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or two evenings in the week, that disgrace their profession. If among he might converse with a number at those who are suddenly converted once; and before he had thought of a larger proportion prove to be of such an event as a religious awaken- those on stony ground, it must with ing, he found that about thirty of equal truth be acknowledged that his congregation were deeply im- among those who commune without pressed with a concern for their spi- experiencing any change there are ritual state. Soon after that, the more of those whom our Lord deexcitement became general in the signates by the seed falling among town, and very remarkable. His thorns ; and these, it cannot be parish was small, and he had but denied, injure and disgrace religion about forty communicants : and yet, not less than the others. And it though great efforts were made by should be further considered, that the other denominations to draw this evil also (of many falling away) the converts to their respective com- is owing in no small measure to the munions, the result was, that one improper efforts so often made to hundred were added to his commu- excite the passions of those who are nion, and a large part of them to his awakened. From our Lord's teachcongregation, being such as had be- ing, it is to be expected that the more fore attended public worship at other the “ good seed " is sown, and men places, or no where. These con- are affected by it, the more will the verts were not encouraged in rant- enemy sow his tares. ing or raptures, but instructed in The coldness that usually follows the" words of truth and soberness;" religious excitements is the worst of and of course very few of them after their ill effects. This indeed is the fell away from their stedfastness. real evil. The awakened state is There were so many who needed that which ought to be constant. instruction, and to be prepared for If what the Scriptures teach be true, baptism and confirmation, that it how can we be too much concerned became necessary to collect a num- for the salvation of our souls? How ber of them together, chiefly in the can we be too anxious to obtain evening. This was the origin of evidence of our being at peace with prayer meetings in that parish; and God, or too much engaged in worka few of the more pious members of ing out our salvation ? the Church have found it profitable, One very striking evidence that to themselves at least, to continue the excitements under review are the meetings to the present time : generally the work of God, is the and whether it would not generally remarkable and very interesting fact be wise in our clergy to pursue the that those converted at such seasons like course in seasons of like excite- embrace the most essential doctrines ment, is submitted to their serious of Christianity : they confess Christ consideration.
in his true character, and reject It is also unhappily the fact, that whatever would make his cross of many of those who at these seasons no effect. And who can say that are wrought upon, and seem to be these awakenings are not intended, converted, prove not to be stedfast by a wise and merciful God, to Christians. But this is precisely counteract and check the spread of what our Saviour has told us will the anti-christian doctrines which be the effect of sowing the good have been so alarmingly prevalent seed. In some, it springs up quickly, in some of the eastern states. This and after withers away. But we work (supposing it to be of God) must also acknowledge, that among has encompassed this pernicious those who come to the communion heresy, and hedged it in, setting without pretending to any conver
bounds to its progress; and is now sion or change of heart, we find penetrating to its very heart. many who live to the world and * When the enemy shall come in No. 357.
like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord affect: otherwise they would have shall lift up a standard against him." scrupulously avoided such expres
Is it not then unwise (to say the sions. “This,” Mr. Watson says, least) to oppose this work, and more is rather in the manner of Priestiey so to condemn and revile it? If and Belsham, than that of an orthoafter due consideration our sober dor commentator." and most candid judgment is unfa- In the next page the accusation vourable to these awakenings, the is repeated, with reference to 2 Pet. safer way
is to let them alone. We ii. 1. As Mr. Scott charged St. cannot be too careful not to be Paul with want of exactness in found fighting against God; not to writing to the Romans, so also St. frustrate the good which may be Peter, in the passage before us, done ; and especially not, by ill- comes in for his share of the same timed censures and opposition, to censure : · It was not the manner drive serious and well-meaning of the sacred writers to express people from our communion. themselves with that systematic ex
But the inference most to our actness which many now affect.”” present purpose is, that the evils It is perfectly competent to Mr. resulting from these revivals, though Watson to combat and to censure never so many and never so great, my father, or any other writer, do not prove the prayer meetings to wherever he thinks there may be be improper or without use. They occasion for it; but groundlessly prove, rather, that such meetings to cast such imputations as these are sometimes necessary, to instruct upon an author of acknowledged those who are anxiously inquiring piety and usefulness, than whom no what they shall do to be saved, and one ever gave less occasion for them, to guide them in that way which is what every Christian ought carewe believe to be most agreeable to fully to avoid. Now, did ever anyone the word and will of God.
