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they are determined to support; and mon
mon error as their foundation. that by processes which Bishop Tbat error is, the setting up of Stillingfleet has bappily exposed, human in opposition to by showing that, if skilfully applied Scripture ; a want of submission to to the first chapter of Genesis, the authority of the word of God: they might prove, that it contains a refusal to take Scripture as not a word about the creation of they find it, to' let it speak for itthe world. And what else is one self, and to bow implicitly to its principal employment of the writers decisions. in the Bible Magazine, if the Num- Such a charge will be readily ber for October, 1817, may be admitted against
of the taken for a specimen ? What systems in question : but its greater distortion of Scripture supposed extravagance will, I
the sturdiest maintainer of doubt not, provoke a smile in the mere humanity of our blessed the abettors of the other, when Lord ever need to employ, than it is preferred against them. Yet that which finds in the words, I verily believe it to be strictly " be that believeth not is con applicable to them, however little demned already, because he hath they may intend, or may suspect not believed in the name of the only themselves, to be guilty of the probegotten Son of God,” no proof, ceeding which it imputes to them. that the want of faith in Christ is Why does the Socinian deny that "a cause of condemnation ?” Nay, Christ is God as well as man? Is which asserts, in defiance of this it because the Scripture forbids us and all other passages upon the to think so, or, at least, is silent subject, that such a want “ CAN- upon the subject? It is scarcely pot be the cause of condemna- possible to set up such a pretence. tion ?" The reasonings which prove No: but it would be “a strange that there is no exhortation to and unintelligible doctrine:"the inrepentance, faith, and prayer, spired writers, therefore, "COULD addressed to unconverted sinners, not mean to assert it," bowever in the texts, “Repent, and be plainly they may have done so. converted, that your sins may be And why does the hyper-Calvioist blotted out;" Repent of this deny that the want of special thy wickedness, and pray God, if faith in Christ is a cause of conperhaps the thought of thy heart demvation ? Is it because Scripture may be forgiven thee;" what will gives no countenance to such a they not prove, that a capricious sentiment ? On the contrary, systernalist may desire to find true? Scripture appears to lay it down
Your readers will easily apply repeatedly, and as plainly as words similar remarks to the pernicious can expressit. But it • CANNOT" and antiscriptural positions con
Wherefore ? Because such cerning works considered as the a faith is a purely of beavenly evidences of faith and acceptance origin," and it would be “ strange with God, and other subjects, and unreasonable," to make the which have just passed in review. want of that which must be " the But having seen by wbat similar gift of God," a cause of condemmeans Socinianism and the errone- nation ! ous system of the Bible Magazine, Why, again, is the doctrine of apparently so opposite to it, are Atonement to be rejected ? Prinsupported, it may be worth while cipally, likewise, because it is a to trace the cause of this pbenome, strange and unreasonable" docnon; which, I contend, is no other trine, irreconcileable (so the Sothan this, that the two systeios, cinian thinks) with the notions however repugnant in the detail of of the Divine attributes, which their dogmas, rest upon one com- we derive either from reason or
Scripture. And why must not ex. it must be in the terms “glory, hortations to repentance, faith, bonour, and peace to the preserved and boliness be addressed to un- and called,” (p. 565 ;) not in such converted sinners! Certainly not legal language as that of the Aposbecause holy Scripture forbids tle himself, “Glory, honour, and such exhortations, or gives us no peace to every man that worketh example which countenances them. good," " &c.--All this appears to me No: it is still not a matter of sub- very deplorable : and I beartily mission to scriptural authority, but pray God to preserve all men, and of reasoning. Scripture teaches especially all good and pious men, us, that fallen man is incapable of from such narrowing, curtailing, obeying such exhortations, without or perverting of his word ! the aids of Divine grace : it would I will only add, that it is pleasant
strange and unreasonable," to see error inconsistent with itself, therefore, to call upon those who and those who have embraced it are yet strangers to that grace to deviating from their own principles yield such obedience !
towards truth and right, whether it This appears to be, throughout, is allowable to say, victi nature the way in wbich the conclusions bonitate, or not: consequently, after in question are arrived at.-Thus, reading the above condemnation of in both one case, and the otber, exhortations to unconverted singers, certain principles are assumed, I perused with pleasure the follow(grant them to be ever so scriptu-. ing passage (p. 573 :) --- All we can ral, this will not affect the argu. say in these cases,” (cases of perment,) and systems, are drawn from sons living in known sin, and thus them, by way of consequence, which affording very great reason to fear contradict the current language that they are NOT converted,)“ is, and practice of those who " spoke Escape for your life; tarry not in as they were moved by the Holy all the plain ; flee to Jesus for par. Ghost. But the inference, the don and grace, that the door of hope consequence must be adhered to, be not shut against you.” for it is rational, it necessarily fol
J. S. H. lows-that is, it appears to poor, bliad, weak, erring man to do so, though God has not sanctioned it, To the Editor of the Christian Observer. but quite the contrary. Is not all In looking through the stereothis
• leaning to our own undere type edition of the Cambridge standing ?” is it not refusing to
not refusing to Small Pica Bible, I was much surspeak as the oracles of God.?" prised to observe the seventh and Is it not failing “to receive the eighth verses of the fifth chapter kingdom of beaven as little chile of the First Epistle General of John dren ?”
