Imágenes de páginas

nt Athanasii symbolum sit theologi Galli; facileque mihi persuaserim, conditum fuisse, Pipini vel Caroli M. temporibus, occasionem inter cætera præbente controversia de processione Spiritus Sancti, vel hominis Ilispani, quando circa eadem tempora hæc quæstio in Hispaniis agitabatur. Voss. de 3 Symb. Diss. 2da; c. 22, 24. See Atha


Quanquam non multo post annum millesimum' ducentesimum, atque adeo, ut pleri que putant, ipsius Innocentii III. tempore, CALIX LAICIS ob. effusionis periculum a plerisque auferri cœpit, nec tamen is mos ubique obtinebat; imo, ut Ruardus fatetur, communicandi sub utraque specie consuetudo duravit usque ad tempora Thomæ Aquinatis, qui dicit, "Proinde in quibusdam ecclesiis observatur, ut populo sanguis sumendus non detur, sed solum a sacerdote sumatur." Floruit autem Thomas circa aunum 1260. Anno vero 1415 abiit in rem judicatam, auctoritate Concilii Constantiensis. Voss. de Sac. Symb. Diss. 5, Thes. 4, 5, and 6.

[ocr errors]

.. The principal reason that led the church of Rome to deny the cup to the laity was the prevalence of a notion, about the ninth century, that Christ's natural body was present in the Eucharist: when this notion obtained, there soon followed upon it an excessive and superstitious reverence towards the consecrated substances. They were afraid not only of spilling any of the wine, but of letting it hang upon their beards as they dipped them into the cup when they drank it. In order to prevent this inconvenience, they for some time used to suck the wine out of the cup through long pipes; but afterwards they thought that all hazard of this kind would be best avoided by taking' communion in the species of bread only, which would be much more easily and safely managed; and upon this ground the Council of Constance went. Bishop Ellys's Tracts, p. 194.


Some author, speaking of CHRISTIANITY, has the following judicious remark. Ea religio, quæ misericordiam et humanitatem maxime spirare, et alias omnes charitate superare videtur, hominum affectus et studia sibi inaxime devinciret."

Christianity, when erroneously taught, is even more injurious to society than paganism. Lyttleton's Letters, letter 6.

The truth of which observation is illustrated by this obvious remark, that the spirit of persecution will always increase in proportion as false tenets prevail.

Zeres, the Jew, published his recantation and his arguments in favour of Christianity; and, as they probably furnished some very powerful proofs of the truth of it, might it not be worth while for the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, and for that for propagating Christianity in foreign parts, to have it printed in a cheap. way, and dispersed in our settlements abroad?

The precepts of Christianity appear to greatest advantage when contrasted with the laws of the Jews and the maxims of the philosophers. The moral laws of the Mosaical code breathe much of that spirit qf philanthropy which constitutes the glory of the



evangelical scheme; yet the superiority of the Gospel over the Mosaical law appears by considering that the commandments of the latter are, for the most part, negative; containing rather prohibitions of sin than incitements to goodness. Whilst the disciple of Moses, adhering to his own principles, advances only the first step in the path of morality, the disciple of Christ leaves him far behind, adds to his innocence much positive excellence, and adorns his character with every moral virtue. The philosophers of Greece and Rome present us with the most convincing proof how far unenlightened reason carried her investigation towards, the perfection of ethics. The powers of intellect which they displayed, and the obstacles which they surmounted before they discovered many valuable truths, are not fairly estimated when viewed through the medium of the Christian revelation. Their attainments ought to be compared with the ignorance of the multitude that surrounded and that preceded them. Then will they appear most wonderful efforts of the human mind. Then will they become the bright dawn of the intellectual morning, which shone more and more unto the perfect day. If moral Wisdom descended from heaven to dwell with the most enlightened sage of Athens, she quickly caught the contagion of earthly depravity, and forgot her dignity so far as to bend at the shrine of Superstition. Her dictates were not built upon any certain foundation, or digested in a consistent plan. They were disgraced with false notions, intermixed with frivolous refinements, and scattered among discordant sects. But the most material obstacle to a ready compliance with their instructions was the want of such sanctions as hold the mind in the most permanent subjection, by immediately addressing its hopes and fears. These defects were distinctly visible to the antients themselves, and their general dissatisfaction clearly evinces the necessity of a divine revelation. By the Gospel, therefore, were supplied the deficiencies of all preceding institutions and systems. To complete the benevolent plan of revelation, the same volume, which was filled with the most pure lessons of wisdom, contained likewise the most perfect exemplification of them. The adorable Son of God condescended to recommend his own instruction by his own practice, and to exhibit that lively image of moral perfection, which had, indeed, sublimed the imagination of Plato and of Cicero; but which antient experience, in the widest circle of observation, had sought for in vain. The divine Teacher not only spake as man never spake; but, at once to combine the efficacy of example with the perfection of precept, became the unerring guide to all that was pious, all that was amiable, and all that was great. Kett's Bampton Lectures, Sermon 4, p. 125, &c. See Gospel.

