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A Sermon preached before the University of Cambridge, on Commencement Sunday, June 29, 1823. By the Rev. W. L. Fancourt, D.D. 8vo. 13. 6d.
A Sermon preached in All Saints Church, Northampton, July 24, 1823; at the Visitation of the Right Rev. Herbert, Lord Bishop of Peterborough. By the Hon. and Rev. R. Carleton, M.A. Rector of Boughton, in Northamptonshire. 8vo. 15. 6d.
A Sermon preached in the Cathedral Church of St. Saviour's, at the Visitation of the Hon. aud Ven. Archdeacon de Grey, on Thursday, September 11, 1823. By A. H. Kenney, D.D. Rector of St. Olave, Southwark. 8vo. 2s.
A Sermon delivered tn the Parish Church of Halifax, August 31, 1823, on occasion of the Collections made in compliance with his Majesty's Letter respecting the Incorporated National Society. By J. C. Franks, A.M. Chaplain of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Hulsean Lecturer in that University. 8vo. 1s.
A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of Stokesley, August 5, 1823, at the Visitation of the Ven. and Rev. F. Wrangham, M.A. F.R.S. Archdeacon of Cleveland. By the Rev. L. V. Vernon, M.A. Rector of Stokesley. 8vo. 1s. 6d.
Prohibition of Baptismal Immersion by Calvin, the Perversion of Justifying Faith. By the Rev. J. Dennis, B.C.L. Prebendary of the Royal Collegiate Church of the Castle of Exeter.
1s. A Refutation of the Doctrines of Popery, in a Series of Theological Dissertations, proving that the Roman Church has long since ceased to be orthodox, &c. by the Rev. R. Craig, M.A. 2 vols. 8vo. 16s.
Hints to Medical Students, on the Subject of a future Life: extracted chiefly from the late Bishup Butler's Analogy of Natural and revealed Religion; with corresponding Notices, &c. 12mo. 1s.
A Life of Sadi, with a Translation of his Gulistan, or Flower Garden; from the Persian Text of Gentius. By Janies Ross, Esq. alias Gulchin. 8vo. 10s. 6d.
Remarks on the North of Spain. By John Bramsen, Author of Travels in Egypt, Syria, and Greece, &c. 8vo. 58. 6d.
Journal of the Private Life and Conversations of the Emperor Napoleon at St.
Influence and Example; or the Recluse. By the Author of Dangerous Errors. 12mo. 6s.
The First Report of Britislı and Irish Ladies' Society, for Improving the Condition and Promoting the Industry and Welfare of the Female Peasantry in Irelan 1823; with an Appendix and List of Subscribers. 8vo. 1s.
Interesting Roman Antiquities recently discovered in Fife. Also, Observations on the Ancient Palaces of the Pictish Kings in the Town of Abernethy, and other Local Antiquities. By the Rev. A. Small, Edenshead. 8vo. 10s. 6d.
Trial of the Rev. E. Irving, M.A. A Cento of Criticism. dyo. 35. The Prometheus chained of Æschylus; literally translated into English Prose, from the Text of Blomfield; with the Greek Order, &c. By T. W. C. Edwards, M.A. Author of the First Principles of Algebra, &c. 8vo. 8s.
The Adventures of a Ship Boy ; written by himself. With an Appendix. 58.
On the Sentient Faculty, and Principles of Human Magnetism. Translated from the French of Count de Redern, and elucidated with Notes, by Francis Corbaux, Esq. of Winchelsea. 8vo. 7s.
Meteorological Essays and Observations; embracing, among others, the following important Subjects :- On the Constitution of the Atmosphere : On the Radiation of Heat in the Aimosphere : On Meteorological Instruments : On the Climate of London, &c. &c. By J. F. Daniell, F.R.S. 8vo. 16s.
The System of the Universe, in which the Unchangeable Obliquity of the Ecliptic, the Sular and Lunar Equations, deduced from circular Orbits, are mathematically demonstrated, on the Basis of the First Chapter of Genesis. Book the Second. By B. Prescot, Author of the Inverted Scheme of Copernicus, &c. 870. 12s.
