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his translator, would make them very scanty indeed. We are not certain, however, whether, on many neutral points, they might not, even though composed in a somewhat later age, be still safely regarded as the repositories of very early traditionary information.
Great, however, as is the obscurity in which what may be esteemed fixed and certain historical records must leave any one who seeks to write an accurate history, or to picture to himself any thing like a graphic developement of the state of society during the age to which we refer, our curiosity is certainly in an equal degree excited by all that we do know. No one who puts together in his mind for a moment the elements on which the new order of things was working, and the ferment in which the human mind was at the same time agitated, not only between contending religions but contending philosophies, literatures and political institutions, can help feeling how many topics there are of the highest interest and curiosity which have only inferences and analogies for their elucidation, and which it is in vain now to expect to develope historically.
Is not this, we have some times asked, that sort of state of things which it is justifiable and desirable to endeavour to exhibit in a form wherein the details can be filled up in the best way which analogy and deduction can afford ;-wherein a personal interest can be given to the history ;-wherein the scattered lights, which appear here and there in various quarters, can, no doubt sometimes hypothetically, but still on reasonable and probable grounds of inference, be concentrated and applied ;—and wherein the operation of principles, prejudices, customs and opinions to which the mind is now a total stranger, can be most vividly exemplified and displayed, so as to form what the mind wants to form, an entirely new picture? We have seen, in the “Pilgrimage of Helon,” what an interest can be given to the feelings and social customs of the Jews; how what would otherwise be tedious and confined to the learned, as mere points of learned research, can, by a judicious application to actual life, become highly interesting to all, and can be fixed on the memory. In a story, published a few years ago, called Valerius, (though much more of a story than is at all necessary for the purpose,) the actual collision between Christian and Heathen principles at Rome, in the earliest ages of Christianity, was well and strongly drawn ; and why might not a more useful, and certainly a more interesting, result arise from a similar developement of the frame of society in the East;-say in the latter part of the first and the beginning of the second century?
What we should contemplate is not a work of fiction, for the mere purpose of interest, as a history; but some personal narrative as a frame into which to work a connected view of the rise and progress of the new opinions, in their varied operations upon what would be shewn to be the elements in which they had to work. The state of the Jews, the Greeks, and the Eastern nations, their sects, opinions and habits, and the moral, political or philosophic causes which would contribute to hasten or retard their conversion; the difference between the Jew and Gentile branches of the early churches, and the progress towards their amalgamation; the state of the Jewish settlers in the various cities of the empire, particularly as compared with the state of opinion and literature of their brethren in Judea, and the mode by which they became the channels of operation upon the population of those cities; the manners and influence of the Essenes, upon either hypothesis as to their particular opinions; the state and practical influence of the prevalent systems of Heathen philosophy; the general literary and philosophic activity of these times; their predisposition to the reception of new topics of inquiry, and the practical influence of this state of
curiosity and inquiry on the Christian faith, together with the degree in which good or ill proceeded from the endeavour to compromise and reconcile the new opinions with the retention of philosophic habits of speculation; the process by which speculation became interwoven in doctrine, and error in the latter, to be treated as crime; the degree in which the Christians in their sacerdotal observances imitated the Jewish rites ; the causes and intrigues which led to the treatment first of Christianized Jews, and then of Christians in general, as political rebels by the Romans; the character and history of some of the earliest fathers, and the caution with which their accounts of the professors of rival opinions are always to be received; the habits and ecclesiastical discipline of the early Christian professors; the degree of diffusion among them of the canonical and apocryphal books, and the degree in which their use for the purposes of worship was affected by analogy to that of the Hebrew Scriptures ; the early Christian libraries and literary institutions of which we have scattered notices;-all these are topics on which much information could be given, and given in such a form as to fix a real and faithful general impression on the mind. What we often feel in pursuing inquiries and investigating facts arising out of a state of society utterly opposed to what we have any previous notion or conception of, is not merely to learn facts, but to know how to apply them-how the general frame of society affected, or was affected by, them; and no greater mistakes have, in our opinion, arisen in early ecclesiastical history, than in confounding states, circumstances and ideas, which external relations render totally dissimilar. We should wish to see drawn, in the history and probable progress of an inquiring and observing mind in the age to which we allude, as accurate and graphic a detail as history will furnish. That a good deal must, of course, be filled up by the judgment and conception of the writer, reasoning from the analogies and deductions which he would draw from scanty materials, must be admitted; but the necessity of this inferential and analogic filling up of the picture, at the same time that it increases the difficulty, shews the importance of the design to a fair and perfect view of the state of society. As to doctrine, the periods we should propose would, we conceive, offer less of difficulty than might be at first imagined; we should not wish to see such a work take much of a controversial character, and one result of the impression which we should expect to derive from it would be, a conviction of the insignificant position which is occupied in early history by points that afterwards distracted the church,— of their inapplicableness to the early state of the Christian communities,—and of the necessity, therefore, for the conclusion that they owe the very grounds of their existence to any thing rather than primitive principles.
