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nance in question a declaration of proficiency, is grossly to misrepresent our sentiments. It is true, we require as a prerequisite, scriptural views of repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ; but these are among the first principles of the religion of the New Testament. In insisting on the use of the sacred rite, none can be more explicit than we, in adverting to it, as introductory to those more special privileges and blessings by which only the believer can become proficient. We do indeed glory in baptism as a sign of spirituality, not a seal, which is in our estimation an inappropriate term. Infant sprinkling or pouring has always appeared revolting to our minds, not only as a carnal, but as an irrational ceremony. Nor do we hesitate to affirm, that this is the mill-stone about the neck of Paedobaptism which will sink it into the depths of the sea, when the church shall behold brighter days of purity and peace.
It is astonishing, since these Reviewers are so copious in attempting to expose the arrogance of Mr. Cox, they should not have referred to his bold daring, in calling in question the accuracy of Mr. Ewing as a Greek translator. To us it appears', with all the clearness of mathematical demonstration, the lexicographer is mistaken. We shall close our account with these Reviewers by shewing why we think so, though not without remarking, that they who could advance such unfair statements as those. t» which we have adverted, with others which we could easily mention, cannot be thought of being much in the habit of giving their understandings a holiday. Instead of allowing them a free excursion, they act a more cruel part, dolus like, "they confine them in chains and in a prison."
But one word with Mr. Ewing. It is not often the case, that the precise meaning of a term is so accurately defined as is a-nixim in the passage cited from Aristotle. As well from the nature of the critic's subject, which is the analysis of a sentence into its component parts, as from his own illustration, may it be confidently affirmed that the strict and proper meaning of imixiitn is element or letter: to which it maybe added, that it is uniformly so translated in the numerous passages in which it occurs in Harris's Notes to his Hermes. Whence it is most certain, that every
word has the same number of roots as letters of which it is composed: for example, pop has three, and poptizo seven. Again: accordingtoournorthern friend, and even to the Stagyrite philosopher too, if this translation be correct, the Iroot of a word is at best only a significant sound. But to borrow a quotation from the author of the Philosophical Enquiry concerning Universal Grammar: "To language a meaning or signification is essential." »It not only addresses itself to the function of hearing, it draws forth the exo.cise of the understanding. In not attending to this distinction, Mr. Ewing has given quite a new aspect to the present controversy. We have at length learned, that the church has for many centuries been thrown into a state 'of convulsion by a strife about sound, rather than of sense. But as neither he nor his brethren are likely to concede to this, we are at a loss to conceive how he or they can fail to allow the translation referred to, as most unfortunate, and that a root must at least be a word, and that word a certain and significant meaning. «
BLASPHEMY NOT COGNIZABLE BY THE MAGISTRATE.
In the last number of the Baptist Magazine, I find an article entitled, "Blasphemy cognizable by the civil magistrate." It is to be regretted, that the writer of that article did not set out with defining the term "blasphemy" with precision and accuracy; telling us what conies under that denomination, and what does not. Had he done this, we could have better appreciated the value of his labours, and should have been prepared to say how far we agree with him in his conclusion, and where we demur. But leaving this matter, as he has done, totally unexplained, he has effected nothing to purpose. The learned Dr. Campbell has investigated the import of this Greek term, at great length, in his Preliminary Dissertations, Diss, ix. part ii. He sets out with telling us, that "/Sxao-tfiijuiae properly denotes calumny, detraction, reproachful, or abusive language against whomsoever it be vented." Now admitting this to be a just definition, I ask J. I. whether he means to plead that every thing which comes under this description is "cognizable by the civil magistrate?" Dr. Campbell goes on to >emark, that "the Greek term and its conjugates, are in the New Testament very often applied to reproaches not aimed against God;" and he refers to more than twenty texts of Scripture in which that is the case; he also notices, that in one passage of Scripture, a reproachful charge brought even against the devil, is called xpuris BKaaQri/uxs, so that it seems the devil may be blasphemed! and the Doctor adds, that "the word comprehends all verbal abuse, against whomsoever uttered, God, angel, man, or devil." Is it meant, then, that the magistrate should take cognizance of all these things, and inflict punishments accordingly? but if not, what is it that J. I. is disputing about? Until he explain himself distinctly on this point, and fix the line of demarcation between such acts of blasphemy as he considers to be " cognizable by the civil magistrate;"and such as are not, he is evidently fighting with his own shadow. It was this vague use of the term that led Milton to ask and answer, "What shall then be done to blasphemy?— Them I would first exhort not thus to terrify and pose the people with a Greek word; but to teach them better what it is, being a most usual and common word in that language, to signify any slander, any malicious or evil speaking, whether against God or man, or any thing to good belonging."
