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. It seems therefore plainly impossible, that these writers should have concurred in inventing the narratives which appear under their names : it seems equally difficult to believe, that they should have been prevailed upon by any other person to record that, which they adopted only upon the credit of their informer. And certainly these narratives, whether examined separately, or compared with each other, preserve so invariably such an uniformity of character in the same individual, and throw such vivid colours of discrimination into the actions and manners of the various personages, whom they under. take to record, that it requires a more than ordinary share of sceptical prejudice, to restrain us from believing that they drew from the life, and described actions as they saw them performed, and recorded discourses as they heard them delivered.'

This chapter concludes with a well drawn comparison be. tween the spurious and genuine Gospels, and with a recom. mendation of Mr. Jones's admirable work on the Canon of Scripture.

In chapter 2d, we meet with many just reflections on the dissimilarity between the expected and the real character of the Messiah; and pointing out in particular the impolicy of his conduct, if he had been either an enthusiast or an impostor.The rejection of Christ by the Jews is here well shewn to have been the natural result of the early prejudices which they had imbibed :

. If any one, after viewing the deep roct which national pride and prejudice had taken in the minds of the Jews, after examining the nature of the expectations they had formed, and the manner in which they were disappointed, can still consider the rejection of Jesus by the Jews as a matter incredible or unaccountable, he must have accustomed himself to view the relation of cause and effect with no very accurate eye. Certainly, it was impossible for him to appear in a way more contradictory to their expectations, and to propagate doctrines more distasteful to their wishes. An enthusiast could not conceive such a scheme ; an iinpostor could nut adopt it: consequently, the Gospel, if preached by a Jew ainong the Jews, could not originate in human artifice or errour, but must have had it's source in the unsearchable wisdom, and comprehensive benevolence, of the Almighty Governour of the universe.'

The author strengthens this remark by a long quotation from Lardner, which is farther enriched by Mr. M.'s judicious notes. If it be objected to the credibility of the Gospel narrative of our Saviour's Crucifixion, that it is not easy to account for the brutal and outrageous act of the multitude in compelling the governor to release a murderer, and to consign to a cruel death one who was, so lately, an object of their veneration, Mr. Maltby observes :

• The

• The classical reader will not fail to call to mind the striking description of the change, produced in the expression of the sentiments of the Roman populace at the fall of Sejanus. See Juvenal, Sat. x. 67.76. &c. But the change was only in the expression of their sen. timents, since this insolent favourite was as much the object of their real hatred, when in the height of his power, as in the degradation of his fall. The animated picture, drawn by the satirist, makes us some amends for the interruption, which time and accident have caused in the Annals of Tacitus, at this very interesting period of history. Yet Brotier has caught successfully the manner of his original. Supplem. ad Lib. V. Annal. capp. xxiv. xxxviii.'

From the 3d chapter, we could wish to make many extracts, if our limits permitted ; particularly from that part which states the inconsistency of the Disciples' behaviour subsequently to the Resurrection of Jesus, when compared with their previous views and sentiments, unless they had become fully and awfully convinced of the truth of his pretensions.—'This argument has always appeared to us of the greatest weight and importance.

Chapter 4th, on the power of the Apostles to work miracles, we must confess, carries with it less the appearance of a solid and convincing proof, than that of an ingenious and able defence. The author, it must be allowed, here treads on slippery, ground; and before this point can be cleared up to the satisfaction of all parties, a previous question seems requisite to be determined, respecting the actual existence of Dæmons.

Chapter 5th enters into a consideration of the scheme of the gospel.' Mr. M. undertakes to refute the objections which have been urged against Christianity by Chubb and Lord Bolingbroke, as being differently represented by Christ and his Apostles; and here he shews much strength of argument. It may be admitted, perhaps, that Jesus himself was not aware of the extent of his mission at an early period of his ministry ; or he might have many strong reasons for concealing it for a time from his disciples. In either case, the dilliculty will vanish. This chapter concludes with the following explanation of the conduct of the Disciples subsequently to Christ's resurrection ; and it is an explanation equally solid and satisfactory:

• It appears therefore, that they, who have urged against the Christian religion the objections before stated, have extremely mistaken the grounds, upon which their arguments are rested. The only improbability in this case can be, that the disciples should promote with so much ardour the enlarged and comprehensive views of their Master, although, whenever those' views were intimated at an earlier period, they either “ did not understand,” or “ could not

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bear"

bear" them. The only explanation, which can be given of this fact, at all satisfactory to my mind, is, that they were fuily persuaded of his resurrection from the dead; and that liis authoriiy then, and not till then, had the effect of making them submit their thoughts, and their actions, implicitly to his direction. Nothing short of this can sufficiently account for their proceeding to propagate the Gospel doctrines after the death of Jesus; and particularly, for propagating them in the manner, and to the extent, which are stated in the sacred history

In chapter 6th, we meet with a variety of judicious remarks on the character of Christ : a character attested by all parties, his enemies as well as his friends, to have been conspicuous for morality, piety, justice, and benevolence. Rousseau himself, indeed, has asserted “that, if the life and death of Socrates be those of a philosopher, the life and death of Jesus Christ are those of a God.”—This comparison brings to our recollec. tion an expression used by Mr. Maltby in his fourth chapter, where he speaks of jesus as appearing in a more offensive light to those who rejected him, because they thought it 'glaringly absurd' to deify a malefactor.- We do not conceive that such a thought ever occurred io them; nor that they ever suspected that his warmest friends would be guilty of such a * glaring absurdity. They rejected him on other grounds.

Chapter 7th contains a reply to Mr. Godwin's attack on the Christian religion and the character of its founder.

