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706 Review.-Maltby and Cunningham on the Bible Society.
be desirable to bestow a Bible, or in contents of the sacred volume are to bestow it. But, after much inquiry “important to the evidence and as well as observation, be entertains the explanation of our religion;" great doubt as to the number of such and, further, that the church of cases; and, consequently, is of opinion
that every purpose, substantially useEngland prescribes the reading of ful, might have been effected with far them all, successively, in public less labour and far less expense, and worship, that whoever sces or
without increasing a spirit of religious hears the comment ought, in jus. approach should be most carefully
faction, towards which even a distant tice, to be in possession of the avoided.” text, that there would be extreme difficulty in forming a selection of other persons, we answer, have
The inquiries and observation for common use and general cir- shewn that there is a larger multi. culation, and that the society in tude of such cases,” much largquestion actually provides Testa- er, it must with regret and shame ments as well as Bibles.
be owned, than was commonly It becomes us, however, to be imagined. As to the Bible Sumore minute in our notice of his ciety being accompanied by an pamphlet.
increase of the spirit of religious 1, 2, Surely,” says Dr. Maltby, faction,” the friends of this instispeaking of the Bible Society, “if the pro- tution, be it remembered, are mises held out by the promoters of this most desirous of general union : plan, or the views entertained by its and its object, laws and mea, zealous advocates, had a reasonable expectation of being accomplished, every sures are eminently catholic and true Christian must, of necessity, con comprehensive; so that, if, after cur in it. But it will not
, I trust, be all, it is, unhappily, the occasion thought to derogate from the sincerity of increasing a spirit of religious of the zeal of such a Christian, if he pauses to consider in what degree it be faction," the source of the evil probable that such hopes and such will be found elsewhere. views can be realized. If, upon reflection, he is satisfied that there are far
7. “I may ask-to what end either more difficulties in the way of an useful
a poor man in our own country, or a and complete fultilment of the expecta- told to read the peculiarities of the Mac
convert from other religions, shall be tions, cherished by such a society, than
saic law, contained in the latter
of are apparent at first glance, not only Exodus, and the whole of Leviticus ? is he just fied in withholding his con- To what purpose they shall read by far currence, but it is an act of duty, also, the greater part of Numbers and Deupublicly to state his reasons for refusing to concur in it."
We will here remind Dr. Malte Upon these sentences we will by of his own words: these books only observe, that the difficulties
are “important to the evidence may indeed be more and greater and the explanation ” of the Jewe (than are apparent at
In the directions glance," while, nevertheless, they which some of them contain in remay not be such, either in number spect of ceremonies, the poor man or magnitude, as to preponderate may discern a sign of reality : in against the proposed and obvious the exquisitely humane precepts advantages of the undertaking. of the moral code of Moses, he
first ish religion.
will see a confutation of many a the “explanation" of their reli-
any iotimation of its difficulty, without
any caution as to the danger of misin.
Yet the evil, if evil it be, is in-
just exercise of the privileges and
principles of Protestants, when
even, on Dr. Maltby's own shew.
ing, there can be no danger when
25, 26. We share in our au.
of the Scriptures: in the mean
we can, though it be not all of
which we are desirous. Much
revision of the articles of the Eng-
lish church. But who that dis.
ceri:s the signs of the times, can
made? Who does not perceive,
that the season for it has long since
31, 32. “Let it be recollected, it was
considered a great privilege at the time
True : but the art of reading is
sons; and the Bible Society is in
34. " Certainly, however, it does
precedented extent, and with a spirit so 66 the evidence," or contribute to such a crisis a pure philanthropic fecling
708 Review.- Maltby and Cunninghaon on the Bible Socieiy.
measures of this society, would
ing some of our time and thoughts 37, 38. Dr. Maltby glances at on his theological opponent. the flames which laid a great part Mr. Cunniogham possesses, una of Copenhagen in ashes, and evi. doubtedly, good intentions, and dently refers to a righe honour. is a man of lively and ready tao able patron of the Bible Society, lents. But his manner of writing who was the main instrument of is declamatory and diffuse, bis kindling them. In this case the reasoning, frequetitly destitute of inconsistency of the noble lord is, precision ; nor, like the gentle. doubtless, to be lamented. But man on whom he animadverts, is can the charge be fairly extended be a proficient in biblical studies. to a religious institution of which He is not the successful advocate he happens to be one of the Vice- of an excellent cause; and in his Presidents? If the fact supply a defence of it we look in rain for plausible objection against any the catholicism which a regard one of our religious and charitable to the constitution and pretensions societies, it must be against the of the Bible Society ought to have Society for furnishing Bibles to produced. Mr. C. occasionally our Sailors and our Soldiers. indulges himself in harsh and
39, &c. The remarks of Dr. bitter insinuations against those Maltby on the subject of foreign who have the misfortune to differ missions, are, in general, admir- from him in their interpretation ably deserving of attention, and of the Scriptures and of the arti. he professes himself unable to dis- cles of the established church : he cover grounds of policy or libe seems to be one (the sect, alas! is rality, for the invariable exclusion much too numerous) who will of every dissenter from the society “quarrel' with a man that bath in Bartlett's Buildings. 47, 48. hair more or a hair less on his
49, 50. This writer is visibly beard than he bas;"** and we are alarmed lest those who style them. apprehensive that such a champion selves professors and teachers of of the society is ill calculated to evangelical religion, gain any int remove the fears and suspicions creased ascendancy by means of expressed by Dr. Maltby. the success of the Bible Society. 3. He asks, “whether ScripSuch he thinks is the motive of ture supplies ai single passage some of them, in giving it their which makes civilization a pre. zealous patronage. But, admits requisite of piety?" The answer ting his suspicion to be west found. to which question depends on his ed (and we make the admission only for the sake of the argument),
definition of the terms piety and mind or dispensations of a Being who civilization. But Mr.‘c. shall surrounds them on all sides, and touches reply to his own inquiry: “it Scripture, then, are unintelligible, is
them on every point; that parts of the was,” says he, (20) "in the Au. no ground for their exclusion from the gustan age that the sun of Chris. houses of the poor. Religion never tianity arose upon the nations.” proclaimed itself to be free from mysScripture then furnishes us with head in the clouds."
