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in the name of Jesus, rising as by one consent, yet without any previous concert, to carry on this labour of love." P. 417, 418.
In these observations Mr. Frere concurs with Mr. Cuninghame, as he does also in applying to this Society the vision of the “ angel having the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth,” which he calls a " contemporary prophecy,' though, as we have seen, it is applied by others, and with far greater probability, to one of the great harbingers of the reforination.
6 We have witnessed,” says Mr. C.“a more extensive preach. ing of the gospel than has taken place before, since the days of the Apostles of the Lord, and have seen a society start into existence for the printing and circulation of the inspired volume, which has, in the short space of nine years, given a new impetus to the morul universe, and continues to advance with gigantic strides to universal empire.” “ The last anniversary meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society,” he says, was “ an assembly probably unequalled since the days of the Apostles *."
We beg leave to add, that it was certainly unequalled” in those days. “ A man that is an heretic,” St. Paul says, ject.” (Tit. ii, 10.) “ I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions, and avoid them.” (Rom. xvi. 17.) “ We com mand you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." “ If any man obey not our word, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thess. iii. 6. 14.) « If there come any unto you, and bring not this doc. trixie (the doctrine of Christ) receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth" him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds.” (2 John 10, 11.) When these precepts were delivered and exemplified in the lives of the Apostles and their converts, when the beloved disciple ran hastily out of the bath, in which the heretic Cerinthus was, there was unquestionably no society like the Bible Society, in which are to be found men who have nothing of Christianity but the name ; men who reject the ministers and the sacraments which Christ ordained; men wlio assume the office of teachers without
* Mr. Faber also, vol. i. p. 406. n. 493. (new edit. 1814) is a warm panegyrist of the Bible Society and other anomalous institutions of the day; but as he has no direct allusion to miraculous gifts, and forbears to adapt scriptural terms to his purpose, his language however hyperbolical, is not indecorous or prophane. Rev.
appointment; men who deny the Lord that bought thein ; men who believe the Scriptures, and men who do not believe them. Mr. C. therefore, as it appears to us, was needlessly fearful in restraining his comparison to the post-apostolic ages. To do his subject full justice he should have said, the society was not only “ unequalled since the days of the apostles,” but has had no equal since the world began!
One portentous circumstance in this society, and in itself an evil of no small magnitude, is that it has, instead of uniting, for the first time divided the most conscientious and exemplary members of our truly primitive and apostolical Church. A inan may be a member of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, or for Propagating the Gospel, a member of the Hunane Society, or of almost any other among the numberless benevolent institutions with which this happy land abounds, or he may not, according as circumstances, inclination, or a sense of duty suggests. No particular merit is claimed by those who are so associated; and certainly no censure is cast on those who are not. But here all is in extremes. The members of the society " speak all things by talents;" and in their study to exalt their favourite institution, by allusions to the miraculous gifts and preaching of the apostles, allow themselves to use a language, which is extremely abhorrent to our feelings, if not absolutely profane. Those on the other hand, who keep aloof from the society, appear to be equally sincere, and some of them perhaps equally ardent, in their disapprobation and dislike.
The warmth indeed which is manifested on the occasion is but the natural result of the importance which the one side and the other justly attach to the truly laudable object, the distribution of the Holy Scripture, provided it is done in a justifiable inanner, and so as not to “ cast pearls before swine. But the division is unavoidable, and as we greatly fear, incurable. For though many most sincere sons of the Church of England have, unwarily as we think, and doubtless with the best intentions, joined this society of imposing aspect; yet it is impossible but that numberless others, men of equally clear and sober judgment, are and will be convinced, that the alledged precepts and prohibitions of our Lord's apostles, forbidding us to consort with those that cause divisions, bear directly on this question ; and therefore that they cannot unite themselves with these motley associations, and hold consultations with them, especially for such a meritorious and holy purpose as the dissemination of the revealed word of God, till they can deinonstrate the truth of the popish maxim, that “the end sanctifies the means, and that
it is lawful to do evil that good may come.” We now take our leave of Mr. Frere with every sentiment of
respect which may be due to his pious and good intentions, bet
Art. V. The History of that inimitable Monarch Tiberius;
who, in the 14th Year of his Reign, requested the Senate to
pp. 432. 11. ls. Longman.
