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Art . V . Lexicon Gr&co Latinum in Novum Test amentum , congesset Joh . Fried . Schleusner , in compendium redegit Johannes Carey \ LL . D London ! ; impensis B . Holds worth ,
1826 . Those who have studied , as we have had occasion to do , that fanciful but ingenious compound of speculations called the Palaeoromaica , can scarcely fail to acknowledge the force of the observations which flow with propriety from the author ' s pen , on the singular want of practical scholar-like theological and biblical
learning in England , as compared with the continental school , both of ancient and modern theologians . How comes it that go few men here venture out of the atmosphere of their sect , be it established or dissident , that " even the Roman Church , to the shame of Protestantism , has allowed greater freedom of discusto its members than has ever been
enjoyed in those churches which profess to make free inquiry the boon which they offer and the very badge of their distinction' * ? Markland's Letters to Bowyer are very appositely referred to , and it may be doubted whether the Inquisition itself would inspire greater caution than weighed upon the minds of two such sincere and pious biblical inquirers in a
Protestant country on more critical questions concerning the Greek text . How is it that within the last half century a host of truly valuable and laborious works have appeared on the Continent , perfectly impartial on , indeed carefully avoiding , all dogmatic questions , where they are riot the immediate object of inquiry , zealously probing to the bottom every point
of interest without stopping to inquire its bearing on the prepossessions or systems of any one ;—quoted , appealed to and relied on by all , on that very account , as witnesses of fidelity and unsuspected integrity ; while here almost every thing that appears owes its very origin to
controversial feelings , has the peculiar opinions of some sect , established or otherwise , to promote , and bears on every page the image and superscription of the master from whom it springs and to whose class of opinions it is to be referred ? This is no doubt owing in a great degree to the extraordinary appetite here for
discussion and proselytism on doctrinal points , from which , no doubt , great good arises collaterally , but upon which less stress is laid abroad . The principal cause , however , is the exclusive appro * priation to one sect of almost the only means of attaining , except in rare instances , any profound theological or classical proficiency . Learning and a
particular set of opinions are sought to be identified . A double aristocracy of rank and education keeps the inquirer at ail immense distance . The scholar who should feel disposed to move out of the trammels of the only system in which almost exclusively he can acquire his knowledge , is at once a black sheep
marked and shunned by the more privileged flock . If he is not one of them he can be nobody ; he loses his caste in society as well as in literature . There is no mutual forbearance or courtesy engendered by the early collision and gene " rous emulation of active minds by pursuits carried on with a variety of purpose , but in the same walks . The exclusive
circle of rank , preferment , or even of education which that circle labours to maintain to be the only one for a gentleman moving in any sphere , is for ever shut against him who moves out of the orbit which well-defined orthodoxy has traced out . A levelling despotism of opinion must reign within such a system of education , and uncharitableness and dissatisfaction prevail without .
Can we wonder that the Dissenter , driven for his education to establishments which even the wealthy and zealous of hi 3 denomination can only found on a scale limited to the reception of persons of their own persuasion , should
imbibe with his first impressions the same exclusive spirit of his party , and devote more than a due portion of hi . s studies to its polemics ? In short , where there is no catholic education , it is hardly to be wondered that Catholicism should form no feature of our
theological literature . Those English scholars whose acquirements render them competent to the task , generally shun any application of their talent to the cultivation of theological or biblical learning , on account of the embarrassments in which a free pursuit of their subject is likely to involve them .
CRITICAL NOTICES .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1827, page 62, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1792/page/62/