« PrécédentContinuer »
SCRIPTURAL REMEDY FOR A WOUNDED CONSCIENCE. 169 lightful; in its precepts so exalted of the divine threatening with which and divine; and in all its doctrines it is sanctioned, “the soul that sina so admirably adapted to man's neth, it shall die;"_“Cursed is condition-so worthy of God, that every one that continueth not in his belief would still remain un- all things written in the book of the shaken.
law to do them;" such persons are Instead, therefore, of wasting incapable of estimating the exceedour fleeting moments, in the vain ing sinfulness of sin, or the value attempt to discover what it was of the remedy provided for it. Innever intended we should know deed it is to be feared that thouhere, let us mind those things sands of our fellow-creatures are which concern our peace, ere they thus deluding themselves with vain too be for ever hid from our eyes. imaginations respecting the safety
W. V. of their state, crying, Peace, peace,
unto themselves, though they walk THE SCRIPTURAL REMEDY FOR
after the devices of their own hearts. A WOUNDED CONSCIENCE. Yet there are particular times and
seasons in the lives of most men To the Editor of the New Evangelical when, notwithstanding all the pains
that may be exerted to stifle the It is a most important in-convictions of an accusing conquiry which is suggested by a cor- science and dissipate the unwelrespondent in your Magazine for come intruder, the inquiry will reMarch, p. 94. namely, "What do turn, "What shall I do to be saved ?" the Scriptures propose for relief to This is particularly the case when a wounded conscience ?" And I any sudden and unexpected calahad hoped to see some able casuist mity puts them in danger of losing ere this furnish an answer to it; their lives, such as the shock of an but as that has not been done, will earthquake; the ravages of a pestiyou allow me to offer a few thoughts lence; a time of sickness, or the upon it? They need not supersede near prospect of death. Of the any more able discussion of the reality of this terrible state we have subject: for it is one upon which many instances recorded in Scriptoo much cannot be said, provided ture. Such was that of the Jews, it be to the purpose.
on the day of Pentecost, who had By a wounded conscience, I un- been guilty of crucifying “the Lord derstand one that is awakened to a of glory," Acts ii. 37. and such also sense of its danger, arising from was the case of the jailorat Philippi, deep convictions of guilt, and filled ch. xvi. 30. I might likewise menwith alarming apprehensions of the tion that of Paul himself, when he wrath of God, as a Being of in- was intercepted on his way to Dafinite purity and holiness, in whose mascus, and stopped in his furious. sight the wicked shall not stand, career of persecuting the disciples and who hateth all the workers of of Christ, ch. ix. 1-6. iniquity. I know that there are Now although there may and do numbers passing under the christian exist partial differences amongst name, who would regard such a the fallen race of Adam, in regard state of mind as the effect of re- to human depravity and the mealigious melancholy, or perhaps of a sure of actual guilt; yet it is certain disordered imagination: for, hav- that the Scriptures suppose all men ing themselves never been led to to be sinners, and to be in one see the extent and purity of the common state of condemnation; divine law, as reaching to the very consequently they exhibit only one thoughts of the heart; nor yet se- remedy, one common ground of riously to consider the full import hope, one way of escape from the
170 SCRIPTURAL REMEDY FOR A WOUNDED CONSCIENCE. wrath to come, revealed for the “ This is my beloved Son, in whom relief of all the human race; and I am well pleased.” Rom. i. 4. that is “ the divine blood of the But a most important question Son of God, which was shed upon still presses itself upon our conMount Calvary, for the remission sideration : “ How shall a sinner, of the sins of many.” Matt. xxvi. 28. whose conscience is burdened with John X. 15. 