before suppose (as Mr. Watson must here do), that to say an author wrote in an affected systematic style was to
praise him ? and that to say he deSCOTT ON Watson's “ INSTITUTES,” clined this, was “ censure,” and LIFE OF WESLEY.” “charging him with careless writing?"
Mr. Scott was evidently here “cenTo the Editor of the Christian Observer.
suring,” not the inspired writers, but I have been lately looking into those who were not contented to some writings of the Rev. Richard speak as they do ; those who afWatson, the well-known Methodist fected” to be wiser than the Scripminister, and I confess I have read tures, in their language at least; and the following passages with asto- who would fain pare down the greatnishment. In his Theological In- ness and grandeur of a Divine sysstitutes, vol. iii. p. 12, referring to tem to conformity with our little my father's commentary on Rom. narrow notions of exact consistency. xiv. 15, Mr. Watson says: “ Mr. And in this instance his censure acScott is, however, evidently not tually fell on the zealots of his own satisfied with his own interpretation; side. Surely Mr. Watson might and gives a painful example of the have availed himself of the concesinfluence of a preconceived system sion, and commended the writer's in commenting upon Scripture, by fairness, instead of comparing him charging the Apostle himself with to Priestley and Belsham. careless writing : We may, however, In what follows, Mr. Watson is observe' (these are Mr. Scott's words, only answerable for having selected, quoted by Mr. Watson), ' that and brought afresh into notice, that the Apostles did not write in that which, for the credit of its venerable exact systematic style which some author (I use the epithet in since.
rity), had far better have been suf- further I refer to Milner's History, fered to fall into oblivion. But, such iv. 509, &c. statements being so brought forward On the other passage I shall have afresh, and in a work designed for somewhat more to offer. It is as popular reading, regard for historic follows: "Being," says Mr. Wesley, truth and justice forbids that they “ in the Bodleian Library, I lit on should
without correction, and Mr. Calvin's account of the case of even exposure.
Michael Servetus, several of whose In his new Life of the founder of letters he occasionally inserts, whereMethodism, p. 241–243, Mr. Wat- in Servetus often declares, in terms, son gives the following instances, 'I believe the Father is God, the from Mr. Wesley's journals, of his Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is “ laconic reviews of books.” “ I set God.' Mr. Calvin, however, paints out for London; and read over in him such a monster as never was— the way Martin Luther's Comment an Arian, a blasphemer, and what on the Epistle to the Galatians. I not—besides strewing over him his was utterly ashamed. How have I flowers of .dog,' .devil,''swine, and esteemed this book, only because so on, which are the usual appellaI had heard it so commended by tions he gives to his opponents." others; or, at best, because I had On turning to Mr. Wesley's Works read some excellent sentences, oc- (vol. xiii. p. 117, ed. 1815) I find the casionally quoted from it. But what result, I presume, of this same visit shall I say, now I judge for myself, to the Bodleian, thus repeated : “If now I see with my own eyes? Calvin does not misquote his words, Why, not only that the author he (Servetus) was no anti-Trinitarian makes nothing out, clears up not at all. Calvin himself gives a quoone considerable difficulty; that he tation from one of his letters, in is quite shallow in his remarks on which he expressly declares, “I do many passages, and muddy and con-' believe the Father is God, the Son is fused almost on all; but that he is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; deeply tinctured with mysticism but I dare not use the word Trinity, throughout, and hence often dan- or Person.'" gerously wrong.” Mr. Wesley pro- This is being bold indeed : for to ceeds to specify two particulars : affirm, “on the authority of Calvin first, the indiscriminate manner in himself,” that Servetus which Luther sometimes decries anti-Trinitarian at all,” is not less reason ; and secondly, the impro- bold than it would be to say, On the per terms which he applies to the authority of Hume and Rapin I affirm Divine law—though other passages that James II. was the Protestant, make it evident that he meant them and William III. the Papist. only of the Law as “ used unlaw- But to the proof. It will be obfully,” or perverted from its proper served, that what was in the first purpose.
