Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

be «

standing the modern fashing of lower- Protestant orators are not of the first ing the morality of the Mosaic oeco- class, and they are hampered by the nomy, he meant no more than what creed of Calvin or the Articles of the our religion enjoins, that we should Church of England. Discussion is hate sin but not the sinner. However, commonly useful, but we fear in this as in the Christian heaven there will instance that it will only serve to

no more pain, nor sorrow, nor exasperate still more fiercely the minds sighing," it is plain there can be no of two hostile parties. On one side abhorrence, strictly so called : on the certainly, political feeling is at the other hand, to suppose the celestial bottom of the controversy, and the inhabitants may possibly have no opposition to the Bible Society is only knowledge of the punishments of the a means of venting discontent under wicked, is to start a conjecture with- oppression. out any foundation, or to cut the knot The Irish newspapers are full of the instead of loosing it. They must pos- great debate at Carlow, which lasted sess this knowledge if they are to be three days. It ended with a Catholic the same beings, endowed with similar priest's personating a Socinian," mental faculties, though abundantly which threw the meeting (owing, we enlarged and improved. How then suppose, to the surprise of the Proare we to solve this difficulty? The testant part of the company) into conanswer is not far to seek: adequate fusion. A Cork paper, The Southern punishments on earth are regarded by Reporter; thus relates the matter :good inen not only without abhor. (Mr. M'Sweeny, a Catholic, was rence, but with complacency and ap- speaking, and had been interrupted probation, not from a vindictive spirit, by Mr. Pope, a Protestant :) but with a view to the prevention of Here again Mr. Pope called to the evil, and to the general interests of so- Chair, and urged that Mr. M‘Sweeny ciety: now, by analogy, we may con- should not be heard. clude that, in a future state, supposing Mr. M‘Sweeny, addressing himself similar circumstances, they will be to Mr. Pope, said, I was obliged to attended with similar effects.

listen to you for three hours and a No. 7. This passage exceeds my half to-day, and did not interrupt you. comprehension.

But be assured of it, if the rules of But it is probable that some farther this meeting, and a sense of decorum, thoughts on this subject will be sub- did not prevent me from doing so, you mitted to you under another signature, would not have spoken one-third of in completion of a few papers which the time. Mr. Chairman, I acknowhave appeared in some foriner num- ledge that I have no right to be heared bers of the Repository. The subject at any length-allow me, as a favour, can never be exhausted ; and as an to continue a moment longer. The old author well observes, “ Diversity gentlemen at the opposite side chalof gifts, though they be not alike lenged us to a contest with them in eminent and useful, and variety in Dublin, or somewhere else. Here I handling the same truths, contribute am, and I will decide the business rcith much to the edification of the church. the whole of them, or any one of them, One book comes into the hands of on this spot.-I promise you I will some, and another into the hands of not take ten minutes to put an end to others, whereby truth and piety are the controversy.-( Much noise ; some abundantly promoted.” *

calling order ; others vociferating R. (1.) hear him, hear him.)–After some

remarks, which we could not catch Bible Contest in Ireland. from the growing confusion in the THE contest between the advocates' place, Mr. M'Sweeny directed the of the Bible Society and the Ca- attention of the meeting to the text,

Pater major me est," tholics, and especially Catholic priests,

-“the Father in Ireland, continues with unabated is greater than I am," -and he chalwarmth. As far as we have seen, the lenged all or any of the gentlemen Catholics have the advantage. The opposed to him, to prove against him

the divinity of Jesus Christ, in case le

should personate a Socinian. * Pref. to Wishart's Theologia, 1716. Mr. Pope rose-accepted Mr. M'

[ocr errors]

VOL. XIX,

4 z

Sweeny's challenge, and proceeded to Dr. Jones's concise Viero of the Erishew, that Christ, in the passage re- dence which proves Philo and Joseferred to, acknowledged the superior phus to be Historians and Apolo rity of the Father, only in regard of gists of Christianity. his humanity.

