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set down as the hothouse plants of a case, deemed it advisable to withdiseased and over-excited heart. He draw from the association, as he exshews that our circumstances very plains himself in the following letter much prevent our feeling as the to the archbishop :apostles necessarily and justly felt :
" “ I have maturely considered the sub“ Even the miracles of the Gospel af.
ject of the last conversation with which fect us very faintly in comparison of the
your grace honoured me. Zealously dedeep and awful impression which they blished church, from an unfeigned cou
voted as I have ever been to the esta. must have made on the apostles and their first converts. With us they are the
viction of its Scriptural character, if my
continuance in the Bible Society can exobjects of reason and reflection. With them they were the objects of sense and
cite the slightest suspicion of my being sight, the constant subject of astonish.
favourable to dissenterism, I cannot hesiment and praise. Can we wonder, then,
tate to withdraw from it. I am deter
mined while I live to maintain the cause if the apostle speaks of the Gospel, its evidence, its doctrines, and its effects,
of the Church of England. I am only with a warmth and vehemence which,
anxious that the clergymen withdrawing however it may exceed the religious zeal
from the Bible Society should not afford which such subjects now excite, is really
any reason to suspect that they would no more than what their exalted nature
neglect or oppose a judicious and effective and their stupendous importance de
distribution of the Scriptures in Ireland.” served ? No; he only speaks the language of nature and truth when he The question of the Bible Society describes the change wrought in the
is at this moment exciting considerconduct and hopes of himself and every
able attention. The Baptists, we beconvert, by receiving the Gospel, in the lieve, secede from it, because they most bold and glowing terms, when he object most frivolously to certain calls it passing from slavery to freedom, translations. Another portion, confrom sin to righteousness, from death to
sisting of those clergy who hold lite, a total change of vital principles - Tractarian views, object to it because even a new creation. Having established
of its non-ecclesiastical institution. the resurrection of Christ by the fullest proofs, and thence in ferred the certainty
A third section secede on account of of a general resurrection and the power
its refusing to begin their meetings of Christ to pardon the penitent, how
with prayer. We suppose the result natural and just that bold apostrophe,
will be that the present British and O Death, where is thy sting!'o Grave, Foreign Bible Society will be rewhere is thy victory!""
stricted very much to the Dissenters,
and the Establishment have its own In the interesting and Christian Church Bible Society. If this will memoir drawn up by his son, we produce greater good, lull the disfind the Dean was perplexed as to sensions and divisions which are the course he ought to pursue with cherished on points comparatively reference to the Bible Society. On subordinate, and in any shape these the one hand he felt that, if he re- parties provoke one another to fused to join it, the Romish priests good works,” no material mischief would soon find a pretext for ac- will ensue.
It is only to be desired, cusing him and his friends of real as Dean Graves observes, that it be though disguised hostility to the free not supposed, by neutral or hostile circulation of the sacred Scriptures; parties, that those who feel it their on the other hand, he saw that many duty to walk asunder are against the Churchmen, who were jealous of his free and unrestricted circulation of fame, and pretended to undervalue the Scriptures. his fervour, would attribute to him As the minister of St. Mary's a partiality for dissenterism. It was Church, the Dean presented a moneither of these imputations, how- del which many would do well to ever, that induced him to withdraw. imitate. He was not merely the He was intensely interested in the popular preacher, but the laborious welfare of the divinity students in- pastor-visiting from house to house. trusted to his care, and afraid that It is, in fact, this aggressive character either might prejudice their minds in the clergy that tells wonderfully or frustrate his professional useful- on the habits of our population. ness among them. He, therefore, The poor feel raised in the scale of under all the circumstances of the rational and Christian relationship,
not merely by the tidings of the gos- one sense indebted to the malignant pel, but the practical illustration of it. but ignorant attacks of intidelity. They feel, by being visited in their Paine, in that evil but silly and lowly dwellings, that they are of shallow book called The Age of worth, and are felt and appreciated as Reason, had revived every exploded immortal men. Were our parochial and repelled objection; and the adcures less extensive, or rather were mirers of his principles, because the church extension fairly followed out lovers of his practices in this country and vigorously followed up, much of at that time, disseminated his wretched the moral evil which at present sophistries to a great extent among atilicts society would disappear. We that class in the community which are so pleased with the following was least likely to be able to unravel letter of the Dean to his parishioners, and reject the infidel charges. Nuthat we give it entire :
merous able and effective replies were “ Dean Graves is induced by present guisher of Paine was Bishop Watson,
given. The most prominent extincircumstances to take this mode of ex.
