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Israelites to himself. This shows that the distinction of meats was originally ceremonial, which cannot be pretended of the restrictions of marriage.
(3.) The distinction of meats is formally abolish. ed in the New Testament.. Of this, I think, there can be no doubt by any man who compares Peter's vision, in Acts 10. with the decision of the apostolical synod, Acts 15. See particularly verses 1. 5. 10. 24. 28, 29. ; and with the judgment of inspired Paul, Rom. xiv. Gal ii. 11-14. Čol. ii. 16, 17. Heb. viii. 13. ix. 10. But the law of marriage is not abolished: for,
3d. In discussing the case of the incestuous man at Corinth, Paul assumes, as a fact not to be disputed, the continuance of the old restrictions. Had they been abolished, it would have been no more “ fornication,” for one to marry his father's widow, than to marry any other unbetrothed woman. Had it been adultery, the crime would have been no more heinous, than his cohabiting with any other married woman. Yet Paul lays heavy stress upon this circumstance, that she had been his father's wife. A circumstance of no weight at all, unless the divine law concerning prohibited degrees was in force. There such a connexion is expressly forbidden. But you must take the whole law together. You may not pick out one or two of its provisions, at your pleasure or your convenience, and throw aside the rest. Unless you can show a dispensation from the law-giver, every part of the law is binding, for the same reason which renders any part of it binding; as the divine authority.equally pervades all its parts.
In the course of his remarks, Paul observes, that having “a. father's wife,” is a species of uncleanness, which was not “ so much as named anong the Gentiles.” I need not prove that this is a Scriptural form of speech expressing the utmost detestation, as in Ephes. v. 3. “ Fornication, and 16 all uncleanness, and covetousness, let it not be “ once named among you, as becometh saints.” It is obvious, on the face of the argument, that Paul ap. proves of this feeling among the Gentiles. Now, how came the Gentiles by it? and why did the apostle approve it? If it had not been right, he had not honoured it with his apostolic sanction. Right it could not be, unless conformable to the divine law. The case was a case of incest : the Gentiles abhorred it; the apostle commends them ; but there could have been no place either for their abhorrence, or for his commendation, unless the marriage in question were contrary to the law of God. Not merely the Mosaic law, surely! That law was now fulfilled, and its peculiarities were gone. It never bound the Gentiles : yet incest is abhorred by them. But what creates incest? The divine law. We are thus : brought back to the same result from which the objection had carried us away. That, for the neglect of which God punished the Heathen before the law of Moses; that, which was confirmed by the Mo. saic law; that, which obligated nations who knew not the rites of Moses; that, which the apostle, under plenary inspiration, damns with his reprobation after their decease, belongs to a law which is, and must be, of unalterable obligation. There is no escaping from this conclusion, without maintaining that Paul decided wrong; in other words, that the Holy Ghost committed a blunder.
Let me add a consideration, which may influence the prudent, even when conscience, badly instructed, rebels against moral demonstration. It is said by Physiologists, that the intermarriage of near relations, never fails to produce madness in the course of one or tivo generations. The fact they assert as incontestible. If it is so, as this was not the effect of the first marriage, it must be viewed as a physical. penalty by which God has fortified his restrictive law of marriage.
Upon the whole, if the limitations set to the degrees of kindred in marriage contracts by the laws recorded in the books of Moses, are not universally and perpetually moral, it is difficult to know how we shall ascertain moral law in any case whatever.
(To be concluded in our next.)
A Dissertation, in which the evidence for the Authenti
city and Divine Inspiration of the Apocalypse is stated, and vindicated from the Objections of the late Professor J. D. Michaelis ; by JOHN CHAPPEL WOODHOUSE, M. A.
CHAP. VII. The testimonies of Gregory of Neocæsarea ; and of Dionysius of Alexan.
dria ; of his private opinion; the testimonies of other writers in the same century ; of Eusebius, and the writers in his time, and after him ; of the reception of the Apocalypse at the Reformation.
(Continued from page 33.)
