real cha- coined by the deceivers themselves to racter, however, soon displayed itself; express the object and utility of their and their crimes are recorded by the doctrine: and in this view it approaches Jewish historian. Accordingly, in my near the notion which is annexed to last

paper I have shewn that the Jew it, by the cominentators, and by Mr. whom Josephus branded as an im. Belsham. postor, though pretending to teach The Heathen gods had festivals in the philosophy of Moses, as Josephus honour of them celebrated by their calls the gospel, was no other than he votaries : and when the Gnostics with whom the Apostle Paul expostu- taught the divinity of Christ, it was lates, in the second chapter of his necessary to institute a feast commeEpistle to the Romans. At the close morative of his superior nature. With of the Epistle, Paul thought it right this view they perverted the Lord's to give the Christians at Roine the Supper, and affected to regard it as following admonition respecting him symbolical of the divinity, and not of and his base associates : "" I beseech the death of Christ. The name of the you, brethren, mark those who make Lord's Supper, thus perverted, is evdivisions and bring offences” (i. e. heyra, which Mr. Belsham improperly introduce offensive doctrines) “ con- renders by “ fair speeches." Sacra trary to the doctrine which ye have cæna vocatur evharia, says Suicer, in learnt. For such inen are not servants his Lexicon of the Greek Fathers. of our Lord Jesus Christ, but of their The perversion of this institution took own belly, and by their doctrine about place not only in Rome, but was inChrestus, and their eulogy of him, troduced by the same wicked agents they deceive the hearts of the simple. into every place where a Christian (For your obedience is come abroad Church was formed by the apostles. unto all. I rejoice, therefore, in you; And to its introduction to the Church but I wish you to be wise unto good- at Corinth we are indebted for the uess and harmless unto evil.) But following words of Paul :-"Wherethe God of peace will quickly bruise fore, my beloved brethren, flee from Satan under your feet.”

idolatry--that cup of eulogy which

we eulogize-(TO TOTYPOV tñs evropias foes, under the name of friends, that δ ευλογεμεν, allading το ευλογια, as a the imputations entirely originated. title of the sacrament)—“ that cup of The impostors, I have observed, blessing which we bless, is it not a called the divinity and miraculous partaking of the blood of Christ? The birth of Christ, but which Paul calls loaf which we break, is it not a par- offensive doctrines, contrary to the taking of the body of Christ?” What doctrine which the converts had at was this idolatry, against which the first learned, xonsoreria, an useful apostle cautioned the Corinthian con- doctrine ; and the utility of it converts ? Did it not consist in regarding sisted“ in deceiving Satan;" a phrase the cup and the loaf not as symbols which, divested of its symbolical sigof the blood and body, tbat is, symbols nification, simply means the leading of Christ being a real human being, of men into a belief of the gospel, in and having really died, but as symbols consequence of evading, by false reof his divine nature? It would not be presentations, those unreasonable obsafe to ascribe any meaning to the jections which the mistaken notions words of the Apostle Paul in any place, and the depraved principles of the if this be not implied in his words on world threw in the way of its progress. this occasion.

Now, it is observable, that if we pass Though the impostors pretended to over the words in the parenthesis, and honour Christ as a God, they uniformly consider the subsequent in connexion refused to acknowledge him as their with the preceding part of the senLord: eờe kupOY AUTOY OYOLA SELV JEheri, tence, this will actually appear to be says Irenæus, p. 9. The reason was, the pretence for their specious impos. that if they acknowledged him as tures. “And by their doctrine of Lord, they must have acknowledged Chrestus, and their eulogy of him," their obligation to obey his moral (i. e. their festival in honour of his precepts, and to imbibe his pure and divinity,) “ they deceive the hearts of holy example. If they looked to him the simple-bui the God of peace will as their lord, they stood to him in the quickly bruise Satan under your feet;" relation of servants to a master, to as though he had said, “These men whose authority they were obliged to propagate their falsehoods under the submit, and whose work they were pretext of deceiving Satun, but in bound to do. This is the point upon reality they deceive only those who, which the following words of our unlike themselves, possess innocent apostle turn: “For such men are not and guileless hearts. And as to Satan, servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great adversary that retards the but of their own belly.". In another gospel, the Almighty, instead of im. place he says, “their belly was their posing on bim by lies, or opposing God,” allusling, by both expressions, him by violence and contention, will to the well-known fact that these de- speedily bruise him under your feet; ceivers pretended to honour Christ's and this he will do by means condivinity by the festivals which they sistent with gentleness, peace and frequented, but the object of which in truth.” reality was to pamper their appetites Our Lord wishing to prevent his and to gratify their lusts. Irenæus, apostles from adopting the conduct (p. 31,) speaking of them, thus hap- pursued by the Gnostic teachers in the pily illustrates the language of Paul: propagation of their system, among * These men, serving the pleasures of many other appropriate directions, the flesh, say that they ought to in- delivered to them the following :dulge the flesh with the works of the “ Be ye wise as the serpent, and harmflesh; and the women who have imbibed less as the dove." This maxim, from them this doctrine, they debauch thongh dictated in opposition to them, in secret.” Josephus himself has re the deceivers perverted to a justificacorded one signal instance of the abo- tion of their falsehoods, interpreting it minations which they practised. The thus, and omitting the last elause:crimes of which the Gnostics were “ As the serpent, or Satan, employed guilty were imputed by their enemies his wisdom to deceive the mother of to all the followers of Jesus without mankind, so may you, after his examdiscrimination: and it was in the prac- ple, einploy the saine means to deceive tice of the most subtle and rancorous the serpent, and thus defeat him with

