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the present. I verily believe he found it so: he had the hardest task in the world to execute. He had to make out, that the li. beral distribution of the genuine Bible alone, by a society of Christians of various denominations, was mischievous in the extreme ; and might ultimately tend even to the dissolution of the Established Church. 6. Difficile est satyram non scribere.”
• When a man has selected his own road, through by-ways, among fens and swamps and brambles, or has himself planted it with briers and thorns and thickets, he should not be the first to complain that he finds his
way “ intricate and perplexed," that he is goaded and punctured in his march, and that his progress is impeded, in spite of all his care and circumspection. Never did Dr. Marsh meddle with a subject so “ intricate and perplexed !!” ' pp. 15–19.
The Dean of Carlisle after this summary exposition, proceeds to lift the Lady Margaret Professor out of the intricacy, and perplexity in which he found him immersed : and then accompanies him step by step through the whole of his enquiries. The Dean indeed goes with him into every nook, and cor lurking hole, and labyrinth, of the intricate' argument and does not leave him in possession of a single crevice. He exposes his quibhling, his insidious insinuations, his cenšoriousness, his want of logical acumen : whether he
e runs or creeps, soars or burrows, he is always at his side: he strips him, not merely of the cobweb covering, of his fallacious and flimsy reas soning, but of all the assumed plumes in which he had decked himself as a critic, a mathematician, and a theologian ; and leaves him as denuded and pitiable an
animal ever was exhibited in the cock-pit of controversy.
There is one way in which the labours of the Dean of Carlisle, on the present occasion, cannot but be peculiarly serviceable to the Bible Society; we mean by his lowering the authority of Dr. Marsh, and thus limiting the mischief which his publications might have otherwise occasioned. He effects this, not only by refuting his reasoning, and controverting his pretended “ FACTS"; but by shewing that it has usually been his fortune to be on the wrong side in the several controversies in which he has been so forward to engage, and that he has always conducted them indecorously. · The grand fact brought forward by Dr. Marsh, as our readers may easily recollect, is that there has been a considerable diminution in the printing and sale of Prayer-books, since the establishment of the Bible Society. Dr. Marsh adduced this with great show of accuracy and parade of documents: but when his evidence comes to be examined, it appears, that he has omitted some very essential data, which, when brought into the account, cause the balance to lie on the opposite side to that in which Dr. Marsh had thrown it. It is proved, upon unquestion able evidence, that upwards of 14,000 more Prayer-books have
been printed annually in England, since the formation of this society, than were printed before ; and that without taking into the estimate the great increase occasioned by the establishment of the Prayer-book and Homily Society, a society, by the way, which doubtless arose out of the Bible Society.
• Dr. Marshi appears to triumph not a little in what he calls the discovery of another FACT ; and he desires bis reader to keep the fact in remembrance, “ that churchmen justify the omission of the Liturgy in their distribution of the Bible.”
• The request was certainly unnecessary. The pretended fact, and the unwarranted censure founded upon it, will not easily be forgotten. And although I have expressed a hope that our Inquirer may, on reflection, be sorry for the part he has acted, I am constrained to ach nowledge the existence of a fear, at least equivalent to any hope that I can entertain. A loaded die thrown ever so often, and even without art or subtilty, is sure to present the same side upwards, because it is loaded.
• If the representations contained in the Inquiry, can possibly have availed to make any impression on the public mind, it must be chiefly owing to those clouds of obscurity and confusion with which the Inquirer has enveloped the subject, through the ambiguous use of the expressions so often mentioned, namely, distribution of the Bible alone, omission of the Liturgy, neglect of the Liturgy, &c. &c.
• Page after page I look in vain for positions that are clear, for argumentation that proceeds straight forward, and for inferences that are well connected.
One of the ablest controversialists that ever existed always ad. vised his friends, in their difficulties to raise but dust enough, and they might find a way to get off in the clouds.
• That grand depredator of heathen antiquity, Cacus, is said to have concealed himself a long time in his secret fastnesses, by dragging backward, and in twisted directions, his stolen cattle ; and it is further reported, that when he was on the point of being discovered, he had the art of defending himself by throwirg out immense vollies of hot smoke and fume, till at length he was laid hold of and squeezed to death in the arms of Hercules.
