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knowledge more than the pernicious effects of intemperate study. Fortunately for humanity, we do not often hear of instances of its being pursued to the derangement of the understanding; but examples are never wanting of those ill effects on the judgment, which are seen in partial and limited studies, and in the intense application of the mind to one subject. And this affords the only, or best accountable reason, why some men of great excellence in particular branches of knowledge, such even as astronomy and medicine, have been unbelievers in revealed religion. The most effectual preventive of such perversion of judginent is found in that enlarged and diversified cultivation of the different parts of knowledge, to which their own relative connection naturally leads. And happily for him, who devotes himself to the Christian ministry, no other professional study combines so many of the most valuable parts of learning.
“Whatever, indeed, can in any degree recommend the cultivation of general knowledge, or give value to books, the inestimable repositories of knowledge, may be eminently said to the praise of sacred learning. The antiquary, the philologist, the historian, the moralist, the poet, and the artist, will all find in the study of the Bible ample stores to interest their respective tastes, and exercise their talents."
The usefulness of the Christian ministry is forcibly stated in a variety of particulars. One instance of its necessity is “ for the right interpretation of the scriptures.” It is judiciously observed, that to the want of a correct knowledge of the languages in which the scriptures were written, may be ascribed “the many discordances of sect and schism which have divided the church of Christ.” Here the right reverend author takes occasion to subjoin the following important and valuable note, in which he vindicates concisely, but irrefragably, Mr. Sharp's “ Remarks on the uses of the definitive arçicle in the Greek text of the New Testament."
“ We have the authority of one of the most learned men of any age or country for saying, that “ Non aliunde dissidia in religione dependent quam ab ignoratione grammatica." (SCALIGERANA, p. 86. ed. Tan. Fabri.) We may exemplify this remark of Scaliger, by some important passages in the New Testament relative to the Divinity of Christ, about which there can be no doubt, if the construction of the Greek language is to be determined by its own idioms. Take one passage instar omnium. St. Paul says, Προσδεχομενοι την μακαριαν ελπιδα και επιφανειαν της δοξης του μεγαλου θεου και σωτηρος ημων, Ιησου Χριστου. (Titus ii. 13.) Our common version translates this
passage thus :
Looking for that blessed hope of the glorious appearing of the great God,
and our Saviour Jesus Christ." The MS. correction in the margin of Hugh Broughton's version, quoted by Mr. Sharp, translates it less ambiguously *—"The glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ." We have in the language of this version St. Paul's most express declaration of the Divinity of Jesus Christ. And so Hammond translates it in his margin, ánd Whitby confirms this sense in his note on the passage. And $0, too, Whitby affirms, that all the ancient Greek fathers understood it. What Whitby says in a few words, yet not without reference to the works of some of the most ancient and learned of the fathers, Mr. Wordsworth has shewn at large in his Sir Letters addressed to Mr. Sharp, by so full and satisfactory a statement and citation of all the ancient fathers, that, if authority had its due weight, there would be no difference of opinion about the passage in question. But to the argument from authority we may add the jas et norma loquendi of the Greek language. Beza affirms, that the idiomátical construction of the words requires the sense which is given to the passage in the old version before quoted, and by the ancient Greek fathers. Whitby, and others of a later date assert the same. Mr. Sharp, in his Remarks on the uses of the definitive article in the Greek text of the New Testament, has confirmed this argument from idiom by a minute examination of similar forms of expression in the New Testament, He has laid open the principle of Beza's observation; and has shewn that the passage of St. Paul will bear no other interpretation consistently with the uniform usage of the Greek language of the New Testament, than that which declares Christ to be our GREAT GOD AND SAVIOUR. Mr. Sharp's Remarks and Mr. Wordsworth's Letters have extorted froin an unbeliever in the divinity of Christ Six more Letters addressed to Mr. Sharp, which are very well calculated to mislead the unlearned reader by ab: stract questions, gratuitous assertions, and hypothetical exam ples; but communicate nothing on the score of authority, which bcars any comparison with the unanimous consent of the Greek fathers; and nothing at all which has any pretence to gramma; tical observation. His use of the Port Royal Greek Grammar, his new mode of construing Greek, and his misapplication of English phraseology to Greek idiom are top ill-grounded, and their defects too palpable to escape the notice of a sensible school-boy. This writer attempts to throw ridicule on Mr. Sharp's argument from literal testimony, because it depends on so minute a part of speech as a Greek article; as if the power of words depended on the number of their syllables. Perhaps Mr. Blunt, as he calls himself, will have no objection to the au
say less ambiguously, because our present version is capable of the same meaning by a different purctuation,—“the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" that is, Jesus Christ, the great God and our Sas viour,
thority thority of Mr. Horne Tooke, from whose letter to Mr. Dunning, or EEG IITEpoevta, he may learn, that in the commerce of intela lect Articles, Particles, and Conjunctions, are not such contemptible matters as he would have his reader suppose. They who know how to value the stability of their own faith, or the unity of the Christian church, will think themselves infinitely obliged to Mr. Sharp for his Remarks, and for shewing them, that froin the legitimate and grammatical construction of the New Testament results one of the strongest evidences, and in itself an irrefragable proof, of the divinity of Christ. On this firm ground of literal testimony we may securely take our stand, “ as stewards of the mysteries of God;" which nothing should induce us to relinquish; not all the arts of ridicule, and hardy assertion, and ungrammatical misrepresentation."
