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to those whom thy word had struck to the ground; and. save us. Amen.
O God, who at the price of thine only Son's last drop of blood upon the cross, hast won our hearts from this life and all the goods of it, to the sole pursuit and hopes of thyself in eternity; possess, we beseech thee, and absolutely dispose of what thou hast so dearly paid for, mortifying us to the world, and confirming our courage to fight manfully under the banner of our crucified Saviour, that we may be able to stand the shock of all temptations, and that nothing either in life or death may ever separate us from thy love in him, our glorious Redeemer, who with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth one God, blessed for ever. Amen.
O Almighty Lord, the only wife and good Creator of the universe, who madest all corporeal nature for the use of man, and man for his own felicity; enlarge our fouls, we beseech thee, humbly to admire and adore thy infinite fulness of Being in thy self, and thy immense liberality of it to us; and mercifully carry on the whole creation to its end, vouchsafing so to order all thy creatures about us by thy grace, that they may attain their perfection in duly serving us, and we ours in eternally enjoying thee, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.
(To be concluded in our next.)
ON FELLTHAM'S RESOLVES.
For The Orthodox Churchman S Magazine.
THE handsome mention which you were pleased to make in the number of your Magazine for June 1806, of my endeavour to restore to the knowledge of the public, the asmost most quite forgotten Resolves of Owen Felltham, has encouraged me to request you to favour this letter with a place in your valuable publication.
From the very favourable reception which the new and revised edition of the Resolves has met with, (an edition which consisted of one thousand copies) I shall, in all probability, soon have occasion to prepare another for the press; and with a view of enlarging my "fliort account of the author and his writings," I am desirous of collecting what further particulars I can, respecting both the one and the other. I shall, therefore, feel much obliged to any of your numerous and learned readers who may happen to peruse this article, ■who can inform me of any circumstances illustrative of the history of my favourite author; whether any branches of his family yet exist; as well as the names of any writers in or about his time, which speak of him or his productions. I also wilh to ascertain if possible, when Felltham died; and when the first edition of the Resolves appeared, and whether it consisted of one or two 'centuries.. Was old Owen of either of our universities: and if he was, of which?
The Editor of the New and Revised Edition of
Pentonville, Owen Felltham s Resolves.
Sept. 3, 1807.
A DEDICATION BY DR. JOHNSON.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCIIMAN'l
WHAT I now fend you, carries such strong internal marks of having been written by Dr. Samuel Johnson, that I doubt not you will readily give it a place in your magazine. The Doctor, it is well known, composed a great number of dedications and prefaces, for booksellers ana authors, many of which he could not himself remember in after life. The present is a Dedication prefixed to two octavo volumes, entitled "The Evangelical History of our "Lord Jesus Christ, harmonized, explained, and illustrated, "with variety of notes, practical, historical and critical. By "a society of gentlemen. Printed for J. Newbery, at the ** Bible and Sun, in St. Paul's Churchyard. 1757."
The work, though a very good one, is written in a style very different from that of the dedication, which is a sufficient proof that the author of the one had no hand in compiling the other. I am, &c.
TO THE LORDS SPIRITUAL AND TEMPORAL, And COMMONS In PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED.
That we are fallen upon an age in which corruption is barely not universal, is universally confessed. Venality skulks no longer in the dark, but snatches the bribe in pub. lick; and prostitution issues forth without stiame, glittering with the ornaments of successful wickedness. Rapine prey* on the publick without opposition, and perjury betrays it without enquiry. Irreligion is not only avowed but boasted; and the pestilence that used to walk in darkness, is now destroying at noon day.
Shall this be the state of the English nation, and (hall her lawgivers behold it without regard? Must the torrent continue to roll on till it shall sweep us into the bottomless gulph of perdition? Surely there will come a time when the careless shall be frighted, and the sluggish shall be roused: when every passion shall be put upon the guard by the dread of general depravity: when he who laughs at wickedness in his companion, (hall start from it in his child; when the man who fears not for his foul, shall tremble for his possessions: when it shall be discovered that religion only can secure the rich from robbery, and the poor from oppression; can defend the state from treachery, and the throne from assassination.
If this lime be ever to come, let it come quickly: a few years longer, and perhaps all endeavours will be vain. We may be swallowed by an earthquake; we may be delivered to our enemies, or abandoned to that discord, which must inevitably prevail among men that have lost all sense of divine superintendence, and have no other motive of action or forbearance, than present opinion of present interest.