printed as follows: This studious attempt to be
667 For there are three that more consistent than the Scriptures bare [instead of bear] record in APPEAR lo be, seems to me to per+ heaven,” &c. vade every page of the publication « 8 And there are three that on which I am remarking. Scarcely bare [instead of bear] witness in a sentence can be trusted out of earth," &c. the writer's hands without some
The alteration is evidently a distinct allusion to the doctrine of purely typographic error: my only Election. To say no more, how object, therefore, in mentioning the different a proportion does the subject, is to excite the attention subject bear in the Bible Maga- of some person, who may be ena. zine” lo what it does in the Bi- bled to prevent any more copies ble itself! If such a passage as being struck off before it is cor. Rom. ii. 10, is to be alluded to, rected...
T. B. H.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. Lord Lyitleton's Essay on the Con.
dial dispensation for the guilty. You will permit me, I trust, to version of St. Paul, deservedly offer a few explanatory remarks to ranks high among performances a correspondent in your Number of its own order; 'but neither for September, who expresses him- touches, nor professes to touch, self dissatisfied with my estimate the Apostle's doctrine. Of Paley of certain writers, characterized, in I would always speak with proa former communication, as the found admiration, as of a man who secondaries of the moral school. thought, and expressed his thoughts, The most direct way of explaining with transparent clearness; and had myself will be by opposing names the art, as Lord Verulam says, of to names; and, accordingly, I shall “making men wax wiser than themplace on one side, Blair, Jenyns, selves," by communicating to his Lyttleton, Johnson, and Paley; on readers a certain consciousness of the other, Leighton and Milner- possessing for the time at least, a two, among many, of the primaries community of mind with their of the seventeenth and eighteenth teacher. As such, he appears to centuries. The six, moralists de- be unrivalled ; and he employed his Serve the gratitude of mapkind for sagacious and discriminating inteltheir illustrations of the evidences lect to the highest of all purposes, and civilizing tendencies of Chris- short of that of fully explaining by tianity, their exposure of libertin. what method men may be justified ism and fashionable folly, and for before God. Here he is defective to their not unsuccessful endeavours a degree for which none of the alto elevate, in many instances, hu• lowed excellencies of his writings man opinion, by appeals to the afford any compensation. His postpreceptive parts of the New Testa- humous sermons, which were inment. So far they have done tended by himself to be limited in greatly; and may be read with the their circulation by the bounds of highest advantage, even by those a single parish, are certainly of a who, on subjects purely spiritual, more exalted character than the have attached themselves to a su. previous publications of this writer; perior class of instructors. But but serious as they are, (and oc. let not the primaries and secon- casionally they are very serious daries be confounded. The po. in the near contemplations of eterpolarity of Blair, in that extensive nity, and in reference to the actual portion of the reading, and of the period and nature of the convergay world too, which would shrinksion of the soul, and accordingly, from the closet companionship of in their degree, well calculated to Leighton, gives us, as I think, with awaken the dreamers of the world tolerable accuracy, the weight and to the realities which concern their measure of his divinity. Had that salvation,) yet he who would eardivinity been of firmer texture, the nestly strive to discover and tread amateurs in pulpit eloquence would the narrow way leading to eternal surely long since bave inserted the life, 'must certainly resort to a author's name in the index ex- wiser téacher than the individual purgatorius of their own exclusive in question.* To deliver only les. communion. Soame Jenyns's short sons not inconsistent with certain treatise, on the internal evidences selected practical tenets of the Gosof the Gospel, professes to show pel, is to occupy but a minor office why Christianity ought to receive in the Christian church. Much the homage and obedience of man. kind; yet leaves out all
, or nearly in part, appeal to the Review of Paley's
* In vindication of the above, I might, all, by which that religion is disa
Sermons in your vol, for 1809, p. 235, tingutsbed from others, as a reme CHRIST. OBSERY. No. 192.
that is coincident with revealed mentary on the First Epistle of St. truth may be found in the Medi. Peter; and if he then continue to tations of Marcus Antoninus ; yet be dissatisfied with my estimate, I this imperial thinker was one of the must leave the matter to the decinotorious persecutors of the second sion of a third party. century; and I mention bis name in this place only to illustrate the danger of judging of the spiritual pretensions of our teachers, by the presence of much that is good, or To the Editor of the Christian Observer. the absence of what is bad. The “ Seduxerunt populum meum in mensecondaries of the Christian world daciis suis et in miraculis suis." may paint with great felicity of It is a favourite opinion, very pretouch and strength of colouring the valent at the present moment, that moral
graces of virtuous character; during the lapse of years which bave they may enlighten the understand. passed since the Reformation, Poing, and excite a glow of correct pery has lost most of its distinctive feeling, on subjects even of more properties, so as almost to have bethan human importance : but let come bland and innoxious. How far any anxious inquirer consult these this sentiment is well founded may oracles concerning what are em. be inferred from a pamphlet entitled phatically termed the “ fruits of " Authentic Documents relative to the Spirit;" let him ask of them- the miraculous Cure of Winifred not what he must do to gain an White, at St. Winifred's Well, by honourable name among men, but the R. R. J. M., D. D. V. A."