The period we should be inclined to select for the narrative, would be from the first siege of Jerusalem, A. D. 70, a sufficiently remote period to avoid any irreverent collision with the apostolic writings, to its final destruction, A. D. 137. Of one thing we are certain, that if the object which we contemplate should fail, of fixing in an engaging and connected form, a great deal of matter which is necessary to right conceptions, but which now forms the dry burden of scholastic theology; still an opportunity would be offered of
some of the noblest portraitures of self-devotion, piety, simplicity and virtue ; of the practical effects of the beautiful precepts of the gospel in softening and humanizing the mind; of inculcating many a practical lesson of humility and simplicity in faith and practice, and many a warning against the evil consequences which have resulted from adding to divine truth the traditions and commandments of men.
ART. IV.- The Life of Hugo Grotius ; book.” But Mr. Butler adds, (why he
with brief Minutes of the Civil, Ec- selects this book in particular we do not clesiastical and Literary History of exactly see,) “ To Dr. Larduer's Letter the Netherlands. By Charles Buts on the Logos' they shew universal reler, Esq. London. 1826.
He speaks freely, and as such a man We must confess, that with all our (who is proscribed by Protestants for respect for Mr. Butler, and admiration the peculiar uncharitableness of his of the spirit of Christian charity display- church) may be supposed to speak, of ed in every thing he writes, we do not the bigotry and tyranny of the Calvinist see that such books as this on Grotius, party against the Remonstrants at the and a preceding volume on Erasmus, are Synod of Dort. Let our evangelic noof much service, or possess much inte. popery mea recollect that Protestaut direst. If he designed to give us, in the vines there held, that “ if a persou obform of an interesting manual, a rapid stinately refused to submit to the just outline of the characters of these great decisions of the church, he might be men, some other mode should surely be proceeded against in two ways; the mapursued than that of tacking together gistrate might coerce him, and the churck dry abstracts of common biographical might publicly excommunicate him, as a works which are in every body's hands. violator of the law of God." What is wanted, for such a purpose as Mr. Butler calls John Hales, of Eaton, these books should answer, if they are " the founder of that splendid school, the of any use at all, is rather the spirit, the school of English divines, who were afphilosophy of the lires and works of their terwards called Latitudinarians." heroes, than a technical series of dates An appendix contains some account of and events commencing A. D. 800, and the different projects for the reunion of duly deduced to A. D. 1815.
Christians, particularly those attempted We shall content ourselves with se. by Bossuet, Leibnitz, Molanus, &c. lecting a few of Mr. Butler's occasional With all Mr. Butler's zeal in the cause thoughts on topics of interest. In giving of religious charity we do not see how an account of the forinularies, confes- he can seriously expect that a wion, sions of faith, &c., of different churches, which should answer any purpose, can he observes,
ever be effected between real Protestants " That the Roman Catholic Church and real Roman Catholics.
We will should propound a formulary of her faith, state what Mr. Butler throws out as a enlarge this formulary from time to time, sort of project; but does he really think as further interpretation is wanted, and that any dogmatic church, whether she euforce acquiescence in it by spiritual call herself of England or of Rome, can censures, is consistent with her priuci- ever, as a church, meet another on such ples. Whether such a pretension can be ground as he lays down, without one or avowed, without inconsistency, by any the other, if not both, in fact, abandouProtestant Church, has been a subject of ing their churchship altogether? The much discussion. 'lu point of fact, how. grand practical stumbling-block of disciever, no Protestant Church is without pline and church authority he passes by her formulary, or abstaius from enforcing altogether. The result of such an union it by temporal provisious and spiritual as Mr. Butler's would throw on one side censures. To enforce their formularies all the objects of agreement at which by civil penalties is inconsistent with
the former negociators were striving, and principles of every Christian church. All amount to nothing more than what perchurches, however, have so enforced, haps may some time or another be and have blamed others for so enforcing arrived at
, namely, an uniou of rival them.”
