« 上一頁繼續 »
First, because these titles are no part of that obedience which is due to magistrates or superiors ; neither doth the giving them add to or diminish from that subjection we owe to them, which consists in obeying their just and lawful commands, not in titles and designations.
Secondly, we find not that in the Scripture any such titles are used, either under the law or the gospel; but that, in speaking to kings, princes, or nobles, they used only a simple compellation, as, “O King!” and that without any further designation, save, perhaps, the name of the person, as, “0 King Agrippa," &c.
Thirdly, it lays a necessity upon Christians most frequently to lie; because the persons obtaining these titles, either by election or hereditarily, may frequently be found to have nothing really in them deserving them, or answering to them : as some, to whom it is said, “ Your Excellency," having nothing of excellency in them; and who is called, “ Your Grace," appear to be an enemy to grace; and he who is called “ Your Honor," is known to be base and ignoble. I wonder what law of man, or what patent, ought to oblige me to make a lie, in calling good evil, and evil good. I wonder what law of man can secure me, in so doing, from the just judgment of God, that will make me count for every idle word. And to lie is something more. Surely Christians should be ashamed that such laws, manifestly crossing the law of God, should be among them.
Fourthly, as to those titles of “Holiness,” “Eminency," and “Excellency,” used among the Papists to the pope and cardinals, &c.; and “Grace,” “Lordship,” and “ Worship,” used to the clergy among the Protestants, it is a most blasphemous usurpation. For if they use " Holiness” and “Grace” because these things ought to be in a pope or in a bishop, how come they to usurp that peculiarly to themselves ? Ought not holiness and grace to be in every Christian? And so every Christian should say “ Your Holiness,” and “ Your Grace,” one to another. Next, how can they in reason claim any more titles than were practised and received by the apostles and primitive Christians, whose successors they pretend they are; and as whose successors (and no otherwise) themselves, I judge, will confess any honcr they seek is due to them? Now, if they neither sought, received, nor admitted such honor nor titles, how came these by them? If they say they did, let them prove it if they can: we find no such thing in the Scripture. The Christians speak to the apostles without any such denomination, neither saying, “ If it please your Grace,' "your Holiness," nor “your Worship;" they are neither called My Lord Peter, nor My Lord Paul; nor yet Master Peter, nor Master Paul; nor Doctor Peter, nor Doctor Paul; but singly Peles and Paul: and ihat not only in the Scripture. but for some hun
freds of years after: so that this appears to be a manifest fruit of the apostasy. For if these titles arise either from the office or worth of the persons, it will not be denied but the apostles deserved them better than any now that call for them. But the case is plain; the apostles had the holiness, the excellency, the grace; and because they were holy, excellent, and gracious, they neither lged nor admitted such titles; but these having neither holiness, excellency, nor grace, will needs be so called to satisfy their ambitious and ostentatious mind, which is a manifest token of their hypocrisy.
Fifthly, as to that title of “ Majesty” usually ascribed to princes, we do not find it given to any such in the Holy Scripture; but that it is specially and peculiarly ascribed unto God. We find in the Scripture the proud king Nebuchadnezzar assuming this title to himself, who at that time received a sufficient reproof, by a sudden judgment which came upon him. Therefore, in all the compellations used to princes in the Old Testament, it is not to be found, nor yet in the New. Paul was very civil to Agrippa, yet he gives him no such title. Neither was this title used among Christians in the primitive times.
ROBERT BOYLE. 1626–1692.
ROBERT BOTLE, the son of Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, was born at Lismore, in the county of Cork, January 25, 1626. When eight years of age he entered Eton School, and having pursued his studies there with great success for one so young, he was sent with his brother Francis, who had lately mar. ried, to travel upon the continent. At Geneva he and his brother remained for some time, and pursued their studies, Robert resuming his mathematics, in which he had been initiated at Eton.