We may learn, from the design of Christianity, the true notion of the imputation of Christ's righteousness, viz. that it consists in dealing with sincerely righteous persons, as if they were perfectly so, for the sake and upon the account of Christ's righteousness. The grand intent of the Gospel being to make us partakers of an inward and real righteousness, and it being but a secondary one that we should be accepted and rewarded as if we were completely righteous. Bp Fowler's Design of Christianity, p. 225.


Accuratius theologi, recentiores statuerunt doctrinam justitiæ Christi nobis imputata nullo Scripturarum fundamento inniti. Et profecto nos per Christum justificamur, vel justi sumus coram Deo, eo quod Deus propter Christum nobis peccata nostra non imputat. Sua justitia ergo non tam donat nos Christus, quam nostra nos injustitia, si ita dicam, in foro exuit. Vide Bulli opera, cum annotatis Grabii. Ep. Cleaver in Nowelli Catechism, p. 110,

[ocr errors]


Nulla caussa est, cur, quod a Judæis omnibus fit idem non fiat a Christianis, ut videlicet Hebræam linguam a teneris unguiculis discant, atque ita ex versione sive translatione ulla alia humana pendere opus non habeant. Ut id impossibile dicatur, absurdum est. Cur enim quod a Judæo fit a Christiano fieri non possit? Ut id vel indecorum vel inutile vel minime operæ pretium credatur multo est absurdius. Nihil magis indecorum quam pendere ex alio homine, qui errare aut fallere potest, cum æternæ salutis negotium vertitur. Nil magis utile aut decorum, quam Dei os consu-' lere, et ex oraculo ejus infallibili pendere velle. Pretium vero operæ facere eum, qui sacratissimos sensus tanquam thesauros inestimabiles ex ipso penu divino amat petere, res loquitur. Nulli vero improbissimo labori parcere pro tantorum thesaurorum consccutione hoc demum est operæ pretium facere. Et sane nulla tam vilis projectaque anima est, quæ, si consequi se posse speret decem talentorum millia si linguam Hebræam et Græcam duntaxat addiscere velit, laborem ullum sibi gravem putabit, ut linguarum istarum cognitionem sibi comparet. Episcopius Instit. Theol. lib. iv. sect. 1, c. 31.

Thou blasphemest because I said, I am the Son of God. He (i. e. Jesus) was far from vindicating this language on the principle of his being naturally equal to the Father. It was the Father who sanctified him, i. e. appointed him to this office, and then sent him into the world as his Messenger and Servant, which he always stiles himself. Priestley's Evidences, vol. ii, p. 56. But how is this assertion at all reconcileable with John, xvii. 3?

That men are to be judged by just men appointed for that purpose, such as Minos, Rhadamanthus, &c. as was the opinion of the heathens, is something agreeable to our, being judged by that man (the man Christ Jesus) whom God hath ordained, even his own Son incarnate. Clarke's Evid. of Relig,

Christ either an impostor or a divine person. The morality of his doctrine makes the former highly improbable; the lustre of his miracles makes the latter absolutely cer tain. The supreme Being could not have patronised any kind of deceit, nor the Devil, if it had been in his power, such a kind as this, which overthrew his own dominion; and without assistance from heaven or hell the attempt could never have succeeded. Dodwell's Preface to his Sermons.

It is remarked that Amphilochus, coming into the presence of Theodosius (who favoured Arianism) and Arcadius his son, made low obeisance to the father, but wholly neglected the son; of which being admonished, he returned this answer to the empe

[blocks in formation]

ror, who was angry: Are you displeased with me for not giving equal honour to your son as to yourself? and will not God be displeased at those who do not worship his eternal and only-begotten Son equally to himself, as he hath commanded? Comber, vol. ii. p. 15.

Christ, through the whole prophecy of the future state of the church, and the miseries of all succeeding ages, together with the final destruction of the world, makes use of phrases borrowed from the destruction of Judad, which was the beginning of sorrows; and this accounts for the difficulty of distinguishing between the last and the former, both treated of in Matt. c. xxiv. Clarke's 79 Sermons, 12mo.