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Mr. Cogan on a Criticism of Porson's.- Inquiry concerning Dr. Collet. 573 his own weapons." The men who devil, meant the defeating of the prin. thus argued, the Apostle elsewhere ciple of evil, by removing those obcalls false apostles, ministers of Satan, stacles which it opposed to the prevawho himself was transformed into a lence of the gospel. But the mystic minister of light; and he says, in re or internal signification being in time ference to their subtilty, "I fear, lest, lost, and the literal one only retained, as the serpent deceived Eve by his the expression degenerated into rank craftiness, your mind should be cor nonsense and absurdity. rupted from the simplicity which is in

J. JONES. Christ.” In order to rectify the above wicked perversion of his divine Mas. SIR, brethren Rome : you to Jones has stated last be wise unto goodness, but unto evil nunber, (pp. 531-333,) that he conto be harınless.” As if he had said, siders autanhed as the true reading “ My desire is, that the end you have in Orestes, 316, and has moreover rein view should ever be laudable, and marked, that “ Porson's note shews that

you should pursue it by methods that he mistook the meaning and conconsistent with truth and virtue. It struction of the passage.” The Doctor, were better that you possess no wis. I know, will excuse me if I say that dom at all, than that you pervert it were I to adopt Mr. Porson's reading, to sinister purposes. In all that is I should also adopt his interpretation; evil, therefore, shew yourselves as and that for more reasons than one. though you were entirely destitute of But the reading itself is false. If ever sagacity and skill; but in whatever is our illustrious countryman altered virtuous and praiseworthy, display all the text of his author unnecessarily, the knowledge and all the prudence (which he certainly did very seldom,) which it is possible for inan to ac- he has done it in this verse and its quire.”

fellow in the antistrophe, having adA circumstance in this place presents mitted into them three conjectures, itself, which leads us to the men here which answer no other end than tó stigmatized by Josephus and by the break the uniformity of the chorus, Apostle, as the author of the doctrine by intermixing trochaic penthimemers inculcating the iniraculous birth of with a series of dochmiacs. This obour Lord. The plea by which they servation is extorted from me by the attempted to justify this and other truth of the case; and if any one shall falsehoods propagated respecting him, imagine that it is intended to cast any was to deceive the devil. Now it is slight on the skill of Mr. Porson, he remarkable, that this very plea has does not know the veneration in which been adopted by the supporters of I hold this prince of critics. that doctrine in after ages. When

E. COGAN. the objector to the truth of the tale asked, “If Mary did really conceive Sır,

Oct. 2, 1823. while she was yet a virgin and un


HAVE remarked, with pleasure, known to Joseph, how caine she at that your useful publication conthat very time to be espoused to him, tains, not unfrequenily, articles of and by that means expose herself to neglected biography. In the liope of an unjust suspicion?”—The usual re- obtaining an additional notice of this ply was,

She was espoused in order kind, and of gratifying no illaudable to deceive the devil. For the devil curiosity, I may be permitted to ask, having heard that a virgin would be whether any of your numerous readers with child, observed the virgins; there can favour you with information refore, that the deceiver might be de- specting the late Dr. John Collet, ceived, Joseph espoused her who was who, I think, once practised, as a ever a virgin.” This argument, which physician, at Newbury, in Berkshire, was borrowed, not as is supposed from who appears, like some others of his Ignatius, but from the first inventors profession, to have been a zealous of the story, contemptible as it now friend of scriptural studies, and who, is, had something like meaning in its if my recollection be accurate, gave original application. For, divested of proof that he himself pursued thein its figure, the phrase to deceive the with success?