An anecdote, which explains the cause of his first attention to mathematical subjects, ought not to be passed over in silence, as it not only indicates the early development of his reasoning powers, but exhibits, in a striking manner, a general and important fact in education. When at Eton School, and before he was ten years of age, while recovering from a severe illness, some romances were put into his hands to divert and amuse him. His good habits of study were thereby so weakened, that on his restoration to health he found it difficult to fix his attention to any one subject. To recover bis former habits, he resorted to an expedient certainly remarkable for one so young. He apo plied himself forcibly to "the extraction of the square and cube roots, and especially those more laborious operations of algebra which so entirely exact the whole mind, that the sınallest distraction or heedlessness constrains us to renew our trouble, and re-begin the operation.” This had the desired effect. It gave also a permanent direction to his talents, and was the commencement of that series of philosophical investigations and discoveries which have rendered his name immortal.
1 "The title of Rabbi corresponds with the title 'Doctor of Divinity,' as applied to ministers of the gospel; and so far as I can see, the spirit of the Saviour's command is violated by the reception of such a title, as it would have been by their being called Rabbi. It makes a distinction among ministers, tending to engender pride and a sense of superiority in those who obtain it; and envy and a sense of inforiority in those who do not; and is in its whole spirit and tendency contrary to the simplicity that is in Christ.'"- Albert Barnes. Is not the same argument as strong against the title of «Reverend," a word which is found but once in the Scriptures, and there applied to Crod ? Ps. cxi. 9.
He quitted Geneva in 1641, and spent the next winter in Florence. During his stay in this city, the famous astronomer Galileo died at a village in the vicinity. He thence visited Rome, Leghorn, and Genoa, and in 1644 he returned with his brother to England. He found that his father, who had removed from Ireland to Stalbridge, in Dorsetshire, had recently died, and that he himself had come into the possession of the manor at Sta]bridge, with other property. From this time to the end of his life, he appears to have been engaged in study. He was one of the first members of the “ Invisible College," as he calls it, wbich, after the Restoration, became the Royal Society. In 1654 he took up his residence at Oxford, on account of the favorableness of the place to retirement, study, and philosophical intercourse. During his residence here he made great improvements in the air-pump, though he did not invent it, as some have stated.
But Boyle did not devote all his time to Natural Philosophy: he gave a portion of it to the study of the original languages of the Scriptures, and of the Scriptures themselves. He also took an interest in every plan for the circulation of the Word of Truth, and as a member of the East India Company, in 1670, pressed upon that body the duty of promoting Christianity in the East. He continued up to the close of his life to devote himself to the study of philosophy, and like Newton he will ever be known as a
"Sagacious reader of the works of God,
And in his word sagacious."
The writings of Boyle are very voluminous, the greater part being on sub. jects of mechanical philosophy; though he wrote not a few on moral subjects, Of the latter are “Considerations on the Style of the Holy Scriptures;" “Occasional Reflections on several Subjects ;" “ Considerations about the Reconcilableness of Reason and Religion;" « The Christian Virtuoso," showing that " by being addicted to experimental philosophy, a man is rather assisted than indisposed to be a good Christian," &c. As a man, it is said of him by a biographer, that “his benevolence, both in action and sentiment, distin. guished him from others as much as his acquirements and experiments: and that, in an age when toleration was unknown.” He has been styled the au. thor of the “ New or Experimental Philosophy," but it should always be recollected that Bacon pointed out the way. “The excellent Mr. Boyle,' says Mr. Hughes,2 « was the person who seems to have been designed by nature to succeed 10 the labors and inquiries of that extraordinary genius, Lord Bacon. By innumerable experiments, he in a great measure filled up those plans and outlines of science which his predecessor had sketched out. His life was :pent in the pursuit of nature, through a great variety of forms and changes, and in the most rational as well as devout adoration of its divine Author.' Bishop Burnet sums up a brilliant eulogium of his character in the following strain :- I will not amuse you with a list of his astonishing knowledge, or of his great performances in this way. They are highly valueil all the world over, and his name is everywhere mentioned with particular characters of respect. Few men, if any, have been known to have made so great a compass, and to have been so exact in all parts of it, as Boyle.” THE STUDY OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY FAVORABLE TO RELIGION.
