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thren who visited him, he spoke with rapture of the progress and prospects of the Missionary Society, and showed peculiar pleasure in observing the talents and zeal displayed by young men in this cause. Having, like the pious patriarchs of old, blessed his children, he fell into a kind of stupor, which continued all the following night; and on Tuesday morning, October 25, about nine o'clock, he peacefully departed into the immediate presence of his Redeemer, in the seventy-seventh year of his age.
His funeral took place at Gosport on Thursday, November 3, and was conducted with great solemnity. His death was deeply lamented as a severe stroke not only to his family and congregation, but to the London Missionary Society, and to the church of Christ at large.
Dr Bogue published a variety of occasional sermons, including the Nature and Importance of a Good Education, a Funeral Sermon for Mr J. W. Lobb of Southampton, and a Sermon on the death of three Missionaries in India, preached at Gosport in 1811. His principal works, however, are A History of Dissenters, in four volumes (of which he and Dr Bennett were joint authors), his large and very instructive volume of Discourses on the Millennium, and his excellent Essay on the Divine Authority of the New Testament.
It may be noticed here, in conclusion, that the French Translator of this Essay, in his Preface, pronounces a high eulogy on it, as arranged “with admirable method,” contain
essence of all that former authors have written on this subject,” and as peculiarly characterised by “the spirit of gentleness, affection, and philanthropy, which it breathes throughout.”
The following Treatise was drawn up at the request of the London Missionary Society. That Zealous and active body resolved, at their annual meeting in May 1800, to print a very large edition of the New Testament, for the use of the people of France. On considering the wide spread of infidelity in that country, it was thought it would be for their edification, to accompany it with an Essay on the Divine Authority of the Writings of the Evangelists and Apostles. The office was assigned to me, and it was accepted by me. The difficulty of it was felt, when it was too late to retract; and I blushed to think that I should have dared to take up the pen on a theme, to which many of the first men in the republic of letters for talents, learning, and goodness, had bent the whole strength of their mind. However, I had undertaken the task, and it was necessary to proceed. One thing gave me encouragement, as it pointed out the necessity of the work, namely, that though there were many books of the highest excellence on the evidence of the Christian Religion, not one was suited to our views; and a treatise more appropriate to the particular object was needed to answer the present purpose. Such a treatise it has been my endeavour to furnish.
I have endeavoured to keep always in view the persons for whose benefit it was intended. Deists are the men addressed. Atheists I leave entirely out of the question. To propose the Evidences of Christianity to men who cannot read the existence of God in the works of creation, is perdere et oleum et operam (is to lose both cost and labour). .
It has been my study to select those arguments, of which a person may see the force by reading the New Testament; and to it has been my constant appeal. Such proofs as required a critical skill in languages or history, did not appear suited to the occasion. As the Essay should suit the mass, as well as men of science, what may be called common sense arguments, addressed to the understanding and conscience of men who had the New Testament in their hands, have been briefly employed, as best adapted to general conviction.
If the arrangement be perspicuous and easily remembered, it will answer the author's wish. The divisions may appear formal; but he thought they would render an Essay of this kind more distinct; and, likewise, that a person who would not venture on an undivided book, might be induced to read a short section, and from one be led on to another. As to language,
his endeavour has been to render the ideas as plain and as obvious as he could, to minds unaccustomed to religious inquiries; and to comprise as much useful matter in as few words as could be done without obscurity. Whether he has been able to render it interesting, must be left to the judgment of others.
It has been, as you will observe, my study to address deists, without bitterness and without contempt. I have made use of no harsh terms nor furious invectives, being convinced that “ the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God:" but I have treated them fairly, as I wish them to treat the Gospel and its advocates. A person who is conscious of truth on his side, is under no necessity of having recourse to scurrility and abuse. .... Let us defend the Gospel in its own spirit. “ The servant of the Lord, while he contends earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God, peradventure, will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” Many deists, considered as members of civil society, are respectable men: as immortal creatures, too, let them be treated with respect. Their situation is dangerous beyond expression: let them be treated with the tenderest pity; they need it. Christianity loses nothing by being defended with her own weapons alone.
If it be asked, why an Essay which was intended for France alone, is printed in the English tongue? my answer is, that the measure was approved and recommended by some gentlemen, to whose judgment I pay great deference. They thought it might be useful in this country; and it was giving me an opportunity of submitting it more fully to the friends of the Gospel, from whose remarks I promised myself much assistance; and hoped that I should thus be enabled to render it more fit to answer the proposed end, and less unworthy of being translated into the French tongue.
The Essay was accordingly published in English in 1801; and availing myself of the remarks of friends, as well as correcting the faults I myself observed, I endeavoured thus to prepare it for a translation into the French tongue. That office was undertaken by a Protestant gentleman, a member of the legislative body, who executed it with much accuracy, simplicity, and elegance.
Two large editions, in the same language, have been printed since the Paris edition in 1803. From the French the Essay was translated into Italian by a Neapolitan Bishop; and was published at Paris in the same year.
A translation has been made of the Essay into the German tongue, by Dr Blumhardt, now President of the Missionary College at Basle, and a large edition printed there. I am told there is also another German translation.
The Rev. G. J. F. Cramer von Baumgarten translated it into Dutch, and published it at Groningen in 1816, with a Preface by the celebrated Professor Muntinghe, of the University in that city.
A second and third edition of this work in English has been sold off. A fourth was published a few years ago at Malacca, by the Rev. W. Milne, a Missionary there, and the translator of a part of the Old Testament into the Chinese tongue.
On this fifth edition of the Essay on the Divine Authority of the New Testament, the author fervently implores the Divine blessing: while he acknowledges, with unfeigned gratitude, that he has received the highest rewards for his labours which could be given, and that is the knowledge that in numerous instances, both at home and abroad, in different quarters of the world, the book has been the means, under Divine influence, of convincing deists of the evil and danger of their religious system, and of bringing them to the belief and profession of the Christian Faith.*
• Professor Blumhardt mentions particularly a nobleman of eminence, in the North of Germany, who, by reading the book, was converted from a keen, determined infidel, to a devoted, zealous, and active disciple of Jesus Christ.
GOSPORT, April 18, 1820.