« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
THE Author of "Not Paul but Jesus" seeks, in the Introduction to his publication, to prejudice his reader's mind, at the very outset, against the character of St. Paul; but, as he deals rather
in assertions than facts, I deem it unnecessary to dwell long upon that part of his performance.
There is one passage, however, so flagrantly absurd and unjust, that it may not be amiss to offer a few observations upon it on this occasion. "The dissentions," says Mr. Gamaliel Smith, "which at all times have had place among persons professing the religion of Jesus, are but too notorious. The mischiefs produced by these dissentions, are no less so. These dissentions, and these mischiefs, in what have they had their source? In certain words. These words, of whom have they been the words? Of Jesus? No: this has not been so much as pretended: of Paul, and of Paul alone: he giving them all along, not as the words of Jesus, but as his own only-he all along preaching, (as will be seen) in declared opposition to the eleven,
who were undisputedly the Apostles of Jesus : thus, of Paul only have they been the words.' "The dissentions," which have prevailed among persons professing the religion of Jesus, must ever be a subject of regret to the sincere Christian; but, so far is it from being true, that " those dissentions, and the mischiefs produced by them," have had their origin in any words of St. Paul, that they have arisen from a neglect of those precepts of peace and forbearance, which that Apostle, in conformity with the example of his Redeemer, so zealously laboured to inculcate. The dissentions of Christians have sprung from pride and passion, from ignorance and prejudice; and diversity of opinion exists, not only with regard to doctrines contained in St. Paul's Epistles, but with regard to those ascribed to our Lord by the Evangelists. Nor have religious dissentions been peculiar to the Christian world, but they have prevailed, more or less, in every age and country. The heathen philosophers had their different partisans and supporters, and if the various sects among them contended less zealously for their respective opinions than Christians have done for the doctrines of Christianity, it was because there was nothing in the absurd polya Pp. 5, 6.