1 Als complete works were published in 1744, by Dr. Birch, in 5 vols, follo 2 Spectator, No. 551.
The first advantage that our experimental philosopher, as such, hath towards being a Christian, is, that his course of studies conduceth much to settle in his mind a firm belief of the existence, and divers of the chief attributes, of God; which belief is, in the order of things, the first principle of that natural religion which itself is pre-required to revealed religion in general, and consequently to that in particular which is embraced by Christians.
That the consideration of the vastness, beauty, and regular motions of the heavenly bodies, the excellent structure of animals and plants, besides a multitude of other phenomena of nature, and the subserviency of most of these to man, may justly induce him, as a rational creature, to conclude that this vast, beautiful, orderly, and (in a word) many ways admirable system of things, that we call the world, was framed by an author supremely powerful, wise, and good, can scarce be denied by an intelligent and unprejudiced considerer. And this is strongly confirmed by experience, which witnesseth, that in almost all ages and countries the generality of philosophers and contemplative men were persuaded of the existence of a Deity, by the consideration of the phenomena of the universe, whose fabric and conduct, they rationally concluded, could not be deservedly ascribed either to blind chance, or to any other cause than a divine Being.
The works of God are so worthy of their author, that, besides the impresses of his wisdom and goodness that are left, as it were, upon their surfaces, there are a great many more curious and ex. cellent tokens and effects of divine artifice in the hidden and in nermost recesses of them; and these are not to be discovered by the perfunctory looks of oscitant and unskilful beholders ; but re. quire, as well as deserve, the most attentive and prying inspection of inquisitive and well-instructed considerers. And sometimes in one creature there may be I know not how many admirable things, that escape a vulgar eye, and yet may be clearly discerned by that of a true naturalist, who brings with him, besides a more than common curiosity and attention, a competent knowledge of ana tomy, optics, cosmography, mechanics, and chemistry. But treat ing elsewhere purposely of this subject, it may here suffice to say, that God has couched so many things in his visible works, that the clearer light a man has, the more he may discover of their unobvious exquisiteness, and the more clearly and distinctly he may discern those qualities that lie more obvious. And the more wonderful things he discovers in the works of nature, the more auxiliary proofs he meets with to establish and enforce the argui
ment, drawn from the universe and its parts, to evince that there is a God; which is a proposition of that vast weight and importance, that it ought to endear every thing to us that is able to confirm it, and afford us new motives to acknowledge and adore the divine Author of things.
To be told that an eye is the organ of sight, and that this is performed by that faculty of the mind which, from its function, is called visive, will give a man but a sorry account of the instruments and manner of vision itself, or of the knowledge of that Opificer who, as the Scripture speaks, “ formed the eye." And he that can take up with this easy theory of vision, will not think it necessary to take the pains to dissect the eyes of animals, nor study the books of mathematicians, to understand vision; and, accordingly, will have but mean thoughts of the contrivance of the organ, and the skill of the artificer, in comparison of the ideas that will be suggested of both of them to him that, being profoundly skilled in anatomy and optics, by their help takes asunder the several coats, humors, and muscles, of which that exquisite diop trical instrument consists; and having separately considered the figure, size, consistence, texture, diaphaneity or opacity, situation, and connection of each of them, and their coaptation in the whole eye, shall discover, by the help of the laws of optics, how admirably this little organ is fitted to receive the incident beams of light, and dispose them in the best manner possible for completing the lively representation of the almost infinitely various objects of sight.
It is not by a slight survey, but by a diligent and skilful scrutiny of the works of God, that a man must be, by a rational and affective conviction, engaged to acknowledge with the prophet, that the Author of nature is a wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.”
DISCRIMINATION NECESSARY IN READING THE SCRIPTURES. We should carefully distinguish betwixt what the Scripture itself says, and what is only said in the Scripture. For we must not look upon the Bible as an oration of God to men, or as a body of laws, like our English statute-book, wherein it is the legislator that all the way speaks to the people ; but as a collection of composures of very differing sorts, and written at very distant times, and of such composures, that though the holy men of God (as St Peter calls them) were acted by the Holy Spirit, who both excited and assisted them in penning the Scripture, yet there are many others, besides the Author and the penmen, introduced speaking there. For besides the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, the four Evangelists, the Acts of the Apostles, and