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1831.]

Dr. Brewster quotes his paraphrase of the passage, which Bishop Horsley says is a "model of that sort of paraphrase by which any given sense may be affixed to any given words." Of the justice of this character of the paraphrase, the reader may form some judgment from the following paraphrase of the words, "This is he that came by water and blood: "This is he that, after the Jews had long expected him, came, first in a mortal body by baptism of water, and then in an immortal one, by shedding his blood on the cross, and rising from the dead."

Dr. Brewster concludes his statement, by saying: "As this learned Dissertation had the effect of depriving the defenders of the doctrine of the Trinity of two leading texts (1 John v. 7; 1 Tim. iii. 16), Sir Isaac Newton has been regarded as The Dissertaan Antitrinitarian." tion having been suppressed by its author, and not published till the year 1754, could have had no effect for more than half a century after it was written. Nor could the defenders of the doctrine of the Trinity be said to have been deprived of a verse which was claimed and defended during Sir Isaac's lifetime, by Smith in 1690, by Ittigius in the same year, Kettner in 1697, by Bishop Bull and Grabe in 1703, Mill in 1707, Maius 1708, Mesnard 1709, Pfaffius 1709, by Kettner again 1713, Martin in 1717, Calamy in 1722, Bishop Smallbrook in 1722, and A. Taylor in 1727. Sir Isaac Since Newton died in that year. that period, it may be sufficient, out of many very learned advocates for the verse, to mention the names of Bengelius, Ernesti, and Bishop Horsley. The last-mentioned very learned advocate of the verse says, "that the omission of the seventh verse breaks the connexion, and heightens the obscurity of the Apostle's discourse." From the internal evidence of the passage (to which an appeal is made in this observation), I have shewn in the preceding

the

Letter, I think, satisfactorily, that
the verse possesses the same irre-
fragable marks of genuineness which
authenticate the whole Epistle.
Dr. Brewster says, that
Dissertation has had the effect of
causing Sir Isaac Newton to be re-
an Antitrinitarian ;-an
garded as
effect, unjust for many reasons; in-
jurious to the memory of our great
philosopher; dangerous to the faith
of readers who are unacquainted
with his other writings, by that
influence on public opinion which
Socinians and Unitarians are now
industriously promoting; and there-
fore, on all accounts, conclusive
against the revival of opinions which
this author had deliberately sup-
pressed.

FORMS OF PRAYER AGAINST PESTI

LENCE.

For the Christian Observer. WE mentioned in our last Number that the two prayers lately issued are taken, with alterations and abridgments, from two collects in the form of prayer and fasting set forth in the years 1720 and 1721, during Archbishop Wake's presidency. We have thought that it would not be uninteresting to our readers to collate the respective compositions, which we subjoin.

Prayers of 1831.

1. "Most gracious Father and God! who hast promised forgiveness of sins to all those that with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto thee, look down, we beseech thee, from heaven, thy dwelling place, upon us thy unworthy servants, who, under an awful apprehension of thy judgments, and a deep conviction of our sinfulness, prostrate ourselves before thee. We acknowledge it to be of thy goodness alone that, whilst thou hast visited other nations with pestilence, thou hast so long spared us.

Have pity, O Lord! have pity on thy people, both here and abroad: withdraw thy heavy hand from those

that are suffering under thy judgments, and turn away from us that grievous calamity, against which our only security is in thy compassion. We confess with shame and contrition, that in the pride and hardness of our hearts we have shewn ourselves unthankful for thy mercies, and have followed our own inclinations, instead of thy holy laws: yet, O Merciful Father, suffer not thy destroying angel to lift up his hand against us, but keep us as thou hast heretofore done in health and safety; and grant that, being warned by the sufferings of others to repent of our sins, we may be preserved from all evil by thy mighty protection, and enjoy the continuance of thy mercy and grace, through the merits of our only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ. Amen."

2. "O, Almighty God! who, by the many instances of mortality which encompass us on every side, dost call upon us seriously to consider the shortness of our time here upon earth, and remindest us that in the midst of life we are in death, so teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Give us grace to turn unto thee with timely repentance, and thus to obtain, through the merits of our Saviour, that pardon to-day which to-morrow may be too late to seek for; that so being strengthened by thy good Spirit against the terrors of death, and daily advancing in godliness, we may at all times be ready to give up our souls into thy hands, O gracious Father, in the hope of a blessed immortality, through the mediation and for the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

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Prayers of 1721.

1. "O most gracious and merciful Lord God, who hast promised forgiveness of sins to all them that with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto thee, look down from heaven thy dwelling-place with thy bowels of pity and compassion upon the sorrows and dangers of thy servants, who, under the deepest

sense of thy amazing judgments, and their own manifold sins and provocations, prostrate themselves before thee.

