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worship, and practice; the foundation of our hope, our glory, and greatest confolation.
The Doctor concludes this eighth chapter with fome inferences from the nature of Chrift's kingdom.-As the kingdom of Christ is not a kingdom of this world, the laws and statutes of it, he fays, are not to be looked for in acts of parliament, royal edicts, the writings of any fallible men, the decrees of Councils, or the laws and ftatutes of any temporal kingdom, ftate, or country whatever. The doctrines and laws of Chrift are to be found in the writings of the New Teftament only; he has not appointed any vifible King, Lawgiver, or Judge upon earth, from whofe authoritative decrees we are to receive the rule of our faith, worship, or practice; or from whom we are to receive rewards or punishments, as the fanctions of his laws.
The Church of Rome, continues our Author, is one grand fyftem of error and corruption. They feem to be incorrigible, or corrupted beyond all poffibility of a reformation. And nothing can be more unlike the religion of Jefus Chrift, than the whole fcheme of Popery, from one end to the other.
The Church of England, with its prefent candour, fpirit of toleration, and charity, appears to me, to be the best eftablifhment upon the face of the earth. To which I would conform, moft gladly, and with all my foul, provided they would admit me, without requiring any thing which appears to me unreasonable, or unfcriptural. But, as long as fuch things are contained in her articles, and mixed with every part of the common forms of worship, my confcience obliges me to diffent, and avoid communion with her. But I wish her no harm. I fincerely with her a thorough reformation, and that speedily. But can I entertain the leaft hope in breathing out my moft ardent wishes for bringing the articles and liturgy of the Church of England, as near as may be, to the only standard of reafon and Scripture; after the humble, moft fubmiffive, condescending, and repeated, affectionate addreffes of the learned, pious, and ingenious Authors of the Candid Difquifitions, and, other places of the fame kind? Some of the most learned, most ingenious, and confcientious of her Clergy, (who are the glory of that church) find themfelves, cramped and fettered, by the ditates and determinations of our first Reformers, and figh, And long to emerge from their ftate of bondage, into the glorious liberty of the children of God; to caft off that yoke of bondage which neither our fathers nor we have been able to Bear.
It is very prepoftcrous, that our ancestors, just emerged. cut of the darkness of Popery, who had fo little critical skill in the
the study of the holy Scriptures, should dictate to us, in fo authoritative a manner, what we fhall believe, and how we shall worship God; efpecially fince the Scriptures have been studied with a much more critical exactnefs, the doctrines of Chriftianity fet in a clearer light, and the glorious fpirit of candour and liberty has been diffused. And is (I charitably hope) upon the increafing hand.
God grant that all obftructions to the fpread of truth and righteoufnefs, charity, and univerfal goodness, may be removed fpeedily and effectually! and the nature of Chrift's kingdom be understood, and religiously promoted, among Chriftians of all nations, fects, and parties!'
All this is candidly, genteelly, and fenfibly faid. But all this, and much more, has been often faid; and after all, there is not the leaft profpect of a reformation in our ecclefiaftical conftitution. What can this be owing to? To fuppofe that our spiritual Governors are not convinced that a farther reformation is wanting, is injurious to their characters, and does difhonour to their understandings. Why then do they not attempt it? It would occafion much noife and disturbance in the nation; the spirit and genius of the people will not admit of it, &c. &c. If this be urged as a reafon, the fame may be alledged at all times, and in all circumftances; and will be an everlafting obstruction to all attempts of reformation. But it does not appear that there is the leaft fhadow for fuch a plea: a fpirit of enquiry has diffufed itfelf over the whole nation; the principles of religious, as well as of civil liberty (bleffed be God!) are well understood; the peculiar doctrines of Chriftianity are fet in a clear light; a spirit of bigotry and fiery zeal, we hope, no longer exifts; or if it does, its influence is certainly confined to the meanest and most inconfiderable part of the people; perfons of the moft enlarged and liberal minds, of every denomination, wifh to fee many alterations made in our public forms of worship, and would, we are perfuaded, do all in their power to bring about fuch alterations. If fuch be the character and spirit of the nation, therefore, what times can be more favourable for making fuch an attempt as we are pleading for? Would the fuperior Clergy but exert themfelves in fo glorious a caufe, their endeavours would be feconded by the moft candid and judicious part of the nation; the efforts of the puny race of bigots would be eafily baffled; in a word, tantùm incepto opus eft, cætera res expediet.But to return to our Author.
In the ninth chapter, he endeavours to affign the reasons why Jefus kept fometimes upon the referve, with respect to fome of G 4
his miracles, and with refpect to his being the Meffiah. In the tenth, he confiders his manner of teaching the people; and in the eleventh, makes obfervations on his fufferings for the last feven days of his life; from his going up to the passover at Jerufalem, to his expiring on the cross.
The fubject of the twelfth chapter, is the refurrection of Jefus of the thirteenth, his afcenfion of the fourteenth, the government of the world fince Chrift's afcenfion, and his coming to judgment. The laft chapter contains fome general, but pertinent, obfervations on our Saviour's life and character.
In the Appendix we have feven differtations. An account of the four Evangelifts, who originally wrote the life of Christ, is given in the first: the fecond is a discourse on John viii. 2. in the third, the Doctor confiders the miracle of curfing the barren fig-tree; and in the fourth, the raifing the widow of Nain's fon.
The fifth differtation is a discourse upon these words, Matth. xxvii. 52, 53, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of Saints, who flept, arofe, &c. And here the Doctor enquires, 1. Who the perfons were, that are faid to have rose again? 2. Whether they were raifed when Chrift died, or after his refurrection? 3. Why St. Matthew alone, of all the Writers of the New Teftament, hath taken notice of this particular? 4. What became of those persons afterwards? And 5. Of what advantage was their refurrection to the Chriftians of that age? and of what ufe may this account of it be to us, in the later ages of the Chriftian church?
