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so must be the kind of poetry to indefensible on any manly or Chriswbich I allude, when thus accom tian grounds; and that, if persisted panied with music, and every in for many years longer, it will other circumstance that can give tend, more than any thing else, to it access to the youthful heart ! break down that barrier wbich The more I reflect upon the sub- ought to separate the recreations ject, the more deeply I become con of a religious family from those of vinced that the whole system of the unthinking world. reading, now under discussion, is (To be concluded in our next.)
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
Sermons on various Subjects and and of taste, that few persons, we
Occasions. By GEORGE STAN presume, who are competent to LEY FABER, B. D. Rector of
follow the reasoning, will take up Long-Newton. Vol. I. London: the work without giving it an entire Rivingtons. pp. xvi. and 484. perusa). These sermons are not, 1816.
in the usual sense of the words, The name of Mr. Faber is well
either practical or popular: we known to the public, as that of are inclined to place them in the a distinguished scholar and an same class with Bishop Horsley's. eminent divine. Whether his re. They are addressed to men of searches have always been of a thought and reflection : and kind best calculated to enlighten have seldom met with discourses the world, and to do justice to better suited to convince the reahimself, may perhaps admit of a soning gainsayer, and to confirm question : and for ourselves we the intelligent believer in his most confess, that we are never so happy holy faith. In the following pages to meet him as in the walks of we shall confine ourselves chiefly Christian theology. The ability to the humble but useful task of and learning which he has display- affording a brief view of Mr. Faed in elucidating many dark and ber's manner and line of argument intricate subjects, cannot, at any in the prosecution of his several rate, be misemployed in the illus- subjects. tration and enforcement of those The first sermon is on the unigreat truths which are more im. versal Profitableness of Scripture : mediately connected with bis pro- and its object is to show in what fession : and although we had not way the Scripture is profitable for been favoured with his Treatise on doctrine, for reproof, for correcthe Holy Spirit, we should still tion, for instruction in righteoushave anticipated much both of in
This discourse is, perbaps, struction and improvement from better adapted than any other in such a dedication of his time and the volume to an ordinary congrelabours. The volume of sermons, gation : it was delivered as a collaof which we propose now to give tion sermon at Stockton upon Tees: some account, is evidently the pro. and the preacher very properly duction of no common mind. It takes occasion in it to state both the comprises many subjects of high doctrines and the practice which he importance; and they are handled, should feel himself bound in conin general, with such a Christian science to inculcate. In dis. spirit, with such force of argument, cussing the subject of doctrine, Mr. and such correctness of language Faber shows briefly from the Arti
cles, which he had that day read solely by grace through faith, and
it; and refers his bearers to the After explaining, in the next place, opening of our Lord's Sermon on how the Scripture is profitable for the Mount, and to St. Paul's acreproof by its warnings and denun- count, in the fifth chapter to the Ga. ciations, and showing how incum- latians, of the works of the flesh, and bent it is upon the minister of the fruits of the Spirit ;—the first Christ not to handle the word of delineating the character of the God deceitfully, or to cry Peace, true Israelite; the second proving when there is no peace, he pro- further wbat manner of persons we ceeds to illustrate the term correc. ought to be in all
holy conversation tion. By this word, in conformity and godliness. The sermon with the Greek, he understands the cludes with a brief but impressive setting us right in our opinions, address to the congregation to pray whether those opinions respect prin- for themselves, and for those also ciples or practice.
who watch for their souls; that
hereafter they may be their pastor's « Without the Bible, all our sentiments of God and religion are radically joy and crown of rejoicing in the false : it is the office of Scripture to cor presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, réct those sentiments. And, even with
at his coming. the Bible in our hands, it is astonishing The title of the second sermon what erroneous opinions are frequently is, “ God's Justice exemplified in entertained with regard both to doctrine and practice: it is the office of Scripture Rom. iii. 23—26.
the Atonement of Christ;" the text to correct all such mistakes." p. 13.
