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withstanding their piety and the soundness of their doctrinal views. The bishop was interred in the south aisle of the choir of his own cathedral; where a tablet was erected to his memory. Should any of our readers visit that venerable structure, they will not need to be reminded, after this notice, to pause for a few moments over the remains of Bishop Davenant.
Dr. Plume, in his life of Bishop Hacket*, prefixed to his sermons, says; "In the Quinquarticular Controversy, Dr. Hacket was ever very moderate; but, being bred under Bishop Davenant and Dr. Ward, in Cambridge, was addicted to their sentiments. Bishop Usher would say, Davenant understood those controversies better than ever any man did since St. Austin." The views of Davenant, as all his writings prove, were such as bear the name of Sublapsarian Calvinism† ; but he held the doctrine of the universal redemption. Baxter says, speaking of his own acquaintance with "the most reverend, learned, humble, and pious primate of Ireland, Abp. Usher," says, "The bishop had declared his judgment for that doctrine of universal redemption which I asserted, and gloried that he was the man who brought Bishop Davenant and Dr. Preston to it." Mr. Allport doubts Baxter's accuracy in supposing that Davenant changed his opinion, since it is certain that he held the doctrine of universal redemption at Dort; but he held it as inseparable from reprobation or preterition; and he had maintained against Hoard the same doctrine, and the same inseparable reprobation. He might, however, in his latter days, attach a more Baxterian import to the expression "universal redemption." He, however, agreed with his valued friend Usher in his views of these difficult questions; as appears in a remark of the latter in writing to Dr. Ward: "For the Arminian question, I desire never to read more than my Lord of Salisbury's Lectures, touching predestination and Christ's death." And again; "I thank you most heartily for communicating my Lord of Salisbury's lectures. They are excellent; learnedly, soundly, and perspicuously performed; and, I hope, will do much good for the establishing of our young divines in the present truth."
Few men appear to have been more honoured and venerated by all parties than Bishop Davenant. In all the works of friends or opponents, there is not to be found a single sentence approaching even to disrespect, much less any thing that can tend to cast the slightest reflexion upon his deportment in any measure of his public or private life. His profound learning, acuteness of intellect, catholic spirit, active benevolence, and meekness, are con
* Dr. Hacket is recorded as the last man in England who persisted to read the Liturgy in public, after it had been proscribed by the Parliament; and the following anecdote is given by his biographer, illustrative alike of his attachment to the Church, and of his courage." One Sunday, while he was reading the Common Prayer in his church, a soldier of the Earl of Essex came, and clapt a pistol to his breast, and commanded him to read no further. The doctor smiled at his insolency in that sacred place; and, not at all terrified, said, 'he would do what became a divine, and he might do what became a soldier:' so the tumult for that time was quieted, and the doctor was permitted to proceed."
+Yet Mr. Hyde Cassan tells us, in his lives of the Bishops of Salisbury, that "Davenant had adopted the Supralapsarian hypothesis, i. e. of unconditional predestination in the utmost sense. Mr. Cassan's definition of the doctrine, remarks Mr. Allport, is wellsuited to his accuracy of assertion; he has, however, favoured the world with such extraordinary specimens of his theological attainments, that no person, we presume, would look to him for much precision, especially in speaking of a Calvinist or a Dissenter. For his tolerant and catholic views concerning Dissenters, see our volume for 1828, p. 197; for his charity to Calvinists, see his comment on a witty story of Bishop Thomas's respecting a Lutheran divine who refused to bury a Calvinist, on which Mr. Cassan observes; "Although the Calvinism of the dead be not contagious, it may fairly be doubted whether a known heretic is entitled to have the service read over him, and to receive the same honours with one dying in the true faith of the church. In this case, no doubt, the clergyman was acting in conformity to the spirit of the rubric. For a Calvinist must, ipso facto, be excommunicate:' and such, we know, are not entitled to Christian burial." Poor Hall, and Davenant, and Hooker, and Usher, and Leighton!
stantly adverted to; and the phrases, "the good Bishop Davenant," the "excellent Bishop Davenant," the "learned Bishop Davenant," &c. &c. are the usual appendages to his name, even in the writings of those who took up the pen in express hostility to certain of his theological views. With such a man, whether Calvinist or Arminian, it is profitable and delightful to become acquainted; and we are much indebted to Mr. Allport for giving us a better knowledge of his life, and easy access to the most valuable portion of his works.
