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I would not 'scutchoned pall, or gorgeous
ON THE STORY OF CERINTHUS AND
To the Editor of the Christian Observer, Of Him who for me lived, of Him who I VERY much doubt the truth of the
for me died. I will only add, my dear friend, story quoted by Mr. Melvill at the that as for himself
, so for you, and Naval and Military Bible Society all our valued friends, prays your's
Meeting, and since iterated and reaffectionately *,
iterated to disparage the Bible So
ciety, of St. John's rushing from the * Since concluding my letter, I find sun bath at the approach of the heretic dry scraps, notices, &c. which I pencilled Cerinthus. It rests on as little authoamong my reminiscences, but which it is rity as the tradition of that Apostle too late to introduce where they might having been thrown into a caldron have found an appropriate place in my letters. I must, however, request you to
of boiling oil, or a hundred other observe the inscription on the monument vague narratives relative to the of Bishop Horne, in your cathedral, in Apostles,—some of them palpable proof of what I said in one of my letters frauds, unjustly called pious, - which of the altered tone of our sepulchral in. scriptions after the Reformation. How found their way into ancient ecclemany, think you, among the old Popish siastical legends. I do not think it “ora-pro-nobis” shoals of epitaphs in likely that St. John believed the that venerable structure, or the modern bath would fall, because a wicked Protestant laudatory tablets, will you find like the following, on this good Eliza man happened to be in it,- he could bethan bishop, who died and was buried not so have forgotten his Divine Masat Winchester in the year 1580? “ Ro- ter's own instruction about the tower bertus Horne, quondam Christi causa exul, deinde episcopus Winton., pie obiit
of Siloam ; and (if he did not bein Domino." Mark, “in the Lord” lieve it, he would not have used the nothing more; neither Popish saints, nor words as a mere rhetorical flourish. Protestant acts of merit; heaven-pur But, be the story true or false, it chasing deeds, or grace of congruity.” has nothing to do with the particular I fear that, with the exception of the recent revival of religion among us, we have question for which Mr. Melvill quotbeen declining from the simplicity of the ed it: it no more bears upon
the Gospel from the age of Elizabeth up to expulsion of Socinians from the the present moment; and that the average of religion among us even now, in
Bible Society, than of Millenarians. our most religious circles, is very far short St. John's alleged words, as quoted of the standard of our Reformers—and with perfect accuracy by Mr. Melvill how much more short, therefore, of the himself, are,
Let us flee lest the scriptural standard, since even they were
bath should fall, while Cerinthus, an but fallible expositors !
Another memorandum of another kind, enemy of truth, is within it." He and I lay down my pen.
William the calls Cerinthus an enemy of“ truth;" Conqueror's Doom's-day Book, you pro- there is not a word about that parbably know, was founded on king Alfred's ticular heresy which Mr. Melvill alvenerable Winchester register. Doomsday Book is still used in law, and may be
for Cerinthus entertained consulted for the fee of six shillings, at a whole legion of heresies: he opthe Chapter-house at Westminster. Its posed “ truth" in almost every parcontents
, as given in the following old ticular of his theological creed; he Latin verses, so curiously illustrate the state of British society at that period, held all sorts of strange fancies about that I copy them. This book contains, æons, deinurges, and I know not Quid deberetur fisco, quæ, quanta tributa, what; he « attempted,” says MoNomine quid census, quæ vectigalia, quan- sheim to form a new and singular
system of doctrine and discipline, Quisque teneretur feodali solvere jure, Qui sunt exempti, vel quos angaria damnat, by a monstrous combination of the Qui sunt vel glebæ servi, vel conditionis,
doctrines of Christ with the opiQuive manumissus palrono jure ligatur. nions and errors of the Jews and
Gnostics."I quote the following from this millenarian creed ought to be
admitted into a Bible Society? The “Cerinthus required of his follow- anecdote proves the one point as ers, that they should worship the Fa- much as the other; and might be ther of Christ, even the Supreme just as fairly applied by those who God, in conjunction with the Son; do not believe the personal reign of that they should abandon the law. Christ in Palestine to be “ truth,” giver of the Jews, whom he looked to exclude some of Mr. Melvill's own upon as the Creator of the world; friends from the membership of the that they should retain a part of Bible Society, as to exclude Socithe law given by Moses, but should, nians or any other class of persons. nevertheless, employ their principal The fact is, it applies to neither case, attention and care to regulate their and has nothing to do with the queslives by the precepts of Christ. To tion; and ought not to have been encourage them to this, he promised quoted by Mr. Melvill, unless he inthem the resurrection of this mortal tended to make his test commensubody, after which was to commence rate with the truth, and the whole a scene of the most exquisite delights, truth. The inconsistency was akin during Christ's earthly reign of a to that of Mr. Irving on the same octhousand years, which was to be suc- casion, who quoted i Corinthians v. ceeded by an happy and never end- 11; which says, "Not to keep coming life in the celestial world. For pany if any man that is called a Cerinthus held, that Christ will one brother be a fornicator, or covetous, day return upon earth, and, renew or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunking his former union with the man ard, or an extortioner, with such a Jesus, will reign with his people in one, no not to eat;” and then, instead the land of Palestine during a thou- of moving that such persons be ejectsand years."
