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Abingdon. Is this what Dr. Marsh the Scriptures, but it is their duty wishes us to understand by the to read them, or as they have opwords " more successful in his in: portunity, to hear them read, for quiries ?” We think that Mr. Nor: our Saviour has expressly comeis himself will agree with us in the manded to search the Scriptures. persvasion, that *
an enemy hath and St. Paul orders his Epistle to done this,” under the guise of a be read to all the brethren, that is, friend*.
to all Christians, and the Bereans 6. In this ponderoas volume of are commended for searching the 440 pages, the Editor professes to Scriptures :' and in the same Cate give us the several documents which chisin, in answer to the question, relate to the Hackney Meeting : Are not the Scriptures obscure and yet he has omitted one paper of con- hard to be understood ?' we are siderable importance. It is entitled, taught to answer --- As 10 what* Hackney and Newington Aux. ever is necessary to salvation they iliary Bible Society.” If our readers are plain and easy to those who will peruse the following extract, read them with due care and suitthey may possibly be induced to able dispositions ; if the Gospel be think that they have discovered bid, it is hid to those that are lost some reason for the omission. in whom the god of this world hath
" It is emphatically stated in the blinded the eyes of them that beProtestant Catechism, sanctioned by lieve not.' And the Society for the Heads of the Established Church, promoting Christian Knowledge,' That all people not only may read usually called the Barilett's Build• After the preceding pages had gone and powerfully enforced this doc
ings' Society,' have very properly to the Printer, the subjoined Advertisement trine' in one of their admirable appeared in the London newspapers :
“[Advertisement. ]—The following notice tracts, in which it is said, 'Chrishas lately been given in the Cambridge
tians there are innumerable who Chronicle, which we are desired to copy :
are almost entirely ignorant of the The Margaret Prosessor requests all gen. Bible, because those ihat have the tlemen, who, in consequence of an advertise- rule over them, suffer it to be read dient in this paper, may doubt the anthenti- only by particular persons, and with city of the Abingdon letter, to call upon the greatest precaution, as if it were him and see that letter, an examination of
a dangerous thing to put the word which will convince them that it is authen- of God indifferently into the hands tic.'»
of all men.' It is then stated to be We are ignorant of the reason which a great misfortune and a shame to induced Dr. Marsh to keep open house for Christians, that the number of those the inspection of his letter. Without waiting who cannot read should be so great upon him on this occasion, we shall assume that he did receive a letter with the Abingdon among them :' it is added, that post-mark. But by whom was that letter many do not read the word of God, written? By the person whose signature because they are unable through it bears? Where is that person? Neither their poverty to purchase that dia Dr. Marsh nor his correspondents have been vine book,' and proceeds, those to successful in their inquiries : they have whom God has given riches should not found a Quaker of the name. "Nay," supply this defect, by dedicating says the Doctor, “ I have proof: here is the letter to testify." To testify what? Its own providing Bibles for the poor.' The
some portion to the pious use of existence ; and that is all. Our readers prubably recollect the story of a lady walking infinite wisdom and unbounded
same tract proceeds, God in bis upon the battlements of an Italian castle, and hearing from her maid terrible stories goodness, has supplied men by the of a ghost. « Where was it?" said the laels. revelation of bis will, with the most “ By that cannon, Signora." What proof perfect means of instruction : be in. of it?" "What proot, Signora? why there is spired the prophets and apostles, the cannou to testify it,"
and was pleased their writings
should be preserved, that in them Meeting, whose proceedings were thus retruth might always remain pure, ported, the constituent resolutions with an without being corrupted by the Address of eight pages subjoined, from the forgetfalness and inconstancy, the Committee of the new Society, were circarelessness or malice of men. The
culated through the parish; the purport of Scriptures, therefore, are the most duty and the benefits of a private perusal op
which was in the first place to set forth the valuable blessing God ever bestowed the Scriptures; which doubtless every coriupon us, except the sending his Son scientious meniber of the Church Enginto the world. They are a trea land is ready to adınit, and which, after the sure, which contain in them every staiemeni in the Vicar's letter, ( App. No. III:) thing which can make us truly rich it is umecessary to say that both he and his and truly happy.'
curates had been endeavouring to inculcate “ Again : the tract proceeds and promote to the utmost of their pawer, • Supposing the Scriptures were re
long before the Bible Society had existence." gularly read in the churches, this p. 309. alone would not be sufficient, unless We strongly recommend the cir. Cbristians read them likewise in culation of the tract in question : it their own houses. The express de contains a decisive answer to those claration of God's word, the prac miserable sophistries, which certain tice of the Church both under the individuals continually obtrude upon Old and New Testament, and many
us under the assumed sanction of other reasons which it is not expe. the Society for promoting Christian dieot to mention at present, prove Knowledge. It is a happy circumthe necessity of doing this.' Be- stance that the Hackney Auxiliary sides, private reading is attended Society itself has publicly refuted with some advantages, which public and disclaimed them. readiog is not; in private one may We trust that by this time our read with more leisure, consider readers will be able to form a tolethings more closely, repeat the thing rable judgment of the work under more than once, and make a more review.
