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tice the doctrine which you deliver from the pulpit, or fend forth to the world in your publications? Permit me to give a recent instance of the propriety of this objection. Has not the Rev. Mr. R.'s * meeting-house, in Cambridge, been opened for Divine worship, till within these few years, every Thursday as well as Sunday? Has not notice been given from that gentleman's pulpit, that “on such a day Mr. So-andwill deliver a lecture at this Meeting ?” And have not printed hand-bills been delivered through the town of Cambridge to the fame effect ?' The Diflenters talk loudly of the expence of keeping fuch days as the Church hath appointed for public service. The poor lose their labour ; and not to earn, is to pay. This Author observes, that the same objection must be made against the Week-day Lectures of the Diffenters, Repetitions, Preparation Sermons, &c. &c. Among the rational Diflenters (as they are called) those superfluous services have been long discontinued; but among the orthodox, they are almost universally kept up. The Writer of this Letter, however, only follows the Author of the History and Mystery of Good Friday in this track of calculation : for it is a mode of reasoning fo very pitiful, that no one would have condescended to have made use of it, if he had not been eager to catch at any thing to support his argument.

The following is too curious to be omitted : 'The Church hath not power to decree rites and ceremonies ! But a Disfenting minister hath power to make a shew-ROOM of his meeting-house, if he pleases; and suffer hand-bills to be distributed like the people who have wild BEASTS to be seen : as for instance, " This “ evening, O&. 24, at half past fix o'clock, Mr. Murray of « Newcastle, Author of Sermons to Afles, will deliver, in Mr. « Robinson's Meeting, a Lecture upon Dan. xii. 6. How long Mall it be to the end of these wonders? In this Lecture there will “ be given some curious demonftrations upon chronology, wor“ thy of the attention of every one. Things strange and new, 5 and unexplored before, will meet the ear.” And it may be hinted at the conclusion of the discourse, that it will be necessary for the congregation to put some money in the plate, to defray the expence of the preacher's journey, &c. Excellent doctrine ! faithful shepherds! pious preachers ! " It is written, My house is the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.'

* Mr. Robinson, fupposed to have been the Author of the History and Mystery of Good Friday,

ART.

have a right to appoint them. If any objection should arise from their being Jewish institutions, the Author observes, that the same liberty of departing from the exact letter of the Ten Commandments was claimed by the Apofties of our Lord also. They appointed fasts, they attended feasts—and that too after our Saviour's afcenfion.

With respect to the exact day on which the several events commemorated happened, the Author obferves, that it is an object not worth contention. The day considered in itself is nothing: but all its consequence depends on the appropriation given it. It is the thing itself that ought to be the grand object to a Christian. And though the chronology may not be settled, yet there is something which none but infidels can dispute ; and it is that which ought to be kept in mind, and therefore to appoint a partiular time to commemorate it cannot be absurd or superfluous. He particularly instances in the three grand institutions of the Church, viz. Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter Day. We ought undoubtedly to maintain an habitual sense of the importance of those events; but will that habitual sense be lessened by the appropriation of any particular days to the commemoration of them? Will they not rather come in aid of the general impression? Will not their habitual influence be strengthened by this particular appropriation ?--With respect to the alteration of the 7th day to the ift, the Author observes, that there is no positive command for it. The whole rests on tradition; and that tradition pretends not to any explicit abrogation of the original appointment. There is a great deal in this argument. We know not what a Diflenter can advance to evade the force of it. We should be glad to see. But let him remember his ground, and adhere closely to it. Let him produce the authority for the alteration of the Sabbath: but if he doth not prove that authority to be expressly divine, and if the evin dence of it be not something better than traditional, he will give a Churchman an advantage over him, that he will find it very difficult to furmount.

The Author makes a good use of the argumentum ad hominem. The Dissenters do not object to the appropriation of some days to commemorative purposes. They observe the sth of November; and keep national fafts. These appointments are merely human. If we object to one inftitution, because it is not founded on better grounds, why not to another for the same reason? Is there no will worship among the Dissenters ? --nothing but what they can appeal for “ to the Law and to the Testimony ?

• You are a Diflenter (says this Writer), the pastor of a congregation, we will suppole, and you think it wrong to dedicate that time to the service of God which ought to be employed in fecular affairs. Suffer me to ask, Do you enforce by your prac

tice

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tice the do&rine which you deliver from the pulpit, or send forth to the world in your publications? Permit me to give a recent instance of the propriety of this objection. Has not the Rev. Mr. R.'s * meeting-house, in Cambridge, been opened for Divine worship, till within these few years, every Thursday as well as Sunday ? Has not notice been given from that gentleman's pulpit, that “on such a day Mr. So-and-fo will deliver a lecture at this Meeting?” And have not printed hand-bills been delivered through the town of Cambridge to the fame effect ?' The Diffenters talk loudly of the expence of keeping fuch days as the Church hath appointed for public sera vice. The poor lose their labour ; and not to earn, is to pay. This Author observes, that the same objection must be made against the Week-day Lectures of the Diffenters, Repetitions, Preparation Sermons, &c. &c. Among the rational Diffenters (as they are called) those fuperfluous services have been long discontinued; but among the orthodox, they are almost univerfally kept up. The Writer of this Letter, however, only follows the Author of the History and Mystery of Good Friday in this track of calculation : for it is a mode of reasoning fo very pitiful, that no one would have condescended to have made use of it, if he had not been eager to catch at any thing to support his argument.

