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REVIEW OF BOOKS. A Treatise on the Genius and Ob- Mr. Faber commences his work
ject of the Patriarchal, the Le-, by an introductory chapter on the vitical, and the Christian Dis- peculiar genius of the three dispenpensations. By George Stanley sations, in which he states, Faber, B.D. 2 Vols. Pp. xxiv. 1. That the genius of patriarchism was and 431; and xx. and 438. universality; that the apostasy of Cain
THEOLOGY,” says Mr. Faber, consisted in a rejection of the doctrine of in the preface to these volumes, scendants matured into absolute infidelity
the atonement; that the apostasy of his deo is a mine which cannot be very and overspread the face of the whole earth; easily exhausted;" and unques- and that the apostasy after the flood contionably the pious and diligent in- sisted of astronomical
sisted of astronomical hero-worship, while
the doctrine of the atonement was strenuquirer will, while pursuing his re
ously retained. 2. That the genius of the searches, continually deduce in
Levitical dispensation was particularity; struction and edification. But there and, 3. That the genius of Christianity, like are some parts of this great mine, that of patriarchism, is universality. which however valuable in parti- The object of the three dispencular circumstances, can scarcely sations is also thus stated by be considered as of general import- Mr. F.
Such is, in some degree, As the substance of all the three dispenthe case with the present publica- sations is the
same, a triple cord not quickly broken ; so,
with some shades of difference, tion. It will be found highly inte
the object of all the three may be proresting to the theological student; nounced the same also. it may be said completely to sub- Of the Patriarchal dispensation, the obvert the Warburtonian theory; it ject was to inculcate the doctrine of Redemonstrates the fallacy of the So- demption with its necessary concomitant the cinian scheme; it contains much
doctrine of a recovered happy immortality.
Of the Levitical dispensation, the object that is excellent and ins tive,
was to preserve the knowledge of the true but it is not perhaps generally con- God in the midst of surrounding idolatry, ducive to Christian edification. and to perpetuate and confirm the aborigiMr. Faber's purpose is to esta
nal doctrine of redemption, with all the blish a system relative to the genius
blessed consequences which flow from it.
Of the Christian dispensation, the object and object of God's ancient com- is still to enforce the same vital doctrine, munications to man, which is more namely, the doctrine of redemption through scriptural than that of Bishop War
a divine Mediator, and the consequent cerburton, who attempted, as most tainty of eternal life: but to enforce it with
a degree of clearness and fulness, which are aware, to demonstrate the di
can only spring from a now actually comvine legation of Moses from the pleted deliverance.-Vol. ii. p. 316. absence of any intimation in his Through the whole of these diswritings of a future state.
cussions, Mr. F. displays great The expediency and importance learning, extensive reading, acute of entering fully on this topic very argument, and solid piety. But much depends on the degree in we are at the same time compelled which the sentiments of Warbur- to observe, that his boldness of ton at present prevail. We have conjecture, and attachment to hyalways felt that the Bishop's sys- pothesis, have led him to advance tem almost died with him; and have in some instances unguarded, and indeed often suspected, that his in others erroneous positions, which Lordship had himself found some very materially diminish the value of the arguments of his oppo- of his production. nents so embarrassing, that, if To illustrate this assertion, we not actually convinced of the fal- extract the commencement of the lacy of his positions, he was yet third chapter of his first book. very much indisposed to proceed
The second argument of Bishop Warburin their demonstration,
ton, by which he would prove the subjec
tion of our first parents to natural religion therefore each of the six days of in an anteparadisiacal state, rested, as we creation must have been periods of have seen, upon the gratuitous assumption,
at least six THOUSAND YEARS, that the six days, in the course of which God is said to have fashioned the material Now, all this appears to us most world out of Chaos, were six natural days, gratuitous assumption. The Scripor six of those brief periods which are mea. tures say, “ On the seventh day sured by the revolution of our planet round God ended his work which he had its axis.