ITH the last chapter I might have fairly closed all that need be said, to defend the authenticity of the Apocalypse, by external evidence. For what addition of historical testimony can we require? what original documents are we likely to procure ? or what weight of contradictory external evidence can we expect to encounter, in the times beyond those we have examined ? Who, in these after-ages, can give us information, which will bear comparison with that which we have already received ? or whom of the succeeding Fathers can we esteem equal judges with Hippolitus and Origen, whether it be of the evidence already produced, or of the questions agitated in their times, concerning the authenticity of the Apocalypse* ?
* Dr. Less, in his History of Religion, closes his evidence with Origen, mi and Mr. Marsh observes, that further testimony is unnecessary. See Introd.' vol. i. p. 361.
Yet I shall pursue the subject, because it has been pursued further by Michaelis. It is, at least, curi. ous, to know the sentiments of later writers on the external evidence; though the same accuracy in examining them may not be required.
GREGORY of Neocæsarea, surnamed Thaumatur. gus, not mentioned by Michaelis, is supposed to have referred, in his Panegyrical Oration, to Rev. iii. 7, if not to Isa. xxii. 22. The observation is Lardner's*, who remarks also, that Gregory, having been the pupil of Origen, and much attached to that great man, probably received the same Canon of Scripture.
DIONYSIUS of Alexandria, was another pupil of Origen, and, like Gregory, a man of eminence. He received the Apocalypse as a divine prophecy, which he represents to be dark indeed, and ænigmatical, and above his comprehension, yet certainly divine; and he says he could not dare to think otherwise of it, since many of the brethren held it in the highest esteemt. He appeals to it, likewise, as containing a divine prophecy, which he believes to have been ful.. filled during his own times, in the character and conduct of the persecuting Emperor Valerianf. At the same time, it was the opinion of Dionysius, that the Apocalypse, though of divine origin, was not written by the Apostle John, but by some other John, an holy and inspired man. But where are the grounds of this opinion ? Are they historical ? Does he allege in their support any external evidence ? any tradition of the Church ? No. He gives his opinion as a conjecture formed upon the internal evidence of the book, on certain peculiarities of style and manner, which appeared to him discordant from those of St. John in his Gospel and Epistles.
These arguments of Dionysius will be consider
* Cred. Gosp. Hist. art. Greg. of N. C. † Euseb. H. E. lib. vü. c. 25. $ Eusel. H. E. Lib. vii. c. 10.
as a diviong terms hihough Dio has
ed, when we examine the internal eviderice, by which the authority of the book is supported or invalidáted. It is our present business to report only the external evidence of Dionysius. And the amount of this is, that the Apocalypse was generally received, in his time, as a sacred prophecy, and by such men as he revered, and wished not to oppose; that some per. sons had rejected it and ascribed it to Cerinthus ; that he himself believed it to be a book of sacred authority, doubting, at the same time, whether it were properly referred to the Apostle John. ...
It is the opinion of Michaelis, (and Lardner has afforded some occasion for it,) that, although Diony. sius professed in such strong terms his reception of the Apocalypse, as a divine book of Prophecy, yet he did not believe it such in his heart. Dionysius has certainly affirmed such to be his belief in plain and positive terms; and his practice was agreeable to his professions. For we have seen that he proceeded so far, as to explain a prediction of the Apocalypse as actually fulfilled. Now, if proofs were wanting of the sincerity and plain Christian honesty of Dionysius's character, this particular fact, that he appealed to the Apocalypse, as containing a prophecy which he believed to be fulfilled, would place beyond all doubt, that he believed that book to be inspired. But Dionysius was confessedly a man of an open, artless probity; and Lardner celebrates him as such, adding, in his account of him, that he had at the same time, (which is a usual accompaniment of such a character,) an honest and excessive warmth. But the conduct which Michaelis attributes to him on this occasion, is that of a sly, captious hypocrite. Certainly, neither the general character, nor conduct of Dionysius, nor the facts which have now appeared before us, can, in any degree, warrant such a conclusion*
* Michaelis has defended his opinion, by arguments which appear to me