The perfect justice of God is He takes, as instances, the fol. bere stated to be the very basis of lowing particulars. Some have main. Christianity: and upon the exis. tained that because we are dead tence of this attribute is built the in trespasses and sins, and have whole of St. Paul's argument in his no power to help ourselves, it is Epistle to the Romans. Mr. Faber vain for us to attempt to repent reasons upon the subject in the fol. and turn to God. Others have lowing manner: gone into the opposite error, and Any exertion of justice presup. bave argued, that because Scripture poses the existence of some known commands us to perform such and law or standard of right or wrong, such duties, we are of course able to which actions may be referred. to perform them in our If the actions come not within the strength. Others have become cognizance of the larv, the man is Antinomians, and have madly de- innocent; if they be of a contrary cried all good works as mere ser description, he is guilty, and punishvile legality, because the Bible ment must follow. He may not teaches us, that we are justified bave broken every enactment : but
bis partial innocence will not excuse moral law on the part of the Jews : his partial transgression. If he be even if no instance of external posuffered to escape after breaking sitive transgression could be adthe law in one point, that permis- duced, yet when we reflect upon sion is an act of injustice. In the the purity of the Divine law, and exercise of buman laws, it is neces consider that it reaches the very sary to vest somewbere the power thoughts and intents of the heart, of granting an absolute pardon. that it takes cognizance of every But, however necessary, the use of rebellious speculation and every this power is a departure from unhallowed wish, the conclusion strict justice. In human institu- must be, that both Jews and Gentions, perfect justice and perfect tiles are all under sin. mercy cannot subsist together. Hence the third position is eviMercy, as exercised by men, is only dent, that by the law none can be an inferior sort of injustice. In justified: if it were otherwise, God some such way as this, St. Paul would cease to be perfectly just. appears to have reasoned. He The strange notion that in the day assumes as the ground-work of his of judgment a sort of balance argument, that God must, from the will be struck between a man's very perfection of bis nature, be good deeds and his bad ones, is as absolutely and immutably just. He contrary to the usage of human trinext shows, that all men have vio bunals as to the holy Scriptures. lated a known law; and thence con The justice of God is as much cludes that by the law none can be concerned to inflict punishment on justified.
all mankind, as the justice of our The first of these positions needs courts of law is concerned to inno discussion,
flict punishment on a convicted ofTo prove the second, the general fender. “Cursed is every one that violation of the law, the Apostle re continueth not in all things, which fers both to the Gentile and the Jew. are written in the book of the law The Gentiles probably retaining to do them.” some recollection of primitive patri How then are we to be delivered archal revelation, were liable, even froin this curse? The plan of the in a state of nature, as contra-distin- Deist, who rejects Divine Revelaguished from a state of subjection tion, and of the Socinian, who reto a written law, to account for ceives it so far only as it suits his intheir transgression of that will of clination, is partly to extenuate the God with which they were ac- guilt of man, and partly to call in quainted. He shows, ibat although the unqualified mercy of God. But their knowledge of God's will was this plan does not solve the difficulvery imperfect, if compared with ty. The question is not, to what exthat of the Jews, still they never tent we have offended, but whether acted conformably to that degree we have been disobedient at all. of light which they really pos
The sentence of God is against every sessed. They were guilty of ac man who has violated the law in tions which they knew at the time any one particular; and with reto be offensive to their Creator. spect to the alleged unqualified “Knowing the judgment of God, mercy of God, it is in this view that they which commit such things utterly indefensible ; since it takes are worthy of death, they not only away the attribute of perfect jusdo the same, but have pleasure in tice. The Deity of the Socinian is them that do them.” They were necessarily an unjust, and therefore therefore guilty on their own prin- an imperfect being. 'ciples.
7. Very different is the doctrine of Few arguments are necessary to Scripture. prove the violation of the written
“The remarkable passage before us CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 186.
contains the sum and substance of the voluntary on the part of the sub-
can meet in any created being.
This subject is discussed by Mr. scribe how we are redeemed by Christ: Faber with his usual acuteness; and God hath set him forth to be a propitia- bis reasoning leads to the conclution through faith in his blood.' And he sion that the person whose atone, lastly intimates, that this was done in
ment is of such efficacy as to esliorder that the justice of God might be
bit God perfectly just, even in the preserved absolutely perfect and entire, even at the very time when he was ex
very act of justifying sinners, must tending pardon to those whose condem- himself be God; since it does not nation that justice loudly demanded : appear that any inferior being can to declare his righteousness (or, for
possess the public demonstration of his justice) will, the right, and the power.
the qualifications of the in the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; I say, for the public demonstration of his jus Accordingly, both the inherent tice at this time: that so he might be right and the full power, which last just, and yet the justifier of him which completes the character of a sufficient believeth in Jesus.
