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been made in the places referred to, voured land, should not be duly for the propagation of the saving sensible of these their inestimable truths of the Gospel among all orders privileges, and uniformly “walk as
numerous are the children of the light:”, that the conChurches, and increasing in num. duct of men, in any station in this ber, in which those truths are preach- Christian country, should suggest ed, by men duly appointed, and the necessity of their · being conevery way, competent to their holy sidered as a people to whom the function; what pains are taken that saving truths of the Gospel arc ab. the Churches should be opened, and solutely unknown, and as standing religious service performed, at vari- in need of yet being evangelised. ous hours, for the accommodation Devoutly is it to be wished, that all and convenience of the different who name the name of Christ, would classes; what facility of access to depart from iniquity, and by the the knowledge of the Gospel, which purity of their lives would so adorn is of such universal importance, is their Christian calling, that the sin. afforded by every means to all; and cerity of it might never be called in how freely the sources of religious question: but if the persons alluded education are now laid open to the to should be induced, by the suschildren of the poor. In addition picions thrown out by this society, to that ample provision which is to look upon themselves as altogemade in our established Church ther uuregenerate and unconverted, that the poor may have the Gospel and absolutely in the condition of constantly preached to them, and heathens, and to suppose that their the çare that is taken “in London regular pastors withhold from them and its vicinity” particularly, that the truths of the Gospel; what by the cheapness of education they would the natural consequences be, may be enabled to understand it, but an increasing alienation, on it is well known, that various socie- their parts, from such unfaithful ties are formed there, and especially and incompetent teachers, the prethe Society for Promoting Christian valence of schism and religious disKnowledge, whose benevolentobject sention, and the danger of the exit is, to offer books of the soundest tinction of that evangelical light, religious instruction, at the cheap- which, by the divine mercy, does est rate, to the poor. When such with full splendour shine upon our means of religious information are country! The intrusion of selfknown to abound, and long have appointed teachers into the labours been, and now are, in full efficiency, of the regnlar Clergy, or of those so that no man in this country need who are sent by such Missionary be ignorant of what the Gospel re. Societies as have no other autho. quires him to believe and to do in rity to send labourers into the order to obtain everlasting salva- Lord's vineyard than such as they tion, it must appear strange that themselves assume, must have the any society should, at this day, re- effect, so far as it prevails, of ungard, and propose to treat even the hinging our whole ecclesiastical poorest of its inhabitants as uncon- polity, of diminishing the usefulness verted, and in a state of heathenism. of lawful pastors, and detaching the For such must be the light in which people from their ministry. How they are regarded by those, who ineffectual their best endeavours are propose to " evangelise the poor often rendered, and how lightly that inhabitants of London and its vici- authority which they derive in regu. nity." It is, indeed, greatly to be lar succession from the Apostles is lamented that they, or any who en- esteemed, is evident from the numjoy that full light of the Gospel, bers who, almost in every place, are which shines upon this highly fa. tempted to withdraw from their
congregations by the officious inter for the promotion of Christian know. ference of itinerant instructors: ledge, and for the propagation of and when this spirit of sectarism is the Gospel, send forth Missionaries abetted by the authority of Mis. in considerable numbers: but they sionary Societies, composed of per- are extremely careful to put them sons of rank and importance, who under the authority of Bishops, would persuade the people that wherever this is practicable abroad, they stand in need of being evan or to retain them in subjection to gelised, though they have, or might the Episcopal authority at home ; have, the Gospel constantly preach- and never think of interfering in ed to them, the evil must certainly places where Christianity has been be increasing. If the common peo- established for ages, and its ordi. ple do not, as alas! it is to be re nances continue to be regularly adgretted that they do not pay that ministered, and its truths made serious attention that is due to the known, for the edification of all who incomparable service of the Estab- will attend to them. Well might lished Church, to its truly evan the “ London Missionary Society" gelical Liturgy, to the truths of the copy the example of these useful Gospel which are contained in, and Societies, act under their auspices, promulged as well by it, as by the dis- and unite its benevolent endeavours courses which follow it; every means with theirs : it would then carefully indeed that is consistent with sound abstain from any insinuations which discretion should be adopted to re- might make " the poor inliabitants vive in them such attention, and to of London and its vicinity” fancy attach them to that provision which themselves destitute of evangelical is made for their advancement in truth, or instil into them dissatistrue religion : but the greatest care faction with their appointed teachshould be taken, in all public asso When once they are infected ciations especially, not to insinuate with this spirit, and have the couninto the minds of those who are tenance and authority of public perhaps incapakle of forming a meetings for undervaluing the ordiright judgment in such matters, pances of the Established Church, that the religious institutions of their they will naturally become seceders country are inefficacious, and not from it: and whether, as they with. adapted to convey to them the saving draw from the Church, they are knowledge of the Gospel.
