have made them sensible of the propriety culous Birth of Jesus taught in those of confining their discourses to the doc- Gospels and contradicted as false by trine which they had received from him, Luke.” We have here some acute without entering into dispute with their observations on the preface to Luke's adversaries about the objects of their Gospel compared with the preface to worship. Thus he instructed them to inculcate on their hearers, the existence the Acts of the Apostles. From the and government of oue true God; the latter Dr. Jones draws the conclusion, certainty of a future state ; the necessity

we humbly think illogically, that we of repentance and reformation as prepa. have the Evangelist's "authority for ratory to final retribution. His own ex- saying that the first two chapters now ample had already illustrated the wisdom found in his Gospel, never came froin and utility of this precaution. Our Lord his hands, but are a forgery ascribed had no object nearer his heart than the to him in after-days.” P. 12. There destruction of idolatry, and of the im- is more reason in the following argumoral practices which it entailed on its

ment upon the introduction to the votaries; yet during the whole of his

Gospel of Mark: ministry, he never gave a hint that this was his ultimate end, until the time was

“ Mark is thought to have written his ripe for its accomplishment; and even

Gospel at Rome, and under the inspecthen his commission to the apostles was tion of Peter. His narrative, therefore, • to go, not to destroy the gods of the has the sanction of that Apostle, and their nations, but to initiate the nations in the omission of the miraculous birth imputed knowledge of one common Father-to bless and reform them with the gospel falsehood. The Christians at Rome had

to Jesus stamps upon it the character of of his Son, and finally to sanctify and

no authentic history of Christ, but that confirm them by the gift of the Holy which was composed for them by this Spirit.' In a word, his advice to them Evangelist : nor is it to be supposed that seems to have been to communicate to

he would have left them ignorant or unthe people whom they addressed, a few certain on so inportant a subject as the momentous truths, which when received conld not fail to undermine their vices supernatural birth of Jesus, if the story

were really true. It is in vain to plead and errors without unnecessarily inflam- that Mark has passed over in silence ing their prejudices. The apostles, with many other things in the ministry of his Paul in the number, strictly conformed divine Master. T'he miracles and sayings to this wise injunction of their divine which he has recorded, are sufficient to Master. Questions that came within the prove his delegation from God. The miprovince of reason, they left to the pro- racles onnitted by him, could pot prove gress of reason to determine. They nei. more than this. The doctrine that Christ ther disputed with the Heathen philoso. was born in a supernatural manner, was phers respecting the nature of God, of intended to prove that he is a supernathe human soul, or of a future state; tural being, and inasmuch as Mark is nor with the Pagan priests about the silent in regard to this proof, it is obvivanity and immoral tendency of their

ous that neither the proof itself, nor the worship. Ou the contrary, by holding object of it, was in the opinion of this forth a few grand points, for the truth honest man founded in truth. of which they had the evidence of their

“ It is a remarkable fact, that, as we senses, and which constituted the fundam shall presently see, the miraculous birth mental principles of the gospel, they of Jesus was taught by certain impostors sought to supersede the whole mass of in Rome, before Mark published his GosHeathen superstition with as little viola- pel. This Evangelist was therefore called tion as possible to the previous habits and prepossessions of its votaries.”—Pp.

upon by his peculiar situation, not only not

to give his sanction to this story, but lo 7, 8.

set it aside as a fiction unworthy of creWe concur entirely in this well- dit. His Gospel, rendered verbatim from drawn picture of apostolic labours, and the original, begins thus : “The begintherefore we demur to the statement ning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the in p. 5, that our Lord discarded the Son of God (as it is written in the propopular notion of the immortulity of phets, Behold, I send my messenger bethe soul, as unworthy of attention.

fore thy face, who shall prepare thy way The heads of Chap. II. are, “The

in thy presence) was a voice crying in

the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Disciples at first did not expect to be Lord, and make his paths straight. called upon to publish Memoirs of

