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HARVARD COLLEGE LIBRARY
1875, May 27. Gift of the Family of the Late Rev. Oliver C. Everett, of Cambridge. (+6. U. 1832.)
It is no uncommon practice in modern criticism, to neglect the statements of the author under review, and tell the world what he ought to have written, had he thought rightly upon his subject, rather than to exercise a candid judgment upon what he has written; or else, from the premises which he had laid down, to draw conclusions the very opposite to those at which he had arrived. The critic then takes credit for candour, ingenuousness, and a love of truth; while the astonished author mourns over the distortions of his work, and strives, perhaps vainly, to correct them.
Well, indeed, would it have been, not merely for the intellectual, but for the immeasurably higher spiritual interests of man, if this vicious and unworthy practice had been confined within the limits of profane literature, instead of being extended to that Book, "which has God for its Author, salva
tion for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter." Men, wise in their own conceits, and fervent idolaters of their own unhallowed reason, have united the two acts of literary injustice (which, in this case, have become acts of sacrilegious injury,) against Divine Revelation. They have deified their own fallible conjectures, instead of humbly acquiescing in the plain meaning of Scripture. They have been less anxious to explain and enforce what God has done, than to propound what they fancied it was proper He should do. They have perverted the truth of God by their own inventions. They found a system of stupendous simplicity, worthy of the unsearchable depths of love and wisdom whence it sprung-a system into which angels desire to look-a system which proclaims "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men"-a system inimitably calculated to exalt the Saviour, to abase the sinner, and to promote the interests of true holiness. This glorious transcript of the Divine Mind-originated in the counsels of Triune Deity from all eternity— promulged to fallen man in the shades of Paradise-guarded, amidst surrounding corruptions, through the long line of patriarchal generations
shadowed forth in sacrificial institutions-foretold by Prophets in the rapture of their inspiration— and at length revealed in its full splendour, when the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,-the theologians to whom we allude have endeavoured, and are daily endeavouring to pull down and destroy, that they may compose out of the ruins a system, of which, under whatever specious pretensions to the contrary, man is really and substantially the centre and the circumference.
To this end the Canon of Scripture has been daringly tampered with; especially those parts of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Luke which relate the immaculate conception of our Lord; although it is allowed that the passages thus dishonoured are found in every manuscript, and in every version now extant. The reason for questioning their authority was taken from the fact, that the Ebionites, one of the earliest heretical sects, omitted this part of St. Matthew's Gospel; as Marcion, a heretic of the second century, rejected the beginning of St. Luke.*
To this end the simple humanity of Jesus
* Dr. Burton's Testimony of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Introduction, p. xv.
Christ has been taught with the most persevering industry, amidst all the opposing declarations of God in his word, defended by the hallowed learning of martyrs and confessors, in earlier and later ages of the Church. And why? Because there is this great difference between the Unitarian creed (if, indeed, that can be called a creed which is a mere code of unbelief,) and the creed of the Church Catholic;-that the proper Deity of Christ Jesus is not disproved, nor in the least degree hazarded, by passages which maintain his human nature: but the simple humanity of the Saviour is absolutely and altogether overthrown by passages of Holy Writ, which assert his Proper and Essential Deity.
To this end the doctrine of a Trinity in Unity has been pursued with unrelenting virulence; and the vials of a wrathful ingenuity have been poured upon it without measure or moderation.
To this end, the fall of man-his separation from the image and favour of God-the forfeiture of every privilege to which, in that image and favour, he was entitled, beyond the reach of other challenge; and his righteous condemnation by the violated law of God, have been zealously and perseveringly repudiated, and represented as an ingenious mythologue or