After an enumeration of the symbolic rity, not an abolitiou of those differences books and creeds of all other sects, the of opiuion which it would be useless Unitarian will, perhaps, be very well conceal.
Sectarian divisions, and the satisfied to read
peculiar convictions which occasion them, “ The Unitarians have no symbolic would and must remain the same ; pero
fectly harmless indeed, if the State did there is a real difference among Chris.. not make them otherwise by interfering, tians, are not so numerous as the verbal and iuterfering moreover, as it always disputes and extraneous matter in which has done, to give importance to what controrersy is too often involved, make Mr. Butler's process will show to be the them generally thought. 200-essentials, instead of the essentials, “ Still, some articles will remain, the of religion.
belief of which one denomination of " The first point to be considered by Christians will consider to be the obthose who meditate the project of re- ligation of every Christian, and which ouion, is, its practicability. Those who other Christian denominations will conare disposed to contend for the affirma- demn. On some of these a speedy retive will observe the number of impor- union of Christians is not to be extaat articles of Christian faith in which pected; but, to use the language of Mr. all Christians are agreed, and the pro- Vansittart in his excellent Letter to the portionably small number of those in Rev. Dr. Marsh and John Walker, Esq., which any Christians disagree.
“There is an iuferior degree of reunion, “All Christians believe, 1st, that there more within our prospect, and yet, peris one God—2nd, that he is a Being of haps, as perfect as human infirmity infinite perfection-3d, that he directs allows us to hope for, wherein, though all things by his providence-4th, that it all differences of opinion should not be is our duty to love him with all our extinguished, yet they may be refined hearts, and our neighbour as ourselves from all party prejudices and iuterested 5th, that it is our duty to repent of the sius views ; - so softened by the spirit of We commit-6th, that God pardons the charity and mutual concession, and so truly peuitent-7th, that there is a future controlled by agreement on the leading state of rewards and punishments, when principles and zeal for the general inall mankind shall be judged according terests of Christianity, that no sect or to their works—8th, that God sent his persuasion should be tempted to make Sou into the world to be its Saviour, religion subservieut to secular views, or the author of eternal salvation to all to employ political power to the preju that obey him-9th, that he is the true dice of others.' - 'If we canuot reMessiah—10th, that he taught, worked concile all opinions, let us reconcile all miracles, suffered, died, and rose again, hearts."" as is related in the four Gospels-11th, that he will hereafter make a secoud Art. V. - Cæsar and God: a Serappearance on the earth, raise all man
mon preached in the Parish Church kind from the dead, judge the world in of St. Martin in Leicester, before righteousness, bestow eterval life on the
the Worshipful the Mayor and sirtuous, and punish the workers of iniquity.