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We confess, O Lord, with shame and confusion of face, that we have been an incorrigible nation, a sinful and disobedient people. We have resisted thy judgments; we have abused thy goodness, and turned thy grace into wantonness. Thou hast called us to the knowledge of thy Gospel, hast delivered us from that idolatry and superstition which had utterly overrun us; and preserved thy holy religion among us in the truth and purity of it. But we, most unmindful of these thy great benefits, have neglected thy commandments, have abused the knowledge of thy Gospel, have followed our own sinful lusts and passions, and have not served nor worshipped Thee as we ought to have done. Lord, to us belong shame and confusion of face, because we have sinned against Thee; but to Thee, our God, belong mercies and forgivenesses. Oh, shut not up thy lovingkindness in displeasure; neither be Thou angry with us for ever. Deal not with us after our sins, nor reward us according to our iniquities; but grant that, being duly humbled under thy mighty hand, and by thy dreadful judgments upon our neighbouring nations, brought to a deep sense of our own sins, and to a hearty repentance for them, we may become fitting objects of thy favour and forgiveness.

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“O Lord, thine arrows are gone abroad; they stick fast in the flesh of multitudes round about us. The pestilence rageth in their streets; it goeth about seeking whom it may devour. No strength can stand against it; it threatens to make whole cities desolate. And should thou suffer it to spread unto us, and bring us to the dust of death; yet must we acknowledge that righteous art thou, O Lord, and just are thy judgments. But, O merciful Father, suffer not thy destroying angel to

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come among us. Remove this great calamity from those whom thou hast visited with it: give them all the means that are necessary, or may be useful, to their preservation. Hear their and bind up their sores: groans, comfort them that are sick; preserve them that are well. Receive them that die, to thy mercy; and grant that both they and we, whether in life or death, may be made partakers of thy heavenly blessings. Keep us whom thou hast hitherto preserved from this contagious distemper, in health and safety. Thou killest and makest alive; Thou bringest down to the grave, and raisest up again: O let us live, and we will praise thy name, and thy judgments shall teach

us! Hear us, O Lord, for thy mercies' sake, and deliver us from those evils which our sins have most justly deserved, through the alone merits and intercession of thy dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

2. "O Almighty God, to whom alone belong the issues of life and death, who by the manifold instances of mortality which encompass us on every side, dost call upon us seriously to consider, and to prepare for our own departure; give us grace, we beseech Thee, to hasten, and not to delay the time, to fit ourselves for thy favour and acceptance *. Teach us so to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Make us duly to consider how short our time is, and that there is no repentance in the grave whither we are going. O Lord, we know not what may be to-morrow; grant us therefore grace to seek, and to secure that pardon to-day which we may otherwise never obtain to all eternity.

"And, being thus prepared for our last end, fortify our minds against the fear of death. Grant that we may not be terrified, as those who have no hope, at the apprehension of it; but may be ready, and even desirous to depart out of this world, and to give up our souls into thy The prayer of 1831 avoids this doctrinal incorrectness.

hands, as into the hands of a most gracious Father, of a most merciful Saviour and Redeemer.

"O Lord, whom have we in heaven but Thee? there is none upon earth that we desire in comparison of Thee. Grant, O merciful God, that we may never be separated from Thee; but that while we live we may have our conversation in heaven; walking by faith, not by sight; that when we die we may be received into thy heavenly habitations; and with all thy saints and servants, who have gone before us in thy faith and fear, may ever praise and glorify thy holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

We might copy from this service of 1721, other prayers, some original, some altered from forms in earlier services on similar occasions; but as we propose, in our Appendix published with the present Number, copying a few of these from the documents of the preceding century, we forbear proceeding further at present with the subject. May He who is the inditer as well as the hearer and answerer of prayer, be pleased to listen from heaven, his dwelling-place, to the supplications of his people, and grant us deliverance, if it be his will, from the great calamity which impends over us; or should He in infinite wisdom cause the scourge to fall, may He endue us with strength and patience to endure his fatherly chastisement; may He render it subservient to our spiritual benefit, and at length bring us out of the furnace, like gold purified seven times in the fire.

LETTER FROM MR. DRUMMOND, AND REMARKS UPON IT.

We insert, according to our promise, the following letter received by us from Mr. Drummond. As the writer thinks it necessary for his own vindication, we do not choose to incur the hazard of injustice by excluding it; but any reply to its arguments

V

744

Letter from Mr. Drummond,

or rather assertions, we think wholly superfluous, especially after all that has appeared in our columns on the subject. We leave our readers to decide upon the matter for themselves.

To the Editor of the Christian Observer. You have thought fit to drag my name, and supposed opinions on prophecy, which you have little means of knowing, before your readers, in a manner somewhat uncalled for. This is not, however, a very deadly offence; and it shall be gladly pardoned if you will allow a place in your columns to this letter. It is true, that, notwithstanding the greatest personal regard, and even affection for those persons of repute in the Evangelical world with whom I have had the pleasure to become acquainted, I perceive that they are sceptical in the greater part of what the Bible contains. I do not deny that they believe many things which are mentioned in the Bible, and which are also mentioned elsewhere; that is, such as are mentioned in the catechisms, books, and systems, most in fashion at the present time; but all that the Bible contains which is not mentioned in these authorities, they either think of little importance, orresolutely deny, by explaining away the plain import of its plain words. The question is evaded by its being said, " Do you mean to put belief in the personal reign of Christ as essential to salvation as belief in justification by faith?" I answer, that salvation does not depend upon belief of a certain number of propositions. If you, sir, tell me two facts; one of which, being confirmed also by others, I believe, and the other wanting such confirmation I doubt; I do not really believe the former upon your testimony at all, however I may deceive myself and compliment you by expressions of confidence in your veracity.

