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1827. Burton's Testimonies of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. 505 illustrations of evidence may be obtained mined, that we may see whether such from contemporaries or immediate suc. traces exist or no. cessors; and it is in this point of view If we carry the same train of reasonthat we are chiefly inclined to regard the ing into the second century, we shall find early Fathers of the Church. Respect a similar improbability, that Justin or Ireing the occurrences and opinions of their næus, who had seen and heard the conown times, and their derivation from temporaries of the apostles, should not dates immediately preceding, they may know for certain what was the apostolical be direct evidence; but, beyond this, doctrine concerning the nature of Christ. their testimony, how important soever, It may be said, that the further we adcan be considered only as subsidiary. We vance from the original source, the greatlearn, so far as their statements extend, er chance there is of our meeting with from the earlier Fathers, what was the accidental errors and intentional corrupstate of things in the Apostolic ages; and tions. But this remark, though often from their successors we obtain, what is made, requires some restriction and qua. scarcely less valuable, the history of opi- lification. That a greater number of pernion, its changes and gradual corruptions, sons should be followers of an error which the deterioration of discipline, with the had already existed, and that heresies slow but sure progress of secularization themselves should increase, was likely to in the Church. This affords illustration happen, as the knowledge of Christianity of a kind, which, though it must, when extended: but the very increase of Chriscompared with primary evidence, be con- tianity made it more and more difficult sidered as inferior and indirect, is yet that all Christians should unite in corrupthighly important and efficient. The very ing their common faith. progress of error gives attestation to the existence of original truth, while the mu
In all controversies, whatsoever, it is tilations and defacements of prejudice desirable to narrow the question as much may afford indications of the shape and
as may be practicable, without affecting lineaments under which that truth at first
the essential character of the subject unappeared. Clement of Rome, and Igna- der discussion; and it fortunately happens tius, for instance, were contemporaries of that, in the extensive and diversified disthe apostles; and, unless cause be shown
pute between the Socinians and the Or. to the contrary, it is reasonable to expect is concerned, the debate may be taken on
thodox, so far as the matter of testimony from them, so far as the nature and extent of their remaining writings may al.
one grand point-What was the creed of low, clear and direct testimony to apos- ries of its history, with reference to the
the Churcli, during the first three centutolic doctrine.
divinity of Christ. That the Council of Clement and Ignatius, if they found Nice, held in A.D. 325, affirmed that carthings hard to be understood in the writings dinal doctrine in its most decided form, is of the apostles, could refer for a solution admitted by all parties; and the point to of the difficulty, either to the writers be determined involves only the senti. themselves, or to other apostles wbo had ments of the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Re. known them familiarly, and who had la- specting these, the most contradictory as. boured together with them. There are sertions have been made. Theophilus some points of doctine, of which it seems Lindsey, in his Apology, intrepidly asimpossible to conceive that Clement and serts, that 'All Christian people, for upIgnatius could be ignorant. To suppose wards of three hundred years after Christ, that they did not know whether Peter or till the Council of Nice, were generally Paul, or John, believed Jesus Christ to Unitarians, what is now called either Ari. be essentially God, or a mere mortal man, an or Socinian.' Gilbert Clerke, in his seems as improbable, nay, I would say, as Ante-Nicænismus, affirms, that it has been impossible, as to suppose that they did made evident from undoubted testimo. not know, wherber these apostles be nies of the Fathers, that the opinion of lieved Jesus Christ to have been actually the Ante-Nicene doctors was either thonailed to the cross. If Clement and lg- roughly Arian, or very near being so, un. natius did know what was the belief of questionably nearer to the error wherethe apostles concerning the divinity or into Arius had fallen, than to the fancies humanity of Jesus, it necessarily follows, of the schoolmen, or, which is all one, to that they held the same belief themselves; the decretory articles of our modern Hoand though the writings which they have moousians.' And Mr. Belsham follows in left are extremely few, it is highly proba the same course, by maintaining, that ble, that some traces of their belief upon *the great body of primitive Christians, this subject would appear in their own both Jews and Gentiles, for the first two works; at all events, it becomes very im- centuries and upwards, were Unitarians, portant that their writings should be exa- and believers in the simple humanity of Vol. V, -Ch. Adv.