ed from the Society, which was the This was the man whom St. John, natural inference, if the passage if the story be true, avoided, and applied at all to the question, left most justly, as an arch-heretic, a fa- them contentedly in it; passed them bricator of all sorts of unscriptural over without a word of reproof, and enormities. But what warrant has only exclaimed,
“ How much more Mr. Melvill to lay hold of one of his then a Socinian!” Alas! if He who heresies, and leave out all the rest? maketh men to be of one mind in St. John shunned him, because a house interpose not, where are he was an enemy to truth.” Is these things to stop? May He heal Mr. Melvill prepared to follow up our sinful differences, and over-rule the precedent ? If he, and his Sack- all things for his own glory! ville-Street friends had argued that we ought not to unite with any opposer of “ truth," any heterodox, ungodly, or schismatical man for the distribution of Bibles, his illustration would be to the point, and his argument would be consistent. I do not think it “ truth,” that Christ will In justice to Dr. Burton's feelings, one day return personally, (as Cerin we readily insert the following letthus the heretic taught, and as some ter, though we cannot believe we teach now,) upon earth, and reign have given any occasion for the tone with his people in the land of Pales- which pervades it. Our Reverend tine; I think it a notion wholly un- correspondent little knows our feelwarranted by Scripture, a mere fancy: ings, if he thinks we had any intenbut would Mr. Melvill allow the al- tion of penning“a cutting sentence,” leged anecdote of St. John to be urg- much less of destroying a man's ed to prove that none who profess reputation :" we only remarked,
A FRIEND TO TRUTH.
LETTER FROM DR. BURTON ON THE
honestly and candidly, in relation to for the faith of the Gospel. But the the published controversy between union must be real, not nominal; himself and Mr. Bulteel, what we for with much verbal coincidence of still think the pamphlets bore us statement, there may be serious disout in asserting, that if Mr. Bulteel crepancy of opinion, especially as erred on the one side, Dr. Burton the practical spirit in which doctrines erred on the other; a proposition are held is connected with an essenwhich we feel prepared to justify, if tial difference in the views and habits requisite, by a review of the whole of those who hold them. We might controversy. In the mean time, as illustrate this in regard to the fall Dr. Burton has alluded to some re- and sinfulness of man, the atonemarks of the Rev. D. Wilson, ment of Christ, the need of Divine pages will, in justice, be open to that grace, the influences of the Holy gentleman, should he see fit to offer Ghost, repentance, faith, justificaany reply. A clear understanding tion, regeneration, conversion, sancof what are the real points of differ. tification, and all the intimacies of ence, doctrinal and practical, be- the spiritual life. But for the pretween two such men as Dr. Burton sent, we forbear, only suggesting and Mr. Wilson (we mean not as to our readers the consideration of individuals, but as representing in the subject. The following is Dr. a measure, the views of two large Burton's letter. classes of our clergy), might be of considerable utility towards the in. To the Editor of the Christian Observer. vestigation of scriptural truth. These Sir, - I have only just met with differences we believe to be by no your Number for the month of May means slight; on the contrary, not- last, or I should have taken the withstanding Dr. Burton's expla- liberty of addressing you sooner. natory statements and disclaimers You there review the Rev. D. (which, so far as they extend, we Wilson's funeral sermon upon the have read with much pleasure), we Rev. B. Woodd; and you say, that still think them of serious moment; “Mr. Woodd had seen several Bulteel though they have been confused in and Burton controversies, and had public estimation by connecting discovered that scriptural truth lies them with questions that do not of far apart from either of the contendnecessity belong to them, as if there ing systems.” It appears, therefore, were no medium between Pelagian- that in your opinion my system lies ism and Antinomianism. We would far apart from scriptural truth ; and not confound Dr. Burton with Bishop though to write such a cutting sen. Maltby : the following letter shews tence may be a light matter to a rehow unjust it would be to do so: viewer, the anathema falls rather and he, we are persuaded, would as heavily upon one who feels himself little confound us with Mr. Bulteel or innocent.
You seem to have no Dr. Hawker. This limits the ground compunction in destroying a man's of discussion to the real points at reputation by a sentence; nay, even issue; a candid consideration of in putting him out of the pale of which, either by ourselves or our Christianity: for if the Scriptures correspondents, we think might be are to us the sole source of truth, of service to the church, especially by what figure of speech can we call at the present moment, when fana- that man a Christian, whose religious ticism in one quarter, scepticism in system is “ far apart from scriptural another, avowed blaspheming infi- truth ?” I am, of course, aware, delity in a third, and vice, ignorance, that what you say of a and immorality every where, are as- creed,” and of “cold orthodoxy," is sailing the common hope, and call- meant to apply to myself.