According to the tale of our Lord's their Divine Master.—Luke wrote his miraculous birth, he was pointed out as Gospel to set aside certain false Gos- King of the Jews' at the very time in pels circulated in Egypt.- The mira- which he was born. If this were true,

says that

the Magi from the East were the first the most positive and unequivocal, who made him manifest. But Mark says that Jesus was the son of Joseph; and expressly, that the beginning of the gos- confirms this as a fact, by the register pel of Jesus Christ was a voice in the of his birth, and the testimony of the wilderness. In other words, he John the Baptist was the person in whom

people of Nazareth.” originated the first information

The title of Chap. III. is “ The

respecting Jesus as the Saviour of mankind, and Divinity of Christ suggested by Heathis precisely agrees with the testimony thenism, in order to account for his of Peter, that the gospel began in Galilee Miracles, and adopted by the Pagan after the baptism of John.”—Pp. 12– Philosophers to set aside the Truth of 14.

his Gospel.” In support of this proContrary to the generally-received position, which will startle some readopinion, Dr. Jones contends that Lakeers, the author appeals to the discourse was an eye-vitness to the facts recorded of Paul at Athens. in his Gospel.

* To introduce a new god at Athens He has an ingenious criticism


was a capital crime. Three centuries Luke's precision in defining the time before, Socrates was put to death under of Christ's public appearance. He that very charge ; and they instantly supposes that the first teachers of the conducted the Apostle to the Areopagus,

to have him condemned for the same miraculous conception and birth of

offence. Jesus represented hiin as much older charge, by holding forth Jesus as a man

Paul effectually sets aside the than he really was, wishing it to be appointed of God to judge the world ; believed that he had studied magic in and raised from the grave by the power Egypt, in order to account for his mic of the Almighty. The uotion of one racles.

supreme God as the creator and governor “ The language of Luke carries a

of the universe, was not unknown to pointed reference to the misrepresenta. the Athenian philosophers ; but lest the tion of the impostors, “Jesus himself was preaching of this Great Being should be beginning to be about thirty years old. made the grounds of a new accusation In English the word autos, himself, has against the apostle, he, with admirable no meaning, and its reference to the it by an appeal to their own writers, and

wisdom and presence of mind, precludes forgers alone repders it proper and signi. ficant. Thus, as if he had said, "The especially to an altar erected to the unpretended historians of Jesus, who teach

known God in that very city. Here we bis miraculous birth, represent bim as an

are presented with a very remarkable old man at this time, but this was a Jesus fact, most worthy the notice of those real and true Jesus, was but thirty years misled by Polytheism, charged that aposof their own fiction ; Jesus himself, the who believe that Paul taught the deity of

The people of Athens, old. I beg to assure my readers that I tle with holding forth the divinity of do not refine when I thus explain the Christ as an object of their acceptance. term avtos: for it has no other meaning And what did this great champion of the but what is here ascribed to it, namely, religion of Jesus do, in consequence ? emphasis, or opposition to some other Did he meet the charge and avow it ? object expressed or implied in the context. This pronoun occurs frequently in it been well-founded, even at the risk of

This he certainly would have done, had every writer'; and this import nust be his life. On the contrary, be cuts up the assigned to it, or it has no sense or pro- charge by the roots, as grounded in mispriety at all.”—P. 15.

conception : and he was accordingly disThe sum of the argument is the charged. Had he attempted to justify surprising fuct (we quote Dr. Jones's that doctrine, he would have been inown words, pp. 17, 18), “ that Luke, stantly condemned. His acquittal is an who is supposed to have written an unequivocal fact that he negatired it, as account of the miraculous birth of

a mere dictate of Heathenism."— Pp. 19,

20. Jesus, does in reality contradict it as a falsehood. He asserts that he begins

Dr. Jones asserts that the enemies his gospel with the word of God which of the gospel adopted the supposition came to John the Baptist; and he of Jesus being a Demon or God, to defines the period of that event with account for his miracles and appearunexampled' precision; he demon- ance after death, without the necessity strates the whole scheme to be a fic- of admitting his resurrection to be a tion, by shewing that Jesus was not proof of a future state. There appears really born till after the death of Herod to us to be some obscurity in this part the Great ;-he asserts, in language of the argument. The facts alleged are, 1, That the Pharisees, when they are obviously alluded to in the apostolic could no longer deny the works of writings : see Jude ver. 1; John ii. 22. Jesus, asserted that he was aided by They gave various names to the supreme a demon, and that the Emperor Alex. God, which they pretended to reveal, ander Severus believed in the divinity Bathos, the depth. To this Johu allades

such as, Propater, Proarche, Bythos or of Christ, as is attested by Ælius Lam- in Rev. ii. 24, as well as Paul in Rom. pridius : 2, That Hadrian in his letter viii. 39. This

chief divinity they coupled to the Consul Servianus, preserved by with a female called Sige.