quotation made to be a "frequent On the subject of this criticism I declaration,” repeated perhaps in shall content myself with remarking, “ several ” of Servetus's “letters,” that, whatever may be the defects in the second dwindles down into a and faults of Luther's Comment on single “ quotation from one of his the Galatians, probably no one hu- letters.” And for this momentous man composition, at the period of quotation (momentous to the inquiry the Reformation, produced so great in hand) no reference to any page an effect in restoring the grand fun- or division of Calvin's account is damental doctrine of justification by made, even though the last appeal faith, such as, Mr. Watson affirms, to the sentence is in a controversial Mr. Wesley “uniformly taught” it. work of Mr. Wesley's. If it can be (Life, pp. 68—71.) For any thing pointed out, let it be so ; but till
that is done I shall disbelieve its ex- book, as well as Calvin's excerpts istence altogether, at least in any from it, had been sent, and who at. authentic document. I had lately test the fidelity of the latter, say: occasion to go over the whole case “ Quod ergo Servetus Hispanus Triof Servetus with some minuteness : nitatem æternam Dei, triceps monand for the history of that case I am strum et cerberum quendam tripartiwell content with the statements tum, denique imaginarios deos, illuof Chauffpié, in his “ Dictionaire siones, ac tres spiritus dæmoniorum Historique et Critique," to which appellitat, æternam Dei majestatem Gibbon, in the midst of a malignant nefande et horribiliter blasphemat. invective against Calvin, refers us Quod Athanasium, Augustinum, et as “the best account” he had seen. alios servos Dei eximios, illustriaque I contend for nothing more favour- ecclesiæ lumina, Trinitarios atque able. But, for the particular point adeo atheos appellat (ita enim ombefore us, I have been induced again nes Trinitatem agnoscentes nuncuto turn over the work of Calvin re. pat), non illos tantum, sed totum ferred to (Opera, viii. pp. 510— chorum sanctorum, adeoque totam 567); and I must say I find no part Christi ecclesiam, infandis et non of Mr. Wesley's assertions borne ferendis convitiis indignissime proout. It can hardly be said that any scindit.” In Calv. Epist.p. 73: Op. ix. “ letter” of Servetus's, properly so That all this furnished no justificalled, is there introduced at all: cation of the burning of Servetus, we and, though such “ flowers ” as Mr. are all happily agreed: but it may Wesley enumerates were of too fre. surely satisfy us, that, whatever our quent use in that age, I find them prejudices against Calvin may be, but sparingly, if at all, totidem ver- Servetus is not the person for whom bis, applied by Calvin in this work. we are to become apologists: and it And as to the declaration in ques. may combine with numberless other tion, said to be made by Servetus, things to shew us, that, if Servetus I can only say, I have not found it, did ever use terms like those for or any thing approaching to it; but which Mr. Wesley gives him credit, much that is of a directly contrary he had some sense to put upon them tendency. Calvin indeed asserts, remote from ordinary conceptions. and his assertion is confirmed by the Between these two critiques of signatures of fourteen other minis- Mr. Wesley's, if I mistake not (for ters of Geneva, and by numerous I have not the book now at hand), quotations from the heresiarch's there is interposed a third, on the writings, that Servetus declared “the Synod of Dort, in which that assem
of Christ to be God,“ his bly is sunk to the level, or below the soul ” to be God; as he also held level, of the Council of Trent. But every stone and every stick of wood I decline to enter into it. to be God: and that, when remind- The remarks, which I have felt ed that his principle would make myself called to offer, are made “ Satan himself to be in substance from no hostility to Mr. Watson, nor God,” he only laughed, and asked, from any disrespect for the meif he was not indubitably so ! In mory of Mr. Wesley—for, after short, not Calvin's charges only, but all the abatements and per contra Servetus's writings, apparently shew which I am constrained to admit, him to have been a thorough Pan- I venerate his devotedness, and theist. • Hoc artificio se explicat, bless God for having raised him quod Deus in ligno sit lignum, in up ;-but I write from zeal for hislapide, lapis, formam et substantiam toric truth; from a just regard to lapidis veram in se habens. Hæc ejus the fair fame of other men as great sunt verba, Epist. vi. p. 189.”—The and holy as Mr. Wesley; from a pastors of Zurich, to whom Servetus's deep sense of the mischief which
