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parison in our own favour, ought rather to have induced us to proclaim how much they have done for us, how far they have advanced for our inftru&ion, than to boast of the farther advances and inprovements which we have made for ourselves. And should we not be guilty of the basett ingratitude, if we were to undervalue or despite (what we presume to call) the little they have d ne for us? As well might the admirers of the Thanes, the Severn, and the Trent, despite the little streanalets first issuing from the springs, because they swelled not at once into deep and navigable rivers, and before they had received, in their course, the tributary fireams that flowed into their refpe&tive channels. That great philofopher, Sir Hac Newton, at the very height of his reputation, had too much of the humility of a Christian to despite the author of the firfi fix books of the Elements of Geometry; he would have been ungrateful if he had then despised him, because had he despited him before he began his courte of mathematical studies, he never would have become the great philosopher. But it is the fashion, with the iluminizing philotophers, to decry the learning and wisdom of former times, in order to fix the charge of a want of light and information on our retormers. They went very far to be sure, and as far, perhaps, as the nation wished them; but they did not so far enough, it seems--that is, they did not go fo far as these philofophers now with to go. The fame argument is not less applicable to the æra of the Revolution. The leaders in that business went a great length certainly, and as far, I Thould think, as the nation withed them; but they did not go the length that these philolophers seem defirous of going. There is another memorable epoch in our history, viz. the rebellion of the last century. Will the philosophers tell us, whether the agents and promoters of that rebellion went far enough? Will they accute Cromwell, and the fifth-monarchy-men, of a want of light and infornation? I will, however, tell the philofophers that it has proved a very fortunate and providential occurrence for this nation, that the leaders of that rebellion went so far as they did, as it afforded the nation a twelve years experiment of the despotiim of a republic, or rather of an individual, who, under the pretence of a Republic, ufurped the fole power, and ruled, with a rod of iron, with which they were to thoroughly disguited, to completely fickeved, that the day of the refioration of monarchy was indeed a day of joy and thunktilnels to them.
But to conclude this head on the superiority of the prefent age in learning and witdom, above all that preceded it, I will only put the foilowing quctions --Iad we been destitute of the lielps and advantages which past experience has transmitted to us, should we have been the learned and enlightened nation that yo are ? Could we to quickly and readily have made those advances anil improvements which we have now been enabled to make? Dry up the spring, or turn the course at the fountain-bend, and how long will the river continue to flow? The foundation nuti be brid before we attempt to crect a building. The child mul be baaght to fall before he be required to read. Let us then drop.
for ever, the odious and invidious comparison. If our ancestors have not transınitte I to us the light of a meridian sun, let us be satisfied with what ihny have imparted; let us receive it with humility, and employ it with thankfulness; and let us not difparage what they began by boasting of what we have finithed. Let us, in mort, adopt the Christian rule of univertal justice, " Do unto others as you would others thrould do to you; our pofterity, in the next century may vaunt their fuperior learning and wildom; but thould not we have good reason to complain of their injustice, as well as their arrogance, if, on that account, they contemned and despised us?
I shall now examine into the pretenfions of fone of these illuminizing philosophers, who set up their individual claims to fuperior learning and willom, and who particularly hold themselves forth as interpreters and translators of fcripture. Of D:. I'riestley I fall fay nothing. Ilis misrepresentations have long fince been sufficiently refuted by many learned and pious men, and his contradictions in his intcrprctations of fcripture have been moft luninoully expofed by the Rev. Mr. Burn of Birmingham, whose “ Letters" are, perhaps, lefi known than they deserve to be. The next prominent character is Mr. Waketield. You, Sir, have already (No. V. Pp. 558, 550.) pointed out two inftances, which clearly show either that he is grofily ignorant of the Greek language, (which no one, who knows Mr. W. can suppose,) or that he has as grossly perverted and misrepresented the scripture. To these instances Í will add a third. Mr. W. fome few years ago, exhibited himself to the world as a “ translator of those parts of the New Testament which are wrongly translated in our common Version.” In that pamphlet he thus translates tie following words, (Rom. xiii. 4.)
