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exercise an extraordinary influence over his judgment . The Protestant Church of Germany possesses no splendid revenues to tempt men to the profession of doctrines which they disbelieve , and such a retrogradation of opinion , without any external influence , would be a phenomenon without precedent in the history of the humaifc mind . AA- JP $ S
Art . III . —Recensio Synoptica Annotationis Sacra , being a Critical Digest and Synoptical Arrangement of the most important Annotations on the New Testament , Exegetical , Philological and Doctrinal , carefully collected and condensed from the best Commentators , both Ancient and Modern , &c , &c . By the Rev . S . T . Bloomfield , M . A ., of Sidney College , Cambridge , Vicar of Bisbrooke in Rutland , and Curate of Tilton and Tugby in Leicestershire . Part I . 3 Vols . London . C . and J . Rivington . 1826 .
When our minds have been depressed by a consideration of the boundless variety of sentiments existing in the religious world , all professing to be founded on the same authority , and derived from the same volume ; when , well persuaded of the fallibility of others , and conscious of our own , we have felt for the moment at a loss for any firm ground on which to rest our feet , and have been to tempted abandon the search for scriptural truth as altogether uncertain and hopeless ; we have found our ardour in the pursuit of
biblical knowledge , and our confidence m our sincere and serious conviction restored by the reflection , that if men have differed widely as to the results of their inquiries into the sense of Scripture , it is chiefly because they have also differed as to the principles on which these inquiries have been conducted , and that if they could agree as to any common principles of interpretation , a rapid tendency towards a general agreement in religious opinions must be the unavoidable consequence . But , however they may be resisted by
prejudice , or despised by ignorance and enthusiasm , nothing , we apprehend , can be more certain than the just principles of scriptural interpretation . They are the same which are applicable to any other ancient book , and they have been so fully developed , and so skilfully applied in connexion with Greek and Roman literature , that no scholar can be ignorant of their nature and use . - The Scripture interpreter has the feame object in view with the interpreter of any other book—to ascertain and make known the sense of his
author—and he must employ the same means . His opinion of the importance , or his respect for the authority of the work which is the object of his labours , may excite his diligence , or impress on him the necessity of guarding with peculiar caution against prejudices , or rash and fanciful judgments ; but it can never authorize him to dispense with the ordinary rules of interpretation , because the importance and authority , whatever they may be , must in all cases belong , not to the mere words , but to the real sense of the author , and this can be no otherwise found out than by a careful examination of the words
and phrases he has employed , as to their real power and grammatical construction , with a due consideration of those circumstances of the age , the writer himself , and those whom he immediately addressed , which might modify the force of his language or throw light on its obscurities . Now , it is evident , that the words of any writer can have but one genuine sense , which , if sufficient monuments remain of his language and his age , it must be possible to ascertain with tolerable certainty . There may be real difficulty , and this may , by various causes , have been considerably increased ; as b y the
Review . ^ -Bloomfield ' s'Recenkic > Synoptica Annotationis Sacra ? . 53
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1827, page 53, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1792/page/53/