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period the ædiles were commanded losophers among them who denied a to take care that no gods were wor
Providence, or such as laughed at their shipped except the Roman gods, religious rites, themselves conformed to and that they were worshipped after them; and they had no system of their no manner but the established man- opposed the prevailing superstitions.
own to bring forward, which radically ner of the country. Mæcenas re
Amidst such agreement, the absence of commended Augustus to worship persecution does not deserve the name the gods himself according to the of toleration. Far less was it a proof established form, and to force all of that mild spirit, which has been falseothers to do the same, and to hate ly ascribed to Paganism. As soon as and punish all those who should at- Christianity appeared, the most virutempt to introduce foreign religions. lent opposition was excited. It is alIt is true, indeed, that instances of ways to be recollected, that this persepersecution on account of religious There was nothing political in it, not
cation was purely of a religious dature, opinions or practice, were
even the pretence of any thing of this among the Heathen. They did, kind. The Christians under the Roman however, occasionally take place, empire were the most peaceable citias is rendered indisputable by the zens. Their submission to goveroment, treatment which Socrates experi- strictly enjoined on them by the Scripenced. That persecution was not tures, formed a prominent part of their more frequently inflicted, may be religion. Never were the principles of fairly accounted for by the absence, any set of men put to so severe a test. not of a persecuting spirit, but of From their pumbers, they at length pos
sessed the means of opposition, had they opportunity and temptation to per- chosen to exert them ; but this they secute. This seems to have been
never attempted.” Vol. I. p. 64. proved on the appearance of Christianity. The peaceable, harmless, Thus Mr. Hume's assertion consubmissive conduct of the first cerning the tolerance of Paganism, Christians, entitled them, even on is directly contrary to historical rethe shewing of their adversaries, to cord and acknowledged fact. So, the fullest toleration. But did they likewise, bis representation concernreceive it from “ the mild spirit of ing the intolerance of Christianity polytheism?” So far from it, & is calumnious and false. The charge cruel persecution was immediately of religious intolerance may, indeed, raised against them, first by the be fastened on many who have multitude, and subsequently by the borne the Christian name, but it Roman Government, which conti- never can apply to Christianity pued, with a few intermissions, for itself. That Divine religion disowas nearly three hundred years, and the cruelties perpetrated in its naine, terminated only when Paganism lost and under pretence of zeal' for its its power.
honour and advancement. Its merMr. Haldane sums up his remarks ciful Author came not to destroy on the intolerance of Paganism men's lives, but to save them. His with the following pertinent obser- language was, “My kingdom is not vations:
of this world :” “ Put up again thy « On the whole, the violent persecu. that take the sword shall perish by
sword into its sheath, for all they tions to which Christians were subject. ed, during the first three centuries, is the sword.” And, accordingly, his a fact acknowledged even by those who Apostles went forth declaring "The most strenuously contend for Pagan to- weapons of our warfare are not car. leration. The principles of all the other nal, but mighty, through God, to religions which the Heathen world em- the pulling down of strong-holds." braced, were at bottom really one. All On this subject Mr. Haldane most of theni agreed to treat sin with Jenity, justly remarks: and to allow one another's religion to be right on the whole. Even those pui. Whoever knows and recollects, that, Except a man be bórn' again, he hís meaning in a subsequent paracannot see the kingdom of God; and graph: tliat, No man can call Jesus Christ, Lord, bat by the Holy Ghost, will not the original writings. No one contend's
“ Inspiration," he says, “ belongs to suppose that shedding a man's blood, for any degree of inspiration to the or using violence of any kind, is the way to convert bim, and make him obe- transcribers in different ages. Accudient to God. There is no need of racy in the copies they have made, is, laboured essays on toleration to prove the keepers of Scriptore ; by the oppo
under God, secured by the fidelity of to the Christian, who studies the word
sition of parties watching each other, of God, that he must not dare to use violence to promote the cause of the Go- rious sects; and by the great multipli
as of Jews and Christians, and of vaspel. Liberty of conscience to all men from each other, is there written as with a different languages, which took place
cation of copies and translations into sunbeam; and whenever any real Cbris. tians, misled by the prejudices of the very early. The agreement among the age in which they lived, or giving way and New Testament, has been ascet.
