« AnteriorContinua »
Review.-Belsham's Letter to the Unitarians of South Wales.
and for some time at Pella, from the be- if he be so pleased, may seek their settleginuing of Christianity until the final dis- mentpersion of the Jews by Adrian.
« • For,' as Bisbop Burgess pertinently “2. Upon this event a Christian adds, in confirmation of this most uorci Church arose at Elia.
aud satisfactory demonstratiou, where ** 3. The Church of Ælia, often, but should we seck but at Jerusalem, the priimproperly, called the Church of Jerusa- mitive stat of Hebrew Christianity?'. lem, (for Jerusalem was no more in its “ lu bis sixtb disquisitiva (Tracts, p. external form, that is, in its doctrine 549), Bishop Horsley states, and its discipline,) was a Greck Church, "• That the proof of his proposition and it was governed by Bishops of the rests id part only upon St. Jerome's erivucircumcision. lo this I and my adver- deuce. The eviire proof rests upon the sary are agreed. The point in dispute sevcu positions. Aud St. Jerome's evibetween us is; of what members the dence goes barely to the proof of the last church of Ælia vas composed., He says, of those positions, the seventu; namely, of couverts of Gentile extraction. I say, that a body of urtbudox Christians of the of Hebrews : of the very same pečsons, Hebrews was actually existing in the world in the greater part, who were members of much later than the time of Adrian. St. the autient Hebrew Church, at the time Jerome's evidence is brought for thic proof wheu the Jew's were subdued by Adrian. of this position singly, and this, proved by For again I take for granted,
St. Jeronie's evidence, in conjunction with “:4. That the observation of the Mo- six other principles preriously laid down, saic law in the primitive Church of Jeru- makes the whole cvidence of the main fact salein was a matier of merc babit and which I atfirm, thac a Cburch of orthodox national prejudice, not of couscience. Cluistians of the Hebrews existed at Ælia, Again, I take for granted,
from the final dispersion of the Jews by "55. That with good Christians, such Adrian, to a inued later period.' as I believe the primitive church at Jerusit- “ Tuese are Bishop Horsley's own lem to bave been, motives of worldly in- words. He expressly asserts that the terest, which would not overcome. cou- seven positions make the whole evidence science, would prercome niere habit. of the piain fact-that of these positions,
« * 6. That the desire of partakiaz in the six first ·go no further than to acthe privileges of the Ælian colovy, fiom count for the disuse of the Mosaic law wbich Jews were excluded, would accord- among the Christians in Palestine in ingly be a motive that would prevail with Adriau's reigo, upon the supposition that the Hebčew Christians of Jerusalem, and the thing took place ;' and that St. Jeother parts of Palestine, to divest them- rome's evidence goes singly and barely to selves of the form of Judaism by laying the proof of tbe seventh
position, namely, aside their agtient customis.
that a body of orthodox Christians of He. "* It may seem,' adds Bishop Horsley, brews was actually existing in the world p. 419, that my six positions go no fure much later than the time of Adrian ;' that ther than to account for the disuse of the is, in the days of Jerome, more than two Mosaic law among the Christians of Pales- hundred and tifty years after the reign of tine, upon the supposition that the thing Adrian. But it is evident that this fact took place; aud that they amount vot to a proves nothing as to the actual state of proof that a church of Hebrew Christians, things in Adrian's time. This cậpher, not adhering to the rites of Judaism, therefore, added to the other six, constiactually existed at Ælia. To conspleie the. tutes, by Bisbop Horsley's own concesproof, therefore, I might appeal to Epi- sion, the whole of his proof that the pbanius.--But I will rather derive the Church of Ælia, in the time of Adrian, Proof from a fact wbich I think still mure.consisted chiefly of orthodox Hebrew convincing. I affirm then,
Christians, wliv had renounced the rites *** 7. That a body of orthodox Christ- of Muses to obtain the privileges of the ians of the Hebrews were actually existing Ælian colony. in the world much later than in tbe time of “ Being tbus in possession of the whole Adrian.
of the case, your intelligent readers will 4.4 I will rest the credit of ny serenth be enabled to form a correct judgment of proposition upon the mention wbich oc- the question at issue between Bishop Bureurs in St. Jerone's Commentary upon 'gess and your present correspondent, and Isaiah, of İlebrews believing in Christ, of the arguments alleged by each, which as distinct from the Nazarenes. These otherwise it would be in possible to under: were orthodox believers, and were not stand."-1p. 60-65. observers of the Mosaic law, and actually existing somewhere in the world from the
There is much sprightliness and hureigo of Adrian'to the days of St. Jerome, mour as well as sound arguinent and if they were not pembers of the church manly and Christian expostulation in et Ælia, dwelling at Ælia. Dr. Priestley, the “ Brief Review," following the Letters, extracted from the Gentle mean time it may be remarked, that if man's Magazine. The Bishop's mode , Bishop Burgess bad read and digested that of argument wonld.provoke a smile on last corrected and improved edition of the most woeful countenance.
