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prodigiously high a degree of probability being inferred from such a coincidence of readings, I was sure there must be nonsense somewhere.
I do not mean to trouble the reader with the tedious and intricate algebraical processes of Dr. Marsh. Probably these may be all correct. I have not so much as examined the detail with any degrée of attention. Besides, I trust I should be ashamed to cavil at such mistakes in the management of complex computations as any man may fall into, and which" aut incuria fudit, aut humana parum cavit natura." My objection is to the principle upon which the whole computation proceeds. p. 242.
The reasoning, in this instance, ought to be analogous to that of the die with an unknown number of sides. By casting this die a great number of rounds, each round consisting of six casts, the constitution of the die was so far determined, that there were five chances to one against the coming up of a white face upon any single trial. In like manner the constitution of a number of MSS. in regard to a particular reading is supposed to be unknown; and if upon examining a great number of sets of these MSS. each set consisting of ten MSS. it should turn out that this reading is almost always found in some one of the ten, and in no other; or, if upon comparing the number of all the MSS. taken together, in which the reading is not found, with the number of all those in which it appears, there should be à near approach to the ratio of nine to one, the legitimate conclusion, doubtless is, that on examining any other of these MSS. there is one chance in ten of finding the said reading.
Dr. Marsh arrives at the same conclusion after having examined only a single set of the MSS.
Our Inquirer, who has set me the example of expressing anxiety for the honour of our University, ("what a notion," says he, "will men form of the University of Cambridge!") will allow me, in my turn, and in my capacity of Professor of Mathematics, to exclaim, What a notion will men form of the mathematical learning of our University, when they shall hear of the Margaret Professor of Divinity, educated in the centre of mathematical and philosophical instruction appealing to his mathematical knowledge, resting his conclusions upon algebraical processes, and yet reasoning precisely as a person would do, who, being supposed entirely without experience of the influence which climate, and season, and many other causes have upon the weather, and yet, desirous of forming some rules for judging of it from his own future observations, should, with this view, commence a course of careful attention to the variations of the weather, and record the facts for ten days successively, and upon finding those ten days to have been all rainy days, except one, should conclude that it was nine to one that the next day would also prove rainy,'
Our author proceeds, in the last place, to scrutinize Dr. Marsh's title to the character of a great divine :
'Dr. Marsh appears to me to lay abundantly too much stress ou the niceties of Biblical criticism. I do not think that such a depth
of that kind of knowledge, as I understand him to recommend, is at all necessary for students in general; nor do I think that much time spent by them in such pursuits would be well spent; especially as it would leave them too little time for the study of other branches of divinity. I do not think that a minute and accurate investigation of the various readings of manuscripts, or a scientific knowledge of the grounds of preference in settling the very best reading in all cases, ought to be considered as the most important part of divinity. Experience shews, that men may be very knowing in these things, and yet be very poor divines; may spend their lives in the cultivation of this species of knowledge, and yet be neither remarkable for the soundness of their faith in Revelation, their skill in apprehending its doctrines, or their zeal in enforcing them.' pp. 263, 4.
Dr. Marsh perhaps may think, that the preaching and expounding of the word of God, and diligently exhorting the people to an observance of Christian duties, however useful these parochial employments may be, scarcely merit the name of the Study of Divinity. On the other hand, I should not be surprised if some of his opponents (as he terms them) should insinuate to him that Biblical criticism is a subject on which a person of tolerable attainments and plausible address may, in a little time, and with no great depth of learning, compose a few superficial lectures, extracted from various prefaces, and prolegomena of authors, especially from those of the laborious German writers, which may appear sufficiently specious and imposing to those who are scarcely acquainted with such subjects; but that "rightly to divide the word of truth," to understand the doctrines of the Bible, and to apply them with judgment and effect according to the different circumstances of men in various parishes and congregations, is divinity indeed-is that which indeed merits the dignified name; and that to do all this well, requires length of time, sobriety of thought, with much pious zeal and practical observation.' pp. 267-8.
Sentiments like these are worthy of a dignified clergyman of the church. We add only one extract more.
In regard to such questions as, "Who has done most to promote the study of the Bible?" and again, "Is Dr. Marsh an eminent divine?" I conceive, after what I have said, there can be little difficulty. For it happens in this case as in many others, that all obscurities and ambiguities vanish as soon as the terms of the inquiry are clearly stated. Never yet have I heard a single person contend that Dr. Marsh was "mighty" in the doctrines of the "Scriptures;" or that he was either skilful or industrious in making men wise unto salvation. He tells us*, that he has frequently tried our Liturgy and Articles of Faith by the test of the Scriptures. I wish that among his various writings there was to be found, for our instruction, a single discourse or dissertation on any important doctrinal subject. But as I am not aware of this, I shall content myself with simply observing, that in the two or three specimens which I remember of Dr. Marsh's divinity, delivered in
the pulpit of St. Mary's, I had to lament what I thought an erroneous conception of a most essential article of our faith, and also a misrepresentation of a divine who is well known to have maintained it with singular zeal and perseverance.
In fact, the attention of Dr. Marsh has been drawn to things very different from the leading doctrines of the Scriptures, and their application to practice; and I am persuaded he has yet much to learn, before he can convince any person who looks into evidences, and ventures to judge for himself, that he is either an eminent divine, or that he has much contributed to the promotion of sound scriptural knowledge.