The bishop closes his address with proposing an association in his diocese, the objects of which are,
“ 1. To distribute Bibles, Common-prayer Books, and other religious tracts, in Welsh and English, among the poor, especially such tracts as are recommended by the London “ Society for propagating Christian knowledge."
“2. To establish libraries for the use of the clergy of the diocese.
" 3. To facilitate the means of education to young men intended for the ministry of the church of England in this diocese, whe are educated in the diocese.
" 4. To encourage the establishing of English schools for the benefit of the poor; and
“ 5. To promote the institution of Sunday-schools.” In consequence of this proposal, a meeting was held of the Rural Deans, at the Palace of Abergwilly, Oct. 10, 3804, when a Society was formed for promoting Christian Knowledge and Church-union in the diocese of St. David's.
The particulars of this seasonable Institution, which We hope will be imitated in other dioceses throughout the united kingdom, we shall give in our next number.
An Attempt to illustrate those Articles of the Church of
England which the Calvinists improperly consider as Cals vinistical, in Eight Sermons, preached before the Unió versity of Oxford, in the Year 1804, at the Lecture founded by J. BAMPTON, M. A. Canon of. Salisbury. °By Richard LAURENCE, L.L.D. of University College. 8vo.
[ Concluded from page 382.] F the confession and offices of the English church
ever received any thing like a calvinistical tint, it must have been after the Marian persecution, when many of the protestant exiles returned with favourable sentiments to the doctrine and discipline of the Genevan reformer. That such an innovation, however, never did take place, is satisfactorily proved by Dr. Laurence, who gives the following account of the convocation which met at the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth, for the purpose of revising the liturgy.
“ Instead of increasing the number of the articles, they dimi'nished them; instead of extending their sense, so as to make them embrace a greater proportion of speculative tenets, they contracted them, and appeared in every case more disposed to extinguish difference of opinion, than to augment it by adding fuel to a fiame, already rising above controul. In one or two instances indeed, additions, or rather additional elucidations, were admitted. Of the tendency however of these we cannot doubt, when we learn, that, with the exception of one obvious topic alone, they were not original; that they were neither the productions of Parker nor the convocation; and that they were not borrowed from any Calvinistical or Zuinglian, but from a Lutheran creed. The creed to which I allude is the confession of Wirtembergh, which was exhibited in the Council of Trent the very year, when our own articles were completely arranged by Cranmer. That iheir resemblance to this composition should have been hitherto overlooked is the more remarkable, because it seems too visible, one would conceive, to have escaped the notice of the most superficial observer. For it was not confined to a mere affinity of idea, or the occasional adoption of an individual expression ; but in some cases entire extracts were copied, without the slightest omission or minutest variation.”
A very able and well drawn character of Calvin follows, and it is proved beyond all question, that whatever respect might be attached to his personal merits and talents, yet, that his opinions were by no means then held in that estimation which his modern admirers would claim for them.
In turning therefore to the doctrines of the most learn, ed Lutherans of that period, for the important purpose of ascertaining the meaning of our articles, the lecturer has acted most judiciously, and completely broken all the weapons offensive and defensive of those who assert the Calvinism of our church. It is true, and some predestinarians have taken advantage of it, that about the beginning of the Reformation, the stoical doctrines of fa. talism and necessity were much dwelt upon and defended; but this metaphysical and scholastical jargon gave. way to a more rational and scriptural system before the formation of our articles and homilies. This point is stated and clearly proved by Dr. Laurence in the following note.
“ Nimis korridæ fuerunt initio Stoicæ disputationes apud nostros de fato, et disciplinæ nocuerunt.” Melanct. Epist. lib. iii. cpist. 44.
“At the commencement of the Reformation, both Melancta hon and Luther held the harsh doctrine of a Philosophical Ne=' cessity. To this the former alludes in his letter to Cranmer; from which the above passage is taken. See it quoted at length, note 6. After the diet of Augsbourgh in the year 1530, the obnoxious tenet was no more heard of. Indeed, so early as in 1527, these reformers appear to have abandoned it; at least when in that year a form of doctrine was drawn up for the churches of Saxony, free-will in acts of morality was thus inculcated; “ Voluntas humana est ita libera, ut facere aliquo modo possit justitiam carnis seu justitiam civilem, ubi lege et vi cogitur, ut non furari, non occidere, non mæchari-Propterea doceant, in nostri manu aliquo modo esse carnem frænare, et civilem justitiam præstare; et hortentur diligenter ad recte vivendum, quia Deus hanc quoque justitiam exigit, et graviter puniet illos, qui adeo negligenter vivunt. Nam sicut aliis donis Dei bene uti debemus, ita etiam viribus, quos Deus naturæ tribuit, bene uti debemus." Cap. de Libero Arbitrio.
“ Non enim delectatur Deus ista vitæ ferocitate quorundam, qui cum audierint non justificari nos viribus et operibus, somniant se velle expectare, & Deo donec trahantur, interea vivunt impurissime ; hi maximas panas dabunt Deo. Sunt igitur valde objurgandi a docentibus in Ecclesia." Cap. de Lege. Articuli suspectionis Ecclesiarum Sax
Vol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. for June 1805. 3 N oniæ.