We have omitted many nice application. Private reading observations, which this singular is likewise the best way to improve production might be expected to by what we hear in public, it being call forth, because we exceedingly impossible rightly to comprebend lament the condition of a mind what is said in public discourses and which labours under so many and sermons, without being well versed such afflicting terrors. in the Scriptures; add to this, that verily persuaded of the sincerity of private reading keeps up a spirit of our author's views: we have no piety and devotion, whereas those doubt that he believes all his facts wbo neglect this, inevitably fall to be true, all bis statements to be into an indifference and disrelish for ingenuous, and all his reasoning to Divine things, which must be at- be full of demonstration. tended with remissness in the duties fectly believe him, when he asserts of religioo, and with a slavish sub- it as his persuasion, that the Royal jection to the passions.'
not royal; that Mr. “ The preceding extracts suffi. Steinkopff went on a mission to ciently illustrate the duty of all men Bonaparte ; that the Bible Society to read the Scriptures, and the bind- is upon the system of the Puritans ing necessity upon all Christians to and the United Irishmen; and that furnish those with the means, who our nobles and dignitaries, who supfrom poverty; or oiber causes, are port it, are deep in a foul conspiracy destitute of so great a blessing." for the subversion of authority, and
But did Mr. Norris know of this the utter demolition of order and publication? He did: he refers to truth and religion and law! it in the following terms.
Happy, thrice happy the days, if • Within a short time after the General this Biblical dæmon has never been CHRIST, OBSERV. 145.
conjured from the pit! How wide incendiary; it has the insolence to have been its ravages! How terrible turn round and charge you with cails mischiefs ! Hence the contempt Jumny! It has no reverence for of the Scriptures! Hence the the priesthood and no respect for murders at Shadweli!* p. 375. spiritual fathers ! Hence the attendance of Dissenters Mr. Norris has exerted himself upon the service of the Establish with singular industry 10 collect ment! p. 97. Sad is the neglect every circumstance, however trivial, of authorized ministers, and tre- which can by any device be coninendously daring are the notions verted to the discredit of the Bible of the poor! They talk about the Society: and he believes himself to Bible, as if they could understand have made no small progress in the it; whereas their ancestors were cause, if he can produce one instance contented to listen to their betters: of improper conduct among the they adopt words, which should thousands who lend it their support. never be heard but in the mouth of At Uxbridge he has found a case the priest—such words as no lay- perfectly delightful - proof posiman should presume to ulter. How tive - logic infallible - demonstraappropriate to this institution are the tion in its essence. A Mr. ('larke, almost prophetic declarations of he tells us, Vice-President of the John Cade, Esq.! “Thou hast Uxbridge Society, has published most traitorously corrupted the some Socinian papers, and “makes youth of the realm. And whereas, the Bibles which he receives from before, our forefathers had no other the Bible Society the vehicles of books but the score and the tally, their circulation." We believe the thou hast caused printing to be used, fact to be greatly exaggerated ; but and, contrary to the king, his crown, we will reason on the ground asand dignity, thou hast built a paper- sumed by Mr. Norris. We readily mill. It will be proved to thy face, concede that noubing can be more that thou hast men about thee that infamous than the hand-bills attritalk of a noun and a verb, and such buted.lo this Socinian of Uxbridge. abominable words as no Christian But what controul has any Bible ear can endure to bear!"