in his well-known Apology for the pressing to the Protestant parishioners
Bible. The Dean saw that a comof St. Mary's, bis sincere wish to cultivate with them that private and pastoral in
plete refutation had been given to tercourse which a clergyman, anxious all the blasphemer's assaults, and for the religious concerns of those who resolved to pass by his objections, are intrusted to his care, ought affection- and, by a broad and ample excursus, ately to maintain.
shew the solid foundation on which “ He has hitherto reposed with well- the whole Pentateuch reposes, and founded confidence on the zeal and ex.
the divine original which its contents ertions of the two exemplary clergymen indicate. The advantages of the in whose care he was so fortunate as to
position occupied by the Dean are find the parish placed ; but the sudden
immense. Paine and other infidels indisposition of both these valuable assistants at once has impressed him with
searched out those portions only that a strong sense of his own responsibility
could by any ingenuity be twisted for the effective discbarge of the pastoral
to their particular purposes, and duty, and impelled him in person to Watson and others in meeting them assure his respected Christian friends merely neutralised their objections, (amongst whom he ranks the family on and, by the very necessity of such whom he has now the pleasure to call), a warfare, they were precluded from that be will always be ready, when they adducing and fastening on those clear express a wish to that effect, to visit
and overwhelming proofs of inspirathem in sickness or sorrow, and by any
tion, from which the sceptic keeps at means in his power to assist in pro. moting personal and family religion,
the greatest possible distance. The whenever bis assistance is desired and
Dean was not thus shackled, and he is able to give it. And he trusts that,
therefore his treatise stands forth the on the next two Sabbaths appropriated
more triumphant. He leaves the exby our apostolic church to the celebration ternal evidence in the hands of others, of the holy communion, to which, as their who have ably discussed it, and conpastor, he would earnestly invite all his centrates his tine mind on the internal Christian friends, a full and devout at- chiefly. On the external evidence tendance on that sacred ordinance will Josephus, both personally and by shew that they do not disapprove or reference to other writers, furnishes disregard this respectful and serious ap
much valuable illustration. Euseplication of their faithful and affectionate friend and pastor,
Bius, in his Evangelical Preparation, “ Richard Graves."
also adduces varied and valuable
proofs. STILLING FLEET has shewn, But the ablest production of in his Origines Sacræ, the thorough Dean Graves, and that which, as coincidence that subsists between the we have already said, has conferred Scripture dates and those of heathen on his name its chief reputation, is nations; and the absolute necessity his Lectures on the Pentateuch. This of appealing to the Pentateuch for work has become a standard in every the only rational and philosophic clergyman's library. For this vigo- account of the creation, origin of sin, rous and learned analysis of the &c. Gale has shewn, by the most authenticity, excellence, and moral extensive induction, that all the literabeauty of the Pentateuch, we are in ture of the Gentiles, philosophic and
VOL. XXIV. NO. CXXXIX.
philologic, may be traced up to the Scriptures and the Jewish church. Grotius, Le Clerc, Faber, Sir William Jones, and other eminent names, have thrown much light on the external branch.
We think the sacred part of the Dean's disquisition peculiarly valuable. Ile shews the source and progress of idolatry by a historical induction. The immediate descendants of Noah felt the sublime and spiritual worship of their fathers too pure for their sensual practices. They, therefore, turned their minds to something palpable. They felt the sweet influences of sun, moon, and stars; and, in the first instance, believed that in adoring these, they adored the one supreme God that created them. This principle, once introduced, led them to see gods in the winds, in the fire, in the deep; and at last the air, the ocean, and the earth, were peopled with the fantastic gods of the human fancy; and “professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." No ordinary means seemed adequate to the repression of that idolatry which came in like a flood. A supernatural confusion of language broke up the attempt to render this idolatry fixed and permanent, and a supernatural election chose Abraham as the patriarch of one nation among many along the line of whose descendants a right creed and a holy worship were to be transmitted. Accordingly, the earliest lesson taught the patriarchs and impressed upon the minds of their nomad descendants was,
“ The Lord our God is one God."
The sublime name JEHOVAH, or “ I am that I am,” assumed by the God of Abraham, arrested the admiration of heathen philosophers, and stands still alone the combination of the purest faith and the sublimest philosophy. This conception, or rather possession, of one God so described, is a most overwhelming presumption that it was a supernal revelation.