ON THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE
must arise from giving to the world— pute, is one thing; to give, another. to be received by thousands as ora. God imputes to the believer the spotcular—the mere results of rapid less purity and innocence of the Reglances, and hasty snatches, and deemer, and therefore gives him the imperfect recollections. Truth is not reward which his Redeemer has meto be served in this way, though rited. The whole doctrine of impuerror may be propagated by it to an tation rests on this principle, that unlimited extent. I am, &c. something is attributed to the believer
in Christ which at the time of the imputation he does not possess. The imputation, therefore, is perfect at once, in this life; whereas the reward and crown of righteousness are not fully bestowed till the next. Both
as respects justification, however, and To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
reward, your correspondent and I Your correspondent J. in your Num- entirely agree, that the Lord is graber for June, is perfectly right in ciously pleased to treat the faithful calling the attention of your readers disciples of his Son as if they were to the plural form of the word trans- entitled to all the privileges and lated“ righteousness” in Rev.xix. 8. blessings which His gratuitous obeI do not, however, think him correct dience has earned for them. in interpreting the word to mean “ Thanks be unto God for his unrighteous acts performed. The verb speakable gift!”
D. D. dikalow is to justify, acquit, or declare innocent ; and all its derivatives partake of the same meaning. Hence dikalworç is properly the act of acquitting; © Kalouin the state of acquittal; and oukatwua the acquisition of
For the Christian Observer. that state, whether by imputation or I had been spending an evening service; or, secondly, it is any insti- with a valued friend, discussing, with tution which may help us to obtain more animation, I fear, than profit, it. In the first of these two senses three new miracles, for which he the word is used in Rom. v. 16, viü. was vouching, when the hour of 4; in the second, in Luke i. 6, family prayer summoned us to higher Rom. i. 32, ii. 26, Heb. ix. 1, 10, thoughts and more holy feelings ; Rev. xv. 4. In the passage under and our last remarks at parting were, consideration it is implied that all I hope, such as we should not have the saints have been employed in lamented indulging in had we been seeking justification, every one for on the very verge of heaven. Inhimself; and the various methods deed, we were not in idea far off by which they have severally sought from that blessed region; for we had and eventually obtained it, are been speaking of David, who neither summed up in the “fine linen' on earth nor there had any whom which is given them. Thus is the he loved in comparison of God; and righteousness of the purest saint a of St. Paul, who, when the time of free gift at last. He is invested with his departure was at hand, was the righteousness of his Redeemer. ready to be offered; and of saints
I also apprehend that J. is inac- and martyrs in more recent ages ; curate in stating that it is the effect and lastly, of Bunyan's seraphic pic(that is, the rewards and honours me- ture of the passage of his Pilgrim rited) of the perfect obedience of our over the river to the gates of the blessed Lord, which God imputes, celestial city. My friend had rereckons, or accounts to the benefit of peated with glowing delight the all true believers in him. To im- following passage: "Now I further
THE RIVER OF DEATH: A DREAM.