THERE are now twelve years since Mr. M‘Sweeny.—That will not do, I published my Ecclesiastical ReSir; you bave proved nothing. You searches, in which I shewed that Philo have given an explanation that may and Josephus were not only believers satisfy yourself, of there being nothing in Christ, but that they are historians in the passage inconsistent with the and apologists of the gospel. The equality of Christ with the Father, book, however, made little impression : considered as to his divine nature. nor did any of the montbly journals, Now, pray Sir, as it is a principle as far as I remember, notice it, ex which you profess to believe, that cepting the Critical Review, edited every one is competent to judge of the by Mr. Fellows,) who thus speaks of meaning of the Scripture, should I it: “ If this was Josephus's object, it interpret that text as implying that is strange it should never have been Christ was really, and in every respect known, nor never surmised till our inferior to the Father, why should author came into the world. Till Mr. you contradict my opinion? Accord. Jones wrote his Ecclesiastical Re. ing to yourself, I have a right to draw searches, the writings of Josephus my own conclusions from the perusal must have been a sealed book. Mr. of the Scriptures, and not only that, Jones is the Edipus, who was des. but I am as good a judge of them as tined to unravel the riddle of the you are. Of course, then, you, pos- Sphinx." I had proof before me that sessing your biblical principles, that the Reviewer, while be thus derided every one can judge of the sense of me, had read nothing of the book ex. the Sacred Scriptures, cannot prove cept the title-page and the table of against me the divinity of Jesus Christ, contents. I have often since endeanor can you accuse me of error in de voured to attract the attention of those nying it?

who deem themselves competent to Rev. Mr. Pope.-Did I not prove it decide on the subject. in Ben David already?

I reviewed the question; and the deRev. Mr. M‘Sweeny.—No, Sir, I cisive manner in which I spoke on the need only appeal to the intelligence of subject had nearly provoked the learni, the Chair to pronounce that you did ed Reviewer of that work, in the Renot.

pository, to raise against me the cry The Chairman would not interfere, of rashness and singularity. This on the gronnd that he was not there called forth a letter from a Cambridge to decide between the parties. (You correspondent to shew that Whiston have not answered Mr. M'Sweeny, was whimsical enough to entertaia the resounded through the meeting ) same absurd idea respecting Josepbus.

Mr. Pope.--will answer him in Though I do not here appear in any writing to-morrow or some other time, enviable light, I am truly glad to see [Now, now, from the meeting.] the question noticed. And as I am

Rev. Mr. Daly.-As the gentleman anxious to provoke discussion, I will proposed us a question, is it not fair lay before the readers of the Reposithat we should propose him another di tory the following propositions with on the defensive, as I came to this proves their truth, namely, that Josemeeting to oppose the principles of phus and Philo are, without equivocathe Bible Society. I am not obliged tion or disguise, historians and apoloto answer you, but you are obliged to gists of the gospel, that their writings answer me. However, I pledge my- contain facts which, with new and self, that when you will have answered powerful evidence, demonstrate its my one question, I will answer every truth and divine origin-that a wise possible one of yours.– Frightful up- and judicious regard to the interests rour.) Mr. M‘Sweeny then thanked of Christianity and the state of the the Chairman for his indulgence, and Heathen world was the circumstance

that led thein to adopt the line of defence which marks their works-that

left the meeting.

Philo and Josephus will, under Divine and a pledge of the resurrection of all Providence, prove leading instruments inankind. Now, Josephus, in $ 30 in restoring Christianity to its original of the same book, expressly asserts purity, and thus recommending it to that the Judaism which he describes the reception of all mankind, and · and defends, does contain a firm assu. especially to the Jews dispersed over rance, bo xupar #1519, a miglity proof, the world.

a powerful cvidence that God himself Josephus, in his noble work against has given to mankind of a future Apion, is a historian and apologist of 'state. the gospel.. The proof of this is brief, 3. The sanctions of Judaisin are but conclusive.

known to be temporal, its rewards and 1. If we look into the New Testa- punishments being altogether limited ment we shall find that Christ did not to the present state: and if we take profess to teach a new religion, but the language of Moses and the proto improve and fulfil the religion of phots in a literal sense, not a single Moses and the prophets. He did this intimation of another life can be found by separating the spirit of it from the in their writings. The Sadducees rerites and ceremonies of the law, and jected the notion of a future state, making it consist in piety, benevo- because it was not predicted by Moses ; lence, and the inoral duties of life. nor were the Pharisees able to proHis adversaries, on the contrary, placed duce a single passage predictive of that it in external ordinances, to the ne- event; and the appeal which was glect of all virtue, divine and human. made to Jesus hiinself, with his mode The Jewish religion, thus taught by of answering it, is decisive on the Jesus Christ, may be called spiritual question. However, the Jewish Scrip