The comparison instituted by our author between the wretched morality of the Gentiles and the pure and spiritual ethics of the Hebrews, furnishes another strong proof that it was a direct emanation from God. In Sparta theft was honourable, if cleverly done. Crimes revolting and
unutterable stain the names of those lands which are constantly set before us as models of social refinement. Nor were such crimes isolated acts, and perpetrated by individuals for whom legislation cannot be made responsible; the crimes found shelter under the laws of great legislators, and in the schools of illustrious philosophers. Compare with these the ennobling morality of the Jews; and may we not ask how it comes to pass, that the countries which originated and carried to perfection the fine arts were so utterly eclipsed in the definitions and principles of morality by a people almost utter strangers to sculpture, painting, and the arts? The Jews were companions for barbarians in every department of the belles lettres, but ineet for the fellowship of angels in their knowledge of every principle of morality, both in relation to God and man.
There is no accounting for this on any other hypothesis than the true one. Moses received the decalogue from Him of whose essential holiness it is a transcript.
In the moral law of the Hebrews every ceremony is vapid, unless accompanied with clean hands, and subservient to a great and spiritual truth; every sacrifice abomination, unless accompanied with repentance and restitution ; every fast and rite unacceptable to God, unless they who were most pre-eminent in both dealt their bread to the hungry, clothed the naked, and relieved the widow and the orphan.
“ From all this," observes Dr. Grares, “ I derive another presumptive argument for the divine authority of the Mosaic code; and I contend that a moral system thus perfect, promulgated at so early a period to such a people, and enforced by such sanctions as no human power could uudertake to execute, strongly bespeaks a divine original."
The Dean enters on the objection that has sometimes been adduced against the divine origin of the Pentateuch, – that it was a system restricted to one nation only, and that one of the least of the nations of the earth. This, it is contended, shews an arrangement unworthy of the God of all the families of the earth narrow and sectarian scheme. This objection is not of great weight. Every miracle, every demonstration of a divine power, operated on the
minds of those nations among whom tion with the captive Jews in Persia, was they were cast as chastisement to well acquainted with the Old Testament, themselves, but in mercy to the
and many rites were from thence introheathen. The Egyptians felt and
duced by him among the Persians, as acknowledged the power and supre
appears as well from the history of the macy of Jehovah; and some were no
creation and other things agreeing with doubt converted to the worship of the
Judaism, as from having inserted many
passages of David's writings into his true God when they surrendered to
books, his having uttered prophecies conJoshua, and became “ hewers of wood
cerning the Messiah, foretold and reand drawers of water." The Philis- vealed, though with some obscurity, in tines must have learned some high the Old Testament. But it was besides spiritual lessons from the wonders necessary that himself should have been which occurred in connexion with the favoured with a clearer, a more peculiar ark, and the judgments of which it
revelation, and have left that written was the symbol and the instrument of in his books for the Magi, who were to dealing against their god Dagon. Un
be led by a star to Christ, wben born in
Judea, since otherwise they could not der the reign of Solomon, the Queen
have known that, nor would they have of Sheba, and other remote idolaters,
come to Judea from a distant land. For received useful lessons. In Babylon these strangers understood this matter the long captivity was eminently better than the inhabitants of Bethlehem, useful to the despot and inhabitants or the king, or all the Jews who were of that haughty capital. Nebuchad- at once instructed and alarmed by this nezzar himself passed a decrce after evangelical information of the Magi. beholding the miraculous preserva
All which circumstances persuade us tion of the Hebrew youths :
that Zoroaster had a really divine re.
velation in this particular.” “ I (King Nebuchadnezzar) make a decree, That every people, nation, and On these words, which indicate so language, which speak any thing amiss clearly a transmission of sacred knowagainst the God of Shadrach, Meshach, ledge from the Jews to the Magi, the and Abed-nego, shall be cut in pieces,
Dean remarks :and their houses shall be made a dungbill; because there is no other god that “ On this last argument of Hyde I can deliver after this sort.”
