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And, as the same learned person observes again, * Non fuit hæc tabii eonfusio perpe tua; sed ad tempus a Deo adhibita tantum, ut homines ad secedendum cogeret." And it is natural to conceive that they might, in a great measure, return to their antient language, after their separation, and the end of the miracle was answered. Winder's Hist. of Knowledge, vol. i. p.
A remarkable account of the TARANTULA from Alexander ab Alexandro, who was an eye-witness to it. ! Memoria repeto dum per loca illa (sc. Apuliæ campos) diutino situ squalida, et ardore solis ferventia cum aliquot comitibus iter intenderem, undique oppida et vicos, alia tympanis, nonnulla fistulis, pleraque tibicine circumsonantia adisse, cujus rei causam quærentibus nobis relatum est, tarantulæ morbo affectos undique per oppida curari. Cumque ejus rei gratia in pagum quendam diverteremus, invenimus adolescentem morbo ejus modi affectum, qui velut repentino furore ictus et mente abalienatus, corporis motu non indecoro, et manuum pedumque gestibus ad tympanum psallebat, non inconcinniter, utque veheinentius modos. acciperet, quasi illo pulsu demulceri animus et leníri dolor videretur, sensim et placide aures tympano admovere, mox caput manus et pedes crebro motu concutere, et demum in saltum se attollere videbamus. Quæ res cúin ludo et risu prorsus digna visa foret; interim is qui tympanum pulsabat, sonitu pärumper intermisse, pausain fecit. Atque illum morbo affectum, ubi præcentio illa quievit, velut attonitum, stupentique similem, repente animo linqui, et omni sensu destitui cernimus. Rursus resumpto tympano, ubi primum modulos audivit, pristinas illum vires resuinére, et acrius in choreas insurgere spectabamus. Creditum est,
quod bon a vero abboret, vim illam veneni virulente morsu et sanie .conceptam, harmonia et vocum concentu, per totam corpus diffundi, atque inde fato nescio quo, dilabi et exinaniri.'. Idco illos qui morbo ejus modi laborarunt, si quid reliquiarum re-siduam fuit, quod penitus curatuin non sit, si quando sono extrinsecus vel concentu illoruin aures affici contigeret, veluti mente consternatos toto corpore et animo concuti, ac manibus pedibusque gestire compertum est, donec vis illa tabifica penitus extincta fuit. Alex. ab Alex. fo. 41, p. 2.
In the temple at Tong-tchew (in China) is a chamber, in the middle of which there is an altar with THREE porcelain figures as large as life placed on it, there were also candlesticks on each side of it, which are lighted regularly every morning and erening. Before these images there is a sınall pot of dust, in which are inserted a number of long matches that are also lighted during the times of worship. When the period of devotion is past, the candles are extinguished and the flames of the maiches blown out, but the matches are left to moulder away. When this ceremony is over, an attendant on the ahar takes a soft mallet, with which he strikes a bell, that is suspended to it, three times; the persons present then kneel before the images and bow down their heads three times to the ground with their hands clasped. in each other, which they extend over their heads as they rise. A low bow is then secu to conclude the ceremony of the daily worship of the Chinese, which is termed by them chin-chinjosh, or worship of God. Anderson's narrative of the British embassy to China,
The number three probably took its rise from a tradition respecting the Trinity, and the word josh seems to be borrowed from Joshua or Jesus. • Who the Cabiri might be has been matter of unsuccessful inquiry to many learned men; the utmost that is known with certainty is, that they were originally three, and were called, by way of eminence, the great or mighty ores, for that is the import of the Hebrew word cabirim; and of the like import is their Latin appellation penates, The worship of a triple power under the former name, Dr Horsely is of opinion, was carried into Phrygia from Samotbrare by Dardanus so carly as the ninth century after the food. In most of those countries, where the Romans extended their arms and propagated their theology, the number three was considered as sacred and a divine triud was worshipped. The Futes; those relentless sisters who weave the web, of human life and fix the inevitable doom of mortals, were three; the Furies, the dire dispensers of the vengeance of heaven for crimes committed upon earth, were three; the Graces, who were honoured as divinities and had a thousand altars and temples erected to them in Greece, were three;. and the celestial Muses, according to Varro, were originally included in the same solemn and mysterious number. Maurice on the Oriental Trinities, p. 709, &c. : It was the leading feature in Lao-Kian's system of philosophical theology, that Tao, the eternal reason, produced one, one produced two, two produced three, and three produced all things. Maurice, (from Le Compte's Ilist. of China, p. 314) p. 808. · The fact is extraordinary; and the most obvious method, by which we can account for it is this: to conclude that the doctrine originated with the progenitor of mankind; by him was communicated, as a notice he had received from his Maker, and therefore of importance to be preserved ampong his immediate descendants; and from them it was delivered down, through succeeding generations, from the first to that which is now in being. Bp of Gloucester's Thoughts on the Trinity.