"IS THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD STRAITENED?"
For the Christian Observer.
In adverting to the large effusion of religious knowledge, which, through the mercy of God, gladdens these our privileged days, and this our highly favoured country, the inquiry occurs, Whence is it, that, with such large advantages the fear of God does not more abound? and whence, also, is it that, even where true piety really exists, it is so little deep, spiritual, and full of love, warmth, and holy unction? Shall we reply that the blessing must be from above, and that God alone can re-model the human heart? This, indeed, is true; but then occurs the question, "Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened?" And if he be not straitened, whence comes it to pass that his gracious influences are not more fully manifested? Is the fault in ourselves, or in our God?
The influences of the Holy Spirit, the third Person in the co-equal and adorable Trinity, are his miraculous and his ordinary manifestations. Is he straitened in either of these?
First, let us inquire, is he straitened in his miraculous influences? Surely We say indeed, with truth that miracles are not now to be expected; they have done their work: the Gospel is established in the earth, and the ordinary means of grace have, by the appointment of God, taken the place of the extraordinary, so that to be looking out for new tongues, or prophecies, or miracles, would be folly, or worse. But God is not, therefore, straitened: he could, if he saw fit, revive his miraculous influences, and in some future age of the church he may possibly do so; and even in this our own age, there have been such remarkable effusions of his grace-as, for instance, in the revivals of religion in some parts of America, the planting of the Gospel in the South-Sea Islands, and the conversions in India (though still in the use of the ordinary appointed means of salvation)—that we are constrained to see how easily he could, if he so willed, bring back even a second day of Pentecost, with all its miraculous outpourings.
But let us turn from those miraculous influences which, for infinitely wise reasons, have been suspended, to those ordinary promised influences under which we ourselves live-that is to say, the Holy Spirit's influence as a Teacher, to enlighten the eyes of our understanding, and to convince us of our sin, and our need of a Saviour; his influence as a Sanctifier, to regenerate our hearts, to work in us faith, love, obedience, and every holy word, work, and thought; his influence as a Comforter, to support and guide us, to sustain us in the troubles of life, to calm our agitated spirit when sinking under the burden of sin or sorrow, to cheer us with the tender compassion of that great High Priest who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities; and to animate us in every trial and disappointment, and in the hour of death itself, with the blessed certainty that to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Is, then, the Holy Spirit straitened in any of these? Is he less an Enlightener, a Sanctifier, and a Guide now than he was in the days of Abraham,
or David, or St. Paul ?-less in the nineteenth century than when prophets and apostles felt and acknowledged his energy, and martyrs smiled on the rack, or kissed the stake, rejoicing in his manifestations? Is he less powerful? Has any thing unnerved his almighty and infinite dominion? Is he less willing? Has any thing chilled the full tide of his divine and illimitable love? Is he less gracious in his promises? Has any thing blotted from the book of life the declaration, that our heavenly Father will give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Has the dying prayer of the Saviour for his church to the end of time,-"I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever,"-failed of its efficacy? And when that Spirit takes of the things which are Christ's to reveal them to believers, does he find a less inexhaustible fulness to resort to? Has the sacrifice of Calvary diminished in its atoning power? Have the agony and bloody sweat, the cross and passion, the death and burial, the resurrection and ascension, of the Lord of life and glory lost any portion of their virtue? Is the love of the Father less ardent than when he gave his beloved Son to die for us? Is the Son less able or willing to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him? Is his Gospel, written in his word, or preached to mankind, less full, less free, than when he was stretched on the cross or ascended into heaven, or when he sent down the Holy Ghost on the early church? Has He who is the same yesterday, today, and for ever, changed? Has heaven changed? Has hell changed? Has eternity changed? Has God changed?