It is the duty of private men to supplicate and propose, it is yours to hear and to do right. Let religion be once more restored, and the nation shall once more be great and happy. This consequence is not far distant: that nation must always be powerful, where every man performs his duty; and every man will perform his duty, that considers himself as a being whose condition is to be settled to all eternity by the laws of Christ.
Mm ■ Th«
Vol. XIII. Churchm. Mag. for 03. 1807.
The only doctrine by which man can be made wise unto salvation, is the will of God, revealed in the books of the Old and the New Testament.
To study the Scriptures, therefore, according to bis abilities and attainments, is every man's duty; and to facilitate that study to those whom nature hath made weak, or education has left ignorant, or indispenfible cares detained from regular processes of enquiry, is the business of those who have been blessed with abilities and learning, and appointed the instructors ot the lower classes of men,-by that common Father, who distributes to all created beings their qualifications and employments; and has allotted some to the labour of the hand, and some to the exercise of the mind; hat commanded some to teach, and others to learli: has prescribed to some the patience of instruction, and to others the meekness of obedience.
By what methods the unenlightened ignorant may be made proper readers of the word of God, has been long and dili
fently considered. Commentaries of all kinds have indeed een copiously produced; but there still remain multitudea to whom the labours of the learned are of little use, for whom expositions require an expositor. To those indeed, who read the divine books without vain curiosity, or a desire to be wise beyond their powers, it will always be easy to discern the strait path, to find the words of everlasting life. But such is the condition of our nature, that we are always attempting •what is difficult to perform : he who reads the Scripture to gain goodness, is desirous likewise to gain knowledge, and by his impatience of ignorance, falls into error.
This danger has appeared to the doctors of the Romish church, so much to be feared, and so difficult to be escaped, that they have snatched the Bible out of the hands of the people, and confined the liberty of perusing it to those whom literature has previously qualified. By this expedient they have formed a kind of uniformity, I am afraid, too much like that of colours in the dark: but they have certainly usurped a power which God has never given them, and precluded great numbers from the highest spiritual consolation. I know not whether this prohibition has not brought upon them an evil which they themselves have not discovered. It is granted, I believe, by the Romanists themselves, that the best commentaries on the Bible have been the works of Protestants. I know not indeed, whether since the celebrated paraphrase of Erasmus, any scholar has appeared amongst them, whose works are much valued, even in Jiii own communion. munion. Why have those who excel in every other kind of knowledge, to whom the world owes much of the increase of light which has shone upon these latter ages, failed, and failed only when they have attempted to explain the Scriptures of God ? but only because they are in their church, less read and less examined, because they have another rule of deciding controversies, and instituting laws.
Of the Bible someof the books are prophetical, some doctrinal, and some historical; some partly doctrinal and partly historical, as the gospels, of which we have in the subsequent pages attempted an illustration. The books of the Evangelists contain an account of the life of our blessed Saviour, more particularly of the years of his ministry, interspersed with his precepts, doctrines, and predictions. Each of these histories contains facts and dictates related likewise in the rest, that the truth might be established by concurrence of tefli* rnony •; and each has likewise facts and dictates which the rest omit, -toprove that they were wrote without communication.
These w-riters not affecting the exactness of chronologers, and relating various events of the fame life, or the fame events with various circumstances, have some difficulties tohim, who, without the help of many books, desires to collect a series of the acts and precepts oi Jesus Christ., fully to know his life, whose example was given for our imitation; fully to understand his precepts, which it is sure destruction to disobey.
In this work, therefore, an attempt has been made by the ■help of harmonists and expositors, to reduce the four gospels into one series of narration, to form a compleat history out of the different narrative* of the evangelists, by inserting every event in the order pf time, and connecting every precept of life and doctrine with the occasion on which it was delivered; shewing, as far as history, or the knowledge of ancient customs, cap inform us, the reason and propriety of every aci. tion; and explaining, or endeavouring to explain, every precept and declaration in its true meaning.
.Let.it.notbe hastily concluded,, that we intend to substitute this book for the gospels, or intrude our own expositions as the oracles of God. We recommend to the unlearned readerto.consult us when he finds any difficulty, as men who have"laboured not to deceive ourselves, and who are without .any temptation to deceive him: But men, however, that while they mean best, may be mistaken. Let him be careful, thareforefto distinguish what we cite from the Gospels from •what we jjffer of our own: He will find many difficulties answered; and if some yet remain, let him remember that
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