I cannot conclude this head better than in the words of the Right Rev. anonymous Author of the Remarks before quoted"Upon the whole," says he, " it will be thought, I trust, that I speak moderately, when I say only, that Mr. Marsh takes too much upon himself."
We may now, we believe, spare ourselves the labour of adding further remarks, and leave the decision of this question to the judgement of the public. Indeed, we should not have extended this article to so great a length, but for two reasons. First, because the Dean of Carlisle, though one of the best scholars, one of the best mathematicians, and (as we have always understood) one of the best men now living, has been prevented by his long sustained and increasing infirmities, from being much known to the world as an author; and, therefore, demands a more respectful attention when he steps from the retirement of his college and secondly, because, unless the Lady Margaret Professor is determined to exhibit himself a living commentary upon Proverbs xxvii. 22., we conceive this is the last time we shall have to mention his name as an opponent to the British and Foreign Bible Society.
Art. XII. On the Sacrifice of Christ; its Nature, Value, and Efficacy:
hearts and conduct of all who receive it, render it of vital consequence to the Christian revelation, and to our individual interest in its blessings. The importance of the doctrine may be ascertained, not only by the views of its advocates, but by the opposition of its enemies. Aware of the subserviency of scriptural phraseology to its support, they employ all the artifices of sophistical explanation, to adapt that phraseology to their reduced and evasive opinions. Propositions are thrown into the crucible of criticism, that they may be melted down, and assume a convenient shape, to suit their dextrous ambiguities. Recourse is had to figures of speech---Jewish allusions---accommodations to existing prejudices---and sundry occult methods of construction. But all will be in vain, as long as honesty, candour, and good sense exist in the world; for let these dispositions accompany an inquirer to the study of revelation, confirmed as its discoveries are, by notices of facts existing in ancient and modern times, by fragments of remote tradition, by religious usages amongst idolatrous nations, and by the impossiblity of accounting for these traditions and usages without referring to the Scriptures; and we feel no hesitation in asserting, independently of still surer grounds of confidence, that the doctrine of vicarious sacrifice will be ever retained in the Christian world, as the primary characteristic peculiarity of our holy religion.
The discourse before us forms, we think, a valuable supplement to the elaborate work of Dr. Magee, to which, somewhat more than a year ago, we had the pleasure of directing the attention of our readers.* As far as the question can be determined by criticism and facts, well supported and authenticated, the disquisitions of Dr. Magee have set it at rest for ever; and indeed it is on such ground, perhaps, that its adversaries in modern times can be most successfully encountered. Those first principles on which a theological vindication of the doctrine of atonement is founded, are to be themselves defended and established. The points at which the reasonings of opponents in this case commence, are widely remote from each other, and the data of appeal havẻ never been precisely determined and mutually acknowledged. The parties differ essentially in their views of the character and government of God---the authority of Revelation---the province of human reason---and the relative importance of the doctrines which form the subjects of discussion. Is it surprising that the further they proceed, the distance of separation increases? It is however such a divergence, as illustrates most satisfactorily the radical scepticism of their generalising, and the identity of
* Vid. Ecl. Rev. for March and April, 1812,
modern Socinianism with philosophical infidelity. Their reasonings are the reasonings of a spirit unsubdued by the authority of Scripture, and uninfluenced by its holy and humbling principles. Still they are nominally Christians, and when unable to bend the plain decisive assertions of the bible to their purpose, they avail themselves of fallacious criticisms, and dubious or perverted statements of facts. The obscure documents of ecclesiastical history are pressed into their service; and that homage is paid to the doubtful meaning or disputed passages of an ancient Father, which is never rendered to the clear and obvious declarations of Scripture. But even here
their usual ill success attends them; and after the triumphant researches of Horsley and Magee it must be a desperate cause indeed, which flies for refuge to such feeble and inadequate expedients as "criticism and the Fathers!"
In the collation” of coincidences and differences between Dr. Magee and Dr. Smith, the latter introduces the following judicious remark on the work of the former.
To theological sentiments, distinct from the general subject, Dr. M. has but sparing and brief allusions: so that it would be presumptuous to form a decided opinion as to his approval of the views of Christian doctrine, advanced in these pages, or his dissent from them. I fear, however, that some passages in his work indicate a material difference from those views which I think it my duty to maintain upon the real value of the Redeemer's sacrifice, its relation to the moral attributes and government of God,—its connection with the divine nature of Christ,-its efficacy-and its application.' p. 90.
On these important subjects we feel happy in expressing our cordial concurrence with the learned author of the Discourse.
A sacrifice (says Dr. Smith), properly so called, is the solemn infliction of death on a living creature, generally by effusion of its blood, in a way of religious worship; and the presenting of this act to the Deity, as a supplication for the pardon of sin, and a supposed mean of compensation for the insult and injury thereby offered to his majesty and government.' (p. 4.)
This definition is illustrated at some length, and convincing arguments are adduced to prove---that the ancient rite of sacrifice was a symbolical action---that sacrifices had a designed significancy, and were intended as a species of symbolical language to convey to the mind most important sentiments.
Let us (observes the Doctor) in imagination view the striking scenery of a Patriarchal or Levitical sacrifice. A victim is selected, the best of the flock or the herd, without blemish or defect. It is brought before the altar of the Lord; its life blood flows upon the ground; it is divided, and burned with fire; while the conscious sinner sees his own desert and prays" Now, O Lord, I have sinned,