Nine Discourses on Various Subjects; And Seven Charges, Delivered to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Winchester
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1817 edition. Excerpt: ...the sense, 'to consider what sense is most reasonable, --most worthy of the Supreme Being, --most agreeable to what is already known of his character and conduct. That this method of inquiry may be pursued improperly cannot be denied; and, I add, there is peculiar danger of this impropriety, in men whose understandings are unfortified by habit, and unprovided of the principles of knowledge; but then it cannot, without absurdity, be entirely rejected; and it is hard to say whether there be greater inconvenience in too literal, or too licentious an interpretation of Scripture. We are not, most certainly, to pervert the doctrines of the Gospel, in order to accommpdate them to our own conceits; but then it frequently happens, that a hasty and ignorant reader sees a doctrine in his Bible which is not there, --content, perhaps, with the first sense which offers, purely because he has not judgment enough to entertain a doubt; and indeed the main use I would make of natural reason in collecting the sense of Revelation, is that which a thinking man can scarce fail to make of it, that we may often be brought under a necessity of suspending our determination, and enquiring more carefully before we fix our opinion. I cannot better illustrate the point for which I am contending, than by calling to your remembrance the absurdities into which men have fallen in interpreting St. Paul's Epistles: men, perhaps, destitute of no accomplishment which might qualify them for the office of interpreters, except that one which is of more importance than all the rest, good sense; but when once this task was undertaken by a philosopher, by a man of large views and improved understanding (though much inferior in erudition to those who had gone before him) with what admirable...
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