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Nares, Rev. R. Veracity of
the Evangelists demon
by F. Hemans
Roberts, Rev. P. Cambrian
Narrative of Robert Adams 190 Rochejaquelein, Memoires
de la Marquise de la 446, 558 Rogers, B. the Days of Harold, a Metrical Tale Russian Prisoner of War, by Kotzebue
FOR JULY, 1816.
ART. I. Three Sermons on the Doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, preached at the Cathedral Church of Salisbury, on Trinity Sunday, in the Years 1813, 1814, and 1815. By Robert Morres, M.A. Prebendary of Salisbury. 8vo. 52 pp. 2s. Parker, Oxford; Rivingtons, London. 1816. NOVELTY is always attractive; but on theological subjects it should be examined with care, and admitted with reserve. In these highly ingenious discourses there is certainly a striking degree of novelty; but as it does not regard the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity, nor, strictly speaking, the evidence of the doctrine, but merely the mode in which, as it is here suggested, that evidence was communicated to the world, whether the reader is or is not satisfied with the hypothesis proposed, he needs not to be alarmed with it. The doctrine itself remains as it was before, irrefragably founded, as has been often shewn and seldom with greater ability than in these sermons, on the clear and infallible word of God.
The principle laid down by Mr. Morres is briefly this: that utility to man being the motive by which the Almighty has regulated all his communications to mankind, therefore the declaratious of his will, and particularly the revelations of his own Divine nature, were gradual, as men were prepared and were able to receive them; that, consequently, in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, intimations of a plurality of persons in the Godhead, rather than explicit declarations of the doctrine of the Trinity in unity, were to be expected; and that in the promulgation of the Gospel, the mysteries of the Divine nature would in like manner be revealed gradually, intimated in general, rather than asserted, by our Lord and the first writers and first preachers of the Gos pel, but explicitly declared by the latest, as by St. John in the preface
VOL. VI. JULY, 1816.
preface to his Gospel, and St. Paul in his preface to the Hebrews.
But the merit as well as the importance of these discourses demands, that we should give a short abstract or analysis of them. The first, on the celebrated text quoted by our Lord from Moses, Mark xii. 29, has for its subject that foundation of The second, all religion, "The Lord our God is one Lord." John i. 1, 2. is on the divinity of the Word or Son of God. The third, John xvi. 18. on the Divinity of the Holy Ghost.
In the introduction to Sermon 1. it is observed, that articles of faith have always been thought necessary in the Christian Church, for the admission of converts from other religions, and for the purpose of education; but they should first, be clear and unquestionable; secondly, should relate only to things of moment; and, thirdly, when any essential doctrine has been perverted, they should contain a denial of the errors concerning it. This third rule, not founded in the necessity of the thing itself, but originating in the circumstances of the times, fully justifies the two later of the three Creeds adopted in our Liturgy and the Articles of Religion, in which are many particulars of this sort, in opposition to erroneous tenets which have prevailed.
In confirmation of the principle assumed of a gradual revelation, several instances are adduced to shew, that this was the orThus the dinary method of the Divine communication to man. mystery, as St. Paul calls it, that the Gentiles should be partakers of the Gospel, was not in other ages made known unto the sons of men, as it was now revealed unto him and the other Apostles; (Ephes. iii. 3-6.) nor was the spiritual nature of the Gospel so plainly described by the prophets, as to prevent the Jews from the error of expecting a temporal kingdom of the Messiah; and many truths were withheld from the Apostles by our Lord during his ministry, because, as he said, they were not able to bear them.
"In exact proportion as religion itself is momentous," so must it be to know the right object of religious adoration, that we may neither offend by omitting honour where it is due, nor by giving it where it is not due. It is vain therefore to say, that the catholic doctrine of the unity in Trinity and Trinity in unity, is not, if it is true, before all things, in order and importance, necessary to salvation.
Of this doctrine, that part which has been fully revealed from the beginning is, that there is one God. But this being declared solely in opposition to idolatry, to an acknowledgment of false gods and spurious objects of worship, it has no relation at all, much less opposition, to the equally catholic doctrine of the