Whence, then, comes it to pass, if God is what he ever was, and salvation what it ever was-if the Spirit of the Lord is not straitened—and the wants of man are still the same-that, after so many centuries of nominal Christianity, more spiritual good has not been effected? In particular, what are the causes which impede in our own age, our own country, our own families and congregations, and above all, in our own hearts, the operations of the Holy Spirit? For, though Divine and All-powerful, he is pleased to represent himself as checked, and grieved, and sometimes quenched; and it becomes us to inquire why it is so why we are not more under his influence-why we do not bring forth in greater perfection the fruits of the Spirit, which are "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance," and "the crucifying the flesh with its affections and lusts." The lamp may glimmer in the socket, but why does it not burn more brightly? Where is our meekness, where our prayerfulness, our communion with God, our likeness to Christ? Why are not our graces more vivid, our consolations enlarged, our faith more ardent, our joys more fervid, our love more intense, our zeal more seraphic, and our conversation more in heaven? It may be replied that God is a Sovereign in the exertion of his influences-that he giveth to every one severally as he will-that no man can come to Christ except the Father draw him-and that we are not warranted in asking wherefore things are otherwise than as he has ordained them. True; to his inscrutable will and wisdom we must bow, acknowledging that we know nothing except what he is pleased to reveal to us, and can do nothing that is good but what he does in us. But, still as he invites and commands us to look into his dealings with us, both in the kingdoms of providence and grace, as well as of nature, we may lawfully and profitably do so; and, knowing that he is ever the same in love and power, it behoves us to ask why his blessed influences are not more seen and felt. He is not straitened; why should his manifestations appear so?
The Spirit of the Lord may, in the first place, be said to be straitened on account of the finite capacity of the recipient. The heaven of heavens cannot contain him; the angels themselves, being but created beings,
cannot adequately tell the height, and length, and breadth, and depth of the Divine perfections; the love of God in Christ infinitely passeth knowledge; and this inexhaustible treasure we have only in earthen vessels, which, when most replenished, hold little. Our faculties are weak, our affections feeble, our powers frail. If, then, God in very deed dwells with man on the earth, he dwells not in a palace, but a prison, which is only light, or joyful, or expansive, as he makes it so. If the Holy Ghost consecrates our hearts for his temple, he chooses a shrine in which he can exhibit, so to speak, but a small portion of his glory; it will be enlarged in heaven, but even there it will be finite. Take the love of St. John, the fervour of David, the heavenly-mindedness of St. Paul; these fruits of the Spirit in those blessed men were eminently great; but they were bounded by the mortal mould, and for them to be enlarged to the elevation of a Gabriel death must intervene.
But the littleness of the human heart is not the only cause why the Divine manifestations appear straitened; its corruption and sinfulness are far more powerful causes. Think how the innate workings of human depravity oppose every working of God's Spirit; think of the stubbornness of the soil which is to be broken up and cultivated; think of the natural enmity of the human heart, since the fall, to God, and all that is like God; think of the prejudices which exist against the Gospel of Christ; think of the evil devices of Satan; think of the "infection of nature" which remains "even in them that are regenerate;" think, even in believers, of the sloth, the worldliness, the unholy passions, the neglect of the means of grace, and the many sins, negligences, and ignorances, which beset them; and can you wonder, under all these circumstances, that the pure and merciful Spirit of our God is grieved, is straitened, and may even be quenched? He could, indeed, by an almighty effort, overcome all this in a moment, and we may not limit his power; but speaking after the manner of men, and as he himself speaks on this very subject, his influences are thus checked, and our souls are left barren; just as it is said of our Lord, "He could not do many mighty things there, because of their unbelief." The world, the flesh, and the devil, are all united against the kingdom of Christ; and though they shall not finally prevail, yet they cause the triumphant chariot wheels sometimes to appear to drive heavily.