Jesus Christ.' Of all these rash and un It seems unnecessary that we should authorized expositions, the writings of enter at large into the statements conBishop Bull furnish a complete and un nected with the question, here discussed, answerable refutation; and to those who since such a course would occupy much have sufficient mastery of the language space, without, after all, superseding the in which he addressed his readers, his necessity for more extensive investigaworks will supersede the necessity for
tions. We should find it an easy and a application elsewhere. But, for general profitable task to abridge the volume in inquirers, and even for students who, from our hands, but its various and interesting inadequate leisure or other causes, are
matter would be inadequately représentunable to encounter the close examina ed by a meagre analysis, and its own tion of his invaluable folio, something cheap and convenient form makes such a more accessible and convenient was de. process additionally inexpedierit. If we sirable. This deficiency was partially sup were to dilate on any subject connected plied by the very creditable "Inquiry with this publication, it would be on the into the Belief of the Christians of the advantages derivable, even to general readfirst three centuries, respecting the one ers, from its perusal. They might feel at Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy first a little difficulty in fixing their atten. Ghost," by William Burgh, published in tion; but this, a small degree of perse1778. There was quite enough in this verance would overcome, and they would interesting volume to put to shame Mr. be richly repaid in the satisfaction derived Lindsey's peremptory assertion, in refu. from the inspection of original authori. tation of which it was compiled; but it ties, and their consequent ability to frame was neither complete nor accurate enough their own results. An insight, superficial for a permanent and satisfactory record. certainly, but sufficient for average purHe is honourably mentioned, and fairly poses, will be gained, into what may be characterized by Mr. Burton.
called the early literature of Christianity, “ It was the object of this gentleman illustration which is supplied on the main
independently of the complete body of (Mr. Burgh), to present a series of testimonies from the Ante Nicene Fathers, discussions are ably conducted, and tend
object of investigation. The occasional arranged in chronological order; and, when we consider that he was a layman of which the import and application have
to throw light on portions of Scripture, who had not long directed his studies to that line of reading, we must agree that
been disputed.' To exemplify the fair the praise which was bestowed upon his
and satisfactory manner in which Mr. Bur. book, was not unmerited. But he has
ton manages his elucidatory comments, certainly not noticed all the passages
we shall cite a part of his examination of wbich might be adduced ; and from not
the testimony of Clemens Alexandrinus, having used the best editions, he has
A. D. 194. The passage illustrated is from sometimes made assertions which are not
the Stromatu 1, VII. c. 10. borne out by the original passage.”
“Clement, having described the proThat which Mr. Burgh had imper. gress of a Christian, from faith to know. fectly executed, has been fully and most ledge, and from knowledge to charity, by satisfactorily accomplished by Mr. Bur which he means the practical exercise of ton, whose admirable volume comprises all Christian graces, quotes a passage from both a triumphant refutation of all the the 24th Psalm to support his observation. hazarded statements, specimens of which The quotation differs from the Hebrew, we have just cited, and a spirited sketch but agrees with the Septuagint version. of ecclesiastical literature, within the li- ,"Who shall ascend unto the lull of the Lord, mits to which it is confined. The book or who shall stand in his holy places He is well-written, and the incidental criti- that hath clean hands and a pure heart; cisms and dissertations are judiciously in who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, troduced, and worked out with much abi. nor sworn to deceive his neighbour. He lity. The translations are clear, and, in shall receive blessing from the Lord, and all the instances where we have compared mercy from God his Saviour. This is the them with the original, entirely faithful. generation of them that seek the Lord, that We would, in short, most strongly recom seek the face of the God of Jacob." ver, 5 mend the volume, not only to students in divinity, but to all who feel interested in rect, it is likely to become of difficult acthe momentous inquiries which it com quisition. The sale has been, we believe, prehends.*
somewhat heavy, as from the nature of the
subject might bave been anticipated; but Much use has been made of Dr. some peculiar circumstances connected Routh's admirable Reliquiæ Sacræ, a work with the warehouse management, have, which we mention here the more particu. we understand, materially diminished the larly, because, if our information be cor- number of copies.