The one grand subject of the Bible is the setting up of the God-man, the Creator and the creature united in one indissoluble Person, as God's Mani

[DEC. fester, and Ruler over this globe primarily, and secondarily over the whole creation. The subordinates to this are declarations concerning the present state of mankind, and the methods by which sinful men may beand dominion, under the Head Macome partakers of this manifestation nifester and Ruler. And I must necessarily consider all who deny this to be the main subject of the Bible, to be sceptics in the principal fact and matter of revelation.

It is beside the point to rejoin, that many sincerely pious persons have gone to heaven who never understood the subject as above enunciated. Salvation does not depend upon logical precision, but upon a heart and mind at one with the will of God; and a heart which is conformed to as much of God's purpose as is known, possesses all the qualifications for joying in the manifestations of God which a redeemed creature can possess; while a heart which is in love with a system that is not of God but is the invention of man, although containing some fragments of God's truth in it, and which testifies distaste of God's unadulterated system when laid before it, is at enmity with God and can never stand in God's presence. It is one thing to be partially ignorant of God, and yet love the little that is known; and it is another thing to know something of God which is loved along with the error mixed with it, and hate to have that error removed.

You may say, "But what proof do you bring to shew that such is the case with the majority of the evangelical clergy; and what is the practical difference between you and them?" The proof is easily drawn from their books; but if I particularise any one, the question assumes a personal aspect, and the individuals selected are made scape-goats for the class; and since neither you nor they deny that they differ from me, the proof may be pretermitted. The practical effect of that difference is immense. The first duty of the

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church is to be a faithful witness for the righteousness of God's dealings with the world, and the evangelical clergy are almost universally unable to bear this testimony. The whole world rings with the sound of coming convulsion; "Can there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it?" yet where are the witnesses to justify God's ways to man? To talk of man's sins generally will not suffice. The coming of Christ, for the salvation of his people and the destruction of his enemies, being the one sole legitimate object of the Christian's hope, we who have that hope consult the Scriptures to ascertain the circumstances connected with it; and we thence learn that they who cannot discern the signs of it, and who mock at it by calling it a mere speculation, unimportant, and even useless, are under a delusion. We endeavour further to learn the nature of that delusion, and we find it to consist in being built up in doctrines and systems of men, to which the persons deluded bear a zealous and idolatrous devotion in having their fear of God (for they do fear him) taught by man, and not by God alone; and in preaching peace, blessedness, and prosperity to that generation to which Christ comes in judgment. The Evangelical clergy have been telling the people that the Lord Jesus was not to return to this earth until after the whole world was converted; that Bibles, and tracts, and missionaries, were to convert it: they have denied that the Christian dispensation was to close in judgments, as did the Jewish; and they are utterly unable to see the finger of God in any one of the transactions now passing in Europe. The priesthood of Britain, as were the priesthood of Jerusalem, are drunk, not with wine, but with delusion: they have a moral incapacity to believe God's word; they say that earth means heaven; that age to come means age that is past; that the throne of David means Englishmen's hearts; that Jews returning to their own land means CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 360.

Christians going to heaven; with a thousand other dishonest perversions, which are proofs indisputable of disbelief-that is, of infidelity-in the plain meaning of plain words.

If the earthquake is now shaking beneath our feet which shall never cease till every European monarchy is overthrown; if the deluge of infidelity is now set in which is to overwhelm the secularity of the High Church party and the delusions of the Evangelical party in one common destruction: if pestilence, famine, and civil war, be the sore plagues by which God's "strange work" is to be brought about; if, at the commencement of the last act of these judgments, the Lord Jesus Christ comes in person to take His saints to himself, and to conduct the details of the day of wrath and the breaking in pieces of the nations with a rod of iron like a potter's vessel; if that moment of advent is consequently to be looked for every hour, when the door of mercy is closed for ever; if the people are unwarned because the clergy, both Established and Dissenting, are dumb dogs on these subjects, and lying prophets, preaching peace instead of judgment, disbelieving the plainest declarations, and perverting them by a process of delusion which they call spiritualising; if public opinion is the idol of the whole priesthood, and religious magazines the god to which they bow; if this condition has come upon us chiefly because we have ceased to be God's witnesses against the Popish imposture; IF, IF, I say, all these things are so, then let me appeal to yourself, sir, whether it is possible to be too earnest in asserting what I have asserted; and whether the widest and loudest proclamation of that assertion be not proof of the truest love for the souls of the clergy themselves, and of the flocks which they have scattered and poisoned.

Whenever the day of the Lord does comes it will prove a day of tremendous reckoning to the priesthood of that time, let it come when 5 D

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