But, perhaps, I shall be told that the meaning of J.I. is obvious enough; the blasphemy which he would have punishable by the civil magistrate is that which immediately relates to God; it consists in denying his providence, and venting contumelious reproaches against him; and that this is manifest -from the quotations he has made from the writings of Locke, Watts, and Gill. These are certainly great authorities, and their names deserve respect; but when they are adduced to prove that "the authority of the civil magistrate is exercised legitimatelyin discountenancing and suppressing impiety and irreligion,"
Plea for Christianity in India. "I have observed with-pain, Sir, of late years, a notion of toleration entertained even by some who would be thought its firmest advocates, which tends not only to abridge, but to subvert it. They have no objection to Christians of any denomination enjoying their own opinions, and, it may be, their own worship; but they must not
I feel constrained to pause, and to ask, what consequences are likely to result from this principle were I to admit it? The civil magistrate, it seems, is to be the sole arbiter as to what speech or writing comes under the denomination of "impiety and irreligion;" and in him is vested the power of suppressing and punishing the authors and venders of such things. Some light maybe thrown on this question by considering, that the religion of this country was once Paganism—it is now Christianity—it may, in another century, be Mahoinetanism. Shall a Pagan magistrate have the same power vested in him that we allow to one who professes Christianity? If so, it will become his duty to suppress the circulation of the Bible, and put down all societies that are formed for the spread of Christianity, and for a very obvious reason—the Bible blasphemes the Pagan deities—it even affirms that "they are no gods which are made with hands,"—that "all the gods of the nations are vanity," &c. &c. See, then, to what we are reduced by allowing the civil magistrate the right of exercising his authority for the discountenancing and suppression of impiety and irreligion; since these latter terms will be found to shift sides according to the creed of the magistrate, and that which is an act of piety in one, will become an act of impiety in another.
Indeed this disputed point has been placed in so luminous a point of view by the late Mr. Fuller, in his "Apology for Christian Missions," that it Burprises me that Mr. Ivimey should have overlooked it, or seeing it, that he should persist in reasoning against it. To make the argument apparent even to Mr. Ivimey's capacity, 1 shall place in parallel columns Mr. Fuller's Plea for the Propagation of Christianity in India, and then mutatis mutandis, by substituting the word Deist for Christian, and Deism for Christianity, it will be seen how the very same plea may be urged by a Deist in England; thus leaving Mr. Ivimey on the horns of a dilemma!
