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universal Church, and defends not particular opinions or professions, but the Catholic faith, and the profession of Christianity;" (p. 63,) and that "the notion, so fondly cherished and so strenuously maintained by the splendid talents and the great names of Warburton and of Hurd, that prophecy was particularly designed and conferred by the Head of the Church, for the purpose of giving its suffrage and verdict in favour of Protestantism, however plausible and ingenious, is utterly untenable and fallacious." (P. 64.)
In the first place, we beg the privilege of asking, (to look at the point in the abstract,) whether the principle here advocated by Dr. Whitley has any prima facie probability of truth to recommend it to our adoption? Granting, for the sake of argument, that the prophecies contemplate the fortunes of the universal Church, and direct our principal regard to her external enemies, and more especially to the opposition of Mahomet,-we cannot understand upon what ground it is contended, that the foes " of her own household" should be excluded from their purview. The divine prescience would be as clearly manifested in the one case as in the other; and the prophetic evidence to the truth of Christianity equally strong; nor does it seem a whit more alien from the guardian care of Providence to premonish the disciples of the cross of their perils from "false brethren," than it is to forewarn them of hostilities from without. Seeing, indeed, that treachery within the camp is more to be feared, because generally less suspected, than the open assaults of declared foes; we know not but that the stratagems of adversaries in the mask of friends, are more likely to be the theme of prophetic wisdom than the violent attacks of recognized infidelity.
To say that "inferior controversies and party bickerings degrade prophecy," (p. 65) is begging the question at issue, or is mere declamation, to notice which would be a waste of time. Does Dr. Whitley hold the vital disputes upon religion, which compelled Protestants to resist the monstrous abominations of popery, and to separate themselves from her idolatrous enormities,-to be the mere fringes of the garment of the body of religion?" (P. 83.) If the papal heresies, and the damnable errors of the Latin church;—if her sanguinary usurpations, and her lust of power,-her gross perversions of the truth, and her abominable deceptions, and her self-destroying practices,-were foreseen of heaven, (and who can doubt that they were?) why should not God forewarn us of her machinations, and hold up the torch of prophecy to manifest her iniquities? The principle, for which Dr. Whitley so zealously argues, is utterly ridiculous and untenable :yea, it is contradicted by the express words of holy Writ, and stands in glaring contrast with the practice of St. Paul, who deemed it no degradation of his prophetic character to premonish the elders of the
church of Ephesus of the intestine divisions which should harass the members of her communion: "Take heed unto yourselves,
I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. ALSO OF YOUR OWNSELVES SHALL MEN ARISE, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them." (Acts xx. 28, 29, 30.)
Our learned author, (we use not this epithet as a common phrase of courtesy,―for Doctor Whitley has displayed no ordinary acquirements, and his style, we take this opportunity of observing, is remarkably chaste and vigorous ;)-our learned author has told us that "theological discussions are not to be mixed up with the evidences of religion." (p. 7.) We deny this maxim as applied to the interpretation of prophecy, and are prepared to maintain that prophecy cannot be separated from such "theological debates" as concern the characteristic marks of the persons or communities, the history of which it has pleased God to foretell. We would venture to ask Dr. Whitley how even Islamism, on his own view and scheme of prophecy, can be proved to form the theme of so many predictions without consideration of the tenets of its author? And if " the Church be the standard, the interpreter, and the completion of prophecy," (p. 24,)-(and we have grave authority for stating that "the visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments be duly administered according to Christ's ordinance,")-again we ask, how is it possible to separate the notice of theological points from prophetic testimony to the truth of Christianity? How are we to judge of the apostasy ( 'Aπоoraσía) which was predicted as the forerunner of St. Paul's "man of sin," whether such apostasy be total or partial, without an accurate knowledge of the standard of doctrine, from which men should fall away? (2 Thess. ii. 3.) If, lastly, to use Dr. Whitley's words, "Prophecy have solely for its object and aim the defence of the catholic faith," (p. 9.) and that faith be "ONE;" (Eph. iv. 5.) it follows, we think, as an undeniable consequence, that heretical deviations from it, by whatever name their advocates may designate themselves, or wheresoever they may be found, may be the legitimate theme of prophetic annunciations. What offence such interpretations may give to papists, on the one hand, or to infidels, on the other, a sincere lover of truth will take no pains to inquire; and, therefore, we dismiss all that our author has said upon that topic, p. 14, &c. without a remark.