(It is reasonable to own him (i. e. Christ) superior to me, and all the other prophets, even Moses himself, for) he that cometh from above (not only by his mission from God, as I and they, but by his original) is above all (that are descended of earthly parents only, and) he, that is (thus) of the earth, is earthly, (as to his rise,) and speaketh of the earth; (i. e. things which comparatively are earthly, Moses of carnal ordinances, I of water-baptism, the prophets of obedience to the law of Moses ;) but he, that came from heaven, (to reveal the will of God to man,) is above all, (not only in the excellency of his person, but in the spiritual and heavenly nature of his doctrines and promises.) Whitby on John, iii. 31.

It is remarked, by the authors of the Universal History, that Christ entered on his ministry in the thirtieth year of his age, and that it was the thirtieth and last jubilee since its first celebration in the land of Canaan. The Jewish was ushered in by trumpets, the Christian by John. Luke, iii. 2.

Jure merito quæri potest, annon CALVINUS, licet alioquin magnis dotibus præditus, plus detrimenti attulerit Christiano orbi, totique adeo reformationi, prædestinationis istius su horrendæ, et crudelis hæreticidii inculeatione, quin et detestabili praxi, Arcem utramque religionis, quam fructus variorum aliorum errorum confutatione. pietatem et caritatem, funditus evertere mihi videtur, quantum in se est, qui ista capita propugnat. Episcopius, Resp. ad Cam. c. 3.


[ocr errors]

The CHINESE LANGUAGE is the most antient living language in the world; and, as it has been the longest preserved free from mixture and corruption, it has besides preserved to this day the very letters or characters in which it was originally wrote near 4200. years ago. It is also the peculiar glory and happiness of the antient Chinese, that they were entirely free from Idolatry when all the other great nations, and all the known kingdoms, of the world were corrupted with it. They worshipped the one supreme spirit, as God of heaven and earth, with solemn sacrifices and prayers, in the offering of which the emperor himself was the high priest, and presided as he does at this day. They believed also the existence and immortality of the soul after death, and had, very antiently, a notion of other spiritual beings besides the supreme God, who, they believed,

believed, by his appointment, presided over the several parts of the earth, mountains, rivers, and cities. Of these subordinate spirits they worshipped six principal ones, who presided in the stars and planets, to whom they offered an inferior kind of sacrifices. See Couplet Scient. Sin. lib. ii. p. 203, &c. Jackson's Chronol. vol. ii. p. 414..


Cabiri. See Trinity..

Unde certamen Gallorum Gallinaceorum initium traxerit, narrat Elianus, lib. ii. c. "Post devictos, inquit, Persas, Athenienses legem posuerunt, ut Galli Gallinacei quotannis uno die certamen in theatro inirent. Unde vero sumserit occasionem hæc lex, planum faciam. Quum Themistocles civicum exercitum adversus Barbaros. educeret, Gallos Gallinaceos vidit pugnantes; neque ille oscitanter eos vidit, sedtotum exercitum advertens, inquit ad ipsos: At hi, neque pro patria, neque pro diis familiaribus, neque vero pro avitis monumentis periculum subeunt, neque pro gloria, neque pro libertate, neque pro liberis, sed tantum, ne alter ab altero superetur, aut alter alteri cedat. Quibus verbis Atheniensium animos confirmavit. Quod ergo nunc eis incitamentum ad virtutem extitit, voluit ad similium rerum factorum memoriam sempiternam consecrare."

Gallorum Gallinaceorum vero certamina quoniam maxima sunt irritamenta vitiorum, et ad corrumpendos animos potentissime valent, tollenda sunt nobis: quia non modo ad (lætam) vitam nihil cónferunt, sed etiam nocent plurimum: Lactant. de vero Cultu, lib. vi. c. 20. Daniel Souterius,' tom 7, Græc: Antiq. p. 1106.

TEMPLI CONSECARTIO fiebat, ut qui templum ademve dedicaturus erat, postem tenens, accenso foculo, et advocato numine, cui templum ædesve sacrantur, se ex profano usu et humano jure templum, mensas, arulas, quæque eo pertinent, eximere, eaque conceptis verbis ipsi numini (nominant numen) divina humanaque omnia consecrare dicareque affirmet, Sabina herba ad sacrum adhibitâ, sine qua templum, ædemve fana aut sacella, minime dicari putarunt posse. Alex. ab Alex. lib. vi. c. 14.

It may not be improbable that the reason, why God rejected CAIN'S oblation, was, that he either esteemed himself a just person, and therefore did not bring the expiatory sacrifice God had instituted, for the apostle assures us that without shedding of blood there is no remission; or else, disbelieving what God had before promised concerning the Saviour, whose death was typified by those sacrifices God then instituted, he omitted offering such an oblation as God had appointed; and this the apostle intimates when he tells us, that by faith Abel offered a better sacrifice than Cain. Stackhouse.

The CHINESE think that there is a medicine that will make thein immortal; which seems to bear some analogy to the tree of life. Stackhouse.



« AnteriorContinuar »