more likely to approach to what is Missionary Societies are justly truly evangelical in principles, haand laudably employed in selecting, bits, and manners, let the discerning and assisting to maintain, fit persons, reader judge. lawfully ordained for the work of
I am, Sir, the ministry, and sending them into
Respectfully yours, foreign countries, where numbers
W. X. Y. yet remain to be converted to Chris. tianity. Yet even so, should they not act independently, or under any to the Editor of the Remembrancer, usurped authority ; but be placed, wherever it is possible, under a regu
Sir, lar ecclesiastical control. Experi- In the complete absence of any ence has sufficiently shewn the mis- commentary on the Scriptures by an chiefs arising from those who will English orthodox writer *, at all not submit to regular restraint, nor to the authority of their ecclesiasti
* The work of Elsley is no exception, cal superiors, where they have been
or though it may well answer the purpose lawfully constituted. The two great of the College student in preparing for an Societies which have been formed examination, where Divinity is only one
adapted, in point of compass, for mere dream. Ch. II. v. 2. The star the perusal of young divines, I appearing to the Magi, is trapsbelieve that the work of Rosen. formed into a comet, sent for no müller is in very general use. Its peculiar purpose,
which they, plan indeed and its size are ex. from their superstitious notions, tremely well adapted for this parti- imagined to portend the birth of cular purpose; for it professes to the promised Redeemer. Ver. 13. collect the opinions of the most ce The miraculous warning to Joseph lebrated writers on each text, and to fly into Egypt is explained by this is a point of great importance, saying, that the Magi bad certaiuly as it is obviously impossible for the told Joseph the threats of Herod, majority of the younger Clergy to and that he therefore resolved to fly, buy those important but voluminous and dreamt that he was to go into Commentaries, with the substance Egypt. Verses 16 and 17 are thus of which, however, they ought to be admirably interpreted.
“ The heaacquainted. I do not think, in- vens were opened,” means that " it deed, that in this respect, expecta. lightened;" the Spirit of God detion is answered by Rosenmüller's scending like a dove, was not a perwork, because, although the opi. son of the Trinity, (for local monions of a great variety of minor tion cannot be attributed to an German divines, are brought for- omnipresent being) but it was a ward, we look in vain in many places bodily and fiery appearance, de- for those of the greater writers scending on Christ, as a sign that even of that country, and with our excellent gifts were given by God standard authors, Lightfoot, Mede, and as to its being like a dove, that and others, Rosenmüller seems al. means that the lightening did not most wholly unacquainted. But that move quickly, but gently, as a dove is not the point to which I wish now does. See Virg. Æn. V. 217. The to direct the attention of your rea.
voice from Heaven means thunder ; ders, but to one of much greater for the Hebrews, like the Greeks importance, viz. the dreadful bias and Romans, reckoned thunder a to Unitarian opinions which a young sign from God, and judged of events mind can hardly fail to receive from by it! The word saying merely his writings, unless presented to means “ quæ indicabat, declarahim with the strongest admonition bat;" so that the whole meaning and caution, as to the danger lurk- of the words, “ And lo! a voice ing in them. To set this matter in from Heaven saying. This is my the clearest light, I have run through beloved Son, in whom I am weil his Commentary on St. Matthew's pleased,” is, that there was some Gospel, and beg briefly to present thunder and lightening at the bapyour readers with the gleanings tism of Christ, from which the specI have made from it, that they may tators understood that the newly judge for themselves.
baptized person was the Redeemer!! Ch. I. At verse 18, the person- lu Ch. IV. the devil is merely some ality of the Holy Ghost is set aside, bad person, probably sent by the as in every subsequent note in this Pharisees, under the pretence of Gospel where the words avec Cyton friendship, to mislead our Saviour,
At v. 20, the angel appear who had retired to fortify his mind ing in the dream, is lowered into a for his approaching ministry. Christ
did not really fast for forty days, out of many subjects of enquiry, and only but merely made use of such food a limited time can consequently be given as could be found in the wilderness, to it, I should be sorry to think that any and his “ being hungered” at last, Clergyman could be satisfied with the meagre and superficial information to be col- means that he longed for bread. lected from this work.