-6. Upon which words, Clement makes ries of testimonies from the apostolic the following observations. “The pro- times, the evidence of the Council of Nice phet bas given a brief description of the is, even without all this, decisive of the man of knowledge. David has shown to us faith held in the earlier periods of the cursorily, as it appears, that the Saviour is Christian Church. It might be intrepid God, calling bim the face of the God of Ja. enough in Daniel Zuicker to describe the cob, who has given us glad tidings and in Fathers of that assembly as novæ fider structions concerning the Spirit: where- conditores, but it was only of a piece with fore, also, the apostle has called the Son his derivation of the Trinitarian heresy the express image of his Father's glory, from Simon Magus and the Orphic verses, who hath taught us the truth concerning through Justin Martyr and the Platonizing God, and expressly declared that God the Fathers, to the universal Church. Ab. Father is one and alone, the Almighty, surdities like these require no answer whom no man knoweth, save the Son, and The onus probandi lies like an incubus he to whom the Son will reveal Him. (Matt. upon their authors; and before we can xi. 27.) He signifies that God is one, by believe that the whole Christian world, at the expression, them that seek the face of the simple dictum of the Nicene Fathers, the God of Jacob; whom our Saviour and promptly, silently, and definitively chang. God describes as being alone good, God ed its belief, we require proof, not of the the Father.
fact--that may be dispensed with—but of “This passage becomes more intelli the possibility of such an event. At the gible, when we remember, that Clement same time, the utter falsehood of the pocalls Christ the face of the Father. It was sition has been demonstrated by Bishop his opinion, as it was of all the early Fa. Bull, and by other able men, among whom thers, that whenever God was said in the Mr. Burton may claim an elevated place. Old Testament, to be seen, as he was by Jacob, (Gen. xxxii. 30,) and by Moses, (Exod. xxxii. 11,) face to face, it was not God the Father, but God the Son, who
THE PASTOR'S SKETCH BOOK; or, appeared: and thus they called the Son the face of the Father, or that form under Authentic Narratives of Real which he chose to reveal himself to man. Characters. Edited by George Thus.......he says: “ The face of God is Redford, A.M. Fcp. 8vo. pp. the Word, by whom God is made mani.
232. Price 5s. London. 1826. fest and known :” and in another place, " The Son is called the face of the Fa. ther, the Word who took our flesh, and The sanction of Mr. Redford's name revealed that which belongs peculiarly to would of itself be an adequate guarantee, the Father.” Origen also has used the that the work to which it might stand presame expression : upon those words, fixed, has strong claims to public attenPsalm lxxx. 7, “Cause thy face to shine, tion; and he has not given it lighily or inand we shall be saved,” he says: “he bere considerately on the present occasion. calls Christ the face: for he is the image of This “Sketch-book' contains a series of the invisible God:” and upon Psalm cxix. narratives fraught with uncommon inte. 58, which he translates, “I intreated thy rest and invaluable instruction. Some of face with my whole heart," he says, “ The them, indeed, are of a most impressive face of God is the express image of cast. • The Living Conscience and the His substance, as I have often observed.” Dead Heart,' is a most terrific exemplifi.
“Clement therefore conceived David cation of its title. “The Persecutors' is to have intended Christ, when he speaks more varied in its character, but not less of the face of the God of Jacob; and, ac awful in some of its circumstances. The cording to this interpretation, David Tracts' consists of two gratifying narramakes our Saviour to be God, as Clement tives, excellently told. Village History observes : and yet he also says, that there exhibits a delightful view of the miracu. is only one God, in proof of which he lous effects produced by the establishquotes the declaration of our Saviour who ment of a Sunday school, in a place preis himself God. Unless we believe Cle. viously quite destitute of evangelical inment to have considered the Son to be struction. There are others of not infeunited in the Godhead with the Father, rior worth; but for these and for details, the whole of this passage is unintelligible; we must refer to the work itself, which but if we admit the idea of two persons is well got up in all respects. The poetiin one Godhead, the meaning of it is per. cal motioes are judiciously selected, and fectly plain, though we may perhaps not add to the interest of the circumstances think the reasoning altogether judicious.' which they introduce.