Juduism, while we may give to that tures, illustrated by his instruction of the Seribes and Pharisees the name and death, appeared in a new light: of ritual Judaism; nor did any Jew the veil of inetaphor which covered ever admit this distinction, however them was withdrawn: and Moses and wise and virtuous, except the follow- the prophets stand forth, the preachers ers of Jesus, who offered their religion of immortality to man. I will illusto the nations on the simple terins of trate this by an example or two. The repentance and reforination, without restoration of the Messiah to life, rethe painful necessity of submitting to vealed the import of the Psaluist, where the heavy, yoke of the Levitical code. he says, “ My body shall rest in hope, Paley, in his Evidences, has made this in the hope of being again awakened assertion; and the truth of it is most to a new life; because thou wilt not apparent from the book of the Acts. leave iny life in the grave; him who Now Josephus, in the second book is my life, him through whom I and against Apion, describes Judaism pre- and all mankind are to look for a new cisely as it has been defined by our life--por suffer thiy holy one to see Saviour, holding it forth as consisting corruption.”. Before the death of the altogether in true piety and morality, Messiah, which was not expected, this and passing over the ordinances of passage could be understood to have Moses, as forming no part of it. By no reference beyond the Psalmist himthis single act he unequivocally classed self; but when the resurrection of himself with the disciples of Jesus. Jesus took place, its application to Whiston observed this, and he was him became obvious and decisive. Jed by it to consider Josephus as one Again, Moses holds forth man on be. of the Ebionites.

ing created virtually as an immortal 2. The Judaism of the New Tes- Deing, because made in the image of tament contains a well-grounded as- him who is himself immortal, and the surance of a future life. Christ pro- parent of immortality. This was befessed that he was authorized by God fore the fall; but when man fell, the 'to proclaim this animating doctrine. sentence is immediately reversed; and

To prove this he did what fione but he is pronounced to be dust, and to the Alnighty could do. To evince the dust he must return. Thus man the sincerity of his own conviction he at the same breath is proclaimed morsubmitted to a public and ignominious tal and immortal. This remained a death, and he rose again as a proof mystery for ages, till the resurrection

of our Saviour brought it to light. By advocates, but to leave its truth or that event, godliness, which is con- falsehood to the progress of reason to fessedly a great mystery, received its refute or establish ; but, on the other solution, and all good men, as well as hand, to call upon the nations to emChrist, appear in the prospect of eter- brace the doctrine of a future life, nal life, as Gods in the flesh, — as, solely by virtue of his resurrection. though subject to death and corrup. Accordingly, I am free to say that do tion, heirs of inmortality. Now Jo- convert was made to Christianity by sephus, in the very place where he the apostles, who did not consider says that the Judaism of which he himself as dead to a future state, till speaks, is founded on a solid proof of he was born again to that hope by the a future existence to mankind, asserts resurrection of Christ. Spiritual Ju. that it was predicted by Moses, thus daism, then, holds forth the renewal making the prediction of the Jewish of being, in some distant period, legislator, and the illustration of it by known only, to God, and not the the divine inission of Jesus, to cor- survival of death by the immaterial respond to each other, as they are in and imperishable nature of the huthe New Testament.

man soul, as the only ground of 4. Farther, at the command of their future existence to the human race. Divine Master, the apostles propa. Now, the Jewish historian has done gated spiritual Judaism over the world, to himself, and to the religion which so that in half a century after the he defends, the justice to state this death of the founder, there was scarce- peculiar and distinguishing feature of Iy a place in the habitable globe where the gospel: Εδωκεν ο Θεος γενεσθαι τε it was not preached and received by παλιν και βιον αμεινω λαβειν εκ περιτροmultitudes. Josephus ascribes the ans, God hath given them to come into same diffusion to the Judaism of which being again, and after a period to he speaks. His words are emphatic receive a better life. If the hope of and triumphant. § 39: “And as a future state, cherished by those God pervades the whole world, so his converts, were founded on the immor. law has at length pervaded all man- tality of the human soul, Josephus kind.” This was sixty or seventy would have given a very different acyears after the commission to preach count of it. I am able to affirm this it to the Gentiles was given the apos- with perfect certainty; for the officers tles.

that were with him in the cave at Jom 5. Moreover, from the New Tes. tapata came to a resolution to destroy tament we might infer, and from ec. themselves rather than surrender to clesiastical history we are assured, the Romans. These men might not that those among the nations who re- be believers in the gospel. Josephus, ceived spiritual Judaism, were not in therefore, in attempting to dissaade ferior to the Jews whó preached it, them froin suicide, thus reasons with either in their attachment to it, or in them on their own principles : “The the sufferings or sacrifices which they bodies of men are indeed mortal, as made on account of it. This circum- composed of corruptible matter ; but stance is not onnitted by Josephus. the soul, being a portion of the divi“ And if we” (Jews) “ were not sen- nity dwelling within us, can never die. sible of the superior excellence of our Do not you know that those who delaws, we should be taught to glory in part this life, and, in conformity to them, by the multitudes that embrace the law of nature, restore the deposit them among other nations."