ancient manuscripts, both of the Old to the depraved principles natural to tained, by the strictest examination, to the human heart, bave resorted to car
be astonishingly exact.” Vol. I. p. 136. nal weapons to propagate their reli. gion, they have always grievously erred
Mr. Haldane examines, and satisfrom the faith, and have generally factorily refutes, a notion entertainpierced themselves through with many ed by the late Dr. Doddridge, and sorrows." Vol. I. p. 63.
some other writers, that different The third chapter, which treats degrees of inspiration are to be of “ The Credibility of Miracles,” attributed to different parts of the and the fourth, on - The Genuine. word of God. To some places ness and Authority of the Holy belongs, as these writers supposed, Scriptures," we must pass over : an inspiration of superintendance; but the following chapter, on “The to others, of elevation; and to the Inspiration of the Scriptures," de- rest, of suggestion. This, as our serves very particular notice, both author proceeds to shew, is a mere on account of the importance of the fanciful distinction, to which no subject, and the able and judicious support or countenance is given in manner in which Mr. Haldane has Scripture itself, the only source of discussed it. He introduces it by accurate knowledge on the subject. defining what is to be understood Indeed, the admission of any such by the inspiration of the Scriptures, idea as that of different kinds and or in what sense and degree inspi. degrees of inspiration, must be atration is to be attributed to them. tended with consequences the most He remarks ;
injurious. It must have the effect “The Scriptures of the Old and New of unsettling the mind, and making Testament are not only genuine and
us doubtful as to the degree of authentic, but also inspired writings. authority and importance to be The claim of inspiration which they ad- attached to the different parts of vance, is a claim of infallibility and the word of God. How wide a perfection. It is also a claim of ab. door for every species of abuse and solute authority, which deinands un. limited submission. It is a claim which,
error would thus be opened, cannot if set up for any other book, may, with escape those who are sensible of
the the utmost ease, be shewn to be un.
perverseness and deceitfulness founded. The inspiration of the Scrip. of the human heart. The full intures is attested both by the nature and spiration of certain parts of Scripvalue of their contents,
and by the evi. ture has been denied, on the supdence of their truth. On these gronnds position that the Apostles themthey stand without a rival in the world, selves admit, in these parts, that and challenge from every man the high- they are not speaking by inspiraest possible regard.” Vol. I. P.
tion, or that their inspiration is not The author explains and guards of the highest kind. Mr. Haldade CHRIST. OBSERV, No. 248.
asserts that this objection proceeds therefore, had no new commandment to, on a mistaken view of the meaning deliver to them, or no commandment of the passages in question; and from himself, but one which the Lord had he establishes the fact by an induc- given. To the rest,' says he, 'speak. I, tion of the particular passages, former commandment given by the Lord
not the Lord.' Here there was no and an examination of their real to which he might refer them. On this import. We shall offer no apology point, therefore, he himself now delivers for extracting entire the paragraphs to them the will of God. Indeed, so containing this examination. far was this commandment from having • In the seventh chapter
the First been given before, that it was a repeal Epistle to the Corinthians, the Apostle of an old one, by which, under the Paul is supposed in some places to dis- Jewish dispensation, the people were claim inspiration, and, in one place, not commanded to put away their wives, if to be certain whether he is inspired or
unbelievers. Can it be supposed that pot. At first sight this will appear to the Apostle is speaking from himself, be evidently contrary to the uniform and not under the direction of the Holy style of this Apostle's writings, and very Ghost, when he is declaring the abrogaimprobable, when, as a commissioned tion of what had been once the law of and accredited ambassador of Jesus God? Christ, he is answeriug certain ques
“Now, concerning virgins, I have no tions put to him by a Christian charch, commandment of the Lord; but I give to whom he had just before asserted, my judgment, as one that bath obtained in the most explicit manner, that he mercy of the Lord to be faithful.' Here, 'spoke not in the words which man's again, vo former commandmeut had wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy been given, to which he could refer Ghost teacheth; and that he was ad- them; but he gave his judgment, or dressing them in the name of the Lord sentence, as one who was faithful to Jesus. Attention to this miglit have the charge committed to him.-' I think, prevented the adoption of the unfound. also, that I have the Spirit of God.' In ed and mistaken meaning which lias this, as in many other passages, the word
been affixed to the passages referred translated •I think, does not mean to. 'If just, it would tend to unsettle doubting, but certainty *. If Paul the minds of Christians respecting the
meant it to be understood that he was inspiration of the Scriptures, and to
pot certain whether he was inspired or render it uncertain when the Apostles not, it would contradict all lie has as. .speak as inspired men, and when they serted on the subject of his inspiration. deliver a doubtful opinion of their own.