: . It seems difficult at first sight to account for the zeal of the See of Rome in-adsancing and propagating a doctrine so full of absurdity as that of TRANSUBSTANTI ÀTION. What use, it may be said, could there be in understanding a figurative expression! (with which manner of speaking the Scripture so much abounds) according to - the letter, which makes it nonsense, when that nonsense does not appear to be produce tive either of power or profit to the church. Nevertheless, the solution of this difficulty may be found in the words of Pope Paschall II. : “ That it was a most execrable ebing that those hands, which had received such eminent power above what had been.
granted to the angels themselves, as by their ministry to create God, the Creator of all, and offer up the same God before the face of God the Fatser for the redemption and salvation of the whole world, should descend to such ignominy as to be put in siga of subjection into the hands of princes, &c. Lord Lyttelton, vol.i. p. 480.
Is it not almost impossible to conceive that any person, much less any church, should entertain a doctrine so blasphemous which makes the hand of a priest superior to the power of God?
The doctrine of Transubstantiation was first broached, in the ninth century, by Paschasius Radbert, Abbot of Corbey, who asserted, that, after the consecration of the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper, nothing remained of these symbols but the outward figure, under which the body and blood of Christ were really and locally present; and, secondly, that the body of Christ, thus present in the Eucharist, was the same body that was born of the Virgin Mary, that suffered upon the cross, and was raised from the dead. Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. 8vo, vol. ii.
Transubstantiation is not a jot more contradictory to reason than the Trinity is. And,' as to Scripture evidence, the former has greatly the advantage over the latter : for, if you but grant the papists their interpretation of one single text, (Matt. xxvi. 26,) their tenet is proved at once; whereas, the Trinitarians must have their own interpretation of many texts, taken from very remote parts of Scripture, which have connection with each other, granted them before they can prove this mystery. Add to this, that transubstantiation is no where expressly contradicted in Seripture; but the divinity of Jesus, upon which the Trinity depends, is denied and declared to be false by the apostles, in terms as positive, direct, and explicit, as can well be conceived. (See John, xvii. 8, 1 Cor. viii. 6, Ephes. iv. 6.) For, as long as these passages stand in the Bible, it is impossible that the Son can be God, unless he be the Father also; a fight that even Trinitarians do not soar to! For some parallels between Transubstantiation and the Trinity, see the Unitarian Tracts, 1691, 4t0; vol. i. Tract on Mystery, p. 20, 22; and vol. ii. Tract 1, p. 3, 5, and Tract 2, p. 4. Blunt's Letters to Glanville Sharp, p. 151. - And. in p. 171, this author, who is a rank Socinian, has this temarkable passage, “ Practical Christianity is the only Christianity contained in the Scriptures."
The'TREE OF LÍTe was the antient and original emblem of inmortality, Gen. ii. 9. The meaning is, God furnished our first parents in paradise with every thing that was n edful to complete their happiness; and, as the principal part of all, he put them in a possibility of obtaining immortality without passing through death at all. Adam was not (as some have, without any ground from Scripture, imagined) created actually immortal; but he was created with a possibility of escaping death, and becoming im:nortal without dying. The means by which flesh and blood were to have been preserved from mortality, 10 which it esuld not but be subject by nature, was the use
of the tree of life. This appears, Gen. iii. 22. The expression, lest the man,, &c. shewed plainly that man was not created naturally, immortal, but that by the use of the tree of life, whatever is implied under that expression, he was to have been preserved from dying. By sin our first parent forfeited this high privilege, being from thenceforth justly excluded out of the paradise of God; and put out of the reach of the tree of life. That is, he was, by, the righteous sentence of God, left subject to that mortality which, in the course of pature, must necessarily and unavoidably come upon him and his posterity, when they were no longer suffered to have recourse to this miraculous means of being preserved from death. And this is the meaning of that figurative expression, Gen. iii. 24, the Lord God placed cherubims, &c. Man, being excluded out of paradise, had no longer any possibility of escaping that death to which the natural mortality, in which he was created, made him subject; but this possibility, of obtaining immortality after death is restored to us by the redemption purchased for us by Christ, which our first parent had it in his power to have obtained without dying. Clarke's Sermon on Revel. xxij. 14.
