Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

thority by Justin Martyr, and was commented on by Irenæus, which proves that it was in circulation among Christians before the second century; otherwise as a modern production those great writers would never have regarded it as of divine authority, which it is clear they did by admitting the truth of its predi&tions.

If then in that early age the Revelation of St. John was regarded as a genuine book of prophecies, it is clear that the doctrine of Christ's divinity fo explicitly and repeatedly de. clared therein, must have been then a fundamental article of faith in the whole Christian Church; for if it was not, so glaring a novelty, and one productive of such momentous consequences as the entire alteration of divine worship, would have been rejected with abhorrence.

[ocr errors]

(To be continued.)

Literary Remains.

CERTAMEN RELIGIOSUM, or a Conference between King

CHARLES th: First, and Henry, late Marquis of Worce ter, concerning Religion, in Ragland-Castle. Ann. 1645. London, 1649. octavo.

THE editor of this remarkable book was Dr. Thomas

1 Bayley, younger son of Dr. Lewis Bayley, bishop of Bangor, and the author of that well known religious treatise, the * Practice of Piety.”

In 1645, king Charles having lost the battle of Naseby, and his cause being now defperate, retired to Ragland Cala tle, belonging to the Marquis of Worcester, in Monmouthshire, where he remained several days. The Marquis was a man of great ingenuity, as appears from his “ Apophthegms” published in 1650, 8vo. But before this visit of bis majesty, he had joined the Romilh Communion, and,

Tha:

[ocr errors]

who is ingratitude fualion mot

molt converts, was 'very zealous for his new profession. o'he should therefore make an attempt upon the mind of his sovereign, was not at all out of character, or unlikely in such circumstances, when they were brought nearly upon a level with each other. The conversation one evena ing at Ragland slided gradually from the subject of the king's misfortunes, to the cause of them, which the marquis inli. nuated was owing to his majesty's not " giving the Church [i. e. the Romish persuasion] a respite from her oppreslions” and his ingratitude to the members of that communion, who had faithfully supported him. The king defended himself fufficiently' from this accusation, which brought on a farther discourse concerning the nature of the true Cam tholick Church, and the claims of Rome to that exclusive title. The interlocutors in this conference were the king,

the marquis, and doctor Bayley, who was at that time a re. - fident in the castle, and afterwards openly professed him.

self a Romanist. When the account of this conference was published by him, it was attacked as spurious by Hammond L'Estrange, in a small tract in duodecimo, and more at larger in a quarto piece, by Christopher Cartwright, of York. Dr. Peter Heylin also charged it as a forgery in the prefatory epistle to his edition of the Papers of King Charles, under the title of “ Bibliotheca Regia," 1649, 8vo. ; but it is remarkable, that in the edition of the same collec. tion, published in 1659, the doctor inserted Bayley's account of the conference, with an explanatory note, and omitting the charge which he had before brought against it, an ad mission surely that his sentiments, concerning the substance of the conference at least, were altered.

It was said, by those who censured the book as the fictitious representation of what never happened, or as the exaggerated statement of a casual conversation, that the king is made in it to argue weakly, and the marquis with considerable strength. The reverse, however, is the fact, for though the marquis has the advantage of the monarch in the length of his speeches, he falls infinitely short of him in wit and reasoning. If the design of Bayley at the time of the publication, had been to fhew the superiority of his paa tron, the marquis, and to recommend what he is made to say in behalf of the church of Roine, he managed the matter in a way little adapted to his purpose. For instance, when the king objected to the Roman Church the many ridiculous VOL. XIV.

H

stories Chm. Mag. Jan1808.

mificharge which, with an

exage is made frengthuis has the falls in Bayley. at

stories contained in her legends, the marquis had 0 other way of vindicating the inventions of craft and ctíusson lity, than by comparing them to the histories of Balaam, Samson, and Philip and the Eunuch, thus placing the autho. rity of fables, the authors of which are unknown, on the same footing with that of the Scriptures. . . ,

The king having required satisfaction concerning the Ca. tholick Church, and the grounds why the Church of Rome is to be obeyed as such, received this cogent answer. Mar. quis, “Gracious Sir, the creed tells us that it is the Catho. sick Church, and St. Paul tells us, in his epistle to the Ro. mans, that their faith was spread through the whole world." To which the king replied, “That was the faith which the Romans then believed, which is nothing to the Roman faith that is now.”

Marquis. The Roman faith then and now are the fame.”

King. I deny that, my lord.”
Marquis. When did they alter their faith ?."

King. That requires a library; neither is it requisite that I tell you the time when: If the envious man sows his tares whilst the husbandman is asleep, and afterwards he awakes and sees the tares, are they not tares because the husbandman knows not when they were sown?"

