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desire for an "overwhelming influence of the Spirit;" while on the other hand, profane persons who had been in the habit of scoffing at religion in general and at this doctrine in particular, are suddenly arrested in their career, and during a "revival” all brought by the supposed "immediate operation of the Spirit,” to humble themselves before the cross. Since, then, the doctrine has no tendency to promote conversion, when believed; nor to hinder it, when disbelieved, it is strange that any portion of the religious community should have thought it worth their while to place so high an estimate upon it; and, above all, to make it a bone of contention with others.
But, it may be asked, if the belief of this doctrine does no good, does it do any harm? I answer, that it does. Il is injurious:
Ist. Because it places-man in a state of irresponsibility, by putting it out of his power either to accept or reject, at his own volition, the salvation offered by the gospel. It is an essential part of the doctrine that the sinner "can do nothing of himself,” and that he must, in entire submission to the divine pleasure, "wait the Lord's time.” Nor can any unwillingness upon his part hinder his conversion, if it be so determined. Where, then, opon these principles, can there be any ac. countability in man; any merit or demerit? And where any room for reward or punishment? If one he converted he cannot be praised no more can he be blamed if he be not converted. It is the natural tendency of this view of the matter, to encourage men in that state of carelessness and indifference in respect to religion, so congenial to them, while alienated from God; and to give countenance to their habitual neglect of the means of spiritual improvement,
2d. A more serious injury is, that the belief of this doctrine leads well-disposed persons to disparage, and consequently to neglect, the means which God has truly appointed for their conversion, while they are pursuing with eagerness à phantom of human imagining. Their conviction is, and it is one admirably suited to that love of excitement and the marvellous, so prevalent in the multitude, that sights are to be seen, sounds heard, or overwhelming influences felt, in order to certify to them their conversion. How, then, can it be expected that they will pay regard to the reading of the scriptures or to the ordinances of the Christian religion? What marvel is it that these become to them matiers of minor importance-things to be modified or omitted to suit convenience-mere non-essentials"? It will be found that they who are the most clamorous for special operations are the most animal in their organization, and the most ignorant of the scriptures. This is a general-I had almost said an invariable rule. And it is no more than we should expect. Now I aver that any doctrine which tends to lead the minds of men away from the diligent study of tho scriptures and from an entire dependence upon their teachings and instructions in respect to the way of salvation, cannot fail to be most injurious to true religion.
3d. But suppose one entertaining these views should even read the srriptures, what is he likely to think of them, when he meets with those affectionale invita ions and entreaties which are there so often addressed to the sinner 10 "come to Christ to find rest for the soul,” to "be reconciled to God," to "believe in the name of the Son of God," to "look to him and be saved," to "repent and be baptized for the remission of sins," to be converted that his sins may te blotted out," &c. &c.? He must suppose one of two things—that the scrip. tures are not to he believed, or that it is impossible for him to understand them. In either case they become to him a useless volume.
In the 3d place, the doctrine in question must be untrue. For whatever is not perfectly in harmony with the scriptures is ontrue. Whatever makes the word of God of no effect must be untrue. The word of God is truth, and every sentiment inconsistent with its sayings is clearly false. Now nothing can be more direcly in opposition to the teachings of the New Testament than the doctrine in question. So far are such views from being authorized, ihat they are expressly for. bidden: and the aitention is directed to the word, as the proper
medium by which the soul is to be enlightened; and to obedience, as the means throngh which the divine favor is to be enjoyed. “Say not in thy , heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (it at is, to bring Christ down
from above;) or, Who shall descend into the deep?" (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith which we preach, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Again, "he has become the author of an eternal salvation to all who obey him.”
Such are some of my ohjections to the doctrine of special operations in conversion You will perceive that I do not regard it as in any degree calculated to obviate the difficulties in our way as respects conversion, but as tending raiher to increase them, and to have the most unhappy influence upon society. Indeed if this doctrine were carried out fairly into practice by those who have adopted it in theory, they would cease to preach the gospel to any one, or even to attend upon religious meetings, or any of the ordinances of Christianity. In being inconsistent with their own theory in these respects, they give of themsolves a proof that it is unde serving of regard.
With respect to the difficulty thrown in our way, based upon the fact that out of a large assembly to whom the gospel is fully presented, but few will be induced to give themselves up to its influence, though all will affect to believe it, I would obviate it by denying that any do truly believe the gospel except such as obey it. The resi may assent to it-may acquiesce in it, but they do not believe in it. Belief, with me, is the result of evidence; a conviction produced by certain reasons present to the mind. Now that the disobedient do not believe it, is evident from the fact that they cannot, if asked to do so, give a just reason for the consent which they give to Christianity. It is at this day unpopular to avow infidelity, and hence the mass simply acquiesce in a popular and common belief, without examination of the evidence upon which it rests. It is merely the assent of ignorance or of indo. lence--an easy credulity which in China would render them excellent Budhists, and good Mahometans in Turkey. I remain, in all respect and affection, yours sincerely,
CAUSES OF INCREASE OF CRIME. For several years past vices and crimes have multiplied, not only in our own, but in other countries, to a most fearful and alarming extent, and they can no longer be ascribed either to the want of whiat is commonly called education, or to that general ignorance which such education can of itself effectually convert into salutary knowledge.