• I know not that I should have ventured to amuse the reader with the recollection of such an odd story as this, if Dr. Marsh had not set the example of relieving à tiresome controversy, by imagining a sort of comparison between some friends of the Bible Society, and Anacharsis Cloots and Peter the Hermit.' pp. 46-48.
Once more, the Professor of Divinity having informed his readers, at p. 48, of his Inquiry, that a Calvinist may in many respects, have a great regard for the English Liturgy, but that he cannot have much pain in parting with it (as though such men as Beveridge, and Hooker, and Scott, could not prize the Liturgy equally with Professor Marsh,) proceeds thus : ! Indeed we know that the English Liturgy was so offensive
to the Calvinists in Scotland, that the very attempt to intro
• duce it into that country, produced an insurrection, which
ended with the solemn league and covenant, to which the Eng• lish Calvinists acceded. And this very assembly of Divines
declared in the preface to the Directory, that the Liturgy used ' in the Church of England, .... had proved an offence....'
On this, Dr. Milner remarks. “How treacherous are the human passions ! Let Dr. Marsh, if he can, and be so disposed, grind the Calvinists to powder; but let not this be done by the operation of such engines, as are prohibited by the immutable laws of equity:' and he goes on to prove most decisively, that it was not the English Liturgy which then gave so much dissatisfaction, and that Dr. Marsh has, in reference to this point of history, exhibited an obscure jumble of materials in such delusive colouring, as could not fail to give a very unjust impression as to the matter of fact. He then sets the interesting circumstances of the times, to which, Dr. Marsh, so invidiously directed the attention of his readers, in the light of day and of truth; and draws from the whole, the following conclusions:
• 1. The downfall of our constitution, both civil and ecclesiastical: was not owing to any single cause, but to a remarkable concurrence of
The conduct of Charles I. and of both the Houses of Parliament, and the decay of Christian practice and principles, both among churchmen and dissenters, notwithstanding some splendid exceptions, greatly contributed to the mischief.
• 2. One of the first and chief firebrands was the king's rash attempt to impose upon the Scotch, by his own authority, not the English Liturgy, but the English Liturgy mutilated, and very much modified in favour of Popery.
• 3. The profaneness and immoralities of the clergy injured their credit, and almost ruined their influence, and gave great ad. vantage to sectarian enthusiasm and hypocrisy.
• 4. Due respect for the Liturgy, and a reverent attention to forms and ceremonies, must infallibly decay when these are no longer supported by a suitable Christian practice of piety and virtue.
* 5. The Church of Rome brought destruction on itself more by the vices and corruptions of its clergy, than even by either its numerous theoretical errors, or the folly and impiety which contami. nate its Missal, amidst the excellent prayers contained in it, many of which have been very properly retained in the Service of the Church of England.
• 6. It is not true that the episcopalian party neglected and disparaged our Liturgy, in any other way than that which I have stated. They did not disparage it as a formulary essential to the ecclesiastical constitution of the country : nevertheless, it is a lamentable truth that their lives did not correspond with the principles they professed. Here was a neglect and a disparagement of the spiritual use of the Liturgy, which proved big with infinite mischief. Indeed too many of the clergy of those times appear to have had their minds intent only on the political advantages of the ecclesiastical establishment. Dr. Marsh, whose penetrating eye sees political interests, and the supply of temporal wants, even in the constitution of a society which has no other object except that of making Bibles plentiful and cheap, will not be at a loss to understand this observation.
. I much deceive myself if the preceding reflections are not fully supported by the history of the events of the great Rebellion.
Dr. Marsh would have us believe that there is a striking resemblance between the events of that period and the proceedings of the present Bible Society ; and one of the circumstances on which he appears to lay much stress is, that a Professor of Divinity at Cambridge is accused of Popery because he pleads for the Liturgy: Here again, “ Difficile est sátyram non scribere ;” and certainly it would be difficult to forbear being satyrical, if the extreme gravity and solemnity with which the parallel is supported did not rather awaken opposite sentiments, and repress every disposition to severity. Alas! what must become of the church?" Dr. Marsh, the defender, not only of Protestantism, but of Protestantism under the right form, the champion of the church, is ungratefully treated as a Papist ! I hope, however, that when Dr. Marsh shall actually be accused of Popery, he will be able to defend himself better than Archbishop Laud did, when a similar accusation was made against him, for altering and new-modelling the English Prayer-book, so as to make it come nearer to the Popish Mass-book*' pp. 121-123.