The tree of knowledge of good and evil was so called, because God intended by this to prove Adam and Eve, whether they would be good or bad.. Patrick's Comment.
Arbor scientiæ, &c. Sic dicta, vel ironice, q. d. arbor illa egregia, scilicet, quam mendax dæmon promiserat daturam scientiam quasi divinam omnis boni et mali. Vel a miserabili eventu, quod ex eo cognovit bonum, cujus jacturam fecerat, et malum, in quod incurrerat. Bonum obedientiæ, malum inobedientiæ. Vel quod lex dei, quæ . interdixit arboris hujus esum, doceret quid bonum et malum, et homini ostenderet et justitiam et peccatum suum. . Vide Poli Synopsin.
Paradise, the tree of life, and of the knowledge of good and evil, the expulsion of Adam from paradise, the speech of the serpent, &c. are an Eastern fable. Middleton. Then what becomes of Christianity? Is not that a fable?
Etsi negamus Septuaginta, et duo viros singulos in cellulis seorsim versionem suam afflatu Sp. S. confecisse, omnesque in omnibus consensisse; maxime probabile est, cum ad hoc munus delecti essent, antequam e patria discederent, inter se convenisse, et de modo, quo tantum opus confici posset, inter se deliberasse; unumquemque etiam se diligenter præparasse, tum codices conferendo, tum partem quandum Scripturæ transferendo, et loca difficilia annotando; deinde cum Alexandriæ convenissent, haud probabile est omnes simul in unaquaque sectione vel libro vertendo laborasse, sed totum opus inter se partitos fuisse, aliis hanc partem, aliis illam assignando; cumque singuli pensum suum, vel ejus partem aliquam confecissent, statis horis, vel diebus inter se convenisse, ubi singulorum elucụbrationes reliquorum judicio submissæ; et si dubium aliquod occurrebat, communi consilio explicatum, omnibusque mature perpensis et discussis; quod ab uno vel pluribus primo confectum erat, communi omnium suffragio approbatum, pro totius conventus versione receptum, et vulgatum fuit. - In
celebri nostra versione Anglicana auspiciis serenissimi regis Jacobi facta, in qua plurimi per totum regnum delecti viri doctissimi sudarunt, tale quid observatum fuit. Primo inter se regulas quasdam observandas in versione sua formarunt. Dein tota Biblia in partes diviserunt, tot pro unaquaque parte designatis, qui etiam inter se pensum suum subdiviserunt, certisque temporibus, quod a singulis paratum erat, reliquorum judicio submiserunt, donec tandem totum opus omnium calculis approbatum, omnium nomine in lucem prodiit. Waltoni Prolegom. 9, sect. 9, 10.
And why might not the same method be taken now, or at some future period, to produce a more exact version of the Old Testament, adhering to the present translation as closely as might be consistent?
Whatever wonders and fables the Jews have invented, and the Christians have swallowed, concerning the Septuagint version, yet it was not without the conduct of the divine Providence that these sacred books were translated into a tongue so universally known and spoken so many centuries before the completion of those prophecies which they contained, and which were in due time to be fulfilled by and under the promised Messiah. For, had those divine oracles been still kept in the hands of the Jews, and in their original Hebrew, till the preaching of the Gospel, they must have lost a considerable part of their evidence; and it would have been extremely difficult, notwithstanding the manifest impossibility of any combination between the Jews and Christians, to have persuaded an unbelieving world that those prophecies had not been stamped after their completion, as Porphyry and others have affirmed. Univ. Hist. vol. i. p. 245.
The Syriac version of the Old Testament, inserted in the Polyglott, was translated from the Hebrew as early as the age of the apostles, and may be of great service to discover antient various readings. —The version of Symmachus is the best that antiquity ever produced, and the value set on it, by the most judicious among the fathers, gives room to think that prejudice alone prevented its being substituted to the LXX.
The most antient version of Scripture ever made is that of the Septuagint; but it must be observed that the first interpreters, whoever and in what number soever they were, translated nothing besides the five books of Moses. The other books of the Old Testament were translated, at different times, by several hands. — It is not to be presumed that any of the antient versions of Scripture escaped the common fate of all other antient books. They went through the hands of copyists, and that is saying enough. This is a new reason for us to be cautious how we allow a diversity of interpretation to be evidence of a various reading in the original. The original and the versions may afford mutual light to each other. If the versions are of use to judge of the state the Hebrew text was in at the time they were made, that text may likewise serve to restore the versions to their original purity. Desvæux upon Eeclesias. p. 224, &c.