would observe, that if Zoroaster was
acquainted with the prophetic writings, A remarkable instance of the carly
and communicated to his countrymen the dissemination of the truths of the
certain expectations of a Messiah, which unity and spirituality of the Godhead
he had from thence derived, ‘in whom is presented in the case of the Magian all the nations of the earth were to be or ancient Persian faith. After suc- blessed,' it is altogether unnecessary to cessive corruptions and reformations, suppose that he was favoured with any this ancient system was at last more
additional revelation. But the fact of thoroughly reformed by Zoroaster,
the visit of the Magi, which otherwise supposed to have been a contempo
seems unconnected with the other parts rary of Daniel. Hyde, in his Religio
of the Scripture history and difficult to Veterum Persarum, has the following
acconut for, is so naturally explained by
the supposition, that Providence bad exobservations on this subject :
tended to the Persians the knowledge of “ The books of Zoroaster are almost the prophetic writings; and in connexion strangers in Europe (unless, perhaps, with that dispensation which had selected they lie somewhere unknown); but some their nation out of which to raise for his of them relating to theology (that I may chosen people a temporal deliverance not appear to have made these assertions from the Babylonish captivity, and a without evidence) are in my possession, restorer of that temple where the Messialı written in an ancient language and cha- was to appear, bad (as it were in return) racter. I procured them from the East provided means for preparing them to by great labour and expense; and they receive the first tidings of that great aze, indeed, precious as gold. It were spiritual deliverer who was to admit to be wished that all the works of Zoro- them and all nations into the church of aster were drawn out of the darkness of God. This supposition seems to me to the Magians, and brought to light amongst explain so clearly the visit of the Magi, us; from which, undoubtedly, many and to combine this otherwise isolated things which are now unknown to the fact with the entire series of the divine European world would be discovered to dispensations, that I confess it gives ad. the advantage of the learned and in. ditional credibility to the fact that this quisitive. Zoroaster, from bis conversa- knowledge of the prophecies respecting
the Messiah had been communicated to the Persians either through Zoroaster or some other medium.”
In fact, many of the principal moral and historical facts of the Old Testament church and history are recorded in the writings of Zoroaster. We need not prove that Mahomet borrowed whatever of pure morality and just conceptions of Deity are in the Koran from the Old Testament Scriptures. Greece, Italy, Assyria, and Egypt, derived their purest light from Judea. It is true the “light shined in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not;" but this only demonstrates the necessity and wisdom of hedging in a peculiar nation by continuous miracles and mercies, and the superintendence of a theocracy. The nations saw, and heard, and felt every moral, intellectual, and miraculous motive; and the fact that they sank deeper into idolatry only proves that no corner of the earth had been bright, if an especial and unceasing miracle had not kept it so. To have put all the nations of the carth under this supernatural administration, would have been an utter alteration of the whole scheme of God's moral government and the entire subversion of the established course of nature.
Let it also be distinctly borne in mind that the whole Jewish dispensation was preparatory to that more glorious and universal scheme under which it it is our privilege to live. It ultimately unfolded this, when out of its darkest night the Sun of Righteousness arose never again to set. The Dean directs his attention at the close of his able and dispassionate work, to a consideration of the present state and future prospects of the Jews; and gathers from all that even in his day began to befall that remarkable race clearer and more conclusive proofs of the inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures. At the conclusion of his defence the Dean meets some of the more prominent objections. These are chiefly of a historical character. Instead of copying them, we may in prosccution of our author's vindication of the Pentateuch, refer as briefly as possible to some objections of a moral kind, which have been liberally adduced against the claims of that ancient work to be the word of God.
Many infidels have said of the curse pronounced upon the Serpent, “ Does it not seem a kind of paltry revenge on the part of God to have cursed the Serpent when he pronounced a curse upon guilty man ?" A simple reply to this is, Do we not find the very same thing occur in creation and Providence? The objection of the infidel is, that it was wrong in God to make the creature suffer in consequence of the guilty man; but if this be an argument against the God of revelation, it will tell with equal strength against the God of creation. For, suppose an incendiary set fire to a stable, and ten or twenty horses are destroyed, does not the very same apparent injustice occur? Or if a war begins between two nations, and the noble horse is destroyed in battle, do we not see the brutes there suffering in consequence of man's passion and revenge? If, then, it be an argument against the Pentateuch being a revelation from God, that it states the brutes to have been sentenced to suffer in consequence of man's guilt, it must be an argument against the creation being the work of God that you find animals there suffering in consequence of the same guilt.
It is objected that human passions are in Scripture ascribed to God; as, for instance, jealousy, hatred, anger, repentance, and such like. Our reply to this is, that most truths in the word of God are conveyed in figurative language. Ileaven is set forth by a glorious land, and a beauteous temple its access,—- by gates of pearl in bliss - by fruits that grow and streams that roll, harps that sound, and minstrels that play upon them. All this every one understands to be figurative language, needful to convey to man some idea of the exalted glory and felicity of that better land. In the same way God represents himself to man under the figures or symbols of human passions, not that man may believe God to be like himself, a creature liable to anger and to change, but that man may have a clearer conception of God's feelings towards injustice and crime. llence, when it is said that God is angry with the sinner, it simply denotes that lle disapproves of sin. When it is said that God is jealous, it simply denotes that he will