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Artist of Heaven to put his hand unto it, how soon might it return to an happy re-settlement? Even, so blessed Lord, for thy great mercy's sake, make up the breaches of thy Sion, and repair the ruins of thy Jerusalem.
On the Unity of Faith, from a Sermon preached before
the University of Oxford, by THOMAS SMITH, B. D. Fellow of Magdalen College, 4to. 1682. THE doctrine of Faith must necessarily be one and
the same every where, according to the assertion of the text: It was the common Faith, Tit. 1.4, not appropriated to any particular sect; but it lay in common, and open to all: The whole Faith, that is, so much as was necessary to denominate them true Believers, was received by all without any difference in the main points of it. For how could it be otherwise while they adhered so close to the doctrine of the Apostles, who all preached the same faith in the most distant parts of the world, between which there could not possibly be, as the times stood then, that is, before the polarity or directive virtue of the load-stone was known, any communication or intercourse? There was a perfect agreement and harmony of confessions among all who had embraced the doctrine of Christianity. The Christians here in Britain believed no otherwise than those at Jerusalem, and those in India, whom St. Thomas converted, and all who lived in the intermediate spaces between those two vastly distant extremes, which were the boundaries of the then known world, exactly agreeing with both. Though they differed in language, customs, laws, behaviour, and way of living, and were under different governments, yet they all held the same thing: Which argument is excellently handled by Irenæus, in his Ist. Book, 3d. chap. adv. Hæreses. There cannot be a more convictive argument of the truth of the sense of the articles of Faith, which the hereticks reject, than the profession of them in all Churches of the world. For how came this universal consent established, but from the soundness of the doctrine, and the authority of its first publishers? Among that great variety of opinions, which prevailed every where, there were certain essential points of faith, wherin they were all unanimous, and so long as they were held and
maintained, a liberty of judgment and opinion was allowed in lesser matters, witness those ancient forms before-mentioned, long before the civil power took the Christian religion into its protection; which whosoever admitted and professed, was received into their communion. So that from this unity of faith, which was received every where by the whole number of Christians, except some obstinate heretical dissenters, who were a small and inconsiderable party at first, in comparison of the rest, the Christian Church was styled Catholick, or universal, just as the great ocean is one and the same, though it receires particular denominations from the several shores which it washes, as the British, Cantabrian, Atlantick, and the like, and not from any pretended subjection to one sovereign pastor : And the word Catholick became another name for Orthodox; and the bishops afterwards subscribed themselves bishops of the Catholick church of such a place, as founded on the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, universally received throughout the world, and by virtue of the same Faith in cominunion with all Christians.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
An Attempt to remove Prejudices concerning the Jewish
Nation. By way of Dialogue. By Thomas WITHERBY, 2 Parts, 8vo. pp. 511. T
the peculiar people of God, and as it is through them that the law and the testimony, the prophecies, and redemption have come down to us, we ought to entertain a respect for their descendants, even though they are in a state of obduracy and unbelief. That the Jews should be preserved so entire amidst the numerous persecutions which they have undergone, and the various changes they must, in common with the rest of the world hare experienced, can only be attributed to the especial providence of God. Some particular tribes of men may subsist in a uniform state for a great number of ages,
from the peculiar locality of their situation, but we may sately challenge any one to instance, a people circumstanced as the Jews are, preserving as they have done in all times, under all conditions, and in all countries, their religion,' laws, castoms, and pecaliar characteristics. Welt then might Lord Chesterfield be staggered in his principles of infidelity, by observing this remarkable anomaly, so powerfully and providentially standing as a perpetual monument of the truth of the Scriptures, and of the Christian religion.
We cannot however well persuade ourselves to think, that this preservation of the Jews as a separate people from all others, has no other end than to be a mere standing evidence in support of Revelation. Collaterally indeed it has that advantage, and is at once a confutation of Infidels, and a source of comfort and confidence to all true believers; but it should appear from the thing itself, and from innunerable passages of holy writ, to have a more direct object, and that a remote and glo rious one.
