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( Continued from p , 18 . ) The Introduction to Dr . Smith ' s second book is chiefly occupied with an attack on Mr . Belsham for not having gone over all the same ground with the author , and for having dismissed the few passages he has noticed from the Old Testament , with an expression respecting their application in this controversy , nearly approaching to contempt .
It must be recollected that the object of Mr . B / s work is not to collect every thing in Scripture relating to the Messiah , but to examine the principal arguments which have been adduced in support of the notions of his superhuman or divine nature . When we consider , therefore , not only how precarious are the grounds for applying to the Messiah at all many of the passages brought forward by Dr . S ., but how small a proportion of them , granting the interpretation put upon them , supply any substantial argument
respecting his nature , and that of those which are made to appear most important , many have not been insisted upon by the best writers in defence of reputed orthodoxy , previous to our learned and ingenious author , we cannot be much surprised that Mr . B . did not feel himself called upon to devote any distinct portion of his work to the Old Testament As to his manner of expression , every writer feels himself authorized to express his opinion on the comparative force of the arguments which pass under his
consideration : it is agreed , on all hands , that learned and able men have often been " imposed upon by miserable sophisms , " and the statement of our belief that this has happened in a particular case , the whole matter being submitted to the judgment of the reader , cannot be considered as going beyond what is allowable in controversy . When , indeed , we attribute what we regard as the errors of our opponents to pride or other evil passions , or represent them as wilfully perverting the truth , and misrepresenting the
Sacred Records , we are chargeable with passing the bounds of fair discussion , and contending for victory with unlawful weapons . Of any such cbacge as this , we think the " Calm Inquirer" must be acquitted even by his enemies . Dr . Smith , as appears from what we have already brought forward , by no means comes before the tribunal of the public with so good a case . We most sincerely give him credit for much amiable and truly Christian feeling , but a man who talks so much of candour as he does , can hardly be exeused
in so often forgetting its dictates . The enumeration of passages is prefaced by the following statement : " In this enumeration it is proposed to bring forwards , not every text which lias been adduced by biblical interpreters as referring to the Messiah , but only those which , according to the criteria above ( in the preceding- chapevidence of ha
ter ) laid down , carry certain , or , at least , probable ving been so designed . The degrees of that evidence will of course be various : but if the passages which appear to be of the least convincing kind , be struck out of the following list , still it is apprehended that enough will remain to furnish a satisfactory conclusion . The number might be greatly reduced without at all diminishing the weight of the argument . "
In reviewing this ettunaeration , our narrow limits will oblige us to pass by without notice all such passages , however interesting in themselves , as have no direct bearing on the questions concerning the person of the Messiah , and the nature or mode of the deliverance he effected for mankind . Inter-
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DFi . J . P . SMITH ' S SCRIPTURE TESTIMONY TO TKJE MESSIAH .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Feb. 2, 1831, page 107, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2594/page/35/