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REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Proofs of Inspiration ; or, the '“ Quæcunque sedens modo legerat, liæc
Grounds of Distinction between cadem stans - the New Testament and the Apo... Proferet atque eadem captabit versicryphal Volume; occasioned by
bus isdem. : * the recent Publication of the Apo
1. Occidit miseros crambe repetita na
gistros.".. cryphal New Testament by Hone.
. By the Rev. Thomas Kennell, The inattention to the old deB.D. F.R.S. Vicar of Kensing fences, has more than any other ton. 8vo. pp. 164. Rivingtons. cause, multiplied the volumes of
P. i controversy : and the only ailvan. There are few men who will deny, tage which the good cause derives that religious error is an evil in ito' from the contest, is, that the truth self, or who will not regret, that in: is presented in a form more adapted the necessity of counteracting its to the prevailing habits of thought progress, the mild spirit of Chris- and reflection, and that the popular tianity is often offended, and that work of yesterday may be read, under the ostensible purpose of re. while the more elaborate volume of futation, there is imminent danger the last century is neglected, In of promoting the circulation of false' the recent publication of the Apoopinions. The only legitimate end cryphal New Testament, as it is of controversy is the ultimate esta. arifully called, there is little of no, blishment of truth. When the faith velty, little which is not copied from is disputed or denied, it might be Toland, or stolen without acknow.' supposed incapable of defence, if ledgment from Jones: its blunders it were not defended, and the ad, and its fallacies are alone origioal," versary might triumph in the very if in the latter may be included the silence of the apologist. The ob- division of the several pieces into jection has perhaps been urged and chapters and verses, with the insirefuted again and again, and it is dious design of producing a closer repeated without any povelty which resemblance of the ordinary form of admits or requires a new and origi- the canonical Scriptures. There is' nal reply. But the writer has dis.' therefore nothing new or worthy to regarded or suppressed the old' challenge a new refutation; but as defence, and the reader may be an impression might be made to the tempted to suppose the objection prejudice of the sacred volume, it irrefragable, if it is not agaiu ex- was necessary that that impression posed. There is nothing, in which should be prevented; that the false. there is less of originality, than in hood of this new Apocrypha should objections to religious truth: the be exposed, and that the sole auarguments of infidelity were nearly thority of the canonical Scriptures exbausted before the time of Julian, should be maintained. This good and however the old exceptions hạve work has been ably executed in the from time to time been revived, the Quarterly Review (No. L. July sceptic has been the most servile of 1821.) and if the effect may be calplagiaries, and his whole ingenuity culated from the anger, which it is has been restricted to changing the reported to have provoked, nothing mode and the expression of his op- can have been more complete. The position to the Gospel. Of the pro. suggestion thrown out by the writer fessed unbeliever in all ages it may of that article, of a popular argube said ; i
ment on the case in the form of a
Supplement to Paley has been taken fallacies, and the opening sentence up by Mr. Rennell, and the public of the Preface a third. Having excation of a work, which he prepared posed these fallacies, to which the in the office of Christian Advocate, answer is not obvious, and, which bas principally been delayed in the are sufficiently calculated to mislead expectation of an answer to the the igliorant and the unwary, Mr. Quarterly Review, which was threa- Rendell lays down the design and tened, but has not yet been pub- method of his discourse. The de lished, by the editors of the Apo- sign is to expose the fallacies of this cryphal New Testament. The si. insidious publication, and to estalence is ominous to their cause. blish a full and exclusive confidence There would be little temerity in', in the sacred volume. assuming the conclusion of the con-, « Now if we can clearly show the New test: there can be no just objece, Testament to have been inspired, that is to tion to putting the public in posses- say, to have been written under the inflasion of the substance of Mr. Ren- ence of the Holy Spirit, we shall immenell's publication, a publication dis.. diately conclude that it is the word of
God; and if on the otier side, we can as tinguished by such learning and ar..