Corporation. By Edward Thomas In the belief of these articles, all
Vaughan, M. A., Vicar of St. MarChristians, the Roman Catholic, and the
tin's, Leicester. 1826. Oriental churches, all the members of The Corporation of Leicester made the Church of England, all Lutherans, themselves sufficiently notorious in the Calvinists, Socinians, and Unitarians, are late general election, and the clergy agreed. In addition to these, each divi were equally remarkable by the eagersiop and subdivision of Christians has its ness with which they lent themselves own tenets. Now let each settle, among to a spirit which would have done hoits owo members, what are the articles pour to the best days of High Church of belief peculiar to them, which, in and Tory ascendancy. Mr. Vaughan's their cool, deliberate judgment, they con very
able and excellent sermon,” is a sider as absolutely necessary that a person fit sample of the tastes of the patrons should believe, to be a member of the and of the spirit of their tools. Wishing Church of Christ ; let these articles be to chronicle the age faithfully, and being dirested of all foreign matter, and ex therefore bound to exhibit some of its pressed in perspicuous, exact, and une harsh as well as favourable characteris. quirocal terms; and above all, let each tics, we shall content ourselves with a distioction of Christians earnestly wish few specimens of this evangelical dito find an agreement between them- vine's reasoning and eloquence. selves and their fellow.christians. The “ As God is no anarchist, and man result of a discussion conducted on this not only evil but specially a rebel,-an plan, would most assuredly be, to con- uuwilling, discontented, turbulent subvince all Christians that the essential ject,- he must have the Ruler's eye upon articles of religious credence in which him continually. As he believes not
what he sees not, that eye must be a But the climax of all is the happy visible one; eren the Jews with God's illustration of Mr. Vaughan's most exking avowedly at their head, and set out cellent patrons', the Corporation of Leito them as bearing that office in all their cester's, share in the attributes of this ordinances, called for a king as though divine power, whereby they too they had not one, because they saw not made out to be the representatives upon one. As the reproduced Head cannot, earth of the second person in the Tri. either in his pr tinated or realized nity. elevation, be of the same form with the * Now, therefore, what remains, but as yet undissolved material of the world that I solemnly commend this subject to which he has earned and received, and your most serious attention ? in ad. cannot therefore be visible, or in any dressing the mayor and corporation of wise sensible to sensible substances; as this ancient and loyal borough, as a prehis life must be different, his presence paration for the annual election of their reserved, his communications select; he chief magistrate, I do a work of Cæsar must exercise his headship by a Vice- and of God. Cæsar must have his subgerent. There must be à Cæsar, in ordinates, even as God has his Cæsar. short, a sensible head of rule, in the There are many magistracies, but one person of either one or many. Neces- magistrate ; he who wears the crown, sary government implies restraint and the chief of the visible, but the hidden imposition, not indulgence and flattery, sceptre-bearer, God's delegated chief of as its characteristic properties. The all. What subject then so suitable to the Universal King must universally be the occasion as that which gives origin to ultimate object of rule and justice, that the occasion ; God's transfer of his power all may know, own aud serve him. to the second person of his substance, Here is seen the just and unalienable made empty, made a creature; who alliance between the Church and the being unseen, must be represented by State ; ridiculed as it is by the profane, seen ones; to whom, therefore, by his perverted by the selfish. The State cx Constitutor's will, he transmits a porists for the Church. The Church over tion of his authority ; to Cæsar variously shadows the State," &c.
divided; to you, my honoured sirs, as Having settled the origin of monar well as to the king !" chical power, the preacher descends to particulars, and makes out, we take it for granted he will admit, not ouly the Art. VI.--A Sermon preached at the king's title to the money his subjects Ordination of His Grace the Lord pocket, but, by parity of reasoning, to all Archbishop of York, held at Bishopsthe sign-posts and other subjects of the
thorpe, July 2, 1826. By the Rev. emblazonments of his person :
William Hett, A. M., of Jesus Col“ When you see your king's head
lege, Cambridge. London, Rivingupon a crown-piece surmounted with his style, what does this declare to you?
tons. 1827. What but that the current coin, every ALTHOUGH as Presbyterians we may sovereign, every penny, is truly and be allowed to wonder that the office of properly his ? Why is it not his, if it exhorting the candidates for ordination derires all its value from him ? I cau to the discharge of their clerical duties, not give value to that which is not mine, should be allotted to one who was him. and it is plain the king's head gives its self only about to receive that full mea. value to that paltry substance which has sure of the Holy Ghost which was to worth to procure all the necessaries of confer on him the rank of a priest, yet life for me. What is it without his we must admit that Mr. Hett has acstamp; and what right has he to stamp? quitted himself of his task with great Evidently his right is his supremacy, his ability, and addressed much excellent power of saying, I will : and where that advice to those who, like himself, were power is exerted, it is manifested to be. about to euter on the solemu duties of a All the currency of the kingdom, then, minister of the gospel. It has been bis is the king's; and if you or I possess á object, he says, to shew them “what shilling, it is because the king has giveu ought in these times to be the habits and it us ; and if we possess a piece of pa- general behaviour of a clergyman who per, whether from the Government Bank is solicitous, without giving iuto a spirit or from a private company, which fetches bordering on favaticism, to discharge the something, it is because the king has work of the ministry with fidelity and given the issuers leave to use their cre carnestness; and to uphold the credit of dit."
the National Church by a couduct seemly