We have thought it right to say thus much upon the great principle which our author has adopted as the foundation of his "Scheme and Completion of Prophecy." Having sapped that,—we leave the superstructure to fall of itself; and are little anxious to expend our ammunition upon an untenable post, whence the master of Galway school
will doubtless be driven by the potent assaults of those giant warriors, the Rector of Long Newton and the Rector of Killesandra !+
The volume before us, however, must not be dismissed without affording our readers some further insight into its merits. It is divided into ten sections; the Table of Contents describes them summarily thus:
Sect. I. p. 1. General nature and object of Prophecy.-Sect. II. p. 46. Design and use of Prophecy.-Sect. III. p. 91. Hieroglyphics, or the emblematic language of Prophecy.-Sect. IV. p. 134. The double sense of Prophecy.-Sect. V. p. 189. Antichrist.-Sect. VI. p. 226. The four Monarchies.-Sect. VII. p. 239. The Beast.-Sect. VIII. p. 289. Babylon; Gog.-Sect. IX. p. 318. The Dragon.-Sect. X. p. 364. Reign of Christ and of Antichrist on earth; the Millennium; Messiah slain by Gog.
We have no space for a detailed account of Dr. Whitley's scheme: indeed, our limits hardly admit of the attempt, and we sufficiently discharge our duty as reviewers, we hope, by directing public attention to the general character and style of the Works which attract our notice. It gives us pleasure, however, to assure our readers, that notwithstanding the difference of opinion between ourselves and Dr. Whitley on the subject of prophecy, there are parts of his "Scheme" with which we feel highly gratified. We coincide with him in his views of the Millennium, and the resurrection of the saints to reign personally with Christ on earth for a thousand years, and the binding of Satan for the same period of time. (Pp. 148, 149, &c.) Our author has written well on the subject of heathen oracles; but the present Bishop of Durham has written infinitely better; and though we meet with many wise distinctions in what he has stated relative to the language of prophecy, we think him inferior in this respect to the admirable author of the "Discourses on Prophecy."+
We would willingly close our review of Dr. Whitley's volume with these expressions of approbation; for "unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man, as kill a good book. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself,-kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth: but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. We should be wary, therefore, what persecution we raise against the living labours of publick men,-how we spill that seasoned life of men, preserved and stored up in books; since we see a kind of homicide may be thus committed, sometimes a martyrdom, and slay an immortality rather than a life." With this eloquent caution before our eyes, however reluctant we may be to discharge a painful duty, we pass no friendly sentence upon the culprit volume now standing at our bar : and when called to an account
* George Stanley Faber.
+ William Hales.
for our proceedings, we shall not condescend to protect ourselves by the plea of justifiable homicide, but would stand upon the high ground of imperious duty and official privilege.
Dr. Whitley has said, that "the Jews were neither required nor expected to give up the Old Testament for the New, nor Moses for Jesus Christ, merely on account of the miracles which attended and attested the first preaching of Christianity." (p. 9.) How are we to reconcile this statement with John x. 25, 37; Acts ii. 22; Heb. ii. 4?