received from God, when it pleases 6. Lastly, though the doctrine of him to recall it, enjoy eternal fame; a future state, as founded on the im- that their abodes and their posterity mortality, of the human soul, was of are blessed ; that their souls are pare high antiquity, and general among and obedient, obtaining a most holy Jews and Gentiles, the Saviour appears place in heaven, whence, after a revo to have enjoined on his apostles, while lution of ages, they shall again be preaching his gospel, not to avail united with bodies, while the souls of themselves of this powerful prejudice those who madly lift their hands in their favour, not to notice it, not against themselves are received in the to enter into dispute about it with its darkest place in bades?” J. W., B. .

[ocr errors]

C. 8, 5. This is the doctrine of a Will-with-the-wisp, an ignis fatuus, future state, as maintained by Pytha. that bewitches and leads men into goras and the Stoics, which the Jews bogs and ditches; in spite of these, borrowed from the Pagans. The souls this glorious truth will burst forth as of the deceased remain for a time dise the sun from behind a thick cloud ; embodied; they are then permitted to and the future defenders of the gospel unite with other bodies, and they pass will have to claim the illustrious hisfrom one to the other periodically, torian of the Jews as one of its first through endless ages.

chainpions, combating in the same Now, reader, see the argument field with the apostles under the bandrawn to a few points. The Judaism Ders of Christ. of the New Testament consists of piety In the last chapter of my Ecclesiasand morality, in contradistinction to tical Researches I gave a short view the rites or works of the law. The of this proud and triumphant producJudaism of Josephus is the same. The tion of learning and genius, a paraJudaism of the New Testament con- graph of which, p. 536, shall conclude tains a powerful evidence of a future this paper : “ In the number of those state ; the Judaism of Josephus.com- who wrote against the Jews and the prehends the same animating doctrine. Gospel was Apion, a Scribe of AlexThe Judaism of the New Testament andria, and a man of wit and learning, brings to light Moses and the prophets yet profligate, malicious, and eager to as preachers of a future state ; the oppose the truth by violence and falseJudaism of Josephus places the Jew. hood. In his book he detailed the ish legislator in the same light, while, common caluinnies against the Jews, according to ritual Judaism, he is sic and blended them with so much scurlent on the subject. The Judaisin of rility and fiction, that he would have the New Testament was propagated been unworthy of notice, if his wit and over the world by the apostles; and buffoonery bad not left on many an unJosephus informs us, that in his days favourable impression. Under the authere was not a city ainong the Greeks, spices of Epaphroditus, the illustrious aor a nation among the Barbarians, friend of the Apostle Paul, Josephus where the Judaism of which he speaks undertook the defence of the Jews was not made known and received by and their religion against this gramanany. The Judaism of the New Tes- marian ; and he gave to the world a .tainent was embraced and cluog to work which has never been equalled with eager. fondness by the Gentile for the solidity of his conclusions or converts ; and Josephus assures us the profundity and extent of his rethat if the Jews were not sensible of searches. In his former compositions the superior value of their religion, Josephus shews himself only a plain, they would be surpassed by multi- ingenious commentator, or an artless tudes, who embraced it among the but able historian; in his work against nations. Finally, the Judaism of the Apion he rises on his readers, and New Testament makes the renewal of displays in a high degree the united being, and not the immortality of the powers of learning, argument and soul, the only solid foundation of a oratory. Though confined till a late future state ; the same foundation is period to the language and philosophy assigned it by the Judaism of Jose of the Hebrews, he soon acquired a phus. The conclusion then is inevi- wonderful acquaintance with the diatable: the Judaism of the New Testa- lect and literature of Greece. His ment and the Judaism of Josephus powerful mind, in a short period, are one and the same; or, in other seems to have grasped the whole exwords, Josephus, in his books against tent of the Phænician, Chaldean, Apion, is the historian and apologist Egyptian and Grecian records; and, of the gospel. In spite of Mr. Fellows, with the authority of these records, who derided me as an Edipus ; in overwhelmed all the enemies of the spite of the Reviewer of Ben David, Jews and of the gospel; thus repelling who would raise against me the cry of thein on their own grounds, and singularitỳ; in spite of the Cambridge sweeping away their falsehoods as correspondent, who represents me a with the force of a torrent.” second Will Whiston; in spite of any

J. JONES. other who may, if he pleases, call me

« VorigeDoorgaan »