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come np from the Gulph in pure and gentle breezes. I have, it is true, lately visited that singular group of volcanic peaks between your city and Cordova—the Popoca- Tepetl, or Smoking Mountain, 18,000 feet high; the “White Woman," or Sierra Nevada of the Spaniards, 16,000 feet; together with the “Starry Mountain,” 17,000 feet, so ealled from the luminous exhalations which rise from its crater and play round its summit, which is covered with eternal snow; and various others of inferior dimensions, as the Cafre de Perole, a porphyritic mountain, 13,633 feet in elevation, and which represents an ancient sarcophagus, surmounted by a pryamid at one of its extremities. It is here that the basalts of La Regla, of which the prismatic columns, a hundred feet in height, have their central parts harder than the rest, form the native decorations of a very beautiful cascade. Yet cannot the remembrance of those tumultuous waters, nor of those wild and rugged cliffs, nor of those craters sending forth fire and smoke, move me to engage in a serious controversy amidst the softness, the beauty, the grandeur of the natural scenery of this vicinity, or the soothing influence of the circumstances which surround me.
How natural it is to love the beautiful, and to desire the unfading charms of a perpetual spring; that happy, but, alas! deceitful emblem of an eternal youth! How delighted were the Grecks to dwell upon the wonders that were related of the country of the Hyperboreans, where, say they, spring, youth, and health perpetually reign, and where, during ten complete centuries, men enjoy a tranquil life in the midst of festivals and pleasures. Unfortunately, however, they placed this happy country at one of the extremities of the earth, as they did the Garden of the Hesperides at the other. But it need no longer be said that the abode of Happiness is situated in regions inaccessible, while it is possible to ascend to the plateau of Anahuac. It is here, that enchanted with the salubrity of the climate, and the fragrance of the groves, I am almost induced to change my pencil for a crook, and tend a few sheep upon the sides of the magnificent Cordillera.
But, ah! you remind me, these volcanoes-these colossal furnaces! You point out to me those dykes of porphyry and those enormous balls, composed of concentric layers, resting on isolated rocks! You speak of earthquakes-of revolutions, and you dissipate my illusion. "'The world passeth away”—“The glorious beauty which is on the head of the fat valley shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer." "The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire!" * * * * * * * It is time, then, that we should turn our attention to that heavenly country where our brightest visions will be realized-where there shall be no fear of sorrow, pain, or death, and
where God himself, our Father, shall wipe the tears from every weeping eye.
And now that I have fairly come to that subject in which I trust we are both more interested than in any thing beside, allow me to say that, while I would avoid the spirit of controversy, my solicitude and regard for you will not permit me to refuse to communicate freely with you upon the important matters to which you have adverted. It is much to be regretted that men have been so much under the influence of theories of eonversion. It is this that renders it necessary to speak of many things which, in themselves of little moment, have become nevertheless serious obstacles in the position which they have been made to occupy.
There are two theories of conversion. One is that the Spirit of God, by a direct and efficient agency upon the heart, either with or without the word of God, produces a trne faith, and gives an assurance of salvation. The other is, that these effects are produced by the word of God alone.
The advocates of the first are disposed to regard scriptural knowledge, and a calm deliberate conviction of the truths of religion, as of little importance compared with the direct energizing influences of the Holy Spirit. The supporters of the second consider the conviction arising fiom the divine testimony in the scrip!ures as a true and proper faith, and that the supposed operations of the Spirit, on which the first depend, are only the natural consequences of various transient excitements addressed to the animal sensibilities and sympathies.
The former, on the other hand, urge that there is a common or historical faith which produces no saving effects, and that a true faith must be preceded by certain feelings and impressions wrought in the · heart by the Divine Spirit, from which an "evangelical faith," as it is termed, results—which is an overpowering conviction of a direct and personal interest in the salvation of Christ, followed by a sincere belief of the testimony and an acceptable obedience. They arrange therefore the items thus: 1st. Holy Spiril; 2d. Feeling; 3d. Faith; 4th. Testimony; 5th. Obedience. The latter, on the contrary, insist that there is but one kind of faith-i.e. but one faith in kind, however it may vary in degree. It may, like the mountain rill, which swello into a rivulet, and at length grows to a river, be weak and small at first, but may be increased until it becomes resistless; yet is it the same faith differing only in degree. It is impossible, say they, to conceive that feelings should exist in the mind without supposing the mind to have had previously some object before it by which these feel. ings were produced. It could have no object before it capable of this
offoot, unless it were perceived and recognized as actually true. And it oould not be thus perceived and recognized as being true or having a roal existence unless by means of the testimony by which it was presented to the mind. In other words, a man could have no feelings in relation to any thing in the existence of which he never believed; he could not believe in that of which he never heard; he could not hear without testimony properly addressed to his powers of receiving information. They arrange the items therefore as follows; 1st. Testimony or word of God; 2d. Faith; 3d. Feeling. 4th. Obedience.l'heir theory, then, of conversion is, that the gospel facts are first presented to the mind by the proper testimony by which alone they are revealed and sustained; that these facts when believed upon this testimony are necessarily productive of corresponding feelings, which load to immediate and corresponding actions.