Bishop Law's admirable work, he might
have spared 'the sarcasın upon the renc. “And last, though not the least re
rable prelate's advanced nge, as thougb it markable, in p. 54, figures a goodly train - indicated decline of intellect. Nor would of Trinitarian physicians. But I fear that
it disgrace' the clergy of the present day, the profane reader will hardly preserve a hecoming gravity of countenance when be from ine mild and candid Bishop of Car
if they should condescend to take a lesson reads that such men as Dr. Young, and lisle as to the style and spirit with which erea, Dr. Baillie, bave condescended to suspend the labours and the duties of the ducted. In Bisbup Law the urbanity of
theological controrersy should be conprofessiop for which they are so justly the gentleman was combined with the celebrated, and of which they constitute accuracy of the scholar, the impartiality of such distinguisbed oruaments, in order to extract from the neglected volumes of the a theologian, the sound judgment of a lo
an ardent lover of truth, the erudition of das ages a few venerable names to eke gician, and tbe candour and piety of a out the deficient catalogue of medical or
Christian. Upfettered in his inquiries, thodoxy, Still, bowerer, these learned and fixed in the principles which from gentlemen owe some obligation to the
conriction he had embraced, he defended courtesy of his Lordship, that he did not those principles with firmness and dignity, impose upon them the much harder task and disclaimed all weapons but those of of making out a list of orthodox physicians calm discussion and fair argument. . Ho in inodern times.-In a note, p. 150, the did not affect to bear down at adversary Bishop says, 'For the following additious with hard words and bitter reproaches: be of medical names I am indebted to Dr.
did not impute mötires to his opponent Baillie aud. Dr. Young.' Then follow the
which that opponent disavowed, our charge Ulustrious names of Solenander, Schen- him with cousequences whicb ke distinctly kius, Plater, Sennert, Hildapns, and Bar- denied : he did nut magnify inadvertencias tholin.
Wepfer also, a judicious Swiss into ctinies, not repeat charges agaidi and pbysician, uses the expression Deus ter again after they had been completely se aplinus Marimus,' which affords great futed. It was not his method to defame reasy, to hope that be also was of the true his opponents instead of answering their faith."-Pp. 86, 87.
argunients, to misstate their sentiments in Mr. Belshain has been censured for order to confute them more easily, and to pababishing the private letters of the invent calumnies for the sake of rousing Bishops of Elphin and Carlisle: we the indigoation of the public. Nerer did extract his vindication of himself, which it enter into the beart of this venerable we-beliere has proved salisfactory to and pious prelate to deny the appellation almost the only person who was enutled of Chtistiair to those who, equally with to complain. "The passage is particu hinself
, looked for the mercy of God farly valuable for the character which through the Lord Jesus Christ unto eter it exhibits, by contrast, of the anthor nal life, much less to Bravd them with the
infanious epithets of miscreants, infidels, of “ The Considerations."
blasphemers, and God-denying apostates, " }a page 16, Mr. B. is upbraided in gobecnuse they differed from bim in some courtly style, with violating private coug. mysterious points, whická 'neither be not denoe in publishing the Bisiwop of Elphin's they pretended either to explain or to Jester to Mr. Lindsey, whicla coutajned a understand. And as to invoking the ter: Amit for a hundred pounds for Dr. Priest- rors of the law upon those who had the ley, aud another, Jetter from Dr. Edmund misfortune to differ from bin ja articles of Luni, Bishop of Carlisle, the Bishop of faith, it is an idea from which the feeling Elphiu's father, which accompanied a pre- of this truly Christian preláte would bare rent of the last edition of his celebrated recoiled with horror. Theory of Religion "corrected and much * Prepossessed with the conviction that enlarged:' and purged,' as the learned nothing but what indicates an enlightened poudate expresses it in his letter to bis trierul, of some antient prejudices relating
“'The Bible, &c. p. 18. His Lordship to the pre-existence of Christ.' The pres of St. David's seeips to plume himself speed seat respectable Bishop of Chester like having discorered in the late learned work wise alleges the same charge of violated of Dr. Routh, ibat Unitariańs, 'io very confidence, in publisbing his father's and early times, were branded by their igno bis brother's letters, without leave being rant and malignant enemies with this "requested of the surviving family. The odious epithet, and the charitable prelate suine answer will apply to both.' lo the is determined it sbüll oot be losti"
Review.-Belsham's Letter to the Unitariants of South Wales
667 and liberal mind could proceed from a de- contain the slightest indication of a debiliscendant of Dr. Edmund Law, it was with tated intellect, we cannot but conclude, equal surprise and regret that I read, ia that, though. bis outward man was perishpage 17 of Bishop Burgess's work, the ing, his inward man was in full rigour : following letter from his son; Dr. George' and that at the age of foarscore the Bishop Law, the preseist Bishop of Chester, to the was as competent to judge of the validity Bishop of St. David's : dated Palace, Cles- of an argument, as others are in the prime, ter, Sept. 20,,1814.