-- εκ διαμοιό: εςιν, εκδινος εξ οργήν τω τό κακόν πραγοντι,“ He is an avenging minister unto wrath to him who docth eril." Here a mere sciolift in Greek cannot but fee that Mr. W. bas fuppreiled (as insignificant I lippote,) the word docu, a word which had been joined once before in this very verse with diaxaro:, and which is the most significant word in the piftige, inaimuch as it thow's the origin of the power of the fupreme magistrate", and declares explicitly, “whose minifter he is, _" whifi authority he hath.” If a man has preconceived the derivation of power from the people, his suppreilion of the word beou would be perfectly consistent. But St. Paul appears to bave been of a different opinion, for be enjoins our subquillion for curforence fake; and he immediately adds, “ for this cane pay you irilente alto, for they are God's ministers attending continually upon this very thing," that is, “ to execute juttice and judgement," the thing before fpoken of. Here, again, the Apostle calls thein ministers of God, giving a continual and intente application (wznorag:TER" UYTES) to the administration of justice, which he alligns as a realon, for paying tribute to them. In this interpretation every thing appears harmonious, confiftent, and appofite. But Mr. W. translates the latter part of the versc thus, “ for there
are ministers of God attending to this very duty." Were I disposed to criticize this trantlation, (as Mr. W. profelles to correct our present version,) I might atk what word there is in the original to which the word duty corresponds, and whether the word 97600%3FTE 81785 does not imply fomething more than fimply attentlig to? But not to dwell upon this, I would atk who the persons are that are here called ministers of God, as Mr. W's translation evidently supposes them to be different from the perfous before-mentioned as exercising the supreme power? And what is the duty to which he imagines them to be attending? And now, Sir, I would appeal to any man, who has a common acquaintance with the Greek lan uage, if there are faithful interpretations, or even correct translations, of Scripture. Thus I take my leave of Mr. Wakefield.
The next claimant to fuperior learning and witdom in fcriptural expofition, is Mr. Belsham.--The corruption of human nature, or original fin, Mr. B. denies to be a scripture doctrine. I thoud have thought daily experience would have tutticiently proved it, without having recourse to fcripture. But
But let us refer to fcripture. Mr. B. observes that the patage, “we were by nature the children of wrath, even as others," (Eph. ii. 3) means only“ that the persons to whom St. Paul wrote, had been originally Gentiles, enslaved like others to the idolatries and vices of their heathen late." According to this statement, then, this paisage does not apply to the Jews, to whom were committed the oracles of God, to thote of them, at least, who believed, to those of them who, by the providence of God, were preserved from falling into the idolatries and vices of the heathen state. But if this statement be true, ftill I should think the words wi xai oi 2o17oi will include the Jews, and the rest of the world, mankind in general, agrecably to what the apofile has obferred in the epiftle to the Romans, (iii. 9,) “ We have before proved both Jew's and Gentiles to be all under fin." "For (he fays) all have finned." (23) “ That every month may be stopped, and all the world be. come guilty before God.*" (19.) In another place, (Rom. v. 13, 19,) the apostle says, “ As by the offence of one, judgement came upon all men to condemnation ; so by the righteousneis of one, the free gift came upon all men to justitication of life. For as by one, man's disobedience, many were made finners; fo by the obedience of one, thall many be made righteous." Every linatterer in Greek, knows that the words or 7508201, mean the many, i. e. in scripture language, mankind in general, all men. As lure then, as the me ritorious obedience of Christ, and bis fubmillion to the death upon the crofs, is the appointed method of atonement aud propitiation, for the fins of the whole world, as fure as “ Christ Jesus came into the world to save tinners,” (1 Tim. i. 15,) to lure is it that in Adam, all have sinned, and that in Adam all die. “As by one man, fin
* But Mr. Edwards, in his' Defence of the Christian doctrine original fin," in reply to Dr. Taylor, Part ii.ch. 3. sect. 3. ha. clearly and lati tactorily proved, that by 'we" St. Paul means the Jews, of whole nation he was, and by the “others" the Gentiles and the rest of the world,
entered into the world, and death by fin, to death paired upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Rom. v. 12.) The words to being might with equal correctness have been tranflated in wbom, i. e. in Adam, in whom, all have finned. But not to multiply particular texts, I think the general tenour of fcripture is clear in favour of the doctrine. This may serve to obviate Mr. B's. statement of this doctrine, as a pliaratic tradition, (See his note. P. 241,) and contrary to our Lord's own declaration, in reply to a question proposed by his difciples, concerning the man blind from his birth.” But, with fubmiflion, I am opinion, our Saviour makes not the smallest allufion to original fin.