• The substance (says Mr. M.) of the accusations brought by this writer against the Gospel, and its blessed Author, may be comprized under three heads, 'viz

• 1. The bigotry and intolerance, sanctioned by the doctrines of the Christian religion.

• 2. The improper and unwarrantable stress laid upon faith. * 3. Certain moral defects in the character and temper of Jesus.'

To each of these accusations, Mr. M. replies with much force; and the chapter closes with this exhortation to Mr. Godwin :

• Let me, in conclusion, warn this writer, who professes himself the friend of truth, and the determined enemy of prejudice, to conduct his inquiries after the former with more candour, and to guard against the effects of the latter with more circumspection. If, in thus pursuing his researches, he cannot bring himself to admit the credibility of the Gospel hispory, let him at least abstain from invec. tives, so gross and unfounded, against a character, which almost all its enemies have confessed themselves bound to revere.'

The term "Beous," in the passage of Pindar quoted by Mr M. immediately afterward, if applied by Mr. Godwin, must be considered to import not divinities, but characters divinely good.

The

The 8th and last chapter presents a view of the defects of the evidence in favor of the Mohammedan Religion. After having offered many pertinent remarks on this sulject, and having shewn, by quotations from Gibbon and the Koran, the futility of Mohammed's pretensions, Mr. M. sums up in an eloquent manner the prepunderating evidence in favor of Christianity, and terminates with these impressive words :

• It is impossible to close this account of the doctrines and con. duct of the celebrated Impostor, without remarking the fatal and decisive evidence which the circumstances of his death supply, in direct contradiction to his pretensions. A Jewish female of Chaibar, being desirous to asceriain the truth of these pretensions, placed before him at supper a poisoned dish, of which one of his companious, eating greedily, im nediately died. The pretended Pro. phet, who partook of it in less abundance, nevertheless only found his deferred. His health was so much injured by this successful essay of curiosity and revenge, that, after lauguishing three years, he died in consequence of thus failing to realize his claim to that prophetic knowledge, which lie so arrogantly asserted. These facts, which are confered by his warmest admirers, surely place in the ckarest point of view the fallacy of his declarations ; and expose that imposture, which he had been labouring but too successfully to place beyond the reach of human discernment.

• If therefore we fairly consider the circumstances under which the religion of Mahornet prospered, taking into account the manner in which it was propagated, and the form it continues to assume, surely it does not appear, that any argument can be durived from ii's suc. cess, to affect in the slightest degree the Christian religion ; but as certainly it does appear, that an Impostor of the most acknowledged abilities and the most undaunted courage, undertaking his designs at a juncture the most favourable, could not plan a scheme of such a nature and extent, withont betraying tokens of fraud the most gross and palpable; nor without laying himself open to the view of all, who unite a spirit of candour with a desire of accurate investigation.

Chritianity appeared in a most enlightened age; it has attracted the notice, and challenged the scrutiny, of the acute and intelligent;

space of eighteen centuries, no one decisive mark of fraud has been fixed upon as affecting the conduct or doctrines of it's founder. On the contrary, the more accurate the search, and the more piercing the scrutiny, into it's authority, the characters of truth have appeared with undiminished, nay, increased, lustre.

• If the revolution of so many ages has failed to reveal one indubitable trace of fallacy in the origin of our Holy religion; if the lahours of so many intellects have been baffled in the attempt to stic. matize it as indebted to fraud or enthusiasm for it's success, is it probable cliat a few more agres rolling on shall unfold the hitherto undiscovered secret of it's human birth? Are the sages yet unborn, who shall probe to the quick the latent wound, which has su long raukleii, without betraying one symptom of unsoundriess?

yet in the

• Until such exalted spirits shall appear, and such wondrous aga arrive, why may we not content ourselves with believing that, which is so far from having been proved incredible, that it has on the contrary been found to possess all the marks of credibility, which in any similar question the human understanding can require ?

• Surely, in the religion of Jesus,, there is sufficient evidence to warrant our faith, sufficient authority to regulate our conduct, and sufficient encouragement to elevate and sustain our hope.'

On the whole, we have received great satisfaction from the present work;, and we recommend it to all, as a valuable accession of strength to that rock on which the Christian must build his faith.

In the Latin exercises annexed to this treatise, the Thesis, and the Concio ad Clerum, wewere much gratified by observing that Mr. Maltby stands distinguished not only for his attainments in sacred literature, but as a correct and well-informed classical scholar. Such an union of talents and acquirements, therefore, as this volume evinces, cannot fail to give the public a high opinion of the author's merits; and when they find these qualities conspiring in the cause of truth and the promotion of piety, they will wish to see them rewarded as they deserve, and exerted from a station which will give additional consequence to their inherent power.

Art. X. An Inquiry into the Origin of the Constellations that compose

the Zodiac, and the Uses they were intended to promote. By the Rev. John Barrett, D.D. and Senior Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. 8vo. pp. 200. 6s. Boards. Mercier and Co., Dublin;

Vernor and Hood, London. IN in the preface to this volume, the author mentions some of the

motives which induced him to undertake the present investigation ; together with the reasons that first led him to suspect the origin of the Zodiac to be older than it is generally supposed to be.

As several authors have given an explanation of the signs of the Zodiac, it was to be presumed that Dr. Barrett would attempt to demolish their theories, before he advanced his own; and accordingly, his first pages contain an examination of the systems of Macrobius, La Pluche, and La Nauze, In opposing tiese hypotheses, Dr. B. is more happy than in establishing his own; for, though endowed with much learning, and qualified by much research, he has fallen into the wildest and most fanciful conjectures. He has distorted the meaning of the plainest passages; and by the torture of his learning and comment, he has forced the most innocent things to conform to his

system.

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