« AnteriorContinuar »
TO THE RIGHT REVEREND
CHARLES RICHARD SUMNER, D. D.
LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER,
&c. &c. &c.
THE FOLLOWING PAGES,
IN DEFENCE OF ONE OF THE FIRST WRITERS OF THE AGE,
The Author thinks it incumbent on him to state, that before the last sheet of the present publication was sent to the press, he had not seen the second edition of Dr. Whately's “ Essays on some of the Difficulties in the Writings of St. Paul ;” but he now learns from the preface to that edition, that Dr. W. explicitly avows his intention of never answering any objections which may be made against the opinions he has published, and has explained his reasons for adhering to the resolution he has deliberately formed. Had the Author of the ensuing pages been previously apprised of this, though he would still have thought
it requisite to offer the observations contained in the Appendix, he would probably have altered a few of the expressions, and have given a somewhat different form, perhaps, to one or two of the statements. He must, therefore, trust to Dr. Whately's liberality to make whatever allowance that circumstance may, in his estimation, appear to require. Deviations, however, from general rules of this nature, may in many cases become expedient, if not necessary; and on this account, it is not detracting from Dr. Paley's pre-eminent merit in other respects, to consider him as culpable in retaining some few passages in his writings liable to objection, without even noticing the repeated remarks levelled against them by his opponents, and in not openly defending or renouncing some of the opinions which he must have been well aware had engendered either doubt or misapprehension in the minds of his readers. Controversy, it is fully admitted, however temperately conducted, may sometimes be productive of evil, both to the combatants and the spectators, but it equally becomes us to re