:: clearly prove the Apocryphat Volume to gument, as must command the ap.. be apinspired, that is to say, to bave been probation of the scholar and the written under no such influence, we stati Divine, and by such an exact simreceive it only as the word of man. plicity of manner and arrangement, “ Upon INSPIRATION then the whole as camot fail of conveying instruc. question turns, and by this test the respection and conviction to the most,
most tive merits of the two claifiants must n
timately be decided. To bring this matter ignorant and inconsiderate. The
ne then, more fully aud fairly before the rea question has not been often dis- der. we shall consider first the necessity cussed: in antient times it was not of inspiration, and she'w how essential it agitated: the objections of Hobbes, is that our standard of Christian faith and and Toland led to the elaborate dis- morals should rest upon an authority supequisitions of Lardner and Jones. rior to that of man, , We shall secondly, and the zeal of modern infidelity
examine the extent of tliat inspiration, or
'y in other words, we shall ascertain what it has called forth the present supple-, is we mean: when we say that the Seria mept to the argument of Paley: and tores are inspired. We shalt thirdly in thus, as in all other instances, the guire into the proofs of inspiration, and design of the disputer has been show by their application that the books overruled in the more complete es. of the New Testament are inspired, and tablishment of the truth." The that the pieces in the Apocryphal volume
are not inspired. We shall lastly sbe, Proofs of Inspiration" arising from
that in the New Testament we hare all the assertion of such iirspiration by
of such Hispiration by the writings that ever were inspired, that the Apostles themselves, and from no selection or compilation has ever taken the acknowledgment of their inspi. place, that none lave been rejected, nor ration by their successors, and the any lost. failure of these proofs, on their ap. “ If these points can be fairly proved, plication to any writing not included we sball liave no hesitation in rejecting in the canon of the New Testament,
the Apocryphal volume as a collection of
writings utlerly devoid of divine authe are brought at once to establish that fit
u that rity; while, on the other hand, we shall the canonical Scriptures are the the more confidently receive and cherish work of God, and that all other the coutents of the Sacred Book, as the writings are of the invention of oracles of God, and the words of eterual man.
life.” Introduction, p. vill. . It promises but little for the inte. 'Mr. Kennell commences his ingrity or the ingenuousness of the quiry with asserting and maintain. editors of the Apocryphal New Tesc ing the necessity of inspiration, tament, that the title contains two equally in the doctrinal, the histo.
rical, and the moral parts of Scrip. and without depreciating the claimi ture, and shews that it was also of any book to inspiration from equally necessary in those who wrote their tried effect and influence upon for perpetual generations, as in the heart, it is necessary to produce those who preached the Gospel in positive proofs of inspiration. These all vations. It affords a strong pre- proofs are, l. That the Apostles sumption in favour of this necessary assert their own inspiration : 2. inspiration, that the inspiration of That their successors attest their the writers of the Old Testament inspiration. was unequivocally acknowledged by The several passages, in which the writers of the New, and it is St. Paul asserts his inspiration, are not probable that the latter should produced with pertinent remarks by be destitute of gifts which the for. Mr. Rennell. But it is commonly mer had received, especially as the objected, that St. Paul himself in want was more urgent, as the office 1 Cor. vii. makes a distinction bewas more important. I consider tweep the doetrines which he delivering the extent of this inspiration,' ed under inspiration and without inMr. Rennell ipsists upon the danger spiration. Not I, but the Lord. I,not and the difficulty of admitting a par. the Lord. The distioction has been tial inspiration, an inspiration not more frequently observed, than ac“ proportionate to every want, and curately explained. Mr. Rennell? adapted to every circumstance.” pursuing the argument of Horbery The inspiration for which he con- shews, that the distinction does not tends was not however such as to relate to the measure of inspiration, supersede the use of natural and but to matters which had been premoral faculties (nor according to viously taught by our Lord himself, Bishop Bull's argument, did it ex. distinguished