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Among the few individuals who “ Advertisement. - My object in proposed subjects of inquiry to the publishing this tract, is to recommend famous Danish voyagers, 'in the East, those to whom it is. addressed, to during the 1761, &c., I perceive avoid using harsh or abusive language that Dr. John Collet is mentioned. in their religious intercourse with EuMy authorities for this statement, will ropean Missionaries, either respect. be produced below.

ing them or the objects of their worBy any intelligence which can be ship; however much this may be afforded of the history and writings of countenanced by the example of some a man, whose name, thus conuected of these gentlemen. with some of the most important of

“P. K, T. human pursuits, cannot be uninterest. ing to the friends of religious know “ Those who firmly believe, on the jedge, truth and virtue, I shall be authority of the Veds, that "God is greatly obliged.

une only without an equal;' and that N. • He cannot be known either through

the medium of language, thought, or A Hindoo Unitarian's Plca for Charity vision : how can be be known except towards Christian Trinitarians.

as existing, the origin and support of

the universe - and who endeavour [We have received by favour of a

to regulate their conduct by the folfriend the following curious pamphlet, lowing precept, . He who is desirous in English and Hindoostanee. It is of eternal happiness should regard we suppose the production of a Brali- another as he regards himself, and min, who believes pure Hindooism to the happiness and misery of another be Unitarianismo, but who has not yet as his own'-ought to manifest the adopted Unitarian Christianity. The warmest affection towards such of “Suggestions” will shew the supports their own countrymen as maintain ers of Trinitarian Missions in what light the saine faith and practice; even altheir Missionaries are regarded by the though they have not all studied the more intelligent class of Heathens in Veds for themselves, but have proBengal. Ev.]

fessed a belief in God only through '

(UMBLE Suggestions to his an acquaintance with their general the One True "God: by Prusunnu of Sunnyasees, and all the followers Koomar Thakoor. Calcutta : 1823.

of Gooroo Nanuk, of Dadoo, and of

Kubeer, as well as of Suntu, &c., pro

- fess the religious sentiments above* “ Je prendrai la liberté de spécifier mentioned. It is our upquestionable ici publiquement les cahiers qui m'ont duty invariably, to treat thein as été envoyés, et que j'ai remis aux roya- brethren. No doubt should be engeurs, pour donner à leurs auteurs un

tertained of their future salvation, témoignage public de ma reconnoissance; merely because they receive instrucet pour que chacun puisse savoir

, si les tions, and practise their sacred mulettres qu'il m'a écrites dans ces temps de trouble, sont parvenues à leur adresse. sic, in the vernacular dialect. For J'ai donc, &c. &c.--Les autres dont je Yajnu vulkyu, with a reference to place les noms selon l'ordre du temps, those who cannot sing the hymns of &c.--sont M. de Kalem, &c. &

cet the Veds, has said, “The divine M. le Docteur Jean Collet, à Londres." lymns Rik, Gatha, Panika, and DukPreface to Michaclis' Recueil de Ques, shubihita should be sung; because by tious, &c. p. xvii. (Amsterdam, 1774.) their constant use, man attains suMichaelis Questions are dated in 1762 ; preme beatitude. He who is skilled see Mon. Repos., VI. pp. 5, 6. " Les Arabes ne connoissent point en is intimately acquainted with the va

in playing on the lute (veena), who leur langue ces noms des constellations qui ont raport aux noms Hébreux dout rious tones and harmonies, and who il est fait mention dans Job ix. 9, et is able to beat time in music, will dont (outre la question 86, de M. Michaec enter without difficulty upon the road lis) le Doct. Johu Collet avoit demandé of salvation.' Agaio, the Shivu Dhurune explication dans une lettre à notre mu, as quoted by Rughoonundun, société.“ Niebulir, Description de l'Ara- says, 'He is reputed a Gooroo, who, bie, &c., (Amsterdam, 1774, p. 100. according to the capacity of his dis

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