This pair Vopiscus, asserts that the devotees of gave birth to another, called Nous and Serapis were believers in Christ, that Aletheia. These again uniting begot is, in his divinity: these were the Logos and Zoe, who in their turn pro. Gnostic teachers, of whom Basilides duced Anthropos and Ecclesia. Hence was chief: 3, That those who first finally arose the Æones or angels, or the believed, or affected to believe, that houndless genealogies to which Paul alour Lord was a supernatural being, ludes in 1. Tim i. 4; see Iren. pp. 7, 8.

These fictions, Origen, in his answer to changed Christus into Chrestus, an

Celsus, p. 294, thus characterizes : Cele epithet which the Pagans applied to

sus ought to know that there exist those such of the demons as they considered who having espoused the cause of the benign or useful to mankind : in the Serpent (Ops) are called (Oplavi) Sernumber of these Pagans was Suetonius. pentists. Their fictions exceed the fictions The philosophers of the Alexandrian of the Titans and the Giants. These School, according to Dr. Jones, had men being Egyptians, pretended, that recourse to the same reasoning, exert- the Christ or the divinity in the man ing “all their talents and reputation Jesus, was the same with Horus, or Seto destroy Christianity, upon no other rapis, or Pan; see Epiphanius, Vol. I. p. ground than that the founder was him

171; Iren. pp. 17, 18. The Egyptians self supposed to be a supernatural had their elder and younger Horus ;

hence the impostors had two Christs, one being." These facts, he concludes,

of the old, the other of the new dispendecide the controversy between the

sation. Duos quidem Deos ausos esse advocates of the Orthodox and those hæreticos dicere et duos Christos audi. of the Unitarian faith, and are “a sure vimus : Origen Tepe Apxwy, lib. ii. c. 7. proof that Christianity, as vulgarly The same learned writer thus bears tesreceived and established, whether by timony to the manner in which they prejudice or power, contains the very cursed the Lord Jesus, while they preessence of Antichrist.”

tended to honour the divinity within him. Chap. IV. is headed “ The Gnostic 'They vilify Jesus no less than Celsus; Systeni and Antichrist the same nor do they admit any one into their Gnosticism explained-Its Origin and society, unless he first deposit curses Authors pointed out by Christ." The upon. Jesus.' Contra Cels. 294. This Gnostics, Trwsixos, pretended, says onr

doctrine was taught by the impostors at

Corinth. To this, as we have seen, Paul author, to possess superior wisdom to pointedly alludes'in 1 Cor. xii. 3, and that of Christ and the apostles. They also at the end. It is with much truth were Christians only in profession, but and propriety, that the following asserin reality Epicurean Jews, and the tion is made in the interpolated letter to most deadly enemies of the gospel. In the Trallians, c. 6 : 'They (the heretics) the Appendix, Dr. Jones presents us speak of Christ, not that they might with a view of their principles. preach Christ, but that they might super

sede him; and they profess the law, in “ The system of the Gnostics was order to establish a system of iniquity.' founded in three principles; one was their It is a remarkable fact that Josephus rejection of the Creator as the supreme speaks of the Jewish Gnostics under the God and bencvolent Father of mankind; name of Zealots; and the descriptiou the second was their rejection of the man which he has given its of their wickedJesus, while they pretend (pretended) to

ness, throw's much light on the second receive the Christ who was a God within Epistle of Peter, and that of Jude. The him ; the third was, that Christ did not