The following is too curious to be omitted: The Church hath not power to decree rites and ceremonies ! But a Disfenting minister hath power to make a shew-ROOM of his meeting-house, if he pleases; and suffer hand-bills to be distributed like the people who have Wild Beasts to be seen: as for instance, “ This “ evening, OA. 24, at half past six o'clock, Mr. Murray of “ Newcastle, Author of Sermons to Asses, will deliver, in Mr. « Robinson's Meeting, a Lecture upon Dan. xii. 6. How long fall it be to the end of these wonders? In this Lecture there will “ be given some curious demonftrations upon chronology, wor« thy of the attention of every one. Things Arange and new, " and unexplored before, will meet the ear.” And it may be hinted at the conclufion of the discourse, that it will be necessary for the congregation to put some money in the plate, to defray the expence of the preacher's journey, &c. Excellent doctrine ! faithful shepherds! pious preachers ! “ It is written, My house is the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.'

• Mr. Robinson, fupposed to have been the Author of the History and Mystery of Good Friday.

ART.

text have received great confirmation from the late very elaboTate collations of Dr. Kennicott.

It appears from the present collection of parallel passages that about seventy texts in the New Testament have been taken verbatim from the Septuagint; or at most only changing the person, &c. About forty-seven have a fight variation from this ancient version. Thirty agree in sense, but not in words : thirteen differ from the Septuagint, where they exactly or very nearly correspond with the Hebrew. And nineteen differ so far from the Hebrew and the LXX. as to make it probable that they were taken from some other translation or paraphrase.

Dr. Randolph hath affixed critical and explanatory notes to the present work, in which the correspondencies and variations, and the several texts in the Hebrew and Greek, are minutely set down, and judiciously commented upon. From an impartial Review of the whole, it must appear to every candid and unprejudiced Reader, that the Writers of the New Testament took no other liberties in their citations from the Old, than are genesally allowed even to the most accurate writers in their appeals to the authority of others. Some of these quotations may be racher called references than citations : they are more designed to illustrate than to prove: and may be considered as allusions rather than as arguments. This point is well reasoned by the learned Author. Instances are also pointed out to exemplify and to corroborate his sentiments respecting the corruption of the Hebrew text. The fact is too obvious to be denied; though infidelity may cavil at the candour of the conceffion; and some weak and timorous believers may take offence at the boldness of it. However, the Author takes care to guard it in the best manner, to baffle objections on the one hand, and to remove scruples on the other.

Though God hath not wrought perpetual miracles to preserve his boly Scriptures invariably the same without any alteration, yet he has not left us without all remedy or resource. We have greater helps towards correcting the Hebrew text, than that of any other ancient author whatsoever. We have the Samaritan copy of the Pentateuch received by the Samaritans about 400 years before Christ. We bave the Septuagint translation, which (or at least part of it) was made 2000 years ago, all of it older than ihe Chriftian :a. We bave the Vulgate version, the chief part of which is taken from St. Jerom's tranllation from the Hebrew. We have some fragments of the old Italic version. We have the Syriac version, taken

from the Hebrew, which is generally supposed to be very ancient, made foon after the times of the Apostles." We have the Arabic version, which, though not fo ancient, was translated also from the Hebrew. The agreement of this version with many of the citations in the New Telitament, and that sometimes in opposition to the present Hebrew copies, is very remarkable. We have the Chaldee paraphrases, two of which are supposed to be as ancient as our Saviour's time. And though we do not fet up any of these in opposition to the Hebrew original, or suppose them to be free from all error or imperfections, yet they may be of fingular use in amending and correcting the original text. We find that these, in many instances, read the text differently from what we have it now in cur printed copies. If this reading gives us a much better sense, why should we not prefer is? Some of the citations in the New Testament differ from the present Hebrew text ; but agree with these versions : and this I cannot but look on as a plain proof that our present copies are faulty. We have also several MSS. of the Hebrew Bible, some of them of good autho. rity, near 800 years old. There have been hitherto ftrangely neglected. An opinion seems to have prevailed, that all the Hebrew copies were invariably the same: but the contrary hath been fully demonstrated. The learned Dr. Kennicott bath, with indefatigable industry, discovered and collated, or caused to be collared, 600 manuscripts. These differ in many respects from the printed copies. Some variations there are of great consequence, and by the help of them the text may be greatly amended ; and great light thrown on many obscure passages. Several difficulties have been cleared up, inton. fiftencies have been removed, objections answered, the old verfion in some points confirmed, and the citations in the New Testament jus. tified.'

TH

Art. VI. Annus mirabilis; or, The eventful Year 1782. An his. torical Poem. By the Rev. W. Tasker, A. B. 400.

2 s. 6 d. Lodley. 1783. THE praise of genius cannot be wholly withheld from this

Writer. his “ His judgment is not equal to his imagination. He seems to have no steady principles of taste to attemper and regulate his powers of invention : which are suffered to rove at large and to act at random. There is no arrangement in his ideas; and little selection in his expressions. Hence his performances are mixed and made up of heterogeneous matter. We discover in them the glowing and the frigid; the sublime and the bombast; the beautiful and the vulgar.

The present poem is a very striking proof of this. It hath every quality of good and bad poetry itrangely blended. We acknowledge the difficulty of the Author's undertaking: and on that score are willing to make the most candid apology for its defects. Recent events, familiar names, and familiar circumftances ill accord with the dignity and folemn tone of the heroic Muse. They have somewhat of the air of burlesque, and we are tempted to smile in the midst of a grave narration, even while the poet

paines to public view
The mighty wonders of tam'd EICHTY-TWO!

The

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