After all, gratifying as it is to find this Ministers from the nature of their great truth sustained by a continuous se. office, made acquainted with facts and cir.
cumstances, hidden from the world at might be had, his high spirit would not large, but important, to a very high de- brook the reduction of the price of lagree, both in themselves and in their bear: bour, occasioned by the change of times. ings. It would be no difficult task, and Anxiety and scanty fare predisposing his the effects might be most salutary, were robust frame for disease, he was attacked brief statements, from time to time, pub. with a fever, wbich in a few weeks brought lished, as in the present instance. No him to the grave. Every attention, how. confidence needs be violated; no delicacy ever, was paid to him as soon as he began outraged; names might be withheld, while to droop: all differences were forgotten, the truth of the whole would be placed and our only care was to preserve him beyond suspicion, by the signature of a from death, and to obtain some tokens of respectable Editor. Discretion would cer a return to the principles and the spirit tainly be requisite; and a fair example of which he had abandoned. Not so, how. its exercise is offered in the volume be ever, was the result; for he died, clingfore us.
ing with tenacity to bis heretical AntinoWe take the following specimen as mian notions, and breathing the same spi. being of convenient length.
rit of pride and self-sufficiency to the last.
“ It is melancholy to tell, that on his “Kaleidus, when he came under my
decease it appeared, that, though only a pastoral charge, thirteen years ago, was
labourer in the field, he bad incurred about five and thirty. He was a man that
debts amounting to upwards of two huncould not pass undistinguished. His form
dred pounds. Credit to such an extent was noble and athletic: his countenance manly and dignified. Without education,
had he obtained among the members of he had acquired that propriety of expres. found themselves the dupes of his plausi.
the congregation! When these persons sion, which raised him far above his rank. bility, they said, with every mark of sin. He was, indeed, only a degree above a labourer in the field; but he was ambil cerity, “Well
, if these are the effects of
the new doctrines, we wish we had never tious of raising his condition; and, being heard them!” Touched in a very tender clever in his line, had every prospect of
part, they could now listen, without avercomfort for his family. With these advan- sion, to their pastor's legality; and, for tages, he was welcomed into the burch
the most part, gradually returned from as an acquisition. His conversation was
the by-path into which they had been led spiritual, and his gift in prayer extraor
astray. dinary. Often bave I wondered how a
“ Thus tbe great “refiner" of the man without education, could express himself with that grammatical accuracy
church carried it through this "fiery trial,"
and purged it of no small portion of its and general propriety, which one might
dross. The Antinomian spirit has not trouhave expected from a minister graduated bied this church from that time to the preat an university. “Such a man, even in an humble rank
sent; and, I trust, if ever the Evil One, in of life, would naturally obtain influence in
"going to and fro, and walking up and
down in the earth,” should make any furany society to which he had access, and
ther attempts of this kind in that place, especially among a country congregation. I am inclined to think that the attention mediately rise up, as a prophylactic against
the name and story of Kaleidus will imwhich was paid him Hattered his vanity, another Antinomian 'faction. “It was and fanned the latent spark of ambition: for soon there appeared in him a depar
the Lord's doing, and marvellous in our ture from his former modesty, and the in
eyes." dication of no small degree of conscious superiority. His conversation assumed something of the oracular cast: he saw in the Bible, what his minister could not see; his minister was legal, and needed instruc In the same Review from which tion; and with this view, he would favour we have taken the foregoing artihim with visits, after he had finished his labours in the field. Others through his
cles, we find, as already intimated, influence and persuasion caught the same
the notice of three volumes of serspirit, and at length a formidable Antino.
mons, which we could wish were mian faction was raised, which effected a republished in this country—almost distressing alienation of affection and though we are well aware how small esteem. “ Things continued in this state for Christians for a volume of sermons.
is the demand among American some months, when, a hard winter occur. ring, Kaleidus was prevented from follow. But these are of a peculiar characing his occupation; and even when work ter and of peculiar excellence, by
authors, too, whose talents and piety God.' “Thou shalt have none other are already known among us.