Jewish historian and these apostles will come from the Almighty with a commis- appear, when duly compared, to speak of sion to save the world on the terms of the same people, and hence the authen. repentance and reformation, but that he ticity of these two Epistles will be placed caine to destroy the works of the Creator, beyond the reach of reasonable doubt.” and to anthorize his followers to continue - Pp. 271–273. in the indulgence of thcir favourite sins. These impious sentiments, while they are

The author thinks that Christ points attested by the Greek and Latin fathers, out the Gnostics in the parable of the Tares and other passages. He inter- resurrection of Christ, Dr. Jones cites prets John Baptist's severe language the case of the soldier that pierced his to the Pharisees and Sadducees, of the body upon the cross. same sect, whose system is the Anti

“ If a candid and enlightened sceptic christ of the New Testament.

were asked, what circumstance, conThe Vth Chapter, wbich contains nected with the death and subsequent rethe Reply to the Author of "The New surrection of Christ, would, if proved to Trial of the Witnesses,” is in our view be true, be most likely to remove bis of great merit. It contains “the Proofs doubts of the divine origin of Christiof the Resurrection and Ascension of anity, and secure his own practical faith Christ." The author lays great and in its fundamental points, he perhaps just stress upon our Lord's leaving would reply, that nothing could so effecpredicted his own sufferings. He finds tually auswer this end, as that the very such predictions where a common

soldiers employed by the Jewish rulers in reader would not discover them, and who drove the spear into his side, should

his execution, and especially that soldier we are pleased with his ingenuity even themselves soon after become converts to when we are not wholly convinced by the faith, and attest the truth of the his argument.

wonders which they had beholden, though At first, Jesus only hints at the suf- urged by tortures to their denial. And ferings that awaited him, as they were

this is a circumstance which the wisdom brought to his mind by the appearauce of Providence caused to have taken place, and language of those around him. Thus and even to be recorded by apostolic Luke writes, iv. 23, Ye will tell me authority, in order to remove the objecthis parable, Physician, by all means

tions of infidelity in all succeeding geneheal thyself. The Evangelist considered rations. The passage to which I allude this saying as having an immediate refer- is as follows: * Then came the soldiers, ence to the request which the Jews made and brake the legs of the first and of the to our Lord, to do such things in his other which were crucified with him. own country, as they heard he had per. But when they came to Jesus, and saw formed in Capernaum ; but the use of that he was dead already, they brake not EÇEīte, ye will say, in the future tense,

his legs. But one of the soldiers with a demonstrates that he at the same time spear pierced his side, and forthwith alluded to some saying that was yet fu

came thereout blood and water. And he ture; and if we turn our eyes to chap. who saw it bore testimony, and his tesxxiii. 37, we shall find the very words timony is true ; that man, ton, knoweth addressed to him by his enemies, which that what the writer saith is true, that ye he here anticipates, And they inocked might believe. For these things were him, saying, If thou be King of the Jews, done, that the Scriptures might be fulsave thyself. Near the close of his mi. filled, --Abone of him shall not be nistry, or, according to the arrangement

broken. And again, another Scripture of John, near the conmencement of it, saith, They shall look on him whom they Jews, and his subsequent restoration to here said to have seen this event, and Jesus foretold his destruction by the pierced.'. John xix. 32—37.

“ It is supposed that by the person life, in terms suggested by the sight of borne testimony to it, is meant the Evanthe temple, which terms, as implying the demolition of that temple when lite- gelist himself. But a little attention to rally taken, becaine deeply rooted in the the original will be sufficient to convince memories of those present, in conse

us that the historian means the soldier quence of the astonishment which they bore testimony,' and saith, though

who had pierced him. The two actions excited, and of the offence which they occasioned. Destroy this temple, and expressed by two distinct verbs, one in in three days I will raise it up." John ii. the past tense, the other in the present, 20. John is the only one who has re.

must, ou the supposition that John meant corded this incident; yet that Jesus did himself, be the same : which is absurd. actually deliver these words before they

The original meuagtupyxa means, when were accomplished in his sufferings and employed by carly Christian writers, to resurrection, we have the indirect but bear testimony to the faith in circumsure testimony of his enemies, recorded stances of torture or of death ; and this by Matthew; "And those who passed by acceptation is so generally given to it, blasphemed him, shaking their heads and that the corresponding noun yaptup, saying, Thou who destroyest the temple which before siniply signified a witness, and buildest it in three days, save thy- came to denote a marlyr to the truth. self.:-Pp. 37, 38,

It is to be observed, too, that the writer

has employed the perfect tense; and he Amongst other testimonies to the could not therefore so properly intend


himsell, now writiug, as some other per. asserts, for example, that Luke him. sou who had previously borne a signal self was one of the two disciples whom testimony to the fact in question.