But, so far from this being the case, and No such indecision, however, attaches in order the more deeply to impress to the passages in question. In
their minds with the importance of what to the question about marriage, Paúl he had said, he concludes by, assuring says, 'I speak this by permission, not them that he was certuin he wrote by of commandment.' Does this mean that the Spirit of God. the Spirit permitted him, but did not
“ The only other passage in which command' him, to give the answer he this Apostle is supposed to disclaim had done? If the spirit permitted this inspiration, occurs in 2 Cor. xi. 17: , answer to be given, it must be accord.
That which I speak, I speak it' not ing to the mind of the Spirit ; for Paul after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, could not be permitted to say what wą8
in this confidence of boasting' In this contrary to it. But this would have passage Paul does not refer to the ag. been a very extraordinary and unusual thority, but to the example of the Lord. way of communicating that mind, and I speak not according to the example or 'is plainly what is here not intended. 'manner of the Lord, but after the manner The obvious meaning is, that what the of fools;'a manoer whith, as he tells them Apostle here said was in the way of in the next chapter, they had conipelled permission, 'not of commandment. I him to adopt.” Vol. I. pp. 139–143. speak this,” says be, ' as a permission, In these criticisms our author is
not as a commandment.;-Again : at the supported both by the analogy of . tenth
verse, * Vato the married I com. Scripture and the original text, as mand, yet not I, but the Lord. This commandment had been delivered by * See Macknight on the Epistles; and the Lord Jesus himself. The Apostle, also Parkhurst.
well as by the concurrence of some Spirit of God. They spoke as tlley, of the ablest expositors. And thus were moved by the Holy Ghost.”" Vole, it appears that the passages' in l. pp. 168-170 question not only give no counte
We have already mentioned, as nance to the opinion in support of one of the chief excellencies of Mr.. which they have been often ad- Haldane's work, the circumstance duced, but, understood aright, tend of bis having so constructed his to overturn it. Mr. Haldane' sums plan as to admit full and clear stateap his reasonings and proofs on this ménts of Christianity as the Gospel subject in the following paragraph of salvation. Such statements are
“On the whole, tben, we see the na. to be found in several places in his ture of that inspiration by which the treatise ; and they appear in it, not Prophets and Apostles wrote. The in the shape of digressions or epimanner of communicating the revela- sodes, but so interwoven into its tions might differ, as we learu from the texture as naturally to belong to Book of Numbers, xii. 6—8, but their the particular places in which they certainty and authority was the same: respectively stand. One of these • For the prophecy came not in old statements, equally lucid and striktime by the will of man, but holy men of God spake, as they were moved by of his chapter on “ The History of
ing, occurs in the commencement the Holy Ghost. Neither was it the Apostles who spoke, but it was the the Old Testament.” Spirit of their Father who spake in or:“ The place of man's habitation is reby them. It is not for men, therefore, presented to bave been a garden, which to fritter away this truth, and to intro. he was enjoined to dress and to keep. duce distinctions in the inspiration of For the support of his life, he was to eat the servants of God, unheard of in his freely of all that it produced, the fruit word, and therefore totally unwarranted of one tree alone excepted. This was and unauthorized. : It is not for men to reserved as a test of bis obedience, say, How can these things be? No man, which, every way applicable to his cirçau tell how, by a simple volition, he cumstances, would inake it manifest can move a finger. And shall“ vain man, whether or not he possessed a spirit of wbo would be wise, although man be obedience to the will of God., Tempt. born like the wild ass's colt,' stumble ed by one of a superior order of beings, at the mode of the operation of the Spirit who had previously rebelled against of God, either in the act of regeneration, God, he transgressed the command, and and his effectual influence on the hearts fell from his state of innocence and of believers, or in that inspiration, by happiness. In this situation, he stood which he virtually makes known his exposed to the full rigour of the punisha pleasure ? • The wind bloweth where ment which he had been informed was it listeth, and thou hearest the sound annexed to disobedience. But God thereof, but canst not tell whence it in judgment remembered mercy; anda cometh, and whither it goeth ; 80 is when all hope from every other quarter every one that is born of the Spirit.' was cut off, interposed in his behalf, and The Lord is able to communicate bis, provided a way of salvation. This salwill in what way he pleases, although vation was to be in all respects worthy we cannot trace the manner of his ope of its Author, and such as no other could ration. In the word spoken by the ass either propose or effect. Salvation was of Balaam, we have an