Plea for Deism in England. "I have observed with pain, Sir, of late years, a notion of toleration entertained even by some who would be thought its firmest advocates, which tends not only to abridge, but to subvert it. They have no objection to Deists or Freethinkers of any description enjoying theirown opinions, and, it may be, their own worship; but they must
be allowed to make proselytes. Such appear to be the notions of Mr. Twining and his friends. They do not propose to persecute the Christians in India, provided they would keep their Christianity to themselves; but those who attempt to convert others are to be exterminated. Sir, I need not say to you that this is not toleration, but persecution. Toleration is a legal permission not only to enjoy our own principles unmolested, but to make use, of all the fair means of persuasion to recommend them to others. The former is but little more than might be enjoyed in countries the most distinguished by persecution; for few would wish to interrupt men so long as they kept their religion to themselves. Yet this is the whole of what some would allow, both in the 'East and West Indies. In former times, unbelievers felt the need of toleration for themselves; and then they generally advocated it on behalf of others; but of late, owing perhaps to the increase of their numbers, they have assumed a loftier tone. Now, though for political reasons, all men must be allowed to follow their own religion, yet they must not aim at making proselytes. Men who have no belief in the Christian Religion, may be expected to have no regard for it; and where this is the case, the rights of conscience will be but little respected."—Fuller's Works, vol. iii. p. 273.
I submit this comparison to the consideration of Mr. Ivimey, and shall be glad to know upon what principles he can vindicate the reasoning of Mr. Fuller, and at the same time plead for the right of the civil magistrate to crush, by the strong arm of the law, the exertions of Deists to propagate their opinions. I am, Sir, A Friend To Consistency.
Nov. 18, 182*.
To the Editor of the New Evan. Magazine. Sir,
As your Journal is always open to every fair and candid enquiry, I hope you will afford me an opportunity through the medium of its columns, the only one I can have, of proposing a few difficulties which I am anxious to get rid of respecting the Baptist Magazine. You are well aware, Sir, that as often as the end of the year returns upon us, we are importuned to use our most strenuous exertions in order to promote the circulation of that Journal, and for this most important reason,—because the profits of it are devoted to the relief of the Widows and Orphans of Baptist Ministers. Sir, I admit the full force of the plea, I think the object excellent;
not be allowed to make proselytes. Such appear to be the notions of Mr. Ivimey and his friends. They do not propose to persecute the Deists of this country, provided they would keep their Deism to themselves ; but those who attempt to convert others are to be exterminated. Sir, I need not say to you that this is not toleration, but persecution. Toleration is a legal permission not only to enjoy our own principles unmolested, but to make use of all the fair means of persuasion to recommend them to others. The former is but little more than might be enjoyed in countries the most distinguished by persecution; for few would wish to interrupt men so long as they kept their Deistical principles to themselves. Yet this is the whole of what some would allow, both in England and Scotland. In former times, Christians felt the need of toleration for themselves; and then they generally advocated it on behalf of others: but of late, owing perhaps to the increase of their numbers, they have assumed a loftier tone. Now, though for political reasons, all men must be allowed to follow their own religion, yet they must not aim at making proselytes. Men who have no belief in the Christian Religion, may be expected to have no regard for it; and where this is the case, the rights of conscience will be but little respected."
but I wish to have more satisfaction than I am at present possessed of, that the whole of the profits of the work are really devoted to that object. At this distant part of the country, we cannot be expected to be very well informed about the actual state of matters relating to any of the monthly publications; but I have been credibly assured, that the Baptist Magazine can boast of its Associated Joint Stock Company of Proprietors, consistingof thirty members, each holding a ten guineas share. As these three hundred guineas have, I believe, never been wanted, they of course have constituted a stock or fund, bearing interest to the proprietors. Now, what I wish to know is, whether any part of the profits of the Magazine has been added to this stock, or funded property, or whether the entire proceeds of the Magazine is annually distributed among the Widows and Orphans. Excuse me, Sir, if I add, that I am somewhat jealous on this point. I have heard it hinted, that among the proprietors of the Baptist Magazine there are some moneygetting Priests, who would have no scruple to divide the Widow's mite with them. I think I know what the Maga zine should produce; but if the-sum announced from time to time on the wrapper constitute the whole amount of what finds its way into the pockets of the Widows, I am certain a great proportion of it must be diverted to some other object.
