« ForrigeFortsæt »
ment connected with a very solemn subject, demands that I should not altogether hold my peace.
The testimonies which have been given both in public and private, to the value and importance of the “Six Letters” have been exceedingly numerous. But upon these I have no disposition to enlarge. I have always been much more solicitous to seek for arguments against my labours upon this subject, than for commendations of them. But this consideration must not withhold me from earnestly recommending to the notice of those who wish to prosecute the present enquiry respecting the theory of the Greek Article, the learned and elaborate work of Dr. Middleton on that subject. 8vo. Cadell.
Upon the whole then I desire it to be understood, that the general argument respecting the true interpretation of certain important texts in the New Testament, as it is comprised in the “Six Letters,” has hitherto, in my judgment, been in no respect impaired by any thing which I have seen alleged on the other side.
Let it be further understood, that I hereby earnestly invite either the public or private communication of any objections against it;
That I beg respectfully to suggest, that no man can well be more laudably employed than in endeavouring to rescue any doctrine of our religion from the rash attempts of injudicious men to support it by false and untenable arguments;
And, finally, that I hereby pledge myself to retract publicly what I have written in my “Six Letters,” so soon as I shall be convinced, either by my own researches, or those of others, that what I have there written is justly liable to that imputation.
Nov. 20, 1809.
P.S. June 1, 1839. Nothing has occurred to the Editor, since his last communications on this subject, to impair, in the slightest degree, his confidence in the conclusions, assumed to have been obtained in prosecuting the investigation above referred to.
When the keepers of the field slept, and the enemy had sown tares, and they had choked the wheat, and almost destroyed it: when the world complained of the infinite errors in the church, and being oppressed by a violent power, durst not complain so much as they had cause; and when they who had cause to complain, were yet themselves very much abased, and did not complain in all they might; when divers excellent persons, St. Bernard, Clemangis, Grosthead, Marsilius, and pope Adrian himself,
many others, not to reckon Wickliffe, Hus, Hierome of Prague, the Bohemians, and the poor men of Lyons, whom they called heretics, and confuted with fire and sword; when almost all Christian princes did complain heavily of the corrupt state of the church, and of religion, and no remedy could be had, but the very intended remedy made things much worse: then it was that divers Christian kingdoms, and particularly the church of England, being ashamed of the errors, superstitions, heresies, and impieties which had deturpated the face of the church, looked into the glass of Scripture and pure antiquity, and washed away those stains, with which time, and inadvertency, and tyranny had besmeared her; and, being thus cleansed, and washed, is accused by the Roman parties of novelty, and condemned because she refuses to run into the same excess of riot and deordination.-But we cannot deserve blame who return to our ancient and first health, by preferring a new cure before an old