uthority, and to stick to the scripture only, as explained and understood by right reason, without having any regard to tradition, or the authority of fathers, councils, &c. On this subject the following remarks of the translator are well deserving of attention.
Speaking of those who would be displeased with the work, because reason is therein much cried up, he says,
My desire therefore is, that such persons would but consider what the holy scripture itself saith on this behalf;—how Paul (Rom.
XII. 1) calleth the service which Christians are to exhibit unto God a rational or reasonable service.
And Peter (1 Ep. III. 15) saith, Be ready always to make an apology unto every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
Which passage clearly intimateth, that as there is no incongruity for others to require a reason of our hope in Christ, so we Christians are, above all other professors whatsoever, obliged to be very rational; —for t
, shall be acknowledged by me to have any such power or rightful authority over me. They may deprive me of my civil liberty, of my estate, or of my life; but this liberty, by the grace of God, they never shall deprive me of, to think and speak of the matters of God and of religion only in that manner in which I apprehend they are spoken of in the holy scriptures by God himself.
Tell me not what Athanasius or Arius, what the council of Nice or Rimini, have said, but what Christ, and Peter and Paul and James and John and Jude have said.
I call no man master upon earth.
Western Inquisition, p. 60.
At length, the Assembly met in September 1718.
On the preceding day a preparatory meeting was held to arrange their future proceedings.
It was urged that the growth of Arianism rendered it necessary that they should purge themselves, and clear their reputation in the world.
Some one expressed his surprise that the Exeter ministers were so backward.
Mr. Peirce replied that he could n
n of all mankind.
This second period of partial extension he supposes to terminate in the year 45, with the separation of Paul and Barnabas for a peculiar mission, as recorded in Acts XIII. 1.
Then, according to him, really began the conversion of to perceive that the wall of partition was now completely broken down.
Nor can we readily imagine that the proceedings of Paul and his adherents should remain so long concealed, or escape the observation and censure of those among their countrymen w light on this very obscure inquiry.
He takes great pains to explain the meaning of the different expressions used by St, Paul in describing these gifts, and his conjectures are as likely to be true as those of any other writer who has attempted to characters of apostles, elders, and brethren in the primitive church.
The third is employed in determining the time when Paul and Barnabas were called by special appointment to the apostolic office.
In the fourth he endeavours to shew that the epi