« ÖncekiDevam »
the prevalence of such works of the flesh in themselves, as we condemn and preach against in others. This hath been, and will be the way of the world; the way of enemies towards the faints, especially towards the ministers of Christ; and it is both pity and shame that it should ever be their way one towards another. Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. If there had dropped from one's pen, on a paper which in his account the world was never to fee, expre!fions not so well chosen, or guarded ; would not the love of God, the love of truth, and the love of our neighbour, which the gospel so much teacheth and recommends, make all men in whom it dwells, rejoice to see those things elsewhere in the fame paper, more plainly and fully expressed to satisfaction ? And will not that humility, modelty, and compassion, which a sense of human weakness and frailty, which a sense of our own imperfections, and liableness to mistake, begets, persuade the same thing? Even the wiselt of societies happen at times to express themselves so as they see need to explain themselves, for removing such misapprehensions as their words had given occafion to.
The Atraining or wresting of words, or occasional passages, in this case, in order to the fathering inferences or contequences not owned, or to the fixing of odious notions, that the words neither exprefs, nor, candidly interpreted, give any countenance to, cannot miss to be held as a clear evidence, that something is aimed at, either with respect to the person or doctrine, that is not fairly and honestly owned, and ipoken out.
Moderator, Though I shall readily own, that any who hear the word at the Lord's mouth, and bear his message, may be able to express the truth in more fit and acceptable words than I have done in these papers; yet, considering my unikilfulness, and my profound security from all fears of such unprecedented measures, I conceive I have much reason to bless the name of the Lord, who instructs the simple, and guides the blind in the way they know not; and accordingly here I defire, with all my soul, to bless him, that my escapes were not both more and greater than they are: elfe, alas! where had I been ? I had been swallowed and eaten up as bread; the truth had suffered by my means, and the friends of truth had been afhamed for my fake. Which brings to mind another thing, namely, whatever imperfections or alledged offensive things may be found in that lermon, you are not, Moderator, lo much as in thought, to impute them to any but me. My reason for faying so is, that I know it has been strongly, though most invidiously suggested, that there was concert and advice in this affair; but never was any thing less true, Moderator, No advice, no consultation, about word or thing in these paa
pers ; yea, fo far from it, that I sincerely declare, no one in the world knew so much as the text I was to preach from, till I read it in this place. Moderator, we have not so learned Christ as to consult with man in such cases.
I own, Moderator, I have cause, more than for all the committee's remarks, to be humbled, that I had not more of the Lord's presence in the delivery of that sermon, (yet I desire to bless him for carrying me through); and that so little of the Lord's power accompanied the word from my mouth: for it is but too evident, it has been an unblessed fermon to many; woes me for it! However, it might have been expected, fome regard would have been had to conscience, honesty, and finceri. ty, in declaring one's mind as to what he reckoned amiss or in danger, on an occafion the most folemn and public he ever had before, or was like to have again. Whereas, or at the same time, it may be easily seen, there measures tend to discourage all faithfulness and plain dealing for the time to come, be the evidence or aspect of affairs in the church what it will; which, therefore, fome will perhaps think might have fallen lels an. seasonably our in some other juncture than this.
Moderator, However contemptible I may be in the eyes of many, this piece of conduct being 10 very extraordinary, and of such a confpicuous judicatory in the church of Scotland, will be under the observation and examination of, not only both friends and enemies at home among ourselves, but of strangers (I dondt not) alfo : for all people are at this day wreitling for liberty, and many will be curious to look into a cafe reckoned to have so unfavourable an aspect upon it.
To conclude, Moderator, I can lay it in truth, though my brethren and mother's children have been very angry with me, and have dealt roughly with me, my Lord and matter has not yet, to my discerning, disovered himself displeased with me on the account of that sermon, or of any one thing in it. No doubt, he faw many more faults, and other fort of ones, than you can find; yea, the whole performance, I know, was full of blemishes, and would not at all abide a trial at the bar of his holy law: yet I believe he has graciously pardoned all, and will never ariicle me on that head; which, though it may be of no consideracion with others, nor do I defire it should be of any, yet it is of great importance to me. And as for the little remarks some people make on it, I believe I may venture to say, he laughs at them; nay, I will say more, Moderator, I believe he will deliver me out of all this trouble I am meeting with on the account of it, when such as seek my hurt have done their worit and utmost against me: yea tho? I should be toffed like a broken veffel to assemblies and commillions, I am not afraid of the issue. But though in such an event I may be delivered, allow me to say it, Moderator, tho' it may seem bold, it shall not, I hope, be found irrelevant ; and was their soul in my soul's stead, none here present would think much of any thing I have yet said, or am going to day; whoever shall send me there, I regard their doing fo, can import no less than that they reckon me worthy of death, or of bonds, neither of which I deterve at the hand of man; they shall be held guilty of my blood before the Lord,
To the above is fubjoined another speech. MODERATOR, I own the copy by me delivered to the brethren appointed by the synod to receive the same, to be a true copy of the notes or papers from which I preached the sermon before the last synod; and that the said copy contains nothing but what is my sentiments; and being favourably constructed, will be found, I hope, to bear no ground of offence. The additions, being mostly of words deficient, transitions, or enlargements upon heads barely named in the papers, together with the filling up of some pieces of the method propoled, but left blank, are all distinctly marked, and do not touch the sense of what is in the notes ; nor do I crave any benefit of them. But for as much as it ought to be presumed, that the Reverend Synod did peremptorily require the copy aforesaid, only in order to fatisfy themselves as to some particular points touched in the sermon, and not out of it to form a libel, or draw articles against me, upon which I may be judged in order to centure; and since I neither did, nor could exactly repeat these notes or papers in the pulpit, and likewife fince many things in them were not at all delivered, and other things were delivered that were not in the said notes, which nevertheless are now added in their proper places, so far as I could remember them, and several things were delivered purposely in other and smoother words than were written : 1 do protest the said copy cannot be improved to the forming of a libel or articles againit me, as faid is; and that the using it to fuch a purpose, would be in effect to make me mine own accuser, contrary to the word of God, the form of process, and the natural rights of mankind; and also that the said copy can never be used, and fustained as probative, in any process against me, on the account of the ferinon above mentioned. And finally, that which I may reckon myself concerned to say here on this affair, for satisfying the coinmittee as to my sentiments on the heads they may be pleased to bring into question, shall not militate against me in any process upon the account of these heads, or that sermon aforesaid. Upon all which I take instruments in the clerk's hands.