The Gods but me.' titles of the volumes, as given in mode or sense in which these sacred Per
But let it be here observed, that the the Review, are as follows
sons are distinct, and yet one, is not re
vealed to us. The subject is thus in its : 1. SERMONS, delivered in the Parish fuller manifestation placed above our reaChurch of Richmond. By the son; although in no respect contradictory
And this is a distinction of the Ilon. Gerard T. Noel, M. A. Cu- greatest possible importance. Our rearate of Richmond, &c. 8vo. pp. son is the indestructible principle to 426. Price 10s. 6d. London. which God himself refers in all his deal. 1827.
ings with us; and to admit any thing to
be true contrary to its plain decision, in a 2. PAROCHIAL SERMONS. By the matter on which it is competent to judge,
Rev. Charles Bradley, Vicar of would be to overthrow the very standard Glasbury, Brecknockshire. 8vo. to which God himself refers us, in all our pp. 406. Price 10s. 6d. London. judgments of truth and falsehood. But,
on the other hand, reason admonishes us, 1827.
that as a finite being can never be com3. The CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATED,
mensurate with an infinite Being, any re. in a Course of Lectures, delivered velation made from God to man, will pro
bably contain many things which can be in Argyle Chapel, Bath. By but imperfectly disclosed to him. While William Jay. 8vo. Second Edi- certain facts may be discovered to bim, tion. pp. 446. London. 1827. the mode in which those facts are true
and consistent with each other, may be From each of these volumes we
utterly hidden from his view.
The doctrine of the Trinity is an ex. shall select a single extract, as
ample both of such disclosure and of such given in the Review. The first imperfection. The Father, the Son, and shall be from a sermon preached by the Holy Ghost, are revealed to us as Mr. Noel, on Ephes. ii. 18. “ For clothed with the attributes of God, while through him, we both have access,
the Godhead is asserted to be One. But by one Spirit, unto the Father.” Trinity and this Unity are rendered con.
as to the mode or the sense in which tbis And we cannot forbear to say, that sistent with each other, an entire silence we have never seen our own views is observed, which we in vain endeavour of the important subject of this dis. to break. course, more accurately and happily thus:-in no single instance are we re
The case of Revelation stands then expressed than in this extract.
quired to believe any thing contrary to
our reason, wbich would be in fact to de. This single verse comprises a view of stroy the office of both reason and revethe Deity in the highest degree efficient lation, but we are directed to receive as and consolatory. It reveals the glorious true, certain facts upon the warrant of Godhead as a blessed Trinity of Persons God's word; the precise connexion and in one eternal essence. And surely no one can read the New Testament with agreement of which with each other, we
are not required to believe, simply be. candour and attention, without perceiving cause they are not the subjects of Reve. a Divine authority and power to be attri- lation, and therefore cannot be the subbuted to three separate Persons. The jects of faith. These remarks are necesvery initiatory rite of Christianity ordains sary, because the doctrine of the Trinity, its converts to be baptized “in the name
with many other doctrines of Revelation, of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy has been sometimes rejected as if they Ghost;" while the rich and well known benediction of the Apostle conveys the
were opposed to the clearest dictates of
But this is in no degree true. same truth-“The grace of our Lord The doctrine, we repeat, goes beyond, but Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and it is never opposed to reason. There is the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with no real resemblance between the propoyou all.” And in the Evangelick history, sition, that the Godhead exists under three as well as in the epistles of the apostles, distinct Persons, in one essence, and that actions are attributed to each separate three material objects which we perceive Name which belong to Omnipotence to be distinct, are yet One. There is the alone: while at the same time it is as dis. greatest possible difference in these two tinctly asserted, that there is but one propositions; because the mode or the