With whatever unwillingness we may admit the assertion,
The writer who is bold enough to combat them, will often
of contradictions. We must therefore
The character of Tiberius the Roman Emperor has often been the subject of attention, but has never been till now, the subject of dispute. Its peculiarities and eminent features have been marked by Tacitus, whose sententious brevity is singularly adapted to impress the memory. The odia in longum jaciens que reconderet auctaque promeret, has become proverbial. What Tacitus has said of his dissimulation and cruelty is abundantly confirmed by other writers: what he has said of his debaucherits is confirmed not only by other writers, but by the medals now to be found in the island of Capreæ, the residence of his latter days. But in the work before us, we are told that the character of Tiberius has been hitherto misunderstood. Its author has undertaken to establish these two points; first, that Tiberius was a Christian; and secondly, that because he was a Christian, he was maligned by the favourers of Paganism, particularly by the Pagan historians.
To decide the first question, whether Tiberius was a convert to Christianity, there is no occasion to resort to presumptive arguments, if we can find any direct evidence produced by the. friends or by the enemies of the Christian faith. The evidence of the Christian apologists as to this matter is clear, uniform; and consistent. Clemens 'of Rome, Tertullian, Jerome, and Eusebius, have stated with little variation of phrase, that soon after the crucitixion of Christ, Pontius Pilate transmitted an account of the transaction to Tiberius, that Tiberius on reading this account, requested the senate to admit Christ among the number of the gods, and that on the refusal of the senate to comply with this sequesi, be issued an edict threatening death N
to VOL. IV. AUGUST, 1815.
to all who should molest Christians. The words of Jeronte we quote, as being the most concise. “ Pilato de Christianorum dogmate referente Tiberius detulit ad Senatum ut inter cætera Sacra reciperetur." These quotations from the Ecclesiastical historians have been frequently adduced, and for that reason we forbear to dwell on them. Their testimony is corroborated in the work before us, by that of Moses the Choronensian, a Jew, who wrote the history of Armenia in the language of that country. A copy of this curious history is said to be preserved in the Library of Exeter College, Oxford, and it has been translated into Latin by William aud George Whiston, the sons of the ingenious philosopher of that nanxe. In this history is contained a letter of Tiberius in answer to an epistle which he had received from Agbarus king of Edessa, concerning the miracles of Christ, and the wonders which happened at his death, and which concluded with this sentence. * Jam itaque 'novit majestas tua, quid de Judæorum populo imperandum sit, qui hæc perpetrarunt, statuendumque per totum orbem ut Christum colant tanquam veruin Deum, The answer of Tiberius is expressed in the following terms:
", Tiberius Romanorum Cæsar, Agbaro regi salutem. Lecta fuit coram me epistola amicitiæ tuæ, ob quam gratia a nobis tibi habenda est, quanquam et a multis hoc ipsum prius audiveramus. Miracula ejus luculenter exposuit Pilatus, eumque postquam e mortuis surrexit a multos pro Deo fuisse habitum. Ac propterea rolui ipse idem facere quor tu cogitasti, sed cum Romanorum consuetudo sit ut Imperatoris modo auctoritate neminem in Deorum numero reponant dum a Senatu tentatus fuerit probatusque, ideo rem ad Senatum retuli: respuit autem Senatus, quod ab ipso primum quæstio de éo non fuerat habita. Nos autem unicuique qui volet permisimus, ut Jesum in Deos recipiat, mortemque illis Ininati sumus, qui Christianos criminari pergant. De Judæorum autem populo, qui eum temere ausi sunt cruci suffigere, quem ego non cruce sed honore et veneratione dignum fuisse audio, ubi & bello, cum Hispanis qui à me defecêre, otium nactus fuero, re explorata is pro meritis tribuam."
Mose's has subscribed the following memorandum. “ Hæc scripsit Agbarus, atque epistolæ ejus, ut et cæterarum, exemplum in Tabellario Edegseno reposuit."
We pretend not to decide in this place, how far this history of Moses the Jew may be worthy of credit, or whether this fet er of Tiberius may be authentic ; ve only say that this testimc niy goes as far but no farther, than that of the ecclesiastial wriers, and that the testimony of boih amounts simply to this
at Tiberius was favourably inclined to the Christian faith, and that lie prohibited all persecutions against the professors of Christianity. If Tiberius had beca a real convert, would