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Enclosure: Francis Adrian Van der Kemp’s Synopsis of a Proposed Book, [ca. 1 November 1816]


Francis Adrian Van der Kemp’s Synopsis of a Proposed Book

[ca. 1 Nov. 1816]


respecting the person and doctrine of J.C.





Part. i

Præliminarÿ discussions
Developement of the general principles of nat: Religion.
Inquirÿ in the authenticity of the S.S.—of the Jewish writings2the lxx.—Examination of Astruc’s hypothesis—arguments—objections—of Goethen’s.
Delineation of the Jewish nation—character—remarquable periods—under the Patriarchsthe Legislation of Mozes—under the judges—kings—before, in, and after the Babylonian captivity—after the destruction of Jeruzalem,—degradation—dispersion and preservation as a distinct People.
Religion of the Jews
Examination of their principles and correctness.
General view of the heathen world before the christian æra
Ancient Philosophers—Oriental—Greece—Rome—Indian—Chinese.
Merits and defects.
comparison with the Jews
Part. ii
Life—character—doctrine of Jezus.
Præliminarÿ observations
Inquiry in the authenticity of the S.s. Argumentsobjections.
Particular discussionsInspiration &c Rules of criticism &c
concise view of the various Systems of Divinity among christians.
Inquirÿ in the authenticity of the first Chapt. of matthew and Luke.
Apparition of angelshymns of Simeon—Anna
Miraculous conception and birth.
Inquiry in its necessity—usefulness—3
Chronological observations with regard to the time of the birth of Jezus.
Discussion of the arguments—pleaded. for Jezus being more than a man—of being a Spiritual head of the pious—being a proof of his high dignity.
Examination of various passages of S.s. 2 King. iv. 16. Ies. ix. 5/6 &c of God preparing him a bodÿ—not according the ordinarÿ Laws of nature Hebr. x. 5. made of a woman Gal. iv. 4. not of a Virgin Matth. xi. 9. &c.
General observation.
All, what is necessary to believe and to do—to Secure our happiness—must have been So clearly revealed, as to be understood without anÿ difficulty by any one of a Sound judgment and a Sincere heart.
i. what Messiah was expected by the Jews?
a. consideration of the Jewish Prophecies.
b. application of these.
ii What ideas entertained the Jews of Jezus?
a. His enemies—and impartial observers
b. his friends and disciples.“?
iii With what ideas did Jezus imbue his Disciples about himself?
iv. causes of the different conceptions among his followers.
oriental PhilosophÿGnosticismPlatonism.
The fundamental part of the Christian Revelation is, the Divine mission of Jezus—not his person—character—
Part. iii
Life of Jezus of nazareth
Great outlines
His person, character, views, doctrineSuccess
i. was he really a man?
Conclusion from Adam’s creation considered Luke i. 1/2.
Where is thy Father Jo. viii. 19 comp. with 27. He followed his Father’s trade Marc. vi. 3. his progress in mental endowments, though without a liberal education,4 gradual Luc. ii. 42/52 ii Sam. 2 vs. 21–26, 1 Cor. xv. 22 comp: with Gen: ii. 7.
Did Jezus exist before his birth? Examination of Jo. i. 18 εiς τον κολπον In conviviis dilectissimi Solebant in Sinu ejus accumbere, qui convivii Princeps esset5 (Grotius, Elsner) εν κολπῳ τiνος εiνɑi. by which Summa familiaritas et censi horum cum aliquo communicatio is intended. It is used of married Deut xiii. 6. xxviii. 54–6.
ii Had Jezus a human body and Soul? was he man—an Angelic being or Man-God?
Concessions—by Orthodox—Skeptics.    

§18. That Jezus had a real human nature—with all its frailties—Sin excepted—having been6 conceived in the body of the beatified Virgin Mary, by the power of the holy ghost—without the concurrence of man, and has not only adopted human nature in regard to the body—but a real human Soul too, to become a real man, because this was necessary, as bodÿ and Soul were lost.

§19. Jezus human nature did loose nothing of her properties by her inseparable union and junction with the Godhead, but he remained a creature—had a beginning of existence—being of a finite nature, preserving everÿ thing, which belongs to a real body, and, though by its resurrection it became immortal, the reality of his human nature was not altered—because—our Salvation and resurrection were depending from the reality of the body.

But these two natures have been So conjointed in one person, that even by the death of Jezus they have not been Separated: So was, what he, dying, recommended in the hands of his Father—a real human Spirit, who departed from his body: but, in the mean time, the Godhead remained allways conjoined with the human part—even then—as it laid in the tomb, and the Godhead did not cease to be in him, even as, She was, when he was a Babe, although She for Some time did not reveal herself.

Confess: of the Ref: Church Synod. Dord. 1618/9

That he in body and Soul, during his whole life, but particularly at the end of his life bore the wrath of God against the Sin of the whole human race.

Heidelb. catech. answ. to Q 37.

Comp: with the 2. art, of the church of England 1562

For if the divine essence, or godhead, did not enter into the womb of the Virgin, when was it, that that fulness of the Godhead, which dwelled in him bodily col. ii. 9. did enter into him.

Rob. Clayton Bish. of Clogher’s vindic. of the O. & N.T. Lett. v. Pag. 446. Lond. 1759. 