made; and he rested on the seNow, so far from allowing the propriety of this assumption, I will venture altoge
venth day from all his work which ther to deny it: for, that the six demiurgic he had made.” But this has nodays, instead of being nothing more than thing whatever to do with the resix natural solar days, were each a period sumption of the divine labours. A of very considerable length, may be proved, human artificer completes a work partly by analogy of language, partly hy in so many days, rests from that the very necessity of the narrative, partly by ancient tradition, and partly (and that work on such a day, and refreshes most decisively) by the discoveries, or pos- and recreates himself at a given sibly the re-discoveries of modern physio- time. But no man is justified from logists. Vol. i. pp. 111, 112.
such a statement in asserting, that To us, who are plain men, it ap- the artificer did or did not begin at pears that there was no anteparadi- any subsequent period any similar siacal state, and that there is no undertaking.
Nor are we any such thing as natural religion. Mr. where authorized to assert, that F.'s assertion, however, that each because God completed the heaof the six days of creation was not vens and the earth, and all the a mere solar day but a period of host of them, in six days, and very considerable length, demands rested on the seventh day; that his a more serious notice, especially rest was either confined to that seas it appears to us contrary to the venth day, that it still continues, word of God. He supports his or that the divine wisdom and position from the analogy of lan- power may not have produced, or guage as follows:
be still producing, in the regions of If God laboured six natural days and the universe far apart from our sysrested on the serenth natural day, the very tem, similar manifestations of his tura of the statement will unavoidably im
glory. ply, that he resumed bis labours on the eighth natural day, or on the first day of
So, on the necessity of the the following natural week: just as in the narrative, Mr. F. remarks, case of the human conmemorative sabbath,
We are told, that God created every plant when man is commanded to labour six na
of the field before it was in the earth, and tural days and to rest on the seventh natu
every herb of the field before it grew: ral day, the very turn of the command implies, that his rest is to terminate with the
whence, as Bishop Warburton justly ob
serves, we are obliged to conclude, that seventh day, and that his labour is to re
God created the whole vegetable family, commence with the eighth.
not in a state of maturity, but in the conIf, then, God did not resume his creatire labours on the eighth natural morning, Now, the whole vegetable family was created
dition of seed previous to germination. bis sabbatb or rest certainly extended be
on the third day; birds of every description yond the limits of the seventh natural day:
were created on the fifth day; and beasts, and, if it extended beyond the limits of the seventh natural day, a single natural day sixth day. Such being the case, it is clear,
and reptiles, and man, were created on the most undoubtedly could not be the measure of the divine sabbath.--Vol. i. p. 114.
on the supposition of the six demiurgic days
being six natural days, that, without a miHe then proceeds to argue, that racle, all graminivorous, and seminivorous, the divine sabbath not having yet and fructivorous animals must have perished ceased, the seventh day must be through hunger : because, on such a supponearly, or according to the Sama- sition, the vegetable seeds, which were cre
ated and committed to the earth on the ritan chronology more than, six third day, could not, in the ordinary course thousand years long; and that of germination, have produced a sufficiency
pp. 117, 118.
of food for nou-carnivorous animals created years elapsed between the destrucon the fifth and sixth days in time to save tion of the Assyrian host and the birth them from destruction by famine.-Vol. i.