The Dean of Carlisle, after describing the mischiefs which Professor Marsh's recent publications are calculated to produce, such as, the disunion of churchmen, the irritation of dissenters, scattering the seeds of jealousy between the Bible Society and that at Bartlett's Buildings, exciting the suspicion that many clergymen have not a due esteem for the Bible, the unnecessary introduction of the question concerning Calvinism, &c. proceeds to answer such inquiries as these : Who is Dr. Marsh? Is Dr. Marsh an eminent divine ? Has Dr. Marsh defended the leading doctrines of Christianity with peculiar ability ? Has he succeeded in illustrating them with any considerable acuteness ? Has he enforced the practice of them with extraordinary exertions? His reply to these queries, occupying nearly 100 pages, contains a history of some of Dr. Marsh's publications, their tendency, their spirit, and their success; the whole furnishing a chaplet of such unwithering flowers, as we think was never bound to the brow of any preceding Lady Margaret Professor. We are first presented with an account of his controversy with a learned Prelate of the English Church, occasioned by the strange hypothesis, proposed in his translation of Michaelis's Introduction to the New Testament. This hypothesis Dr. Milner examines with great acuteness
* Since this was written, the Rev. P. Gandolphy bas triumphantly claimed Dr. Marsh as a defender of Popish sentiments; and I cannot say that his reply to this Roman Catholic divine is by any means satisfactory. Vol. X.
and profundity, and points out its main defects. The following quotation will show, that Dr. Marsh's manner of conducting a controversy, on that occasion, was not very dissimilar to the way in which he now proceeds.
• His Right Reverend Anonymous Adversary, in 1804, complains, that Dr. Marsh's mode of answering was such as if he sought to carry his cause by much writing ;" and “to cover a plain question with perplexities, and to hide from the reader the true points on which it turns." And, again, that " Mr. Marsh has contrived to embarrass the question by dwelling on collateral circumstances, by introducing matter foreign to the purpose, and turning the argument into a personal dispute."
• Another most striking example of similarity perceive in those nnmerous passages of the Inquiry, which mark the self-complacency of the Inquirer; his ostentation and disposition to appeal to his own penetration ; his great success, and the singularity of his achievements, in literary concerns.' p. 235.
The Dean of Carlisle next lays before his readers the history of a very celebrated"
of which it seems the Lady Margaret Professor has been apt to boast. 14 The confidence with which the Inventor looked upon his theorem, appears from the manner in which he speaks of it to his adversary, Mr. Travis.
“ If you are a mathematician as well as a critic,” (says he, in his usual style of complacent superiority) instantly perceive its truth; and if you are unable to judge for yourself, you have certainly mathematical friends who will inform
you that the demonstration is founded on just principles.'
• Let the reader pause a moment to consult his own feelings, whether he does not think that a man who uses such language as this, ought, at least, to have very good grounds for concluding that he is right?
• The Inventor of the theorem then proceeds to give an instance of its application to a particular case, by which he is led to conclude that there is a very high degree of probability that a certain MS., in the library of the University of Cambridge, is one of those which were employed by R. Stephens, for his edition of the Greek Testament.
• The long algebraical process used by Dr. Marsh, determines the chance in favour of the identity of these two MSS. to be as the number 93132 quintillions + 257461 + quatrillions + 543601 trillions + 562499 billions + 999999 millions 999999, to unity; or, in round numbers, as 93132 quintillions, that is, millions of millions of millions of millions of millions, to unity. pp. 240, 241.
« “ I have often heard,” says. Dr. Black, “ in the passage already quoted, such arguments for what I knew to be nonsense.". In repeating this, and expressing my entire agreement with that great philosopher, I solemnly protest against any intention of giving offence to Dr. Marsh. But such is the fact :- the moment I heard of so