Society over ils Bibles afier they We much admire that Mr. Norris are bought and paid for? We are'! never undertook to prove that the members of the Society for promote Society is Antichrist. The points ing Christian Knowledge: Suppose of resemblance are very numerous then, after purchasing Bibles and and striking; we could furnish him Prayer-books at that institution, we with several parts of the demonstra. disperse them with noxious tracks, zion already; and country News- what power could prevent us? And papers, or “ manuscript accounts of would any sensible man bring it as a public meetings,” can easily supply ground of charge against the whole the rest. Its antichristian spirit is body, that some individual had scanobvious 10 all men : for if you should . dalously abused bis privilege? We happen, in the mildest terms which are extremely sorry that ihe conthe Hackney side of London Bridge duct of this Mr. Clarke of Uxbridge can furnish, simply to represent it should have given the children of as hostile to church and state in its - sophistry such occasion of triumph. very aim, principle, and design ; if We know nothing of the man ; and you only describe it in the most an-are therefore unable to decide, whe's cient fish-like and delicate language ther be be one of those who have of that part of the metropolis, as a
been induced to profess himself a willainous liar and a most horrible friend of the Society, in order, by
* Nr. Norris's reasoning would have been these abominable proceedings, io much improved if the murdero at Shadwell slab it more deeply ; or whether, had follored, instead of preceding, the from some peculiarity of constitucslablishment of an Auxiliary at Bluckwall, tion, he is rather deserving of pity
than indignation. If he be accessi. impelled more swiftly on its way by ble by those feelings which go- the very storms wbich assail it. vern the greater part of mankind, We view this subject with sentiwe hope that he will repent bitterly ments of delight, and with the lanof ibis ungenerous and insidious guage of warm congratulation. wartare: we consider him as the “Look on this picture, and on this." worst enemy to the Bible Society What are the offences of the Bible that has ever yet blackened its cha- Society? An enemy, under the racter and impeded its progress. guise of a friend has dispersed some
This man is a Socinian; and Mr. Socinian Tracts with his Bibles : Norris concludes, lhat ihe Bible So- and two or three meetings have been ciety tends to the growth of that sect. beld within the walls of a church. Demonstrationworthyofthe reasoner! We are astonished that no more -Does our authorised version teach can be said! It must needs be that Socinianism? Is not every guinea, offences will come : but how wonwhich is subscribed to ibis Institu- derful is it, that so little can be obtution, employed in the circulation jected, where the blessings have of our own Scriptures? And could been so unexampled and the operanot the man circulate his unchris- tions so extensive! Not less than tian tracts, whether he belonged to a million of Bibles and Testaments the Society or not? The Bible So. have been circulated by this Insticiety, as a society, gives nothing lution. The glorious light of rebąt Bibles: but the best gifts of velation has ascended by its means Heaven may be abused; and Mr. over kingdoms and empires, whicla Norris's friend, the co-collector of were sitting in comparative darka Hackney, might practise the same ness! The Sun of 'Righteousness trick with Mr. Clarke, after his has arisen to cheer at once the inguinea was subscribed.
clement regions of the north, and Another of this gentleman's ob- to give new life to the opposite hemijections arises from the circumstance sphere. A Socinian has given of Auxiliary Meetings being occa- tracts! A meeting has been held in a sionally held in churches; and he church! Mr. Norris is angry!-We has got up a few stories on that sube are sorry for these offences. But jech, which be doubtless believes to the blessings of Revelation are exbe true.
tending by this Society, not merely We are of opinion that the church to the poor of Hackney and of the is by no means a proper place for British Isles, but to distant shores any assemblies, but those of religious and mighty continents. The flame worship. The associations is kindled, and it will spread wider nected with the House of Prayer and wider: it will grow and expand are serious and sacred; and we and dilate itself, and no power on would rigidly exclude all secular earth can quench it. concerns from the House of the But it is time to draw to a close : Lord. We would recommend, in we began with Mr. Norris, and with tbe strongest terms, to the friends of Mr. Norris we will end. Our exche Bible Society, to give no occa
tracts have not been numerous; and sion to the enemy to blaspheme. as we wish 10 do him ample justice, Let every thing be done with core we will select two passages, as spea rectness, order, and sobriety. It is cimens of his taste and style of plain that the Society can never be writing. They appear 10 have cost injured but by those whom it has him uncommon pains, before they cherished in its bosom. If their acquired their polish and perfection : conduct be correct, then, in spite of we consider them as among the most speer, and folly, and demonstration, elaborate paragraphs to be found in the Word of God will assuredly his work. proceed in its course, and will be 1. Of his taste.
" Its involution of character is so exqui- with which before they were separately sitely skilful that the full idea of it is not yet coloured; and the truth is annibilared by conveyed; for besides what it withbolds, the overpowering evaporations of error."". what it imperceptibly insinuates enters into pp. 379, 380. its mystical composition. The Scriptures
2. Of his style :-an entire and indeed, by the preliminary filtration which
detached paragraph. they are made to undergo, come into this vast reservoir, prepared for their general " A more impressive demonstration that diffusion, puritied from that particular tinc. this of the reprobate state of nuiud to which ture which they have received, as well from the expedient of separating the sacred text' thuse who interpret them according to the from its true interpretation, criticism, and truth, as from those who corrupt them ac comment,' has so fatal a tendency to reduce cording to their various imaginations : but those who adopt it, and of the despite they are not emitted in this purity to those against the Spirit of Grace which will tuo to whom this splendid receptacle dispenses probably ensue, placed as it is upon the pages then again; for, in consequence of the of the Sacred Volume which was thas made various strala of which its channel is com
the ruin ot' those which it was designed in posed, they undergo a sort of chemical pro- save, could not surely have been prepared 10 cess within it, by which they are in pregnated act as a preservative upon Christians, etfecwith all those tinctures conjointly in their tually to prevent them from stripping it again most subtle and least detectable forins to chat simple state,' and presenting it,'
thus unprotected from injury and insult, as “ Such ab. minab : words as no Christian an object of universal circulation."" p. 382. car can endure w her."-Jaok Cade.
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