1 John i. 8. By this the a sense of guilt, enjoy that relief true atonement was made, Heb. ix. which the blood of Christ is calcu26. Rom. v. 11. Through the all-lated to afford ?" or, to place the perfect sacrifice of Christ, or the subject under another view, "What saying down of his life for sinners, do the Scriptures direct such an one the new and everlasting covenant to do, in order to become interested was ratified and confirmed. Heb. in the benefits of Christ's death ?” viii. 6. and xiii. 20. When Christ, To this the answer is, that they do through the eternal Spirit, offered not call upon him to perfornı any up himself unto God, a victim to work, either of body or mind, in divine justice, he expiated sin and order to the attainment of that redeemed his people from the curse blessing, for salvation in all its parts of the divine law, Gal. iii. 13. is entirely of grace; their uniform Ephes. i. 7. made peace by the language is, “ Believe on the Lord blood of his cross, Col. i. 20. And Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be hence the song of the redeemed, saved.” Acts xvi. 31. : “ If thou “Thou art worthy, for thou wast shalt confess with thy mouth the slain, and hast redeemed us to God Lord Jesus, and believe in thine by thy blood.” Rev. v. 9. This is heart that God hath raised him from the remedy which Infinite Wisdom the dead, thou shalt be saved-for devised to retrieve us from the whosoever shall call upon the name ruins of the fall, and which Al- of the Lord shall be saved.”. Rom. mighty Love hath provided, in x. 9-13. Hence the gracious lanorder to restore guilty mortals to guage of the divine Saviour, "Come the favour of God here, and to the unto me, all ye that labour and are enjoyment of glory, honour, and heavy laden, and I will give you immortality, even eternal life in the rest.” Matt. xi. 28. The blessings world to come.
of the gospel are often exhibited to. Of this remedy I remark, that it us in scripture under the similitude is all-sufficient to answer every pur- of a feast, to which all sorts of sinpose for which it was designed, or ners, the poor, the maimed, the of which the chief of sinners can halt, and the blind, are invited in possibly stand in need. By it, the the most free and generous manner law is magnified and made honour to come, and to partake of them able; the justice of God is fully without money and without price, satisfied; Heaven is well-pleased; Isa. Iv. 1, 2. Matt. xxii. 2–4. Luke all which delightful truths are clear-, xiv. 16–22. Many christian teachly evinced by the resurrection of ers, indeed, have clouded the gloChrist from the death. For when rious gospel of Christ in the view of we consider him as the substitute the guilty and self-condemned, by and representative of sinners, hav- their unscriptural notions of faith, ing their accumulated guilt charged and by insisting upon certain preto his account, according to Isa. liii. requisites to be performed in order 6. 1 Pet. ii. 24. Rom. iv. 25. we be to a participation of the blessings hold him dying under the wrath of of pardon, peace, justification, and God, a victim to divine justice; and the hope of eternal life; but the what then is the import of his re- Scriptures teach a very different surrection from the dead, but the lesson. What, for example, can voice of Heaven plainly declaring, exceed the riches and freedom of THE INNOCENCE OF CHRIST'S CHARACTER. 171 divine grace displayed in such pas- yourselves whether ye be in the 'sages as the following: '“ Incling faith." your ear and come unto me; hear
It may be proper, before these and your soul shall live.” Isa. Iv. 3. remarks are closed, to add, that it “ Look unto me, and be ye saved, is very possible for one who has all the ends of the earth, for I am enjoyed much consolation from the God, and there is none else.”: Isa. gospel to fall into sin, through the xlv. 22. “ As Moses lifted up the prevalence of temptation, and his serpent in the wilderness, so must own want of circumspection; and
the Son of man be lifted up, that when that is the case, he must newhosoever believeth in him should cessarily lose that enjoyment; bis not perish, but have eternal life.” mind will be filled with darkness; John iii. 14, 15. “This is life eter- and his conscience oppressed with 'nal, to know thee, the only true guilt. Under such circumstances, God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou it is in vain for him to expect to hast sent." Johọ xvii. 3.