To go into this subject at large, and to shew the effects which the indulgence of various sins has in checking the operations of Divine grace in the soul, would be too extensive a question for the present paper; and it may well be left to the private reflections of each Christian, with a view more especially to his own besetting sins, and those which most impede his growth in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
But in addition to the deadening effects of sin generally, every age and country has its own special temptations, which, in a peculiar manner, seem to restrain the effusion of the Divine influences at that particular place and season. A few may be mentioned which operate banefully at the present moment. They are intended only as a specimen, and others will readily suggest themselves to the mind of the thoughtful Christian. May God, by his Holy Spirit, grant that we may so lay them to heart as to be watchful and prayerful against them!
An obvious impediment is, being satisfied with a low standard of spiritual attainment. Look at apostles and prophets; look at saints, and confessors, and martyrs. Are we like them? No; we never expect it, or think of it; we are content to get to heaven by a far less exalted path: it might be presumptuous, we imagine, to aspire to the holy triumph of Job; "I know that my Redeemer liveth;" "In my flesh I shall see God;
-or to the
fervour of the Psalmist Asaph ; "Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee?"—or to the seraphic affection of St. Peter; "whom having not seen ye love, in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; "-or to the triumphant faith of St. Paul: "I know in whom I have believed; " "I am ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand; I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day." But why are we not to aspire thus high? Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened? Has he changed? Nay, our pattern and our standard are even higher: "Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect; " and Christ himself-not the highest mortal virtue—is our example. The defect is, that we do not live up to our privileges; our aim is not high enough': we ask for little, and expect little; and therefore we have but little. "According to thy faith," said our Lord, "be it unto thee." Our faith is weak, and "it is unto us" in a correspondingly low proportion. There needs in this our day, of superficial scriptural knowledge and lax profession, a more exalted aim; not merely avoiding false doctrines, and understanding the elements of the scriptural method of salvation, but living by faith, living in love, living to God, living in heavenly mindedness, living for eternity. We perhaps think it enough, if we rise to the stature of the miserable, stunted, dwarfish growth of conventional Christianity, instead of growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour; aspiring upwards as upon the wings of eagles; dwelling in communion with God; praying without ceasing; breathing the atmosphere of heaven; and having fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. With towering professions, and low, worldly, narrow-minded practice, is it wonderful that the consolations of God are small with us? With so little of prayer, humility, meditation, faith, and study of God's word, is it strange that larger effusions of spiritual blessing are not vouchsafed to slake the thirsty soil, and to cause it to bring forth more fruit to the glory of God?
A second cause which seems to check the influences of God's Holy Spirit in this our day, may be comprised in one word—excitement. Formerly men had fewer topics, fewer books, fewer stimulants; and even now, if we go to a peasant, we find him in silence and solitude; he is ignorant, but he is not worn down with excitement; and should the word of God become precious to him, it is almost his only book; and prayer, and praise, and holy meditation, are his almost only delights. But go to a religious friend in our busy marts of commerce, and legislation, and exciting intercourse: he woke in the morning with excitement; he has gone through the day with excitement; excitement has broken into the once silent hours of midnight; and then, after he is worn down with business and company, with the news of the day, the janglings of religious or political controversy, or with weighty cares or frivolous reading; what time or taste is left for the Scriptures, or for quiet, secret, earnest, intense prayer and devout meditation? The Spirit of God is compared to a dove; no wonder, therefore, that he spreads his wing, and flees from such a scene of giddy turmoil and vexation of spirit.
This spirit of excitement unhappily extends from the week-day scene to the temple of God, and the day of holy rest. It is carried from the world into religion; and instead of faith, hope, and charity, which were once the three graces that occupied the Christian pulpit, persons now ask for stimulating speculations: plain scriptural doctrine is dull; a holy life is legal : faith in Christ, and the work of the Holy Ghost in the heart, are but milk for babes; and men will come in crowds to listen to any new phantasy;