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The Self-Plumbed Bishop Unplumed

The Self-Plumbed Bishop Unplumed
Author: Latham T.
Title: The Self-Plumbed Bishop Unplumed
Release Date: 2018-10-07
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The Self-Plumbed Bishop Unplumed, by T. LathamThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and mostother parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms ofthe Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org.  If you are not located in the United States, you'll haveto check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.Title: The Self-Plumbed Bishop UnplumedAuthor: T. LathamRelease Date: October 7, 2018  [eBook #58052]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE SELF-PLUMBED BISHOP UNPLUMED***

Transcribed from the [1828] T. Tippell edition by David Price,email [email protected]

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“Let us candidly admit where we cannotrefute, calmly reply where we cannot admit, and leave anger tothe vanquished, and imputation of bad motives to those who aredeficient in good argument.”  Rev. W. J. Fox.

“Illi sæviant in vos, qui nesciunt quo cum laboreverum inveniatur, et quam difficile caveantur errores.  Illiin vos sæviant, qui nesciunt quam rarum et arduum sit,carnalia phantasmata piæ mentis serenitate superare. Illi in vos sæviant, qui nesciunt quantis gemitibus etsuspiriis fiat, ut quantulacunque parte possit intelligiDeus.  Postremo, illi in vos sæviant, qui nullo talierrore decepti sunt, quali vos deceptos vident.” St. Augustine.






p. 3REPLY,&c.

In the various tracts that I havepresented to the public, as well as at the conclusion of mylectures and appendix, I have earnestly requested any one whodeemed himself competent to the task, to refute and expose myerrors publicly from the press.  W. W. Horne was the firstwho made an attempt to prop up the tottering cause of orthodoxy,and re-build the Idol Temple; and how much this attempt met theapprobation of the orthodox, may be gathered from the fact, thatthey would not permit his performance to see daylight in theseparts!!!  The person more immediately concerned to reply tomy lectures and appendix, has contented himself, and satisfiedhis friends, with warning young people to be upon their guardagainst that bare-faced infidelity that dares to shew its hatefulcrest in open daylight; and by assuring them in one concisesentence, “that if they are saved it will be for ever andever, and if they are lost it will be for ever and ever; and ifthey depend on having been sincere and morally honest, or onrepentance and reformation of conduct, (though both he says arenecessary), their hopes will prove totally fallacious andgroundless, and will deceive their souls in the end, and theymust sink into the frightful regions of despair, and becomecompanions of those who must for ever weep, wail, and gnash theirteeth, without any diminution of their sufferings or deliverancefrom them.”  This is doing business withdispatch.  Yet, I have never imagined, that any one wouldsuppose that a note in a funeral sermon was a proper reply to mybook, and therefore I have been waiting in expectation of hearingfrom some other quarter, so that I am neither surprised nordisappointed at being attacked by some one under the nom deguerre [3] of Hugh Latimer: nor am I at p. 4all surprisedthat the old bishop’s ghost, which has been conjured up onthe occasion, should act so perfectly in esprit de corps,[4a] or so directly contra bonosmores; [4b] for this has ever been the spirit andtemper of the whole body, that what they were deficient in truthand sober argument, they have abundantly made up by scurrilityand vituperation.  But since Hugh Latimer, who stalks forthincognito, [4c] whoever he is in propriapersona, [4d] whether English, Irish, Scotch, orWelch, is to me a matter of small importance.  I havenothing to do with the man, but with his evangelical matter: yet,I may be curious to ask, why such homo multarum literarum,[4e] as he affects to be, should be ashamedof his own name; especially to such a chefd’œuvre [4f] as his performanceappears to be.  Probably, in the course of his extensiveresearch into antiquity, he has discovered a striking similaritybetween the coarse sternness of the old bishop’s spirit andlanguage and his own, and may think himself qualified for such anoffice; and he may perhaps have learned that as King Harryobtained from the Pope the title of Defender of the Faith, forwriting in defence of popery, so Horsley, Magee, and others havebeen rewarded with mitres for writing against Socinians andInfidels; and, like the supplanter of old, he may wish to obtainthe blessing, and rear his mitred front in parliament by wrappinghimself in another person’s coat.  Yet, blind as weare, we can discover, that although the voice is Jacob’svoice, the hands and the heart are those of Esau.  But Ishall leave all gens de l’eglise [4g] to scramble for bishoprics and mitresas they please, and attend to the author who styles himself HughLatimer, and who deigns to bestow his favors upon me.