When I consider the sacrifices we are called to make for the support of this Journal—a Journal which compromises the character of the denomination, and which every man of sense is ashamed of, I do think the country has a right to know how the fruits of their liberality and self-denial are disposed of; and I hope its conductors will come forwards with an explicit avowal of the truth. Let them state to us what is the present amount of the funded property connected with the Baptist Magazine, and we can then easily draw the inference. I am, Mr. Editor,
Your well wisher.
JAverpoolj Sept, 1824.
P. S_ This letter has lain upon our hands two months, during which time we have been debating what use we should make of it. Sometimes we thought of handing it to the Editors of the Baptist Magazine 5 but in this we were checked by reflecting, that we could not take a more effectual method to prevent the attainment of the object which our correspondent has in view. We concluded, therefore, to give it publicity : fiat justicia, ruat caelum!
I am encouraged by the letter which appeared in the last number of the New Evangelical Magazine, signed, "A Woman of Kent," to hope that you will favour your readers with a list of moral and religious books, suitable for young men in the middle classes of Society. I am the more induced to solicit this favour at your hands, from having almost invariably purchased my books upon the recommendations contained in your Reviews, and seldom felt a disappointment. I beg most respectfully to tender you my thanks for the information I derive from a perusal of your Magazine and other works, and sincerely hoping the Divine blesssing may attend your labours,
I remain, your obliged, &x. A Young Mai. P. S. At the present moment, the only answer we can give to this friendly correspondent, is to refer him to the ProSpectus of our new Work for an expla
nation of our purpose and intention, should we be favoured with life and health to carry them into effect. In that case he may be assured that his requests hall not be neglected.
ON THE RECENT IMPRISONMENT OF SOME
ZEALOUS INDIVIDUALS FOR PREACHING
THE GOSPEL. ** Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteous
nets'1 sake.—Matt. v. 10. ** Yet if any man suffer as a Christian let him not be
ashamed"—! Pet. iv. 16. I Take the sacred volume, and 1 read,
Bless'd are the sufFrers in a holy cause; Who groan in bonds, or painful stripes, or bleed.
Nor yet have violated righteous laws; Their crime, that they with dauntless hearts oppose
The prince of hell in bis malignant sway; And choose to pass thro' floods of bitter woes.
Rather than sin's tyrannic powV obey,
And heedless cast their souls and tieav'n away* Thus Abel, second born of human kind,
Meekly by Gain's unnat'ral blow expired: His flesh, the first to native dust resigned.
His spirit gain'd the mansion be desir'd. Thus many a holy man, by God inspired,
Ou earth deem'd worthless and unfit to live, PossessM a heart with beav'nly courage fir*d.
Nor wish'd by sin to purchase a reprieve,
But view'd the recompense which God would give. Oh! who can reckon up th' illustrious train,
That trod the path of suffering to the skies? Or tell how they werefetler'd, rack'd, and slain,
Who scornM in death this world of vanities? They knew a brighter morn will cheer their eyes,
When time shall cease, and nature's self expire; Then from their dust enraptur'd they shall rise,
Amidst the terrors of the genVat fire,
When Zion's foes shall meet th' avenging ire. Ah! who are these, arrayM in robes so bright?
Thou know'st, replied the prophet of the Lord, These, said the Elder, are the sons of light,
Whose firm adherence to their Saviour's word Kindled the fire of sev'nfold healed spite
In men, who Christ and piety abborr'd: Thro1 pangs and tribulations, sighs and groans.
They nobly pass'd, and kept their garments while, Wash'd in that blood which all their guilt atoues, Aud now they rest on their eternal thrones. Ye faithful men, who have not shunn'd to trace
The glorious path, and tell the world arouod Of that salvation by redeeming grace,
Amid th1 illustrious triumph shall be found: Fear not the gospel's mighty trump to sound;
And tell each adversary to his face, That Jesus claims the world's remotest bound—
He must be kuown and serv'd in ev'ry place. And quickly shall his mightiest foes confound, When his descending glories hover round. Amazing period! when the Lord shall come,
Aud shake the pow'rs of heav'n wilb wild alarm. Gather the saints to their celestial home,
A nd chase the sinners with his lifted arm! Where are the men who dar'd his saints to barm?