" The ing on all who profess and call them- unscriptural ultraism of the respecselves Christians to strive together tive schools alluded to by Mr. Wil.
son," must necessarily refer to me hard that I should be obliged to dis-
“ If the haps tell you that he was mistaken professor fears to the conseas to my opinions; and when he quences of the doctrine of justifisays, that “the professor of divinity cation by faith only,” &c. &c. Now, in the university of Oxford seems to I beg to state, that so far from fearing imply that justification takes place the consequences of this doctrine, I at baptism—that this sign of the have never held or preached any covenant conveys the vast blessing other. I cannot even in imagination —that at that moment the baptized suppose a man to be justified by person is righteous, but that his sal- any thing but the free grace of God vation depends on his subsequent through the merits of Christ. Let works,” I beg leave to state, that I me advise you, sir, not to be so fond do not believe that his salvation of imagining that the doctrine of depends on his subsequent works,” justification by faith is confined to a in the sense that Mr. Wilson and small party. There are many peryou seem to imply. I believe that sons, whose minds have been cast in justification and salvation come to a different mould from yours, who us by the free gift of God, and sim- would lay down their lives for that ply in consequence of Christ's death. doctrine, and yet would rather part I undoubtedly believe that justifica- with a right hand than have written tion may take place at baptism, as the uncharitable review to which I did all our Reformers, and as does now allude. I do not know to what the Church of England; but it is party you suppose me to belong; justification through the merits of but I beg to say, that I belong to Christ's death: which merits are no party. I neither belong to that then applied to the infant, or the which you are so fond of describing, adult, by the free grace of God. I but which I verily believe does not never supposed, as the above quo- exist in the church, a party which tation would insinuate, that “ this preaches justification by works : if sign of the covenant conveys the there be any such, may God forgive vast blessing” by any virtue inherent them, as I trust that He will forgive in the ceremony itself : it is the those who condemn them: neither do grace of God, or rather it is the I belong to that party which assumes blood of Christ, which“ conveys to itself the title of Evangelical, the vast blessing ;” and it is rather thus violating by the very assump
Res i 7 upa ?
tion, a fundamental principle of the sake, in the name of that Redeemer, Gospel. I call no man master upon in whom we both fix our hopes, that earth. Or, if I am attached to any you will not again condemn a man party, it is to that which would give whose doctrines you had not inthe right hand of fellowship to all quired intɔ, and which you have who differ from it, which strives to chosen entirely to misrepresent. I repair the walls of our Zion, and not would thank you to insert this letter to narrow them by unchristian zeal in your next Number, and remain, or exclusive intolerance.
your obedient servant, To say, in such unqualified terms,
EDWARD BURTON. that I belong to a “ school of un Nov. 7, 1831. scriptural ultraism,” would be very uncharitable, even if it were true: but my heart tells me it is not true: and allow me to add, that you are
OF SCOTS' LATIN PRAYER. not warranted, either as a writer or as a Christian, in thus dealing your
Oh Lord, my God, I hope in thee!
Oh blessed Jesus, set me free! blows at random, and in wounding In heavy chains, in sadder pains, the feelings of others, who have not I long for thee: only their own salvation at stake, but
And fainting, sighing, bend the knee have souls committed to their charge.
To cry imploring, Set me free! I beseech you, sir, for your own
METRICAL TRANSLATION OF MARY QUEEN
A VERY CONSTANT READER.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Biblical Notes and Dissertations, defenders of our common Christianity
chiefly intended to confirm and and of the great truths of which that illustrate the Deity of Christ. By revelation consists. Our readers will JOSEPH John GURNEY, 1 Vol. have observed in that volume the 8vo. 1831.
prominence given to the great arti
cles of the Divinity of Christ, and This is an admirable work. It con- the Atonement of his death. These tains a series of notes and disserta- articles are pursued in the present tions on various passages of Holy publication, which will raise the Scripture connected with the doctrine author to a yet higher rank amongst of the Deity of our blessed Lord. It solid, able, and learned theologians, is also unique; there being no work, -will place him with Pearson, Sherthe production of a member of the lock, Jones, Horsley, Pye Smith, society of Friends, which fixes on so amongst the more eminent supporters important a subject, and pursues it of the fundamental doctrines of the with such clearness of argument, Gospel, against the artful and dissuch depth of sound critical know honest representations of mistaken ledge, and such sobriety and dis scholars and unsound divines. It is, cretion. The respected author is indeed, a refreshment to the studious already advantageously known to Christian, amidst the speculations the British public by his Essays now afloat on almost all subjects, (which we reviewed in our volume to open the volume and trace the for 1826); but he will now take a grave, weighty, calm, well-balanced yet higher place. That workelevated mind of this excellent writer, folhim above the peculiarities of the lowing out with great patience the religious body to which he belongs, evasions of the Unitarian opponent, and ranked him amongst the ablest and exposing in all the glare of day