The following illustration of the unity of the Catholick Church, and the independence of particular churches, is curious, and exhibits the royal disputant as a reasoner of no ordinary powers.

“ My lord, I have not done with you yet; though parti. cular churches may fall away in their several respects of obe. dience to one supreme authority, yet it follows not that the. church should be thereby divided, for as long as they agree in the same unity of the same spirit, and the bond of peace, the church is still at unity; as so many sheaves of corn are not unbound, because they are severed. Many sheaves may , belong to one field, to one man, and may be carried to one barn, and be servient to the same table. Unity may consist in this as well as being huddled up together in a rick, with one cock fheaf above the rest. I have one hundred pieces in my pocket, I find them something heavy, I divide the sum, half in one pocket, half in another, and subdivide them afterwards into two several lesser pockets, the money is di. vided, but the sum is not broke, the hundred pound is as whole as when it was together, because it belongs to the fame man, and is in the fame possession : so though we divide

from

from Rome, if neither of us divide ourselves from Christ, we agree in him, who is the centre of all unity, though we differ in the matter of depending one upon another." · According to Dr. Bayley, the Marquis presented to his majesty a paper concerning the “Antiquity, Universality, and Sanctity of the Church of Rome." To which the king rea turned an answer. This last is appended to the account of the conference, and, it must be confessed, has more references to the Fathers than the king could well be supposed capable of making at such a time and in such a condition. But this does not invalidate the preceding dialogue, which has all the ease of a conversacion, and in which the several parties speak perfectly in character, and urge such arguments as persons separated from books would naturally adopt, in support of their respective opinions. At all events it is a proof that Charles was a steady Protestant when he was at Ragland, otherwise Dr. Bayley, who became a convert to the Romani Church by the persuasions of the Marquis of Worcester, would never have represented him as so powerful an opponent of Rome as he has done in the "“ Certamen Religiofum."

bpeak perfectly iverfation, anding dialogundition: Bullah!

that of their refol from boter, and which the ceny

Review of New Pablications.

A View of the Evidences of Christianity at the Close of the pretended Age of Reason: In eight Sermons preached before the University of Ūxford, at St. Mary's, in the year 1805; at the Lecture founded by the Rev. John Bambton, M. A. Canon of Salisbury. By EDWARD Nares, M. A. Rector of Biddenden, Kent, and late Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. 8vo. pp. 543. 105. 6d. boards. Ri. vingtons. . . i , . THESE Lectures exhibit a view of the great struggle

1 between Christianity and its various adversaries in what has been falsely called the age of reason. The plan is a

great

great one, requiring a depth of learning, an extensive course of reading, and considerable judgment. The objections of Infidels against Revelation are here classed under the heads of HISTORY, Physics, METAPHYSICS, Ethics and CRITICISM.

“Under the head of History I propose to consider'the extraor-' dinary defect of all records and historical monuments, that could be alleged to be in positive contradiction to the Mosaic writings; even now that the whole globe has been traversed, and every enquiry of that nature pursued and encouraged in a way unknown before. Under the head of PHYSICS I purpose to give an account of the invincible obstacles, that seem to be in the way of our attaining to any clear comprehension of the causes that have ope. rated in time past in the body of the earth ; so as to enable us to form any conjectures from thence concerning the high or low an. tiquity of the general mass of our globe. I shall notice the con. sent of many celebrated naturalists to the low antiquity of our pre. sent continents, as deduced from observation, and the extraordi. nary facts that tend to corroborate the Scripture accounts of an universal deluge. Under the head of METAPHysics I shall have some remarks to make on the present state of the questions, concerning the materiality of the soul, and the necessity of human ac. tions; and I shall have frequent occasion incidentally to notice the inefficacy of all speculative reasonings on certain subjects connected with Theology. Under ETHICS I propose to consider the indispensible necessity of a divine revelation for moral purposes; to notice some of the most offensive moral principles and systems of modern reformers, and to shew how ably Christianity has been vindicated from the charge of omissions in this line. And under the head of CRITICISM I shall endeavour to point out the great abuses to which it has been exposed ; its great utility to secure us from the misrepresentations of modern Deists ; and the satisfactory manner, in which it has recently been applied to confute the dogmatical assertions of modern Unitarians."

." But there are still some points, which will require to be considered in a more general way, and which cannot be distinctly brought under any of these heads. Such as the very extraordinary difference lately manifested in respect to the separation of the two covenants, and the divine authority of the Old Testament; and in regard to the prejudices and prepossessions, which haye been said to stand in the way of the due exercise of reason, and more particularly in this place.”

In the first le&ture it is stated that Christianity has food the test of enquiry for above eighteen centuries, during which it has maintained itself against every sort of oppofition on the part of man.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »