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Embellished with :1 Front View, from the North, of TEVERSALL HALL,
l Molyneux family before the reign of Jamest, by which Monarch the Title of Baronet was conferred on John Molyneux.Jnne 29, 1611. The estate, at the time the view
‘ was taken, was the property of Sir
Francis Molyneux, knl. and hart. Gentleman-usher of the Black Rod; but since hisdeath, it has devolved on Henry Howard Molyneux, esq. M. P. for Gloucester, brother to the heirpresumptive of the Dukedoin ofNorfolk, and nephew to the late Sir Francis Molyneux.
An account of the church of Teversal, with its monuments, was published in your Magazine for February
Mr. U rim N, Essex-street, Dec. 12. DR. Priestley, in his inquiries into the doctrine of the primitive Christians concerning the person of Christ, was led to maintain that the early Hebrew Christians were known by the name of Ehionites, that they all agreed in believing the simple humanity of Christ, and that they only differed upon the question of his msracnlous conception: and, to estab
_ lish these facts, he appealed to the
testimony of Origen *. This is the main iestion upon which the two learned'polemics are at issue.
The Bishop peremptorin denies the facts stated by Dr.Priestley, and boldly challenges the credibility of his evidence. “ I tax,” says he, “ the veracity of your Witness.” Origen mighb say it, but he could not believe it. He knew the contrary: and “ I would not take his testimony upon oath."v The Bishop then proceeds to state, as
* Hist. of Corrup. vol. I. p.‘ 7. Letters to Dr. Horsley, p. 18. an an ascertained fact, that in the reign of Adrian, after the total destruction of Jerusalem, the majority of orthodox Hebrew Christians returning from Pella,whitherthey had fled for safety, abandoned at once the rites of Moses, and joined with a church of Gentile Christians for the sake of being admitted to the privileges of the colony of [Eliaywhich had been founded by Adrian near the site of Jerusalem: and from which all Jews were excluded upon pain of death. The Bishop refers to Mosheim as an authority; but does not mention what afterwards appears to have been fact, that all the incidents were borrowed from that learned writer upon whose authority the Bishop seems implicitly to have relied *. lieving in Christ must mean orthodox Hebrew Christians who had renounced the rites of Moses. And these were of course the legitimate representatives of those pious emigrants from Pella, who had discarded the institutes of their ancestors for the privileges of the zElian colony in the reign of Adrian, two hundred years before. Nevertheless, as his Lordship seems to have thought it possible that this argument, however forcible in itself, might not carry conviction to the mind of his prejudiced opponent, he concludes it with a. concession which could not fail of producing the happiest efi'ect. “ If,”/says the learned Prelate, with an urbanity of which this celebrated controversy unfortunately afi‘ords but few examples, “ if the orthodox Christians of the Hebrews, actually existing somewhere in the world, from the reign of Adrian to the days of St. Jerome, were not members of the Church of Elia, dwelling at IElia, and in the adjacent parts of Palestine, Dr. Priestley, g‘f he be so pleased, may seek their settlement *.” the time ofAdrian;" that is, that such abody did exist, not indeed at the time when .‘Elia was founded, which was the fact to be proved; but in the time of Jerome, two hundred years afterwards.
Dr. Priestley, having never in the course of his reading met with any account of this church of orthodox Hebrews at fElia, and having only consulted Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History, instead of his Commentaries, to which mé Bishop referred, and not finding there all the circumstances which he had stated, rather too precipitately charged the Bishop with having alleged facts without sufficient authority, and in plain language, as a falsifier ofhistory and a defamer of the dead t.
The Bishop, conscious of innocence, repels the charge with indignation: and now for the first time acknowledges the extent of his obligation to the German Professor. “ If," says the ol't'ended Prelate, “ Dr. Priestley had consulted Mosheim, he must know that these were Mosheim’s assertions before they were mine. must know, that I have added no circumstance to Mosheim‘s account but such as every one must add in his own imagination, who admits Mosheim’s representation of the fact i."