or in the meridian of life. And if it is I have read Belsham's Menoirs of' right to boast of human authority in' a case Lindsey, and have no liesitation in inform-' which must he decided by divine testimony ing you that the Letters, concerning wbich alone, the Unitarians may justly pride you niake inquiry, were published without themselves in the name avd character of the knowledge or assent of the family. Dr. Edmund Law, Bishop of Carlisle. Such permission, bad it been requested, “But the Bishop of Chester acouses would certainly not 'bave been granted. Mr. B. of not baviog nequested permission The publication of my brother's Letter of the family' to publish the letters of the was an act of ingratitude, as well as a' Bishops of Carlisle and Elphin. Most breach of confidence : because he particu- certainly it never entered into Mt. B.'s larly requested in it, tbat' his name might thoughts that it was at all necessary or on 19 account be wentioned to any one..expedient to request any such permission. With respect to the Letter of my father, I Had tlie Letters contained any thing which kould observe, that at the time of writing could be considered as disreputable to their it be was more than eighty years of age!!! authors, Mr. B. would have suppressed and" his health was greatly declining. them altogether.--Had they touched upon Surely, then, less stress ought to be laid private affairs, Mr. B. would never bare ou any change of opivion under such cir- published the Letters without the corfsent cumstances, and at sich an advanced period of the 'Bishop's highly respectable avd of life. As the Divinity of our Saviour dignified family. But, when one of these appears to me to be the very corner-storie communications only mentions an omisof Christianity, and as it may be inferred sion in a work wbich is in the hands of from, or proved in, almost every page of erery biblical student, and the other only Scripture, you may easily conceive bow brings to light an act of generosity which painful it must be to my feelings, to wit- deserves to be held up to the admiration ness the adrantage which is thus takta of of mankind, Mr. B. did not conceive that this. Letter of my revered father, and to "he was exceeding the limits of the most think that his name niay be handed down scrupulous delicacy in exhibiting such to futnre ages as an mbettor of the doc- ' documents to the world. trines of Socions.'
“ But the Bishop of Chester is pleased “This Letter has much the appearance to say that it was an act of ingratitude, of being confidential : and, had I been the as well as a breach of confidence,' to pube Bisbop of Chester's friend, my regard for 'lish his brother's Letter, because he parbim would certainly have prevented the ticularly requested in it that his name publication of it, had l not been expressly might on no account be mentioned to any required to print it. As it is; one cannot onc.' but admire that a doctrine, which, to the “ But why did the Bishop of Elphin pious and learned paren, after a critical desire this? Let the excellent' prelate and diligent exantipation of the Scriptures speak for ' himself. My name,' says he, for more than half a century, appeared to 'must on no account be mentiooed to be erroneous and anti-christian, should be him, [Dr. Priestley,} or to any one else, regarded by the son as the very corner- ds it would involve me with some acquninstone of Christianity, and what might be tance here, and to me more mischief than inferred from, or prored in, almost every you can ithagine.' But surely when the page of Scripture. As to the insinuation, cause ceased, the restraint likewise ceased. surely much to be regretted, that little And when the generous prelate was restress is to be laid upon any change of 'moved out of the reach of bigotry, -malig opinioa'ut such an advanced period of life,' nity, and envy, there can be do just reythe obserration would have been perfectly son why his liberality should not be procorrect, had it related to a relapse of the claimed for the instruction and imitation learned prelate into the errors of his child- of mankind. The charge of ingratihood; for that is the common retrograde tude,' can hardly be serious. The lange, movetnent of frail human nature. But, "the blind, the paralytie, and tbe insane, when the change allnded to appears to who were healed by Christ, could not bave been an advance upon preceding ac- "refrain from publishing the blessings they quisitions in consequeuce of further and received, though expressly probibited by persevering inquiries, and when the work their great benefactor. Nor do we find whick' be publisbed at that time dues not that their disobedience in this particuint
was severely rebuked hy our Lord himself, may be permitted to mention that by for or that they are charged with ingratitude the most liberal subscriber to this ohject by the historians of his miracles." --Pp. was the late Right Reverend Dr. John Lw, 88-95.