of the historian. Now, with such
a specimen of the early corruption Here we are compelled to differ of tradition, we may be justified both from Bp. Warburton and Mr. for treating very lightly any arguFaber. We believe God created ments deduced from so fallacious a every plant perfect before it grew, in source, concerning an event which a similar sense as he created every took place six thousand years ago, animal perfect before it was pro- when it may fairly be doubted wheduced in the ordinary way; that ther, except the Bible, there is a every plant, whether herb or tree, single fragment of any work in exbearing seed or fruit, &c. was ac- istence which was committed to tually produced in its full and fair writing three thousand years after growth; that the trees were as per- that event. fect in their kind at the moment The discoveries of physiologists they were created, as man was in form the last argument brought forhis; and that the world, at the ward by Mr. Faber, and evidentclose of the third natural day, ex- ly in his judgment the strongest. hibited not the bare and naked ap- It has been ascertained, on making pearance of a new sown or planted excavations into the earth, that nursery-ground, but the same di- relics of various animals are found versity of vegetable productions, which do not now exist. Now, as of trees, shrubs, and herbs, as are no class of animals was destroyed to be met with in the same climate at the deluge, and it is assumed and at the same season of the year that none have been exterminated in modern times; with only this since, it is contended, that these difference, that the fruits, &c. would must have been destroyed by some be more excellent: no plants were convulsion prior to that event. The then noxious, there were no de- supporters of this system derive encayed nor dying trees, nothing couragement from not being able to which could in the most remote find among these fossil remains any sense convey the idea of imperfec- fragments of the human frame, and tion or decay; and this we con- from various calculations of the ceive is a fair conclusion from the length of time necessary to transstrict meaning of the original terms form wood into coal, &c. But made use of by the sacred histo- this is, to say the least, very inrian; so that, at the moment of their conclusive reasoning; and he who creation, the cow and the ox might builds any system on such a foundfeed, &c.
dation can never calculate on its The argument from tradition is permanency. Cuvier has himself equally fallacious. How soon are pointed out, as quoted by Mr. Fathe most striking events distorted ber, circumstances under which seand disguised when they become the veral whole classes of animals subject of oral tradition! Take for might be destroyed. We know instance the destruction of the As- not how long a period of time is nesyrian army, as recorded in Isaiah, cessary to reduce either animal or xxxvii. and compare it with the vegetable substances to a fossil story of Herodotus, derived from state. Fossil remains of the huthe Egyptians, of the same event: man species may yet be discovered recollect too, that it took place in in some of the unexplored regions a neighbouring country; that the of the earth; while at the same Egyptians had strong reason to re- time it is more than probable, that member Sennacherib; and that not the number of the human species more than two hundred and thirty in existence at the time of the de
luge bore a far smaller proportion to the Divine Existence; and that to the number of animals than hás he views all the events of past or been the case in any subsequent of future ages, with the same facility period : and the countries where the as we can review the events of one antediluvians lived certainly afford day or of one watch in the night. : far less opportunity to research But even were Mr. Faber correct than most other parts of the earth; in stating, that nothing can be well not to add, that the climate, &c. more indefinite than the term we would be less favourable to the translate day, we must still propreservation of such remains. test against the idea that it is used
We have dwelt the longer on for widely different periods in the this subject because we are deeply same sentence. Ezekiel was diconvinced of the danger of tam- rected to lie on his side a certain pering with sacred Scripture. Why number of days each day for did the Almighty make use of the year; and from this and other pasterm six days, if periods of several sages we are justified in interpretthousand years are meant? Was ing the prophetic periods according it intended to keep the majority of to this precedent." But to translate mankind in ignorance as to the the term by the word day in one real time employed in the work of part of a sentence, and by six creation? and has the expedient at thousand years in another, is allength failed? Mr. F. indeed says, together unjustifiable.
Perbaps I need scarcely remark, that in The length of this discussion Scripture nothing can well be more indefi- compels us to notice very briefly nite than the term, which we translate by the other parts of the work. We the English word day. Sometimes it denotes a single revolution of the earth round
do not apprehend, that the paits aris: sometimes it denotes a revolution triarchs possessed any such clear of the earth round the sun, or what we call idea of an incarnate Saviour as a natural year : sometimes it denotes, a Mr. F. imagines. Abraham, inwhole millenary: sometimes it denotes a deed, period of probably great, but of wholly Christ, and he saw it and was
rejoiced to see the day of undeterminell length: and sometimes it denotes all the six demiurgic days collec- glad.” Most probably he was entively; that is to say, all the six demiurgicabled in some extraordinary way days viewed as jointly forming a single de- to discover the meaning of that. tymiurgic day or period. Thus, in truth, pical sacrifice which he was dithe term abstractedly would be more ac
rected to offer. But it is highly curately expressed by the English word period than by the English word day: for improbable, that the succeeding the context alone can determine, what spe- patriarchs possessed
any very clear cific period it may describe in any particular views of redemption by the sacripassage; though doubtless, in common
fice of a Redeemer; it is still less speech it is ordinarily enployed to set forth a natural day, or a revolution of the earth probable that they should so comround its axis.--Vol. i. pp. 112, 113.