In the mean time the Bishop, finding the facts disputed which he had alleged with such unhesitating confidence, thought it advisable to consult M osheim’s authority ; and,to his great surprize and disappointment, he finds them nothing to the purpose. Sulpitins is silent upon the most material
oints: Orosius is admitted to be “a
eather in the scale a” and Epiphanius.
was a. witness to be brought forward with great caution, and upon his testimony little stress could be laid §. Unwilling, however, to abandon a favourite hypothesis, and with the express design of rescuing himself from the imputation “ ofrelating that upon Moshejm’s authority which he related upon none,” and “ to state the principles which determined him to abide by Moshei-m's account,” the Bishop now brings forward a format proof of the fact in question: namely, that the Christian Church at [Elia was composed chiefly of orthodox Hebrew fugitives, who had returned from Pella, and had discarded the rites of Moses for the sake of participating in the privileges of the [Elian colony‘q. To this end, “ i take for grante ,” says his Lordship, “ these things.” He then assumes six preliminary propositions, which it is quite needless to repeat here, because at the conclusion of them the Bishop very judiciously and candidly adds, “ It may seem that my six positions go no further than to account for the disuse of the Mosaic law upon the supposition that the thing took place :” and “ that they amount not to a proof that a church of Hebrew Christians not adhering to the rites of Judaism actually existed at jElia." “ To complete the proof, therefore," continues the learned Pre-v late, “ I might appeal to Epiphanius‘t assertion of the return of the Christians of Jerusalem from Pella." But, conscious that this was very tender
_ ground, he adds, “ I will derive the
proof from a fact which I think more convincing than the testimony of Epi‘ phanius.”
This fact is contained in the Bi-e shop’s seventh proposition, “ viz. that a body of orthodox Christians of the Hebrews were actually existing in the World much later than in the time of Adrian." And he rests the credit of this proposition upon “ the mention which occurs in St. Jerome‘s Commentary upon Isaiah of Hebrews believing in Christ as distinct from the Nazarenes Si.” His Lordship contends that in Jerome‘s style Hebrews be
PART II.] 3].». Horsley's Controversy with Dr. Priestley. 619
Dr. Priestley, however, held out even against the convincing testimony of Jerome. 'And, notwithstanding the ingenuity of his Lordship’s comments, he presumes to insinuate thatJerome’s “Hebrews believing in Christ” might be no better than downright Ehionites under another name: but that, at any rate,allowing them to be as orthodox as the Bishop could wish, he discovered no connexion between the existence ofa body of orthodox Hebrew Christians in Jerome’s time, and those circumstances attending the origin of the church at J'Elia in the reign of Adrian, two hundred years before, which, having been first alleged by Mosheim, the Bishop had so generously undertaken to support and verify. And as.to the labour of tracing out the settlements of the supposed orthodox Hebrew Church for two centuries, the learned writer appears to have left it to those whom it might more immediately concern +.
Now, Mr. Urban, comes the denouement of the piece. The Bishop, no doubt, began to be apprized that, in laying the whole weight of the
church of )Elia upon the shoulder of St. Jerome, he had imposed upon that holy father a heavier hurthen than he was able to support; and therefore, in the last of a series of Disquisitions which he annexes to there publication of his Tracts in one volume, after his accession to the mitre. he very fairly releases St. Jerome from
his task, and very adroitly retracts
the whole of his argument.
It has been already shewn that, in stating his argument, the learned Prelate expressly acknowledges “ In six positions go no further than to account for the disuse of the Mosaic law upon the supposition that the thing took place ;” they “ do not amount to a proof” of the facts. This proof his Lordship derives from hil seventh proposition, the credit of which rests wholly upon the testimony of Jerome, viz. that “ a body of orthodox Christians ofthe Hebrews were actually existing in the world much later than in the time ofAdrian.”