substitute, are expressly claimed for our “ It must, I think, strike every one,
Lord. • Therefore doth my Father love however singular it may appear at the
me,' saith he, because I lay down my first view, that God's remission of sins life that I might take it again. No man is not here described as an act of mercy,
taketh it from me, but I lay it down of but as an act of strict and unbending myself. I have power to lay it down, justice. His remission of them, contra and I have power to take it again.' So dictory as such a thing might seem, is
likewise · He is able,' saith his Apostle, yet a public demonstration of his justice. "to save them to the uttermost that come The Apostle, in order, as it were, that unto God by him, seeing he ever livetb his meaning might be incapable of mis to make intercession for them. For apprehension, emphatically repeats his such an High-priest became us, who is words: and, instead of disguising the holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from point, or refusing to meet the difficulty, sinners, and made higher than the beahe sums up the whole in what may well vens; who needeth not daily, as those be termed the great legal paradox of high-priests, to offer up sacrifice, first Christianity,' by declaring, that God for his own sins, and then for the peoaccepted ihe atonement made by the ple's : for this he did once, when he ofblood of Christ, in order that he might fered up himself.' at once be just himself and yet the justi “ In this manner, and in this oply, fier of him which believeth in Jesus : nay, can the problem be solved, that sinful that by virtue of this powerful atone man should escape the penalty due to ment, the remission of sins should abse. his sins, and that God should still retain lutely be a demonstration of his justice ; inviolate his attribute of perfect justice. not of his mercy, (as the Socinian would
" In Christ Jesus alone, very God and teach us,) but of his justice.” pp. 41 very man, are the apparently jarring -43.
attributes of justice and mercy recon-
confidence look up to God as being at An objection is frequently made, once just, and the justifier of him which that the substitution of the inno
believeth in Jesus.” cent for the guilty is itself an act of injustice. To this it is satisfac The text of the third sermon is torily replied, that such a substity. Rom. viii. 33, 34. “Who shall ļay tion would doubtless be unjust, if any thing to the charge of God's constrained: but not so, when it is elect! It is God that justifieth ;
pp. 49, 50.
who is he that condemneth ?” The of the doctrine of justification. subject is the doctrine of justifica. The Apostle was aware of the tion by faith.
question, and therefore immediateThis doctrine, Mr. Faber ob- ly subjoins, “ To declare, I say, serves, may claim to itself a sort of at this time his righteousness, that precedency over all other doctrines. he might be just, and the justifier Luther pronounced it to be the of him that believeth in Jesus." criterion of a standing or falling Now we can be justified before a church, accordingly as it was held, just God only by righteousness of soundly or unsoundly: and respect some sort : by our own righteousing those who departed from the oess, or the righteousness of some scriptural view of this great doc- other person. By our own rightrine, it was declared by St. Paul teousness, as we bave already seen, that Christ should profit them no we cannot be justified: we must thing, and that to them the Gospel therefore be justified by some exwas become of no effect.
ternal righteousness; and that rightThe theological sense of the cousness is the righteousness of words justify and justification, or our Saviour Christ, apprehended the sense in which St. Paul uses by faith, and imputed to us by the them to describe the mode and grace of God; so that at the bar ground of our acceptance with God, of beaven it is reckoned as our may be gathered very definitely own, and pleaded by our great Adfrom the text. The pbraseology vocate, to use Mr. Faber's expresof the passage is forensic. The sion," in arrest of judgment.” Hence elect of God are put upon their Christ is said to be made righteous. trial: charges of various sorts are ness unto us : hence also this rightpleaded against them: yet, however eousness is said to be by the faith of aggravated, and however true the Jesus Christ unto all, and
all charges, who shall presume to con
them that believe. Faith is the indemn, since it is God that justifieth ? strument by which we apprehend Here justification is opposed to con
the righteousness of Christ; and dernation; and therefore its theo we are therefore said to be justified logical sense must be acquittal. But by faith, which is the same thing since the charges are true, the per- as our being justified by grace sons accused cannot be acquitted as through faith. innocent; justification, therefore, is a complex idea : it involves the no
“On these authorities, our church tion of pardon as well as of acquittal. rightly determines, that'' we are ac. In this sense we accordingly find it counted righteous' before God (acused, Rom. iii. 23-25. 66 All counted oply, not actually made righte have sinned, and come short of the ous) only for the merit of our Lord glory of God: being justified freely not for our own works or deservings.
and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and by his grace' through the redemp- Wherefore, that we are justified by faith tion that is in Christ Jesus; whom only is a most wholesome doctrine, and God bath set forth to be a propitia- very full of comfort.? And, on the same tion through faith in his blood, to authorities, she further decides respect, declare his righteousness for the ing works done before justification, that remission of sins that are past, works done before justification be not
they are not pleasing to God. But, if through the forbearance of God."
pleasing unto God; then no works of But how can it be reconciled ours can, in any shape, be the procurwith the Divine attribute of jus- ing cause of justification : for, if we can tice, that the allowedly guilty shall do no good works until we be first justifi
ed, and if even the good works done after not only be pardoned, but acquit
our justification, and in consequence of ted? This apparent contradiction it, cannot put away our sins and endure can be solved only by a right view the severity of God's judgment, then