We must therefore look elsewhere for the cause. The uneducated classes can no longer be stigmatized as the principle examples of vice, The chief perpetrators of crime. For we find many, too many, who have gone through all our schools, from the lowest to the highest, quite as notorious for the infamy of their lives as the most illiterate and vilest members of society. Could this possibly be if there were not something radically defective in our prevailing systems of education? Surely not. Outrages against all the decorums of social intercourse; personalities of the most billingsgate character; breaches of the peace by fisticuffs, caning, and horsewhipping, have become matters of frequent occurrence, not only among those who falsely and impudently arrogate to themselves the once highly honorable title of gentlemen; but among men in exalted public stations-men who should consider themselyes exemplars to the nation of every thing that is orderly, de. corous, gentleinanly, and praiseworthy in manners, speech, and general deportment.
But this is not the worst of it: violations of public trusts, swindling, peculation, and even murders, committed for the most ițivial provocaiions-eommitted not in secret, but publicly in open day, and with entire impunity, form a large portion of what we daily read in our newspapers, In some parts of our conntry neither our persons, property, nor character, are safe from outrage and injury; for in those parts, it would seem, that all respect for the laws of the land,-ali obedience to the civil authority, had nearly ceased; at the same time, that the confidence between man and man, which is so essential to the welfare of every community, has been almost entirely destroyed.
In all this I verily believe that I have not exaggerated the real condition of some portions of our country. Deeply, then, if I am right, most deeply does it concern us all to ascertain, if we can, to what source such a mass of moral evil can be traced. I assert, and with perfect confidence in ny power to prove it, that the chief, if not the only source is, the want of moral and religious instruction-first, under the paternal roof, and subsequently in all our other schools. That this is demonstrable, seems to me evident; for the kind of educa tion which imparts to us a knowledge of sciences, languages, and other fashionable scholastic acquirements, is becoming every day more common, and would certainly diminish vice and crime, if that alone possessed any such power. Not that I object to the general diffusion of such education: far from it; since I can truly adopt on this subject the words of a most eloquent English Divine, now living, who thus admirably discourses:– Knowledge is a generous communicative thing, and jealousy at its progress is, ordinarily, the index of its wants. We would not, if we could, arrest the progress of education; but we may provide that the education shall be Christian education. We may thus insure that it shall be a blessing, -not a curse—and save the land from being covered with that wildest and most unmanageable of all populations, a population mighty alike in intellect and ungodliness, a population that knows every thing but God, emancipated from all ignorance, but that which is sure to breed the most lawfulnessignorance of the duties of the religion of Christ. An uneducated population may be degraded; a population educated, but not in righteousness, will be ungovernable. The one may be slaves—the other must be tyrants.-J. M. GARNET.
THE BOSTON MOBS. We do not recollect any instance on the history of modern mobs, so utterly inexcusable as the mobs in Boston. The Bank mobs in Cincinnati may plead in excuse that they had been deeply injured by the institutions they destroyed--that their losses had overcome their
Other mobs may plead patriotism, a desire to preserve the Union, &c., as an excuse for their misdeeds. But none of these rea. sons actuated the mobs in Boston. A pious preacher visits the city by special invitation. He preaches the Bible doctrines—the doctrines believed by all the evangelical denominations in the country.He may have some peculiarity of manner, but his matter he draws from the Bible. No person is obliged to hear him except they desire to. And what is the result? Thousands meet together and undertake to compel him to depart from their coasts. And in a city which boasts of its “cradle of Liberty," the civil authorities are obliged to use force to protect a religious society. The spirit which dictates such a mob is not the ordinary mob spirit. It is the same that prompted the Jews to cry, "Crucify him! crucify him!”
Cross & Journal.
F A MIL Y CULTURE,
CONVERSATIONS AT THE CARLTON HOUSE.-No. XXV.
The first chapter of Luke, from the 26th verse to the end, being read, Olympas thus began:
In our last conversation definitions, rather than deductions, occupied our attention. Some questions of fact now come before us. Who was Gabriel, William?
William. He is called "an angel of the Lord.”
Eliza. I know not how old he was. I only know that having been sent to Daniel once or twice, he must have been at least some five hundred years old at this time.
Olympas. How often is he introduced, or how often does his name occur, Thomas, in sacred history?
Thomas. Only four times-twice in Daniel and twice in Luke.
Reuben. He is called sthe man Gabriel” in Daniel; and as men are sometimes called angels, why may he not have been a man as much as Elijah, who is called an angel? I have thought that the spirits of good men are sometimes made ministering spirits; and why not, then, Gabriel one of these?
Olympas. He is distinguished as one of the heavenly host; and especially he says
of himself that he stands in the presence of God.It is a pleasure for us to know that angels have assumed the appearance of men, and like men have their personal names.
Reuben. But their names end all in El. Their names, you say, are all personal: how comes it, that they end all in el?
Olympas. That is a new idea, indeed. Well, I will change my opinion, and say that El is their family name, and that all before that is their personal name. But how many celestial names have we on earth, Thomas? Thomas. With the help of the poets we have some four in common
In the seriptures we have Gabriel and Michael, and they have added Raphael and Uriel.
James. What does El mean?
Olympas. Then the family name is God; and Gabriel denotes God is my excellency,' and Michael denotes One who has all,' and so they are all functionaries of God.
Reuben. Then, as in earth, so in heaven, names are significant of relations and offices.