example of this to flow to the guilty through the medium communication, through an unconscious of the woman, who was first in the and involuntary instrument. In Balaam transgression. In this salvation the dehimself we have an example, throngh mands of justice were not to be com. one who was conscious, but involuntary, promised. Sin was not to go uppụnish in the declarations he made respecting ed, neither was disobedience to obtain Israel. In Caiaphas, through one who reward. The abhorrence of God against was voluntary in what he said, but un. the former, was to be expressed in a conscious of its import. And in the manner the most awful; while eternal writings of the Scriptures we have an life and happiness, beyond the reach of example of agents, both voluntary and forfeiture, were to be awarded, in con. conscious, but equally actualed by the sequence of the most perfect obedience to the law of God. But as, in no point not to record those events which lead of view, could the conditions of this to temporal aggrandizement; these it covenant be fulfilled by man, who was but touches on occasionally, and oply as already obnoxious to punishment, 'God they stand connected with the great and laid help,' as the Scriptures express it, only end it bas in view,- the coming of •on one that was mighty." In the ful. the Messiah, and the setting up of his ness of time, he was to send forth his kingdom." Vol. I. p. 179. Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under
The erroneous view which has the law, that they might receive the frequently been taken of the conadoption of sons. Thus God so loved duct and character of the Israelites, the world that he was to give ' bis only is well accounted for in the followbegotten Son, that whosoever should ing paragraph. believe in him might not perish, but have eternal life. He was to make him
« Of the character of the Israelites to be sin, who knew po sin, that they many form a more unfavourable opinion who should believe in his name might tban is warranted by fact. (Whatso. be made the righteousness of God in ever doth make mapifest is light;' and him; and by one offering, he was for in the Scriptures, Divine truth shines ever to perfect them that are sanctified. forth in so conspicuous a manner, that Thus, as by one man's disobedience every thing of a contrary Datore is many were made sinners, 80 by the strikingly exposed. On this very acobedience of one shall many be made count, the character of those whose righteous. The sentence, however, on
histories are recorded in the Scriptores account of disobedience, to the extent appears to be worse than that of other of temporal death, after a life of sorrow men. When we peruse the histories of the and trouble, was still to be carried into Greeks and Romans, we read very pareffect, even against those who should be tialaccounts. The great facts are indeed heirs of the promised salvation. But recorded. We bave a detail of battles, although this would provë painful to and abundant proof that the earth was flesh and blood, yet all ultimate évil filled with violence ; but all is glossed arising from it was removed. The sor. over and concealed under the guise of rows and troubles of Jife were to be false principles, deộominated virtues, overruled for good, to all who by faith while the secret motives of the actors looked to the promised Saviour; while in these scenes are unknown. In the the sting of death, which is sin, was, as Scriptures, on the contrary, nothing is to them, to be taken away, and the vic. disguised or kept back. As far as retory to be wrested from the grave.
lates to the subject in hand, af is imDeath was to transmit the soul to partially narrated; and the whole being heaven, and the grave at length to yield brought forward in coötinual connexion up the body; that all who believed with the purity and excellency of the might thenceforth, in soul and body, Divine character, the contrast is more be for ever with the Lord. These great apparent and striking. Not attending truths, confirmed by miracles, and to these things, the men of the world couched under the veil of types and
are often shocked with the narratives prophecies, were gradually developed which the Scriptures contain. The more and more under the Old Testa. character of the people of Israel apment dispensation, till life and immor. pears to them to be greatly worse than tality were clearly brought to light by that of the grossest idolaters; and the the Gospel.” Vol. I. pp. 175—177. accounts given in Scripture of men
whose conduct on the whole stands apIn the course of this chapter, in proved by God; seems to sink below which our author in a most inte. that standard of moral rectitude, to resting manner sketches the his- which they suppose they themselves, tory of the Old Testament, several and many who make no pretensions to very instructive remarks occur. The religion, have attained: Not being ác. following is one, which it is always customed to try themselves by a pernecessary to bear in recollection fect standard, but by one reduced on when we examine the records of principle to their own imperfection, the Divine word..,
as they term it, they are not aware of
the real state of human nature, either " The object of Scripture history is in tbemselves or others; and so are