Bishop of Eiphin. His letter is 'addressed
to Mr. Liodsey, #bo had seot bim a copy The following are the letters referred
of his last publication : it is dated Elphin, to, accompanied by Mr. Belsham's re
October 7, 1802. marks.
""MY DEAR SIR, “ It is not out of disrespect to the fa
« « Want of health and indisposition mily, but as an act of self-defence, that I have prevented me from thanking you for here republish the letters of the Bishops of your letter and obliging present sooner. I Carlisle and Elphin, the publication of have read your valuable work with as much which in the Memoirs of Mr. Lindsey has . attentiou as pains in the head and stomach,. subjected the writer to such severe and un- arising from a flying gout, would let me, expected animadversion.
and think it is calculated to do a great deal « The first is frow the late Bishop of of good. Carlisle to the Rev. Theophilus Lindsey, “* Enclosed is a draft for one hundred and is dated Cambridge, September 23, pounds, which you will apply in aid of 1783. Let the reader judge how far it Dr. Priestley's publication in any way be indicates any symptom of imbocillity of chooses : but my nane niust on no account intellect iu the learned and venerable be mentioned to bim, or to any one else, prelate.
as it would involve me with some acquaint“! DEAR SIR,
ance here, and do me more nnischief thar "" I received the favour of your Histo- you can imagine, and which I am sure you rical View, and read it with satisfaction. would not wish. · Our religion bereabouts Yog appear to have cleared up all the pas- . is evidenced chicfly-in baling and abusing sages of Scripture usually alleged in favour those who differ from us : and, excepting of the contrary opinion, and to bave ex- this zeal, we scarce siew that in other hausted the subject. As a small return things we bare any. , You will be surprised for the obligation I must desire your ac- at it: but neither popery nor netbodism eeptance of a new Cumberland edition of are losing any ground. my Theory, purged of some antient preju- "• Repriot any father's Life of Christ dices relative to præ-existence, &c. I bare whenever you please, and beliere me to be, recommended to my executors to procure &
witb the sincerest esteem, publication of Dr. Bullock's two Discourses " Your very faithful and obedient which clear up the doctrine of atonement,
Servant, J. ELPHIN.' and which I think I communicated to you -Note, pp. 95–97. formerly. The Bishop of Clonfert was returned to Ireland before your letter reached
In the “ Estimate of his Lordship's us. He would have been delighted with Character," Mr. Belsham uses the dis seeing your account of his favourite author secting knife boldly but dexterously, A. Tuoker, whose work I have often said This anatomical exhibition will be wanted methodizing and abridging to be of displeasing to the Bishop, and his more general use. My compliments to your friends, but may be serviceable to worthy coadjutor and to my old friend Dr. them, or at least to theological science. Jebb. That all the success and satisfaction
Bishop Burgess appears to Mr. Belmay attend your labours to which they are sham to possess great learning wide so justly entitled, is the most hearty wish little judgment : of Your sincere Friend and Servant,
«« E. C.'" “ Having thus giren his Lordship am“ The letter from Dr. John Law, Bi- ple credit for bis learning, his sincerity, shop, first of Clonfert and afterwards of and his zeal, truth constrains me to add Elphin, to Mr. Lindsey, appears in the that the learned prelate appears to labour Memoirs of that venerable man, p. 447, under a marvellous debility of the discriand is thus introduced by the author, who, minating and reasoning powers, and a in a note, is giving an account of a sub- great want of comprehension of miod. . It scription which was set on foot to defray was a maxim of my late rerered friend the expenses of Dr. Priestley's Church Dr. Priestley, that the coutemplation of History, and Notes on the Scriptures. great ideas creates and even constitutes The reader will judge how far the author greatness of mind. The reverse of this is chargeable with ingratitude and breach seems also to be true : that an habitual of confidence.