Jesus joined on the road to Emmaus ! “ If the Evangelist meant himself, And this fact, he says in the Appendix, there would have been little propriety in the appeal which he makes, as it would be p. 274, may be gathered from the naronly an appeal to his own authority. On rative, for the historian speaks in more the contrary, nothing was more decisive places than one in the first person. Is and forcible, than appealing, in corrobo. this correct? In every place where ration of the death of Jesus, to the evi- the first person is used in the narrative, dence of a man, who, like himself, was the historian is relating the conversaan eye-witness of the event, and who tion of the disciples. They said suffered torments in attestation of its we trusted,” &c. “ They said one to truth.

another, Did not our heart burn?" &c. “ That the soldiers alluded to became In relating a dialogue an historian does converts to the gospel, and that the sacred writer had, on this occasion, their and assume the persons of the speak

not, surely, put off the third person conversion in view, is demonstrable from the prophecy which he cites, and of which ers; especially when he notifies to the he considers that conversion to be the reader that he is recording a converaccomplishment, And again, another sation. Scripture saith, They shall look upon him

[To be continued.) whom they have pierced.' That is, ‘They shall now love him, whom they before Art. II. - Dissenting Registers of hated without a cause ; they shall regard with regret and compassion the Saviour

Births, Marriages and Burials, exwhom they had cruelly slaiu ; or, in the

amined as Documents of Evidence. words of Zachariah, whence the Evan

By A Barrister. 8vo. pp. 50, Offor. gelist has copied this prophecy, ' They

1823. ls. 60. shall mourn for him as one mourneth for THIS is the production of a rehis only son, and shall be in bitterness for spectable Dissenter in the legal him as one is in bitterness for his first profession. If it does no more, it born. Zach. xii. 10. "" "That the soldiers whom the Jewish the point in question, and this is

shews the uncertainty of the law on rulers intrusted with the execution of Jesus, did, after they had put him to ground sufficient for the author's redeath, receive him as their Saviour, is a

commendation of a general applicafact very probable, from the Evangelists tion on the part of the Dissenters for Mark and Luke, who represent the leader some parliamentary measure that shall of those soldiers, as openly declaring his take their property of inheritance out belief in the divine mission of the illus- of jeopardy. trious sufferer, while yet standing at the A late decision in the Rolls' Court foot of the cross : ' And when the cen- has, we think, occasioned unnecessary turion which stood over against him, saw alarm with regard to the validity of that he so cried out and gave up the the Register of Births kept by the ghost, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God;' Mark xv. 39. Lastly, it Deputies at Dr. Williams's Library. is not only handed down as a vague tra

It never was supposed that this regisdition in the Christian Church that the ter was legal evidence of the first decenturion and the soldier became con. gree: it is however good evidence of verts, but the Greek and Latin Churches the second degree; and there are, we have a festival instituted in memory of believe, cases to shew that this evitheir martyrdom, which surely could not dence is adınissible in most courts,* have taken place, if their conversion had provided that better cannot be obnot been a notorious fact.”--Pp. 41–43. tained. No form of certificate amongst

Dissenters can be equal to a parochial There follows a well-sustained dia

registry ; but it would be extreme logue, in which the author represents folly in them to neglect this security the Evangelist Matthew under exami- before they gain another and better. nation in a court of justice; and here are answered, and we think we may • We say in most courts, because legal say, satisfactorily, the popular objec- decisions are sometimes influenced by tions to the accounts of the resurrec- the personal character of judges, Cases tion. We cannot subscribe, however, of this kind, affecting Dissenters, will to all the author's statements. He occur to the recollection of every reader.

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