But in the Disquinitions his Lordship’s language is very much altered indeed. “ The learned reader," 'says the Bishop, “ will be pleased to recollect that my roof of the existence of such a chnrc rests in part only upon Jerome’s evidence. The entire proof rests upon seven positions, and St.Jerome’s evidence goes barely to the proof of the last of those positions.” “ St. Jerome’s evidence is brought for the proof of this position singly: and this, proved by St. Jerome‘s evidence in conjunction with six other principles previously laid down, makes the whole evidence of the main fact which I affirm, thata church of orthodox Christians of the Hebrews existed at Elia from the final dispersion of the Jews by Adrian to a much later period i. - \
Thus, Mr. Urban, by the Bishop’s oWn concession, the whole evidence, the enh're proofof his main fact, the existence of his orthodox church at Ellis, rests upon seven proposilions, ot'which " the first six go no further than to account for the fact upon the supposition thatthething took place;" and the seventh rests wholly upon the testimony of Jerome, which is alleged barely and singly to prove, that “ a body of orthodox Hebrew Christians existed in the world much later than
Such, Mr. Urban, is the true and correct state of the main question at issue between Bishop Henley and Dr. Priestley. Let any of your learned Correspondents disprove it if they can. It would be a poor compliment to the penetration of so acute a diale'ctician as the learned Prelate, to suppose that he did not see the futility of his ovvn argument. Nor is it at all improbable that Lord 'l‘hurlow should have said what it is credibly
reported that he did say, that in ar-'
ument Bisbo Horsley was no match or Dr. Priest ey.
Nor did the Bishop himself at the close of the controversy claim the victory in this essential article. “ The disturbed foundations of the church of Elia,” says his Lordship, “ are again settled, I could wish to trust them to their own solidin to withstand any future attacks *. And this the learned Prelate found to be the most convenient way of disposing of them at last: for though, after a pompous flourish of his polemical Weapons, and a harmless dash or two
\ at his undaunted opponent, he concludes with the declaration, that whatever Dr. Priestley may think proper to do, “ he is not pledged to reply, or to be silent," yet, after his indefatigable adversary’s triumphant reply, and his spirited challenge to meet him again in the field, his Lordshipjudged it to be most prudent to retire from the conflict, and to enjoy the Feb fruits of his past labours in dignified reposer
Thus much, Mr. Urban, [ have thought it necessary to state, in order to vindicate myself from the charge of having provoked the imputation of Bishop Burgess, by a similar imputation upon Bishop Horsley. l do not desire to load your pages with polemical theology, much less to stain them with opprobrious language, which ill becomes a Gentleman’s Magazine. Nor do i see any reason why a controversy upon a question of Ecclesiastical History should be conducted with intemperate warmth on
either side. If any of your pious Readers cannot satisfy their consciences without believing in the existence of an orthodox Hebrew church at )Elia, let them by all means enjoy their faith peaceably and nnmolested. But, in the name of charity, let them not deal out anathemas upon their unolTending neighbours, who, from the evidence before them, can only regard this famous church as a castle in the clouds.
I have been accustomed, Mr. Urban, for more than half a century, to re~ gard your Magazine as in the foremost rank of respectability amongst our numerous periodical publications; and I am persuaded that in this age of increasing light and liberality it will not render itself less worthy of estimation by admitting a charge without allowing the party accused an opportunity of stating his defence.
Yours, &c. T. BELSHAM.
N the 6th of this month, as we are informed by the daily papers, a. wave in the church-yard of Lewisam was opened in the dead of the night, and the body of a. man who was interred the preceding day taken away; this was discovered early in the morning, by the grave being left open, and the apparel of the dead lying on the ground: the village, as may naturally be supposed, was soon in uproar, execrating these spoilers of the grave. The church-wardens, as we are informed, have offered a trifling reward for the apprehension of the robbers; but we suspect this is done more with a. view ofallaying the irritation in the minds of the inhabitants than with a hope of bringing the delinquents to punishment.
If young surgeons must. have dead bodies, it is much to he wished that some plan could be devised to procure t_bem without recourse to this horrible violation of the rites of sepulture.
The affection of mankind for their dead relatives and friends is a virtue strongly implanted in the human breast: and this affection is inherent in our nature; for we see it among the least informed, as well as in the most enlightened state of cultivated society: it is as strong in the savage as in the philosopher: does not map.