and close attention to ininute objects ere." And now that he is at rest beyond ates and constitutes littleness of mind : it the reach of enry and of calumny, from incapacitates the intellect for expansion of which neither exalted station nor exalted thought, and comprehension of views Kerit could have protected bim bere, it Tbe microscopic eye, which discerns the
Review.-Belsham's Letter to the Uniturians of South Wales. anatomical construction of a flea or a mite, practised arm was not equal to the macannot, like the Herschel telescope, pene- dagement of the bow of "Ulysses, and he trate the recesses of infinite space, er wisely withdrew from the field. I hope range over the structure of the bearens. the Prince Regent has not been unmindful It is difficult for the saine person to be a of the pathetic expostulation of so pious, minute verbal critic, and a liberal and loyal, and dutiful a subject. comprehensive reasoner. A man of words “ Of Bishop Burgess it is difficult to is not often a man of ideas. And bis know what to say. This venerable preLordship, in the course of his studies, has late, esteeming it his duty at all events so limited hintself to the minntiæ of words, to advocate the claims of bis learned prethat it is not at all surprising that his idcas decessor, without giving himself leisure should be very indistinct, his reasonings to study the controversy, and only assuproportionably confused, and his views ming two principles, viz. that all which uncommonly limited."'-Pp. 117, 118. Dislop Horsley says must be true, and all
A Postscript relates the history of which Dr. Priestley and Dr. Priestley's, the Horsleyan and Priestleyan con
advocate affirm must be false, le rusbes
ding-dong into the field, dealing out his troversy :
blows indiscriminately upon friend and " As the controversy concerning the foe, especially the former; all the while tival claims of Bishop Horsley and Dr. shouting Iu Triumphe ! and, after conPriestley is now brought to a cluse, it may tradicting Bishop Horsley in almost every not be amiss to take a brief review of the particular, he fondly imagines that be bas maover and spirit in which the advocates laid the Bishop's opponents prostrate at for the learned prelate bare conducted bis feet. The bero of La Mancha bimself their defence.
could not be better satisfied, when the “ Bishop Horsley himself was the most whole flock of sheep lay bleeding under wary and guarded of all controversial wri- bis puissaut arm. His Lordship, bow.' ters. He knew his own strength, and ever, has every appearance of being quite he chose his own ground. Declioing ab- in carnest; and yet, so strangely ignosolutely to enter into the general question rant is he of the true bearing of the conconcerning the belief of the primitive troversy, that in his very last Address to church, he merely undertakes to prove the Unitarians he actually states that as the incompetency of Dr. Priestley as an the principal question in discussion beecclesiastical historian. And the facts tween Dr. Priestley and Bishop Horsley, upon which he principally relies are, those wbich Bishop Horsley formally, explicitly, which he borrows from Mosheim, viz. the., and repeatedly, declares that he has not, sudden dereliction of the rites of Moses by and that he will not meddle with. the Hebrew Christians in order to enjoy “ Last of all come my old friends the the privileges of the Roman colony at wise men of the British Critic, who is Ælia, and the wilful falsehood of Origen, their journal for November last, profess#hose testimony contradicts this represen- ing to review the Claims of Dr. Prieste tation. Had these facts been true, they dey,' &c. after writing four or Gve pages must have been notorious ; Dr. Priestley in their usual temperate style, at length must bare been struck dumb; and his comc to this honest acknowledgment. credit as an ecclesiastical historian would As infallibility is not the lot of man, have been lost for erer. But the facts Bishop Horsley, we fear, has suffered being contested, Dr. Horsley soon dis- himself to be led into error. Deserting covered his mistake, and began his re- the footsteps of Bishop Bull, who martreat, which, however, he conducts like shalled his way with a steady and uner. a consummate general; first abandoning ring light, for the conjectural wanderings the posts wbich were occupied by Mo-, of Dr. Mosheim, who, on many subjects sheim, and afterwards giving up the en- of primitive antiquity, is not merely a trenchments which he had himself thrown blind but a treacherous guide, he made a up: disputing every inch of ground, every false step at the outset, whicb, with all pow and then facing about, taking advan- his ability, he was upable to reclaim.' tage of every orersight of the enemy, and “ By this memorable couccssion, thus at last quitting the field with a firm coun- reluctantly extorted from these champions tenance, without any formal concession, of orthodoxy, the claims of Dr. Priestley or explicit acknowledgment of defeat. are established-the wbole fabric of the
"The Reverend Heneage Horsley next famous church at Ælia, consisling chirfly advanced as the pious and zealous advocate of orthodox Hebrew believers, wko, to of his father's disputed claims ; and what obtain the privileges of ihe Roman colony, be wanted in knowledge and argument, had apostatized from the rites of their anthe abundantly made up in onlomny and cestors, is orerturned from its foundation abuse. But he soon found that his au- the character of' Qrigen is redueredo