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CONTENTS OF NO. XXVI.
many, Switzerland, &c., in the sixteenth century.
3. Gaussen's Theopneusty, on the Plenary Inspiration of
5. Sermons and Sketches of Sermons by Rev. John
THE CHRISTIAN REVIEW.
MR. PARKER'S DISCOURSE.
Discourse on the Transient and the Permanent in Christianity. By THEODORE PARKER, Minister of the Second Church in Roxbury. Boston. 1841.
WE introduce this discourse to the notice of our readers, as a curiosity of this curious age, and as occupying the ultimate ground towards which a certain denomination has long been tending, of denying all authority in matters of religious faith. It is founded on the declaration of our Saviour, Luke 21: 33, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away. Its object is to point out what in Christianity is uniform, certain, and of permanent obligation, as compared with what is variable, uncertain and perishing. And it is a curiosity, in this point of view, that it employs substantially the same means of invalidating our confidence in the Bible, as a book of veritable fact and truth, and as deserving of absolute and universal belief, that infidels do; while it eulogizes the religion it teaches, as the ideal of all man needs or is to expect. In illustration of its identity with infidelity in some of its most essential positions, we will place those of the two side by side, that the reader may judge for himself. This we do, not to affirm that Mr. P. is an infidel, in opposition to his solemn professions to the contrary; for this might appear uncharitable
VOL. VII.NO. XXVI.
and unchristian; but as evidence of the curious fact, that, within thirty-three years of the death of that celebrated apostle of infidelity, Thomas Paine, a Christian teacher, invested with the canonicals of his office, and standing in the pulpit,
"That most important and effectual guard,
Support and ornament of virtue's cause,"
is found advocating some of the most material positions of the "Age of Reason," as essential to invest Christianity with its real glory, and to make it seen that "the words of Jesus are the music of heaven, sung in earthly voice." The following specimens, promiscuously selected, will suffice for our purpose:
"When Moses told the children "It has been assumed at the of Israel that he received the two tables of the commandments from the hands of God, they were not bound to believe him."-Age of Reason, pp. 13, 14.
"The church mythologist collected all the writings they could,""decided by vote which of them should be the WORD OF GOD, and the belief of the people, since calling themselves Christians, came from this vote.”—p. 20.
"As to the account of the creation, with which the book of Genesis opens, it has all the appearance of being a tradition, which the Israelites had among them before they came into Egypt."-p. 21. "We ought to feel shame at calling such paltry stories the word of God."-p. 21.
"Jesus Christ called men to the practice of moral virtues and the belief of one God. The grand trait of his character is philanthropy." -p. 26.
The character of the person called Paul, has in it a great deal of violence and fanaticism;" "and, either as a Jew or a Christian, he was the same zealot.”—p. 145.
outset, with no shadow of evidence, that the Hebrew writers held a miraculous communication with God." Discourse, p. 13.
"All the books which caprice or accident had brought together, between the two lids of the Bible, were declared the infallible word of God, the only rule of faith and practice."-p. 15.
"Hence the attempt, which has always failed, to reconcile the philosophy of our times with the poems in Genesis, writ a thousand years before Christ.”—p. 14.
"It cannot be the record of fact, unless God is the author of confusion and a lie."—p. 14.
"The only creed Christianity lays down is, there is a God." "It is the love of man, the love of God, acting without let or hindrance." -p. 23.
"Paul had a vein of the marvellous running quite through him.” —p. 15.
"Solomon's songs are amorous "On the authority of the written and foolish enough, but which word, man has been taught to take wrinkled fanaticism has called a collection of amatory idyls for a divine." "For Solomon was then serious discourse, touching the