In the first instance, he condescends to give me what he deemsa severe castigation for my dulness; and, having laid on me fortystripes, save one, he feels some relentings, and kindly proposesto pity my ignorance and become my instructor, (p. 11.)  Iought to thank him for his good will; but, before I become hiselevé, [4h] I ought to besatisfied that he is p.5quite competent to the task of a tutor; and, as I have mydoubts on this head, (after all his pretensions to besavant, [5a]) this point must be settled entrenous [5b] before we proceed any further.  Mytutor, as he pretends to be, on page 11 says, “I have yetgot to learn English.”  Some would have chosen to say,in correct English, that I had yet to learn English; but this wasperhaps a lapsus linguæ. [5c]  But my soidisant [5d] tutor, without shewing me wherein I amdeficient, whether in orthography, etymology, syntax, or prosody,or even without enquiring whether I had learned the Englishalphabet, begins to treat me, as a judicious tutor ought to treata pupil, by an attempt to teach me Greek and Latin, although heknew I had “got to learn English.”  This surelywas doing the thing comme il faut, [5e] and I shall here pay some attention tohis learned lectures.  In the first place, I am smartlyreproved for writing Greek words in English characters—afault which every author besides me has been guilty of, authorsof Dictionaries and Concordances not excepted; but then, while Iought to have known that Greek words cannot be properly expressedin English letters, my tutor says, I should at least have writtenthem in those English letters which would have expressed themproperly: thus my modern task-master requires me to make brickswithout straw.  But I am next reproved for blundering inGreek orthography, because in one word, either I or the printer,have put a u, instead of an o—an unpardonableblunder in me; however it happened, and bonne bouche [5f] for a word catcher.  For, asBentley remarks, “a sophist abhors mediocrity; he mustalways say the greatest thing, and make a tide and a flood,though it be but a basin of water.”  But I have alsoblundered on the unlucky words aion, aionian,oletheron, and kolassis, and have given them anunfortunate signification—a signification most unfortunatefor his system of infinite and endless torment: since, in spiteof all his criticisms, the true sense of the terms completelyoverthrows his blazing creed; at which he rages like a fury, andexhausts all his ample stores of skill in criticism on theoriginal languages; yes, and pities p. 6and deplores my ignorance in thesematters.  It is not, however, worth my while to waste muchtime in debating whether he who (is at least capable ofconsulting a Greek lexicon) is possessed of more profounderudition on such points than I, who have “got to learnEnglish yet;” the point may be satisfactorily settled bydetermining at once, whether of us has given the true and propermeaning of the words in question.  I have said aionand aionian never mean unlimited duration, except whenconnected with the existence of God, or the future happiness ofgood men.  In every other case they have only a limitedsignification.  Many proofs of this I have produced from thescriptures in my lectures: not one of which has been correctednor even noticed by my tutor.  He asserts, that words are tobe always taken in their literal and primary sense, unless therebe something in the nature of the subject which requires them tobe differently understood.  This is first objecting to whatI have said and then saying the very same thing himself, andaccusing me of blundering, when he has made the very sameblunder; but the fact is, I have stated the real truth as to theapplication of the terms, and he, nolens volens, [6] is compelled to admit the same, which hedoes twice over (page 9, 10).  I had said, the true andprimary sense of aion, is age, a limited period.  Forthis I have given the authority of Doctor Doddridge, the Bishopof London, Dr. Hammond, and the Critical Review; (see Lectures,page 18, 19), to which I might add the authority of every personwho pretends to be at all acquainted with Greek: yet my tutor,for the sake of exposing my ignorance, as he pretends, will thusexpose his own, and fly in the face of all this host, even amongthe orthodox, who have had sense and honesty enough to admit thetrue meaning of the terms.  He says (page 11) aion,is more expressive of proper eternity than the Bramfield scholarhas any conception of, being derived from two words which signify“ever being.”  Let us allow him this, and alsowhat he claims before, that words are always to be taken in theirliteral signification.  How will it sound in Matt. xxiv. 3,to read “What shall be the signs of thy coming, and the endof this everbeing.”  Rom. xii. 2, “Be notconformed to this everbeing.”  1 Cor. x. 11, p. 7“Uponwhom the ends of the everbeing are come.”  Eph. ii. 2,“According to the course of this everbeing.” Verse 7, “That in the everbeings to come.”  Heb.ix. 26, “But now in the end of the everbeing hath heappeared.”  Matt xii. 32, “Shall not be forgivenneither in this everbeing, nor in the everbeing which is tocome.”  Tit. i. 2, “Before the everbeingbegun.”  Exod. xv. 18, “From everbeing toeverbeing and farther.”  Dan. xii. 3, “Throughthe everbeing and further.”  Mich. iv. 5,“Through the everbeing and beyond it.”  Thus mylearned tutor by his wonderful skill in criticism, may if heplease, burlesque the scriptures, and make them speak hisridiculous nonsense and Greek-English gibberish from beginning toend. [7a]  Yet after all the rebuffs andblows, the pity and kind instructions which my tutor has bestowedupon me, such is my lamentable dulness, that I cannot yetperceive that aion is expressive of everbeing, eternity,or unlimited duration; and I am still ignorant enough to think,as the Critical Reviewers do, its true meaning is an age orlimited period all through the scriptures, without a singleexception, and until I am better taught menomen hosperosmen. [7b]

My tutor next charges me with reiterating my blunders as tothe meaning of aionian, which he asserts is“everlasting.”  Aion is singular,aionian is its plural, and so must, according to my tutor,mean everlastings, everbeings, eternities.  This may be goodGreek; but I, “who have got to learn English,”venture to pronounce it no English, but sheer nonsense.  Butmy tutor informs me, “that it is an established canon ofcriticism, that an author is the best commentator on his ownwords; and that because in Matt. xxv. 46, the word aionianis connected both with future punishment and future happiness, itmust have the same unlimited signification in both cases, anddenote equal periods of time.”  This is the sameweighty argument

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