-what he must do to be saved, who from a plain signature with and he will too certainly re- the sign of the Cross, we afterturn either unanswered, or, wards find is no other than John swered, unsatisfied. On the other Milner, D. D. Vicar Apostolical. hand, should be turn from such This pamphlet was published in the teachers to Leighton and Milner, year 1806, and had then passed would he then be sent empty away? to a third edition ; and such is the Would not men of their character imposing, and, it may be conceded, describe to him in detail what are ingenious manner in which it is the fruits of the Spirit ? Would they drawn up, that ere this time it may not lead him from these practical possibly, for any tbing I know to results of the Gospel to the Gospel's the contrary, bave gone through Author and Eud, to “ Jesus the twice as many more. I request, Mediator of the New Covenant ?" therefore, through the medium of Would such faithful witnesses of your publication, to offer a few rethe
power and grace of Christ, in marks upon these "authentic do. his influences on bis followers, suf- cuments;"--documents respecting fer the inquirer to depart unac- a miracle said to be wrought no quainted with the peculiar and in- longer ago iban June 28, 1806-a finitely important topics which dis- miracle sanctioned, as well as pubtinguish Christianity from the mo. lished, by à Roman Catholic biral systems of philosophers ? To shop and vicar apostolical. It permyself it appears to be entirely haps may surprise your readers to needless to pursue the question. hear of a miracle being sanctioned, Should the correspondent to whom by a bishop: ignorant Protestants, these remarks are addressed yet re- especially amongst the laity, might tain bis doubts, I recommend him to naturally imagine, that a miracle, compare Blair's Sermons with those being an extraordinary and Divine of Milner. If he still hesitate, let interposition, a suspension or alhim then read Paley's Evidences teration of the natural course of and Sermons, with Leighton's Com- things, must necessarily be mani.
fest to all; and that men need not world, that miracle points out the wait for the decision of a bishop Church of Rome as the true church; 10 know whether it were entitled and consequently the Church of to credit or not. But the Council England, as well as all other Proof Trent, having taken the wonders testant communions, as schisınatical of the invisible world, as well as the and heretical.-Q. E. D. faith, morals, and ceremonies of the But, sir, we Protestants must be visible church, under its especial forgiven by the vicar apostolical if cognizance and protection, bas de- we pause a little, and do not so creed that no new miracle is to be very readily accept as undeniable admitted without the knowledge the inference with which he has and approbation of the bishop. favoured us in the advertisement. “ Statuit sancta Synodus nulla ad- We must first examine this wonmittenda esse nova miracula nisi der; and then, joining issue with recognoscente et approbante epis- the bishop, in his appeal to the copo;"~a decree of admirable uti- verse just quoted, must take leave lity, when a bishop who sides with to consider whether it is quite as the Dominicans has to judge of certain that the truth of a miracle the truth of a Franciscan miracle ; has been established against Proor when a bishop, who takes part testants, as that the pretence of a with the Jesuits, bas to determine miracle has been sanctioned and on the authority of signs and approved by Papists. wonders exhibited by the Jansen- The facts are briefly these : A ists.
young woman, named Winifred The “ authentic documents,” re- White, who is represented as senspecting this miracle, are prefaced sible, modest, inoral, and pious, by a short but highly significant was afflicted with a disorder for advertisement; in which the author above three years, by which she states, that he has the satisfaction was incapacitated from doing her of declaring, that he has not met work as servant in the family of with or heard of a reader who has a Mrs. Withenberry, of Wolvercontroverted either the facts or the hampton. Her state, during this reasonings contained in the work; period was variable--sometimes and that the publication has met she was unable to move herself at with the approbation of his right all, at others she could walk with reverend brethren. Should any the help of a stick, and at others other person object to this pub- she could even walk without it. lication, he replies, that the facts Concerning the nature of her disare highly curious to the natu- order, her medical attendants exralist, instructive the theolo. press themselves with considerable gian, and important to the Chris- doubt, and are able to affix no dis. tian ; and adds, that they decide tinct naine to it.
Mr. Stubbs, a that weighty question which was surgeon at Wolverhampton, says, so long and so warmly contested that fatal symptoms of an internal amongst the learned half a century complaint, brought on an enlargeago; clearly pointing out that ment of the vertebræ, accompanied body of Christians, amongst the by paralysis of the left side ; and rival communions, which the Divine that he thought her dissolution to Founder of Christianity himself be near. Dr. Underhill, physician sanctions, “If I do not the works of Manchester, differing in some of my Father, believe me not," degree from Mr. Stubbs, states, (John x. 37.) So that, as Dr. Milner, that be considered ber complaint a. Roman Catholic bishop, acting as belonging to the nervous class; according to the decree of the and that the paralytic affection Council of Trent, has sanctioned a arose from a diseased spine. He miracle, and published it to the thought, also, her pulse seldom in