In the fixth differtation, our Author enquires into the meaning of those words-1 Cor. xv. 19. If in this life only, we have hope in Chrift, we are of all men moft miferable.-These words, according to the Doctor, reprefent the diftreffed and forlorn case of the first Preachers of the gofpel, upon the abfurd fuppofition of their having renounced all worldly views, for what they knew to be falfe, and for what they were feverely perfecuted, without the profpect of happiness in the world to come.
He fuppofes, that St. Paul, in the text, is not speaking of all Chriftians in general, but of the Apostles, and fome other infpired Preachers of the gofpel, in that firft age, whofe very office and ftation expofed them, the foremoft, (the Author's own words) to oppofition and perfecution, and suffered them to enjoy but few intervals of reft and peace, ease and tranquillity.
Though the Doctor allows that the Apoftles, and other teachers of Chriftianity, in that firft age, were, in general, very pious and good men, yet he cannot allow that the Apoftle con
fidered them as fuch in the text. On the contrary, we are told, he intimates, ver. 15, that it was upon the fuppofition that they were falfe witneffes against God and his truth, and had teftified what they knew to be a falfehood, and were perfecuted for that. Upon that fuppofition, according to our Author, the Apostle declares, that they would have been of all men the most miferable. For, in that cafe, they were miferable in this life, and could not hope for any future ftate of happiness.
But this interpretation will appear with more clearness and evidence, we are told, provided we take a brief view of the Apoftle's defign, in the chapter where the text is.-St. Paul had planted a Chriftian church at Corinth; and had taught them, as one of the principal articles of the Christian faith, that there would be a refurrection of all mankind from the dead, and a future state of rewards and punishments. After St. Paul had left Corinth, there had got in among them a false Apostle, a judaizing Chriftian; and, as our Author apprehends, a Scribe of the fect of the Sadducees. That falfe Apoftle made a great disturbance in the church of Corinth; and, among other things, denied the refurrection of the dead, and all future rewards and punishments. With a view to that, St. Paul, in this chapter, fets himself to prove the refurrection of the dead. And his main argument is, the refurrection of Jefus Chrift; which he proves by the teftimony of several witnesses, who were then alive, of whom the Apostle himself was one, and who all declared, with one voice, that they had feen Chrift, and conversed with him, fince his refurrection from the dead: and, if so, they could not be mistaken in the fact. Therefore, (fays St. Paul, ver. 11, &c.) whether it were I or they, fo we preach, and so ye have believed. Now, if it be fo evident that Chrift was raised from the dead, how comes it to pass, that fome among you fay, that there is no such thing as a resurrection from the dead? For if there be no fuch thing, then is not Chrift rifen; then, our preaching is in vain; and your faith alfo is vain. Yea, and we are found falfe witneffes against God, and his truth; because we have teftified of God, that he raised Jefus Chrift from the dead, whom, in truth, he did not raife, if there be no fuch thing as a resurrection from the dead.-Another confequence would be, that they who are fallen afleep in Chrift, or, who have died in the faith of the Gospel, are perished and loft. And, as to us, Apoftles and Chriftian Prophets, who have preached up the refurrection of Chrift, and have declared that we have feen him alive again, and converfed with him, fince his crucifixion, and are perfecuted for publishing and bearing witness to that fact: as to us, I fay, if the advantages which we expect from Chrift, are confined to this life only, and we
have no hope of any benefit from him, in a future ftate, we muft, of all men, be most miferable. That is, (in other words) if we have gone about declaring to the world, that Jefus Chrift is risen from the dead, and that we ourselves have feen him fince his refurrection, and have had clear and inconteftible proofs of that remarkable fact, when we knew the contrary to be true; if we have expofed ourfelves to reproach and perfecution, for what we knew to be falfe; what reward can we expect? Liars and impoftors can expect no reward in the world to come; and, in this world, we have renounced all, and fuffer grievous perfecutions, for the fake of Chrift and his Gofpel. Within, our own consciences muft, in that cafe, fting and torture us; and, without, there is nothing but cruel and harfh treatment. And, therefore, a more miferable condition can fcarce be conceived. But, as fo many abfurdities would follow, upon that fuppofition, you may depend upon it, that Jefus Chrift is rifen from the dead, and become the firft fruits of those who sleep the fleep of death."
How far this very fingular interpretation is a juft one, we leave to the determination of our learned Readers.-In the feventh differtation, the Doctor endeavours to trace the true import and connection of Mark ix. 49, 50. For every one shall be falted with fire, and every facrifice shall be falted with falt. Salt is good, but if the falt have loft his faltnefs, wherewith will you feafon it? Have falt in your felves; and have peace one with another.
The Refidual Analysis; a new Branch of the Analytic Art, of very extenfive Ufe, both in pure Mathematics and natural Philofophy. Book I. By John Landen. 4to. 6s. Hawes and Co.
N a former Review we had occafion to mention a fpecimen of the Refidual Analyfis, which the ingenious Author of this treatife then laid before the public. He has now carried his difcovery to a great degree of perfection; a task which few befides
mfelf were perhaps capable of performing: and had the doctrine of Fluxions, and the Differential Calculus, been ftill unknown, Mr. Landen's Refidual Analyfis would have been esteemed as one of the greateft difcoveries in fcience that any age could have boafted. But as every problem that can be folved by the Refidual Analyfis, may also be folved by either of the above methods, its real advantage can be only comparative; and we will venture to fay, that the preference will fometimes be given to the one, and fometimes to the other.