NO 5. Note on p. 399. I. 1. at folio. This MS, with the addition of three chapters more, which the reader will find taken notice of in the sequel of these me. moirs, consisting in whole of 352 pages, is preserved, and will be published, if encouragement be given. The author intended it for the press, and left it prepared for that purpose.
Concerning this Essay on the Hebrew text of Genesis, the author wrote the following memorial, when a copy of it was sent to Mr Grant at London.
'1. The design of it is, to explain the text immediately from the Hebrew phraseology. For that effect, the sacred Hebrew pointing, or ftimalology, is religiously stuck to, and expreffed in the versions by equivalent stops ; and in the rigidly literal version, the words are generally ranged according to their order in the Hebrew: but where that could not be obtained, the Hebrew order is notified by a figure above the word; as, Gen. i. 1. GOD he created; the figure i notes, that word to be the first of the two in the Hebrew : and more than that, the original words are, wherefoever they bccur, rendered in that version, in their one formal signification, according to the use of them in the Bible; the which fignification is established in the notes, being discovered by comparing of other places where the words occur. For which effect, the Bible itself, with Buxtorf's Hebrew Concordance, is, I humbly conceive, the best Lexi. con. Upon this subject, I cannot but mention with honour Gusset's Comment. ling. Ebr. Meanwhile this cannot miss of making that verfion uncouth, and even shocking to fome. Ne. vertheless, by means thereof, the English reader hath a kind of original (if I may fo express it) in his own language, by which he may the better judge of smooth versions; and the Hebrew reader may discover the true sense of a text, together with the reason thereof, from the language itself, and the phraseology of the Holy Ghost. But however shocking it may be to any, I am apt to think, that a version of any Roman author, on fuch a plan, and under such strict rules, would be far more so.
2. The notes are formed on the rigidly-literal version; and, in compiling of them, the philological part was first studied and written, and from thence was the theological sense of the text inferred and written. Howbeit, transcribing the whole in mundo, I judged it expedient, especially for the sake of the unlearned reader, to invert that order : so that the philological part comes laft, that they who have no guft for it may pass it. Meanwhile it contains the reason of the versions, and sense of the text, which are given. 3. The more Imooth version will, I apprehend, be judged
by far too harsh and literal; and therefore it may yet again be licked over; and I am resolved to expunge, in many places therein, the word even, very frequently occurring, fatisfying myself with its standing in the other version. But I must own, I am much addicted to the letter of the sacred text; and loth to depart from it, but upon evident neceflity. For I am fully convinced, that a cloud hath been cast over the true sense of several texts, by interpreters allowing themselves a great liberty in departing from it; instance Gen. iii. J.; and humbly conceive there is a becoming reason for the sacred Hebrew phraseology. Withal I am of opinion with a famed author, that the Hebrew manners of speech kindly mix and incorporate with the English language ; and, if I mistake not, we may in several instances express them more happily in our native language than in Latin.
4. The authentic copy written with my own hand, from which it must be printed, if deemed worthy to see the light, is in my closet. I do not remember that I have so much as seen, far less revised, the whole of the other, now at London, it being kept partly at Edinburgh, and partly at Aberdeen, till it was sent thither.'
N° 6. Note on p. 409. I. 15. at paragraph.
THE copy of the paragraph here mentioned is as follows, - I fincerely desired to have been useful to you, to my power, since you were settled in the neighbourhood; and that was the spring of some parts of my conduct. But we having now twice encountered, you treating of faith, and I of repentance, and again you of repentance, and I of faith, I perceive our strain is so very different, that there seems to me to be a danger in our encountering before a multitude from several places in the country wherein our lot is caft. However venturous others may be, I, who have had about twenty years experience of the temper of the people in these parts, would be very inexcuseable if I thould not be wary."
No7. Note on p. 470. 1. 16. at accentuation. The following is a copy of the memorial here mentioned.
"1. The English copy of the Essay on the Hebrew accentuation, being written several years before the Latin copy, there are some things in the former altered in the latter: particularly, one whole section is dropped, being, I suppose the 3d of the 5th chapter ; another chapter or lection is transpored; and there are some few alterations and amendments of another kind