It is a universal law of our nature that objects presented to the mind will produce effects upon us according to their character and our relations to them. It inatters not whether these objects be presented to the mind directly through the senses, or whether we are informed of them by human testimony. All that is necessary is, that we should bo convinced that they are what they appear, or are declared to be, in order to be duly influenced by them. Sensible evidence can do no more than this; and human testimony, in its proper measure, will do
It depends not, then, upon any peculiar way of looking at objects, neither upon any peculiar mode of believing that they exist, whether wo shall be moved by them or not. If we survey a beautiful landscape, we are filled with pleasurable emotions: if we witness the agonies of the wounded and the dying upon the field of battle, we have feelings of sorrow. No one in this case pretends to argue that the different emotion is produced by a different way of seeing, rather than by a difference in the object presented to view. We are informed that when Pharaoh's daughter perceived the ark of bulrushes amongst the flags of the Nile, she ordered her maidens to bring it to her. Suppose that instead of the ark she had perceived a crocodile waiting for his prey; doubtless she and her maidens would have fled away with terror; and no one can fail to see that an action so different would he owing not to any different way of seeing, but to a different feeling excited by a different object.
It is not, however, every object which we perceive that will excite ploasure or aversion. Each will produce in us a feeling corresponding to its character and the relation we perceive it to sustain to us. If . we discern no relation whatever in the object to our interest or happi
ness, it will produce in us no emotion whatever, and consequently no action. We daily pass by innumerable objects and hear many things with perfect indifference, because we do not see any connexion between them and the objects of our pursuit. Again, whenever we discover that any of the things which we had before neglected are really related to our interests, they immediately become invested with consequenes in our eyes, ond produce feelings and actions corresponding to their
It is owing to the different relations which things bear to us that we are so differently affected by them, and that the very same matter which will be a source of joy to one, will be a cause of sorrow 10 another. If we suppose a number of prisoners to be confined for various deeds, and proclamation to be made in the prison that upon a certain day there is to be a general jail-delivery, upon which those whose term of confinement had expired should be released, and others in pursuance of their sentence should be led to execution, it will be obvious that the annunciation of the same fact will produce feelings of joy in the former, but of grief and dismay in the latter, simply because the tidings bear to each a different relation. Thus when Christians rejoice in believing that there is one God whom they know to be their benefactor and preserver, it is perfecily natural that demons should tremble in believing the same truth because they look only for vengeance,
and it is perfectly absurd to suppose that there is any difference in the faith in these two cases, any more than in the truth believed. It is to the different relation which this truth bears to each, that a rəsult so different is to be attributed.
Rest assured, then, my dear R., that there is no such thing as "evangelical faith,” in the sense in which the phrase is commonly used, as indicating a faith differing in kind from every other. No one, who will examine the subject, can fail to see that all the various feelings and actions that result from seeing or believing, are to be traced to the nature of the thing presented to the mind, or to the relations which it sustains.
It will, however, be immediately objected by those who support the first-mentioned theory of conversion, that of the many who have the gospel with its evidences presented to them, there are comparatively but few who yield themselves to its requirements. Now, they will ask, if it be so that certain feelings and actions will naturally result from the belief or perception of certain truths, why is it, that while a large assembly of persons will unanimously profess to believe the gospel and acknowledge its importance, some two or three or four of thorn only will feel its power and yield to its claims? Why are not all equally affected by the same facts, presented by the same testi. cony, when they confessedly stand to these facts in the same relation?
I am compelled to postpone the consideration of this difficulty until I write again.-Yours most sincerely,
THE BAPTISTS AGAINST THEMSELVES.-No. II.
"OUT OF YOUR OWN MOUTHS WILL I CONDEMN YOU." The next witness which I shall introduce, is a name of great celebrity and authority among the Baptist fraterni y. It is no less a person
ANDREW FULLER. The writings of Fuller have had a powerful influence among the Baptisis-greater, perhaps, than those of any other Baptist writer. We extract the following from his “Great Question Answered.”. We earnesly request their attention to it.
“I shall not trouble you with the opinions of men as to what the the gospel is, nor even with my own; but direct you to the account given by its Author. The New Testament tells us what it is, in such plain and pointed language, that he who runs may read: “God so loved the world, that he gave his own begotten Son, that whosoever believe eth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain: for i delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.' This is a faithful saying.' (a truth of such importance as to be a kind of Christian proverb,) and 'worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.'—WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED.'--'I de. termined NOT TO KNOW ANY THING SAVE Jesus ChrisT, AND HIM CRI. CIFIED.'-T'HIS IS THE RECORD, THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US ETERNAL LIFE, AND THAT LIFE IS IN HIS Son.'
"What say you to this? The truth of it hath been confirmed by the most unquestionable proofs. It first began to be spoken by the Lord himself, and it has been confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing witness with signs, and words, and divers miraeles. The witness of the three in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, is borne to this, namely, that God hath given to us elernal life, and this life is in his Son;' and to this is also directed the witnese of the three on earth, the Spirit, the Water, and the Blood. Can you subscribe to this truth in all its bearings, and rest the salvation of yoursouls upon it? I am well aware that the great concern of persons in your situation is to obtain peace of mind; and any thing which promises to afford this, attracts your attentpon. If this gospel be believed with all your heart, it will give you peace. This is the good and the