from such as rested clude the application of external on the sole authority of St. Paul. means and instruments) nor was it Thus our Lord had determined that extended to their language and the conjugal union should not be phraseology. Under these limita- dissolved; St. Paul alone decided tions, there is no value in the objec. the case of persons married to untion, that the New Testament does believers and of persons unmarried: pot exhibit the purest and most and, as Mr. Rennell shews, in con. classical Greek, a point, on which firmation of this part of the expofew are competent to decide, and sition, St. Paul gave his notice in on which süll fewer would be. this respect, as one that had obagreed: nor is it a more valid ex. tained mercy to be faithful, or worception to the plenary, (or as Mr. thy of credit, and who did not think Rennell would say perpetual, un with doubt, but affirmed with conderstanding plenary of organic) in- fidence, that he had the spirit of spiration of ihe Evangelists, that in God. St. Paul's general testimony their several narratives are varia- of himself, is confirmed by that of tions, variations only apparent, and St. Peter, who, in placing the other not affecting the credibility of a Scriptures on a level with the Epissingle fact. Neither does the ques- tles of St. Paul, affirms their inspition of inspiration, thus liniited, af- ration, and the early admission and fect the genuineness of the sacred authority of the writings of the great text, of which the various readings Apostle of the Gentiles. are not such as to disturb a single The Apostles, however, do not article of faith or rule of practice. assert their inspiration as indivi
The inspiration thus limited but duals, but as Apostles. The ex. comprehensive, thus probable and clusive dignity of the Apostolic rank necessary, is denied by Unitarians, and office is justly appreciated by Mr. Rennell, but he will probably Christianity. It is also valuable on review or rescind his opinion of the account of its disinterestedness, and period at which St. Paul received no motive besides an earnest desire the apostolic character, deriving it of bearing witness to the truth, from the call of the Holy Spirit, could have actuated these apostolic addressed to the Church of Antioch, men to acknowledge their own inferather than from the words of the riority, and to defer to the sole and Lord at his conversion : “ Deliver- exclusive authority of their predeing thee from the Gentiles unto cessors. Their testimony is conwhom now I send thee." The former firmed by that of later writers, whose representation, however, supported authorities are cited with approby the commentators, is liable to priate comments by Mr. Rennell, many 'exceptions, and is not neces- by Justin Martyr, Theophilus of sary to Mr. Rennell's argument. The Antioch, Clemens Alexandrinus, apostolic rank of St. Paul is unques. Tertullian, Origen, and Eusebius, tionable, and the inspiration pecu- “ What then is the conclusion, to which liar to this rank, is attested by St. this uninterrupted series of testimonies, Paul, St. Peter, and St. Jude: it beginning from the time of the Apostles, was claimed by the Apostles alone; and continuing to the fourth century, will it was not conferred or supposed lead us? It is this, that the writings of the to be conferred even upon T'imo. Apostles, and of the Apostles only, were
-received as the words of God; that upon thy, who was instructed to bear in
them and upon them alone was built the mind of whom he had received the
whole superstructure of the, Curistian truth.
faith. The inspiration thụs exclusively “Şuch then are the proofs upon which we claimed by the Apostles, was with admit the inspiration ef the New Testament, the same exclusion appropriated to as an article of our belief. If we allow the them by their successors, Clemens anthenticity and credibility of the sacred
books, we must also allow their inspiration, Romanus, Ignatius, and Polycarp..
te for they both depend opon the testimony “ Now if these three Apostolic Fathers, of the same persons, viz. the Apostles Clement, Ignatius, and Polycarp, did not and their successors. If then we admit believe their great masters to have been their testimony in one sense, we must adinspired, why do they so perpetually copy mit it also in the other, especially as the their style, allude to their expressions, and evidence of the Apostolic Fathers, to the cite their very words ? St. Peter does not high and exclusive anthority of their masborrow from St. Paul, nor St. James from ter and predecessors is, as bas been shewy, St. John. In two or three instances in- upon every account, highly disinterested." deed we may find a reference made by P. 52.