The East India Military Calendar; containing the Services of General and Field Officers of the Indian Army. Under the Sanction of, and Dedicated by express Permission to, the Honourable Court of Directors of the Affairs of the East India Company. By the Editor of the Royal Military endar. 4to 21. 10s.
Letters to Marianne. By William Corbe, Esq. 38. 6d.
The Transactions of the Hogticultural Society of Lundon. Vol. 5. Part 2. 4to. 11, 11 s. 6d.
Debates, Evidenog, and Documents, connected with the Investigation of the Charges brought by the Attorney-General for Ireland, against Charles Thorpe, Esq. High Sheriff of Dublin, in the House of Commons, 1823. 8vo. 12s.
WORKS IN THE PRESS.
The Spaewife, by the Author of " Annals of the Parish," &c. &c. In Three Volumes.
The Life and Times of Salvator Rosa, by Lady Morgan.
A Manual of Pharmacy, by W. T. Brande, Esq. in
A Systematic Treatise on the Diseases of the Skin, by Mr. Plumbe, with coloured Plates.
A Translation of Magendie's Formulary, for the Preparation and Mode of employing several new Remedies, by Mr. Haden, in One Volume, 12mo.
Memdirs of the late Pope Pius VII. including the whole of his private Correspondence with Napoleon Buonaparte, taken from the Archives of the Vatican, by Bernard Cohen.
Extracts from various Greek Authors, with English Notes, and Lexicon, for the use of the Junior Greek Class in the University of Glasgow. In One Volume Octavo..
A Treatise on the Law of Libel, by Richard Mence, Esq, Barrister at Law; in which the general Doctrine of Libel, will be more minutely examined and logically discussed.
Sketches of the Philosophy of Apparitions, by Dr. Hibbert.
A Monitor to Families; or Discourses on some of the
Wilhelm Meister ; from the German of Goethe.
Mr. Sharpe is preparing Engravings from Mr. Westall's
FOR OCTOBER, 1823.
Art. I. On Scripture Difficulties. Twenty Discourses
preached before the University of Cambridge, in the Year 1822, at the Lecture founded by the Rev. John Hulse, M.A. By C. Benson, M.A. Fellow of Magdalen College, and Vicar of Ledsham, Yorkshire. 8vo. Pp. 420. Baldwin and Co. 1822,
The author of this volume is advantageously known to the public by a former course of Hulsean Lectures, as well as by other publications. These have met with a favourable reception, and have procured for their author a patron in Granville Hastings Wheeler, Esq. who presented him to the vicarage of Ledsham, in Yorkshire, though unconnected and a stranger. Such an act of disinterested patronage it was but grateful justice publicly to acknowledge; and accordingly Mr. Benson dedicates to him the present performance, of which we propose to give some account to our readers.