We are not about to contend" omnia peccata esse equalia;" nor will we presume to weigh the respective demerits of infidelity and idolatry, for the purpose of shewing, with our learned author, how much Islamism exceeds in enormity of guilt the " PETTY LARCENY of paganism (p. 339); nor have we the hardihood to varnish the detestable crime" of the worship of images, and of saints and angels, in the Christian Church," (p. 339) with softening comparisons, when we call to mind that it is "MOST DAMNABLE BEFORE GOD."*
There is no worship of stocks and of stones in hell!!! (p. 339.) And what then, Dr. Whitley? Is idolatry, therefore, the less abominable, and impious, and detestable? Is there murder committed in hell?-What miserable trash is this! It may suit the liberalism of the times thus to gloss over the sins of the idolatrous church of Rome, and the Master of the School of Galway may be complimented as a priest "without bigotry:" but, for ourselves, we covet no such questionable praise, and had rather possess the uncompromising spirit of Asa, who deposed Maachah from her royal throne, though his mother, "because she had made an idol in a grove," (2 Chron. 15, 16,) than court the worthless applause of the multitude, by attempting to hide the offences of an idolatrous community with mitigating comparisons, and thus become obnoxious to the punishment, and partakers of the infamy which cleaves to that son of Nebat, "who made Israel to sin.”†
Sermons on Points of Doctrine and Rules of Duty. By the Rev. R. PARKINSON, M. A. of St. John's College, Cambridge; Perpetual Curate of Whitworth; and Lecturer in Divinity at the Clerical Institution, St. Bees. Second Edition. London: Rivingtons. 1830. Pp. xix. 370. Price 6s.
PERHAPS we are scarcely justified in having allowed these unpretending, but clear, useful, and elegant discourses to reach a second edition unnoticed. We will endeavour to retrieve lost time by assuring such of our readers who have not contributed to the appearance of a second edition of this work, that they
* Homilies. Third Part of Sermon against Peril of Idolatry, fol. edit. p. 168.
THIS Sermon was delivered under circumstances of more than ordinary interest. Mr. Irvine had been long resident in the parish of St. Botolph, and was about to bid farewell to his fellow-parishioners from the pulpit of his friend and pastor, Mr. Causton; with the additional view of soliciting their aid in a work of Christian benevolence. The National School-house had been destroyed by the recent calamitous fire in Bartholomew Close, and a favourable opportunity thus presented itself for exhorting the inhabitants to a liberal contribution for its restoration on a larger and more useful scale. We are informed, in a note, that the hope was "not only fully realized, but greatly surpassed by the amount of the collection; and we trust that the profits arising from the sale of the Sermon, which are to be devoted to the furtherance of the same benevolent end, will be yet more effective. Although, as might be expected, there are evident marks of haste in the composition, it is well worthy of an attentive perusal, and contains much that will be useful to Christians in general, independently of the object which it is immediately intended to promote. From Heb. iv. 14, the preacher develops the typical office of the high-priest of the Jews; the fulfilment of the type in the person of Christ: the blessings derived to the Christian from his priestly character; and the encouragement thence held out to hold fast our profession. He then proceeds to apply
the subject to the peculiar circumstances of the congregation before him; and the discourse concludes with an appeal in behalf of the re-establishment of their National School. An Appendix is added, in which the various charities established in the ward of Aldersgate are enumerated, and Notes of a practical nature subjoined, in order to render the sermon more generally useful, and "to further the accomplishment of objects highly important to the very extensive parish of St. Margaret's, Leicester." It would be well if they elicited the serious attention of those concerned in the temporal and spiritual welfare of every parish in the kingdom.
A Concise View of the Succession of Sacred Literature, in a Chronological Arrangement of Authors and their Works, from the Invention of Alphabetical Characters, to the year of our Lord 1445. Vol. I. Part I. By ADAM CLARKE, LL.D. F.A.S., Member of the Royal Irish Academy; Member of the Royal Asiatic Society; Fellow of the Geological Society of London, &c. &c. Part II. By J. B. B. CLARKE, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Chaplain to H. R. H. the Duke of Sussex. London: T. S. Clarke, and Simpkin and Marshall. 1830. 8vo. Pp. xxiv. 502. Price 12s.
THE plan of this work is nearly the same as that of the Historia Literaria of Cave. It commences, however, with the first exhibition of alphabetical characters in the Decalogue, which was written by the finger of God, about A. M. 2513. Thence it proceeds with a brief yet comprehensive account of all the books of the Old and New Testament, with a summary of their contents, and a memoir of their respective writers. Inserted in chronological order we have a concise history of the several Greek versions of the Jewish Scriptures, as well as of the Talmud and Mishna; an account of the Masorites; and a copious detail of the lives and writings of Josephus, Philo, and other writers connected with sacred literature, to the close of the Scripture Canon. The Apostolical Fathers come next under review, followed by