Great things are spoken in the prophecies of the state of the Church in the latter days, and of the restoration of desolated Jerusalem. Allowing much fo the highly poetic and figurative language of Isaiah, it can hardly be admitted that his declarations respecting the removal of “the waste places,” the “ raising the foundations of many generations,” the “ repairing of the breach," and the “ restoring of paths to dwell in*," have no allusion to a great and beneficial change in the civil condition of the Jews. However strong may be the expressions which mark their condemnation for impenitence and unbelief, ingratitude and hardness of heart, they do not amount any where to an utter dereliction, consequently the numerous promises made to them in other parts of Scripture must be extended to the period when their desolate condition shall be changed, and when by faith and repentance, they shall be admitted under one fold, and under one shepherd.
We are therefore, always glad to see serious persons turning their attention to the situation of the Jews, and to the prophecies which relate to their present and fu ture condition. Happy would it be if we could thereby bring the remnant of Israel themselves to an inquisitive and earnest inquiry. But this is reserved, probably, for
* Chap. lyiii. 12.
some distant day, when circumstances peculiarly adapted to effect it, shall remove the veil from off their faces, In the inean time, however, it is commendable in those who have leisure and abilities to contribute as far as lies in their power to “ the removal of prejudices” whether in the 'minds of Christians or Jews respecting each other.
The author of the volume before us has taken uncommon pains to state the condition of the Jews, to vindicate them from many illiberal charges brought against them, and to prove that “there hath already taken place among them a very considerable change for the better, which affords good hope that their national affictions have not been endured by them in vain.” He also endeavours to overthrow the opinion that “ the Jews are in a state of condemnation in consequence of their fathers requiring our Saviour to be crucified;” and he combats with zeal and ingenuity the position of Bishop Newton, that “our Saviour took vengeance on the Jews by the Romans;" and another held by the same learned prelate, and also by Bishop Warburton," that God's reign over the Jews ended with the abolition of the temple service.”
The main drift of this writer is to prove that the Jews, though in a suffering state, are still under the divine government, objects of God's regard, and will be restored to their own land.'. Our limits will not permit us to give an abstract of the multifarious matter, and laboured reasoning of this large volume, which is besides very closely printed. There are but few points in it to which we have any objection, and those are of no importance. We have read the work with considerable satisfaction, as bringing into one view every thing concerning the Jews which can serve to illustrate the prophecies relative to their future condemnation.
There are however in it too many redundancies both of argument and quotation, and the style is very prolix and heavy. The author is by no means happy in the management of the dialogical mode of reasoning; but if his book were considerably reduced, and thrown into another form, it would, we think, be more likely to be useful.
An Attempt to illustrate those Articles of the Church of
England which the Calvinists improperly consider as Calvinistical, in Eight Sermons preuched before the University of Oxford, in the Year 1804, at the Lecture founded by J. Bampton, M. A. Canon of Salisbury. By Richard LAURENCE, LL.D. of University College. 8vo. Sermons, pp. 178.-Notes, pp. 280. A
LTHOUGH we did consider the notion so impru
dently revived by the Calvinists of our articles and homilies being calvinistical as completely set at rest, by the labours of the Dean of Peterborough, Mr. Daubeny, and others; yet we cannot but hail the present volume with peculiar satisfaction. Dr. Laurence has rendered an acceptable service to the cause of truth, by the manner in which he has treated this greatly agitated subject. The method here adopted to refute the claim of the calvinists has been “ to trace the articles, usually controverted on the occasion, up to their genuine sources, to compare them with the peculiar opinions of their own times, and thus to determine their meaning with more certainty, by ascertaining the precise objects which the compilers had in view.”
In the first sermon “The general principles of the reformation from its commenceinent, to the period when our articles were first composed, are shewn to be of a Lutheran tendency;” and in the next “ The same tendency is pointed out in the articles themselves, as deducible from the history of their compilation."
Nothing certainly is better adapted to fix the important question as to the meaning of the articles, if indeed there were any thing ambiguous in the language of thein, than an inquiry into the character, connexions, and sentiments of the compilers of them. Dr. Laurence has entered upon the enquiry, and preserved it with inuch laborious and careful investigation. The reformation beyan with Luther, and of course all the early reforıners, as well in England as elsewhere, looked to that quarter with respect. But there was one divine who certainly had a more powerful influence, and was still more universally esteemed than Luther. We allude to that
great clerk” as good old Latimer called him, the virtuous, learned, and moderate Melancthon: Of the weight of his influence, and the prevalence of his principles, at 3 C2