Who persecuted and in bonds detain*d r Behold them at the dreadful bar arraign'd.
Their streugth departs—upon the rocks they call, Hide us from Him—whose honours we profan'd, Yeeverlasting mountains on us fall— His wrath is come, his vengeful thunders roll! OU! persecutor, bear the dreadful doom!
The persecuted grieves, and prays for Ihee;
Turn from thy deadly sin, to Jesus flee,
Mr. R. Huldane's Letter to M. J. J. Cheneviire, SfC.
(Concluded from page Ml.)
It is now high time that we resumed our account of Mr. Haldane's interesting volume, and brought the article to^a close.
In the extract which we made from it on a former occasion, we gave our readers a specimen of his manly defence of his principles and conduct while at Geneva, where his labours have been eminently successful in planting anew the standard of the cross, and sowing that seed which has already produced a field that is ripening unto harvest. The sentiments formerly maintained, and so ably advocated in that city by the illustrious Calvin, are once more spreading among its citizens, and a Christian Church is formed, not on the Presbyterian, but Congregational plan of government. By letters which we have lately received from the Continent, we are informed that this church is rapidly on the increase: its number of members, we believe, now exceeds one hundred, and the attention of many among them has been lately called to the subject of baptism, on which point a spirited controversy is going oil there. All these things shew that a spirit of enquiry is set on foot in Geneva,—that the attention of men is awakened to the Scriptures, from which the happiest results may be expected.
Another circumstance which augurs favourably for the progress of truth in that quarter of the Continent, is the translation of Scott's Commentary into the French language. This important undertaking has lately been set on foot by Mr. Daniel Wilson, late minister of St. John's chapel, Bedford Row, London, but now Vicar of St. Mary's, Islington. In the summer of 1823, this gentleman made a tour through the Netherlands, France, &c. to Geneva, and has since favoured the public with some interesting particulars concerning his journey, in two volumes of " Letters," addressed to his own family; from which we shall now select a few passages
that have a relation to this subject. On his arrival at Lausanne, he thus proceeds:
"Our kind fellow-traveller and my eldest son are going with me, in a car, to Geneva (thirty miles), that I may lose not a moment in seeing after the translation of Scott. You know that I have been sometime engaged in assisting to have his admirable practical comment on the Scriptures translated into French. The whole body of French Protestant Theology affords no one plain, spiritual, solid exposition of the Holy Scriptures. With immense difficulty, I have found a translator well skilled" in English, accustomed to literary occupation, master of a good style, and of the same sentiments with my author. He has nearly translated the Gospel of St. Matthew. The warm approbation of the design from all quarters exceedingly encourages me to go on; and the tendency to error and excess amongst some pious persons here, makes it more and more important. Still I feel a great doubt whether so large a work will succeed in the present state of things on the Continent. May God order, direct, and bless! I approach Geneva with feelings of peculiar veneration. The name of Calvin stands high amongst the Reformers, Divines, and Scholars of the sixteenth century. There is no man to whom I owe so much as a commentator. The reproaches cast so liberally on what is called Calvinism in England are, for the most part, either the effect of pure ignorance, or of dislike to spiritual religion—as moderate men of all parties now agree in allowing. The excesses and daring spirits of too many modern religionists have no warrant in the writings of Calvin. A more sober, practical, holy writer, generally speaking, does not exist. There was, undoubtedly, something harsh in his character; he carried his acuteness too far in his system of divinity, so as to overstep, in my judgment, that exact moderation of the Sacred Writings; and in his scheme of church government, he followed not the Episcopalian, but the Presbyterian model. But; after all these deductions, he was amongst the very first men of his own, or any other age; and the objections raised against his writings in modern times might be as well raised against what the Scriptures state of the fall of man, of salvation by grace, of justification by faith, of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, and