municate those views to their posBut here Mr. F. is incorrect. terity, that the Gentiles should be The term day never denotes a whole induced to adopt human sacrifices millenary; and in both the in-. in expectation of the coming of the stances to which he refers, a par- incarnate Deity, or under the idea ticle of comparison is introduced : that he was already come; but least “A thousand years in thy sight are of all is it probable, that while this but As yesterday when it is past, knowledge was perpetuated among and as a watch in the night.” “One the Gentiles it should so totally peday is with the Lord as a thousand rish among the people of God, that years, and a thousand years as notwithstanding the types, and one day.” The obvious meaning is, shadows, and lively oracles, not a that those periods, which are long single trace should be found existin human imagination, are nothing ing among the Jews, but that the
most favoured of the disciples Observing these effects which should shrink back at the very have, under the divine blessing, mention of such a sacrifice, and so happily resulted from his forsay, “That be far from thee, Lord:
mer exertions, Mr. S. has been inthis shall not be done unto thee;" duced to press the subject still furand that from the period of the cru- ther, and, in the pamphlet before cifixion the doctrine of the cross
us, to urge upon all the duty of should be to the Jews a stumbling- earnestly interceding for the same block, and to the Greeks' foolish- divine influence to produce a re
vival of religion in this great meMr. Faber has in the course of tropolis. his discussion thrown considerable He states the importance of such light on the book of Job. This he revival from the peculiar circumconsiders as the production of stances of this immense and raMoses; that Job was the same pidly increasing city ; its vast poperson who is mentioned in Gen. pulation, 1,200,000 souls—their xxxii. as Jobab, the great-grandson nearness to us as countrymen, reof Edom, and that the object of lations, persons living within our the book is to establish the sinful- view their influence the ness 'of man, the impossibility of whole empire, London being for a his justifying himself before God, part of the year the residence of his consequent need of a Redeem- almost all the higher orders of the er, and the doctrine of a future life community, whose character and to be obtained through that Re- example must by various channels, deemer.
especially by means of their nume
rous servants and connexions, proThe State of the Metropolis ; or, duce a corresponding effect through
the Importance of a Revival of out the empire; and touches upon
by means -Hatchards. Pp. 22. 12mo. of Bible, Missionary, Education, 1823.
Tract, and other Societies, and as ABOUT two years ago, Mr. the metropolis of the greatest emStewart printed and circulated a pire of the world. traet recommending sincere Chris- He then draws a most lamenttians to unite in earnest prayer for able picture of the present state of the general out-pouring of the London; we wish we could say Holy Spirit, which has excited in
inore lamentable than true; but, many quarters a much greater de- alas! iniquity abounds to a fearful gree of attention to the distinct degree, and especially on the personality, work, and offices of Lord's day. that divine Agent than had pre
It is painful to revert for a moment to viously. existed. Many who had
such glaring sins. What is the picture of occasionally prayed for divine as
London on the sabbath day? It commences sistance have been much more in the morning with placards of Sunday lively, urgent, and habitual in in- newspapers, inviting its inhabitants to terceding for this inestimable gift; drown the thoughts of the sabbath in the
news of passing politics. It proceeds with and in consequence, agreeably to
the opening of many shops and markets, Mr. Stewart's suggestion, periodical exposing to public sale the common articles meetings for prayer have taken of life. It reaches its poon-day by the passplace among different denomina- ing of public coaches to and from all parts, tions of Christians, and courses of with the same unconcern, as if Almighty
God had never appointed a day of rest for sermons have been preached on
man and for beast. Its evening closes with the various operations, influences, the overflow of a multitude of tea-gardens, offices, &c. of the Holy Ghost. and places of low amusement on every side,