That considerable difficulties exist in the Holy Scriptures is felt and owned by every sober-minded scholar; and it could not be otherwise without the operation of a continued miracle. The Sacred Records were composed by various persons in remote periods, and in different countries, the necessary result of which is a great diversity of style, imagery, and manner, and a consequent difficulty of interpretation. They are written in three languages, Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek ; not Greek in its purity, but idiomatical, sometimes not improperly called Hellenistical; and as they have long ceased to be spoken, except in a corrupt dialect, they cannot be exempt from those doubts and obscurities which attend all dead languages. There are numerous allusions to manners, customs, and opinions, very different from our own, with many of which we are imperfectly acquainted, so that it is no easy matter to place ourselves in the situation of the several writers, to enter into their views, to appreciate their feelings, to see their drift, and to comprehend their
VOL, XX, OCT. 1823,
reasonings. Difficulties also arise from the nature of the subjects treated of in the Sacred Writings; historical, prophetic, poetical, religious ; commencing with the creation and fall of man, and developing a scheme of redemption of such stupendous magnitude and awful mysteriousness, as, in all its parts and bearings, to be above the comprehension of the human intellect. From these causes it must often happen, that some things will, upon a cursory view, appear contradictory to our notions ; some, irreconcileable to each other, and some inexplicably dark and obscure. Hence there must, in the nature of things, be obscurities in the Bible, and many difficulties must, of necessity, be encountered in its exposition; but this forms no ground of rational objection; for as Mr. Benson well observes,
" These difficulties spring not from any want of character or capacity in the authors, but from the subjects upon which they treat, the languages in which they wrote, and the circumstances under which they composed. Whether the obscurities be of a philosophical, philological, or historical kind; whether they belong to the doctrines, the precepts, or the prophecies of the Scriptures, it is the reader's, not the writer's, ignorance which creates and continues them. The sacred penmen wrote, as all ordinary men in the same situation, would, and must have written, and it is only by reason of a change in the state and aspect of the world which no human power or foresight could prevent, and from the operation of causes whose influence no human composition could escape, that darkness and ambiguity have, in so many instances, supervened. To the authors of the Bible, therefore, in their situation as men, and to the Bible itself, if it be regarded only as the composition of men, the frequent occurrence of such a variety of things hard to be understood,' cannot be considered as any serious or solid objec. tion. Every other similar work would inevitably have been affected in a similar manner; and if Revelation appears to have been operated upon in a greater degree, it is because its antiquity is higher, its language more intricate, its matter more abstruse, and the ages and countries in which it was produced, more dissimilar from those to which we ourselves belong; but principally because it has been so minutely, so jealously, and often so captiously searched.” P. 18.
These difficulties, unavoidable as they are, afford a handle for the wit and ridicale of the infidel, who eagerly lays hold of them for extenuating his unbelief. He maintains that many parts in the Bible are unintelligible, and more are abstruse, that some are immoral or absurd, and others irreconcileable with facts and philosophy. These are grave charges; but fortunately may be easily rebutted. If obscurities could not possibly be avoided in a revelation from God
to man, with what consistency is it on that account con. demned? Divine truths can only be communicated through the instrumentality of language and of human means, except upon the supposition of the constant exercise of 'a miraculous power. Such means, however employed, are necessarily productive of difficulties; and difficulties which are unavoid able, are therefore unobjectionable circumstances. The Scriptures, it is true, are something more than a mere human composition, in that they are given by inspiration of God.” But as the inspired truths are transmitted from age to age, through the medium of human means, difficulties are inevitable; and hence their existence must be consistent with the character of the Bible as an inspired work. In affirming that difficulties are inevitable, we do not mean to bound the power of the Almighty, with whom all things are possible; but to assert that difficulties are inseparable from the mode wbich Divine Wisdom has adopted for the conveyance of religious truth. The real question then is, whether this mode, thougb encumbered with some difficulties, be fit and expedient; or in other words, whether it be wise and proper to permit the existence of difficulties in Revelation ?
Now to this question, an answer must be given in the affirmative, if it can be shewn that the difficulties of Scripture are attended with several advantages. On this subject Mr. Benson reasons with great acuteness and irresistible force, proving that the removal of these difficulties would be detrimental both to the stability of the Christian faith, and the progressive improvement of man's rational nature. We shall give a short abstract of his arguments.
In the first place, the philological and historical difficulties of the Scriptures afford the best internal arguments in favour of Revelation. In proof of the genuineness and authenticity of the Scriptures, we appeal to the peculiarities of the Scripture style, and the multiplicity of Scripture allusions to the manners and customs of the ages and countries in which we affirm them to have been written, and the sentiments and actions of those of whom they treat. Such difficulties are the best internal arguments, for, had the Bible been so framed that, it might have been alike understood by men of every capacity and in every age, it could have had none of the characteristic features which would have fixed its composition to any particular person or period. Strip the Bible of all those peculiarities which so evidently originate in the circumstances under which it was produced, and you will rob it for ever of one of the best internal marks of its having been produced under those circumstances. Hence by the