renew his comfort by reflecting upon In short, if we carefully examine his past experience. The same glothe Scriptures of the New Testa- rious truth, namely, the sufficiency 'ment, we shall find that it was the of the blood of Christ to put away 'great object of the ministry of the sin, is that to which he must again
apostles and first preachers of the have recourse; and any temporary word to exhibit the atoning blood relief which he may gain from any of Christ as a sovereign, free, and other quarter, will only prove de immediate remedy against despair, lusive and visionary; he must go to the very chief of sinners ; they back to that which at first relieved declared its perfection and all-suffi- him, when sitting in darkness and ciency; calling upon all sorts of the shadow of death. Such, at men to believe in it, or to credit least, are the views which I have their testimony concerning it; and of this important matter, and which those who through grace did, were I submit with deference to the conthereby immediately filled with sideration of your readers, and am, peace and joy. Acts ii. 41. viii. 5,
Yours respectfully, 8, 39. xiii. 52. And it is plain that Walworth, May 1815.
SENEX. their joy sprang not from any thing about themselves, but from that THE INNOCENCE OF CHRIST'S which they believed concerning
CHARACTER. Christ; as delivered for the offences No truth is more easily admitted, of the guilty, and raised again for or of more general importance, their justification. This divine re- than the perfect innocence and medy still possesses all its native purity of our Lord and Saviour. energy, and if our belief in it do not It is a truth so fully expressed, so produce the same blessed effects constantly implied in the sacred upon ourselves, it must arise from writings, and of such'obvious neour not having the same clear ap- cessity to the whole scheme of prehension of its infinite dignity christian doctrine, that we scarcely and worth that the first Christians ever think of looking for the evihad; the same view of the almighty dence by which it is supported; Saviour, the divine dignity of his and yet it might heighten our satisperson, and the value of his atone- fection to recollect and to review ment; it must be owing to some that evidence, as tending to estaradical mistake in our minds con-blish the foundation of all our cerning these important things; hopes, and offering some of the and therefore it behoves us, when purest motives for our love and that is the case, to take home the admiration. Those who deny the apostolic exhortation, “Examine deity of our Saviour, are ever for
he could say,
ward in proclaiming his moral ex- | he resisted the temptation. Worldly cellence, as if conscious of having honours were offered him, but he robbed him of his superior honours, refused; and when the Jewish pothey were anxious by this means to pulace wanted to make him a king, propitiate the injury: let those he waved the right which he therefore who believe in his divine possessed as the Son of David. glory, not be
unmindful of that He underwent reproach and permoral worth which not only adorn-secution ; but when reviled, he ed his human character, and ren- reviled not again. When brought dered him fairer than the children before Herod and Pilate, he beof men, but which, by reflecting trayed no sense of fear; but amidst the absolute and unseen perfection, all the scorn and contempt with proclaimed him the image of the which they treated him, he maininvisible God.
tained a dignified silence. When The meek and lowly Lamb of buffeted and spit upon in the palace God, who was far enough from of the high priest, he meditated no boasting or causing his voice to be revenge; when mocked and inheard in the streets, was on some sulted by the soldiers, and derided occasions constrained to bear wit- while hanging on the cross, he ness of himself. When in the prayed for them, and made interpresence of his bitterest enemies, cession for the transgressors.
• Which of
Character of such incomparable vinceth me of sịn ;” and at the excellence was never found in any time too when he was reproving of the saints, much less in any them in the most pointed manner; mere pretenders to a divine combut the challenge was not accepted. mission; and being such, it places
Seasons of temptation in the the credibility of the gospel on the lives of men are generally attended highest ground. All that Jesus with darkness, and seldom fail to did and taught must be true: it is leave a blot behind them; but it impossible for him to lie, for there was far otherwise with our blessed is no unrighteousnes in him. Hence Lord. Temptations served to ex- also his mediation is available; for hibit his character to greater ad had he himself been an offender, vantage, to display his purity rather he could not have been accepted. than obscure it. The prince of this “Such an high priest became us, world came twice to try his strength who is holy, harmless, undefiled, with him, in the wilderness and in and separate from sinners ;” and the garden; but he “found nothing no one else could have had auin him” answerable to his expecta- thority to make intercession for tions or designs. Over him the transgressors.