The different temptations did not
take place at the same period, but impiety, at all events, of requiring at intervals. At one time, the false the same respect as tributary princes friend took Jesus as his companion pay to their superiors? These are into the city, and they went toge. the fruits of coming to the Scripther to the temple. What part the tures with a mind pre-occupied by pinnacle is, is not easy to say; but human systems ! it is quite clear that it was not
In Ch. vIII. the explanation of miraculously, but merely for the the casting out of the devils, and sake of a walk and conversation, allowing them to go into the herd of that the false friend led Jesus to the swine, is beyond all comprehension. top of one of the porticoes. All of Of course, Rosenmüller begins with these were so constructed, that inen saying that the possest were mad might eat, drink, and sleep on them, people merely; and he adds, that as on all oriental roofs." It is cu. he himself has seen a mad woman, rious to observe how extremely who said she was a devil! Then Rosenmüller is discomfited by the the question of the possest to Je. verses in which the Tempter is re sus—" What have we do with thee, lated to have taken our Saviour to Jesus, thou Son of God ?" &c. is the top of a high mountain. His explained after Wetstein's potions, note deserves to be given entire. " that the madmen remembered the Ver. 9.“ #porxuvaw is not here strictly tortures they had undergone in the to adore, or address prayer to, but bands of the physicians, bleeding, “ in sensu civili,” to supplicate, to living by rule, and taking nauseous fall on one's knees for the sake of and purgative medicines, and that showing respect to ! The Tempter they deprecated a repetition of the seems to have persuaded Jesus to treatment." Their request that they use royal power and dignity, and at might be allowed to go into the the very outset of his office, to take herd of swine, is thus lucidly inter. possession of his empire. For which preted. “The dæmons are said to purpose perhaps he offered his as have asked leave to go into the berd sistance. I will give you,' says of swine ; but by the dæmons are he, all these kingdoms, i. e. by ineant the lanatics, whose fixed idea my advice and effectual co-opera was that they were devils. These tion, I will cause you to possess not are therefore the words of the luna. only Judæa, but all other countries, tics, who thought that they could if you will pay me the honour which not find any fitter abode after the minor kings pay to greater ones.” graves, than the swine.”_" Then The first observation alone makes they went and rushed on the swine, nonsense of the whole passage ; for not into their bodies ; for who could unless the Tempter required wor see the devils going into the bodies ship to be paid to himself, what of the swine ? The sense is—these would be the meaning of Christ's mad men running across the fields, reply, that God alone is to be wor drove the swine down the precipice." shipped *? But besides this,' how Let us now look to the whole story could a man of Rosenmüller's une according to Rosenmüller's version. derstanding ever suppose that a pric There were some mad men who vate Jew could persuade Jesus that lived in the tombs, and fancied they he could make him master of the were devils. On seeing Jesus, they whole world? And where was the
were afraid of being caught and
put into the physicians' hands, and in all Rosenmüller's opinions on the points after a herd of swine, and drive them
Kuinoel, who (be it observed) agrees begged Jesus to allow them to run alluded to, quietly gets rid of this diffi
into the sea. culty by observing, that we must assign
He gave them leave, to Pookuvew in ver. 10 a different sense they did so, and were thus healed! from that in ver. 9.
Another of these German divines,
Eichhoro, entirely to do away judging the twelve tribes of Israel, with any semblance of a miracle is of course only metaphorical, here, says, that Jesus finding and means that after the death and that the mad man (for only one resurrection of Jesus, the Apostles is mentioned in St. Luke) fan- were to be the successors of his cied himself a legiou of devils, and power in the Church. The peculiar that he should be therefore tortured phrase is only used, because there by Christ and sent to hell, humour. were as many Apostles as there were ed his fancy, in order to cure him, tribes in Israel. What an excellent and ordered him to run after the reason ! swine, in order that when they had In Ch. XXI. v. 3. where Jesus perished, be might fancy that the sends bis disciple for the ass,
Rosenlegion of devils had gone out of him müller states that it is quite clear into them!
that Jesus was known to the mas. In Ch. XIV. With regard to ters of the beasts, and that that was the miracle of the loaves and the only reason for their sending fishes, Rosenmüller states the ex- them. planation of Paul of Jena, to the I cannot but observe on this effect that many of the people had place, that Rosenmüller was wholly brought food with them, and that ignorant of Mede's learned explawhen Jesus said" Give ye them nation of verses 15 and 16, from the to eat;" (ver. 16) he addressed those 8th Psalm. who had provisions, and desired In the history of our Lord's them to divide them among the death, we have many examples of people, so that no miracle was Rosenmüller's propensities. The worked. Of this Rosenmüller dis- darkness described in ver. 45 of approvés; but in Ch. XV. where Ch. XXVII. is said to have been the the similar miracle is recorded, he sort of dark vapour usually attenrefers to this explanation with the dant on an earthquake, and remarkwords “ Novam Paulli explicati- ed probably for nine or ten miles. onem aliis examinandam relinqui. A whole host of rational opinions is mus," signifying, at all events, bis given on ver. 52, while after menopinion that it is worth attention. tioning that most writers believe the
On the transfiguration, in Ch. veil of the temple to have been miXVII. after mentioning Paullus's raculously rent, (ver. 52.) he reopinion that the disciples had been marks, that if it was made of thin asleep, and that on waking, as the materials, it would be rent asunder sun happened to shine bright, and by the earthquake without any mithey saw Jesus walking with two racle. lo Ch. XXVIII. v. 2, 3. afpersons unknown to them, they ter observing that many think the called them Moses and Elias; and angel is mentioned here only because Gabler's still more delectable no the Jews commonly referred any tion, that all this was a dream of events of which they did not know Peter's, and that (as is usually the the cause to angels or invisible becase) on the first moment of wak. ings, he adds as his own opinion, ing, he still saw the objects of his that Matthew is here only relating dream dancing before his eyes; our what he had heard perhaps from author quietly says, “ De hac (ul. some soldier or Jewish senator, aftima) conjecturà quid statuendam, terwards converted. As there was alii viderint. Qui plura desiderat, an earthquake, which is frequently adeat Kuincelii commentarium. attended by a storm, the stone was Nos nihil definimus."
probably split by lightning. When In Ch. XIX. v. 28. the promise the guards saw on the top of the that the Apostles should sit on stone " forman candidam et corus. twelve thrones in the Resurrection, cam," they immediately fancied it