. . . one Apostle to the words of another, for
The exclusive claim of the Aposthe sake either of persuasion or explanation, but never for the sake of authority, tles to inspiration may be siistained Now, in the writings of these three Apos- without detracting from the inspired tolic Fathers, we find both phrases and authority of the Gospels of St. passages from the Sacred Volume, worked Mark and St. Luke, who, although into the general mass, for the purposes of they were not theniselves of aposgiving it energy, strength, and support, tolic order, were the companions of This of itself implies a sense of inferiority in the writers, and a consciónsness of the
Apostles, and the character of weight and authority, which the apostolic
whose writings deserves the strong. plıraseology would impart." P. 39. est confirmation from the remark. The testimony of these Apostolic able coinc
able coincidence of expression in Fathers is valuable in point of time,
the account given by St. Paul and as it proves that the doctrine of the
· St. Luke of the last supper, in exclusive inspiration of the Apos. why
which St. Paul asserts his own inlles, was not invented in a corrupt spiration. and degenerate age, but maintain " If, therefore, from evidence both exed in the first and purest æra of ternal and internal, we have good reasou
to believe that the gospels of 'st, Mark · It is true that these writings were and St. Luke" were severally transcripts read in the Church in the same. of the preaching of St. Peter and St. mann
and st. manner as the Apocrypha or the Paul,-written under their superintendenee, and recommended by their autho
Homilies are read in thre present rity.--we cannot hesitate to receive them day. They were called ecclesiastias compositions guided and assisted by cal not canonical Scriptures, and the Spirit of God. Even in the first age Jerome, who records the fact of of Christianity, they were cited as freely their public recitation, denies that and as frequently as the other two į the they were canonical Scriptures, or earliest fathers of the Church made no distinction between them; no more should
possessed of any authority to dewe." P. 56.
termine articles of faith.
The same proofs of inspiration The assertion then of their own exclusive inspiration by the Apos
are next applied to the doubtful
books. It is very doubtful who was tles, and the acknowledgment of
the author, and what the age of the that inspiration by their successors,
Pastor of Hermas: but even on the are the two irrefragable proofs of the
'supposition of its authenticily, the inspiration of the canonical Scrip
writer is, by his own confession, not tures. Can these same proofs be
superior but inferior to Clemens applied to the several treatises con
Romanus. The work is written in
Ros tained in the apocryphal New Tes.
imitation of the Apocalypse, but on tament, whether those treatises are
a comparison of passages cited from authentic, as the writings of Clemens, Ignatius, and Polycarp, or of inferiority of the Pastor is very ob
the two works by Mr. Rennell, the doubtful authenticity as the Pastor
vious, nor does the writer, as St. of Hermas and the Epistle of Bar.
John does, assert his inspiration. Dabas; or unquestionable forgeries,
forgeries, The failure of the internal evidence as the other pieces of which the ; apocryphal Volume consists. . .
testimony. Irenæus calls the work · Clemens, Iguatius, and Polycarp, riting carefully, as Mr. Rendo not claim but disavow inspira
nell, on the authority of Lardner, tion, and acknowledge their inferio
explains the word, distinguishing it rity to the Apostles. Their silence
from the Scriptures. Neither does or denial is confirmed by the testi- ci
Clemens Alexandrinus class it with monies of Irenæus, Clemens Alex
to the Scriptures. Tertullian is so far andrinus, Origen, and Eusebius, who
from admitting its authority, that either pass over their writings with
*he ridicules and rejects it. Origen out admission of their authority, or deference to their judgment as wri
alone asserts its inspiration : but he
is no more than a single witness, ters, although they speak of them as individuals with veneration and
delivering an opinion rather than a affection.
testimony, an opinion which he
himself does not support, and “ The number of witnesses to the iu- which he invalidates in other parts spiration of the New Testament is very of his writings, by classing it with large, the passages cited by them are innumerable, and the chain of evidence is
ie the Apocryphal and not with the uninterrupted. The references, ou tlie Canonical Scriptures, and writing other hand, to the epistles of Clemens, upon it: neither commentary nor Igoatius, and Polycarp, are extremely honily. Eusebius also places it rare, and the modz of citation is quite among the Apocryphal books.. different. They are not appealed to in It is not probable, that the episany matter of faith or of controversy, nor tle of Barnabas was the work of the are their expressions interwoven, as the expressions of Scripture perpetually are,
Apostle of that name. From the
A with the language of the author who cites manner in which he speaks of his them to give it energy, au: hority, and state before his conversion, of the support,” P, 70:
destruction of Jerusalem, and of