“ Thou hast loved temper could have no power; in righteousness, and hated iniquity, him he could find no occasion of therefore God, even thy God, hath evil. Untainted as the sunbeams, anointed thee with the oil of gladhis purity and brightness are ever ness above thy fellows." The imthe same.
He was subject to po- maculate purity of his character verty and want; he knew what it was likewise essential to the accepwas to be hungry, thirsty, and tableness of his sacrifice; for it weary, and had not where to lay must be a lamb“ without blemish, his head; yet be bore it without and without spot.” Various other repining or complaint. He wrought important consequences arise out miracles to supply the wants of of this subject, but I shall only add others, but none for himself. After that, if we bę followers of such a he had fasted forty days, Satan Saviour; “What manner of persons tempted him to command that the ought we to be, in all holy converse stones should be made bread, but tion and godliness!" PAULINUS.
A Dictionary of all Religions and Re-| Adams's book, he has not failed to
ligious Denominations, Jewish, Hea- supply their places with others which then, Mahometan, and Christian : are by no means of inferior importAncient and Modern: including the
But as it would not be fair to substance of Mrs. H. Adams's View confine ourselves to general censures, of Religions ; corrected and revised we proceed without further preamble by Thomas WILLIAMS; with an to particularise some of the things Appendix, containing a Sketch of the which we think objectionable in the Present State of the World. To the work before us. whole is prefixed, An Essay on Truth, Upon comparing the Essay on By ANDREW FULLER. A new edi- Truth, in the new edition, with that tion with additions. pp. 340. 12mo. which preceded it, we were some
7s. 6d. bds. Button and Williams. what disappointed on finding the It has not often fallen to our lot, fresh matter restricted to about a to experience a greater disappoint- page and half near the beginning; ment in any expected publication than and that, in our opinion, of no great in that which is now before us. With importance, for it merely respccts the preceding edition of Mrs. Hannah the abuse of the terms bigotry and Adams's View of Religions, we were heresy. We cannot therefore think tolerably well acquainted; and though that the additions made to this part it always appeared to us liable to of the publication has much enhanced many objections, both in reference its value. But waving any further to its plan and execution, we were remarks on this, we proceed to the fully aware that it contained a mass Dictionary itself. of valuable materials, which, in the To render a Dictionary of the difhands of a skilful editor, whose ac- ferent denominations of Religion quaintance with the history of the really valuable, it is obvious that christian church should enable him two things are essentially requisite to discriminate between the precious to be combined in the editorship of and the vile, might be wrought up it. The first is, that the articles beinto a useful book. But a regard to selected with a discriminating judgjustice compels us to say, that our ment; so that while on the one hand hopes and wishes have not been re- due care be taken not to confound alized in the present instance. It may one denomination with another from be that our expectations were raised which it is really distinguishable by too high ; and we can imagine several certain prominent lines that may recircumstances that may account for late either to doctrine or discipline, this. The very respectable name of equal care should be taken on the the editor of the present edition-the other, not to distract the mind of an intimation of improvements in Mr. inquirer by a needless multiplication Fuller's valuable Essay on Truth— of articles in which the same denothe length of time that our patience mination is described under different was kept in exercise, waiting for its names. To something like this meappearance, with various other things thod, the writers on the subject of that might be enumerated, may have natural history have recourse, when all contributed in their measure to they class the various tribes of ani. lead us astray and ensure our disap- mals and plants under their respective pointment. But be this as it may, heads of genera and species, which after an impartial examination of are now always kept distinct, and by the work, we find ourselves com- that means the study of these subpelled to say, that if there be some jects is wonderfully simplified. And respects in which the present edition such, or something akin to it, should fairly claims a prefence to the former, be the plan pursued by the compiler. there are others in which it is in- of a Dictionary of Religious Denoferior; if the editor have lopped off minations, if he would render his excrescences and corrected errors work useful. But another necessary which lessened the value of Mrs. qualification is, that, together with