 (b) Skeptics—Eulogiums.
ii Character of Jezus—the most innocent—the most benevolent the most eloquent and Sublime.
His courage—prudence—wisdom—humility—Philanthropy.
Consideration of his forbidding to declare himself the Messiah
Matth xii. 20 Marc. xviii.7 29/30 Luc. ix. 20–25
His devout temper—in prayer—compassion—filial obedience Luc. ii. 42 Love and delight in the Service of God.
iii His views and doctrine.
Personal—in regard to mankind.
Pure Theism—nature and attributes of God.
Perfect morality—the most benevolent and Sublime that ever was taught.
Comparison with that of other Philosophers: ancient
modern:—with Mozes and Mahomet.
Belief in a future State
unquestionable proof of its certainty.
Miracles: definitionRequisitesend—not for ostentation but—to attain a great end—to evince beyond doubt the interposition of All-mighty power.
Their defence—extent.
iv. Success of his enterprize.
Præjudices among the great—the Scientific—the Vulgar—
His doctrine not committed in writing—his disciples illiterate men—
Consideration of the State of Christianity upon the hypothesis—that he was an Enthusiast or Impostor—So too his disciples.

MS (MHi); entirely in Van der Kemp’s hand; undated. Tr (MHi: Adams Papers); entirely in Van der Kemp’s hand; undated; enclosed in and filed with Van der Kemp to John Adams, 4 Nov. 1816.

j.c.: “Jesus Christ.” the lxx: the Septuagint. Jean astruc’s Conjectures sur les Memoires Originaux Dont il paroit que Moyse s’est servi pour composer le Livre de la Genese (Brussels, 1753) suggested that Moses compiled the biblical book of Genesis from earlier documentary sources. For the hymns of simeon—anna (Hannah), see Luke 2.28–32 and 1 Samuel 2.1–10, respectively. ies. ix. 5/6 possibly refers to Isaiah 9.6–7.

εiς τον κολπον … princeps esset: “In the bosom: At banquets the favorites used to recline in the bosom of the one who presided over the banquet” (EG description begins Dickinson W. Adams and Ruth W. Lester, eds., Jefferson’s Extracts from the Gospels, 1983, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 380n). εν κολπῳ τiνος εiνɑi … communicatio: “To be in someone’s bosom: by which the closest possible intimacy and the sharing of the wealth of these with someone” (EG description begins Dickinson W. Adams and Ruth W. Lester, eds., Jefferson’s Extracts from the Gospels, 1983, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series description ends , 380n). Jesus committed his spirit into the hands of his father in Luke 23.46.

The human spirit of Jesus is considered in the eighteenth and nineteenth articles printed in The Confession of Faith, of The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, 1689). that he in body and soul … the sin of the whole human race is the answer to the thirty-seventh question in The Heidelberg Catechism (London, 1720, and other eds.). It is similar in substance to the second of the Thirty-Nine Articles, which codified the theological doctrines of the church of england (Articles whereupon it was agreed … in the Convocation holden at London in the yere of our Lorde God, 1562 [London, 1571], 3–4).

1Abbreviation for “Sacred Scriptures,” here and below.

2Word interlined in place of “Religion.”

3Preceding two words initially reversed in MS. Van der Kemp then changed the sequence by placing a “2” above “usefulness” and a “1” above “necessity.” The words are in the revised order in Tr.

4In Tr Van der Kemp here interlined “astonishing but.”

5Omitted closing quotation mark editorially supplied.

6MS: “bein.” Tr: “been.”

7The biblical book of Mark has only sixteen chapters. Van der Kemp probably intended Mark 8.29–30.

Index Entries

  • Adam (Old Testament figure) search
  • Astruc, Jean; Conjectures sur les Memoires Originaux Dont il paroit que Moyse s’est servi pour composer le Livre de la Genese search
  • A Vindication of the Histories of the Old and New Testament (R. Clayton) search
  • Bible; 1 Corinthians referenced search
  • Bible; 2 Kings referenced search
  • Bible; 2 Samuel referenced search
  • Bible; Colossians referenced search
  • Bible; Deuteronomy referenced search
  • Bible; Galatians referenced search
  • Bible; Genesis referenced search
  • Bible; Hebrews referenced search
  • Bible; Isaiah referenced search
  • Bible; John referenced search
  • Bible; Luke referenced search
  • Bible; Mark referenced search
  • Bible; Matthew referenced search
  • China; ancient philosophers of search
  • Christianity; Thirty-Nine Articles (Church of England) search
  • Clayton, Robert; A Vindication of the Histories of the Old and New Testament search
  • Conjectures sur les Memoires Originaux Dont il paroit que Moyse s’est servi pour composer le Livre de la Genese (J. Astruc) search
  • Elsner, Mr. search
  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von; writings of on religion search
  • Greece, ancient; philosophers of search
  • Grotius, Hugo; mentioned search
  • Hannah (Old Testament figure) search
  • India (Hindustan; Indostan); ancient philosophers of search
  • Jerusalem; destruction of search
  • Jesus; doctrines of search
  • Jesus; F. A. Van der Kemp on study of search
  • Jesus; miracles of search
  • Jesus; resurrection of search
  • Judaism; and Jesus search
  • Judaism; teachings of search
  • Mary (Jesus’s mother; New Testament figure) search
  • Moses (Hebrew prophet) search
  • Muhammad (founder of Islam) search
  • religion; Judaism search
  • religion; works on search
  • Rome, ancient; philosophers of search
  • Simeon (New Testament figure) search
  • The Confession of Faith, of The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands search
  • The Heidelberg Catechism search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; proposed work on Jesus search
  • Van der Kemp, Francis Adrian; Synopsis of a Proposed Book search