The import of the question was this," Why was this man born blind, was it on account of his own fins or the sins of his parents?" Our Savour's reply is to this purport, " It was not on account of his own fins, (hereby obriating the notion of the foul's pre-existence and transmigration, which many of the Jews, and pollibly fome of his disciples, believed,) or the sins of his parents, that he was born blind, but for this, that the works of God thould be made manifest in him.” When, afterwards the l'hariters charge the men with being " altogether born in fins," it does not appear upon what ground they made ute of that expretion, wliether as having received the notion from their ancettors by tradition, or as having collected it from the genuine fource, the writings of Mofes. At any rate, Nir. B. is perfectly unwarranted in calling it“ a Plraritiic tradition directly contrary to our Lord's own declaration." Our Lord, as it appears, neither affirms nor denies it. And it is observable, how strong au expreslion the Pharisees employ, odos, " altogether," thoroughly completely, from he:id to foot, the whole man. -But a denial of, the corruption of human nature was a preliminary step necellary to introduce a denial of the atonement and propitiation made by the death of Christ, his pre-exitience and deity, and the influence of the holy spirit, “none of which doctrines, fays Mr. B. (P. 170) are true in fact, or derive the least countenance from the Christian Scriptures." For the pre-existence of Christ, I will only mention his own declaration, " before Abraham was, I am ;” and liis prayer to the father, a thort time before he was about to leave the world, “Now, O Father, glorify, thou me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” In short, if after reading the whole of St. John's Gospel, (which I presume makes a part of Grietbach's edition of the New Teliament) any man can doubt the pre-existence and divinity of Christ, I muut be allowed to say that I much marvel at his unbelief.--Mr B. obferscs, (See note, P. 214,) that the word rendered propitiation, (Rom. iii. 25.) has no other finge in the facred writings, than that of a mercy-leat. This
be true with respect to the Old Testament, but is not so clear as to the New. Mr. B. as a scholar and a biblical critic, ineft know that, by a very common figure in rhetoric, the name of the thing signifying, is frequently api lied to the thing signified, that the type and the anti-type arc fumetinies expreiled by the same word, that the cause and effect are often used promiscuoully, and that the writers of the New Tes
tament abound with instances of this kind, in words adopted from the Old; that consequently the word diesengrou, which in the Old fignifies a mercy-leat, is in the New Testament not improperly rendered by a word denoting the effect of mercy, propitiation, reconcilement. Mr. Locke observes on this patlage, “ as the atonement under the law, was made by blood sprinkled on the propitiatory or mercy feat, (Lev. xvii. 14,) fo Christ is here fit forth to be the real propitiatory or mercy-seat in his own blood."--In another part of his work, (Pp. 69. 70,) speaking of “ Jesus Christ being at the right hand of God, making intercellion for us,” (Rom. viii. 34,) Mr. B. obferves, “ the exad import of the phrase (making intercellion) it is very ditficult to ascertain ; probably the writer himself annexed no very distinct idea to it. [N. B. St. Paul annexed no very diftinet idea to what he wrote.] At any rate, the literal interpretation cannot be true, for Gord, an infinite spirit, bath no right band at whichi Jijus can stund to intercedi." I will not, Mr. Editor, fo disgrace the learned world as to ask if such an obfervation ought to have proceeded froni a scholar and a critic; but I will only fay, that if a boy in the fifth form, at Eton, trad ventured such an observation in his exercise, I verily believe, he would not have escaped the customary correction. When a man is determined to deny any particular doctrine to be a scripture doctrine, it is 170 very difficult matter; if such doctrine rests on the general tenour of scripture, Hill it is to be denied, becante no one particular text can be adduced as expressly maintaining it; if a particular text be shown clearly te support it, then the imxo:tance of the doctrine is too great to be. admitted on the authority merely of a single text. Such is the method in which some interpreters of fcripture have been known to argue, and have endeavoured to argue its out of every doctrine of revelation. But there doctrines, fand on too firm a ground to be Thaken by such arguments.
And now, Sir, let me ask you, will the ferious enquirer into fcripture doctrines rest 1.atisfied with such expofitors and translators as these? Will the world, do you think, be difpofed to grant that fuperior learning and wisdom, that greater ability in explaining, or greater tidelity in translating, the scripture, are the exclutire property of such persons ? Will it not rather conclude that they who set up such an arrogant claim, are but too apt to be “ wise in their own conceits?"
I am, Sir, &c.
To the Editor.
VHEN men of fuperior talents, improsed by extensive erudition,
make use of their pre-entinence in fociety to advance the cause of prejudice, and it rengthen the endeavours of irrational oppo. fition, we lanene the degeneracy of genius, we execrate the profti. tution of acquirement. When we see thefe men invating themselves