teries. Its base is among us, but its the best authorities for regarding civilization as a pre-requisite of
Of these propositions the two piety: and it were a libel on the
last are false, and the others be. gospel to suppose that it can be side the purpose. The point here effectually preached to men who at issue between Dr. Nialtby and are in a state of absolute barba.
Mr. Cunningham, is not whether rism, and strangers to the culti. religion itself be comprehensible vation of the mind and to the arts or incomprehensible, but in what and decencies of social life.
degree the writings which are the 9, 10, 11. We believe, on the records of Revelation, can be in. principles which we have already telligible to the poor? In the nature laid down, that the sacred volume and in the providential dispensa. is designed and calculated for tions of the Supreme Being, there general use. But truth and jus. be searched out.
is, no doubt, much which cannot sice require us to add that some
Revelation, of Mr. C.'s arguments to this ef. however, so far as it is revelation, fect, are inconsequential. “The cannot be obscure: as well might Scriptures,” says he," were de.
it be asserted that light is darklivered with great solemnity to ness, and darkness, light. Nor man;" a position which, speak.
does Dr. Maltby deny that the Christian revelation
be under ing correctly, should be restricted to the Jewish law. Again, he stood even by the unlearned read. quotes the words of our 'Sa- ers of the sacred volume : all viour,“ scarch the Scriptures,” which he maintains, is, that the &c. and those of Paul, “all design of the Gospel may be taught Scripture is given," &c. 'though them without the necessity of putboth these texts are manifestly ii. ting the whole of that volume into mited to the writings of the former every man's hands. covenant.
17. Mr. C. gives the following 14. There is no evidence what. description of Christianity: ever to shew that the closing in. “ Its night falls, and its sun rises, junction in the book of the Reve. alike upon the whole mass of society." lation, was intended to apply to In what school then has this the whole of the Bible. The gentleman been learning Christ, best of causes will be injured, in who says of himself, “I am the the eyes of a certain class of men, light of the world?” That there when weak reasoning is employed are mysteries in natural religion we in its vindication.
know: in Christianity there are 15, 16. “ It is not for those whose the word mystery our author to
none. The scriptural meaning of powers are defeated and exhausted in the examination of a blade of grass, to tally overlooks. hope that they shall comprehend the
30. “ Although Christianity never VOL. VII.
710 Review.-Maltby and Curringham on the Bible Society.
, crown of thorns."
a rolume judiciously selected from This is a memorable concession Cappe's Life of Christ," or, in on the part of a minister of a na- other words, according to Mr. tional hierarchy: we can refer to Cunningharn's gloss,
66 from a some similar ackvowledgments Life of Christ written by & KROER by writers of the same establish. Socinian.” Thus, Lardner might ment, who are of yet higher cha- be styled a known Socinian: and, racter and rank.
on the same goodly principle, the 31. The author notices " the reading of his Credibility, &c. decay of Socinianism,” within might be forbidden. Were our the last fifty years.
author acquainted with Mr. It is much longer since Socini- Cappe's theological productions, anism had any footing in this and especially with his Sermons, country: and believing, as we do, he would think more favourably that its characteristic tenet and and more justly both of this re. practice are unscriptural, we re- puted Socinian and of his system. joice in its decay: Let Mr. C. When prejudice and bigotry ask, be told, nevertheless, that the “Can any good thing come out number of worshippers of the One of Nazareth the answer of God, the Father, through one truth and candour is, “Come and Lord, Jesus Christ, has increased and is increasing through the Bri.
53. In Mr. Cunningham's opi. tish Isles; being, indeed, much nion, it is one of the paramount greater at present than in any for- advantages of an establishment, mer period of our history.
and especially of our own, that it 1b. “ The resuscitation" of what he calls "the fundamental preserves a record of its first prin. doctrines of Christ," he attributes, of its early fathers.” “Its early
ciples, and perpetuates the lessons in a considerable degree, “ to fathers," indeed, he seems to re. plain men, putting plain 'con- gard with an almost idolatrous structions upon plain passages of veneration. But need we remind the Bible."
him that it is still matter of From this language he would, doubt, nor least among the learn. however, have refrained had he ed and judicious clergy, what are studied Mr. Locke's inestimable the lessons of the reformersPreface to his Paraphrase on Paul's whether they speak the language Epistles. Constructions which
of Arminius or of Calvin? Arti. we imagine to be plain, are often cles and creeds therefore are not those which we derive from our the bulwarks of the real union of preconceived and possibly errone- the church; there being nearly as
striking a diversity, nay, opposi• Lowth's Visit. Serni. 2d. Ed.
tion of sentiment concerning their 11. and Jenyns's Disquis. 62, 65. meaning as there is in our seve