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1. This excellent servant of ance, p. 18, 28. Essay XVII. sect.i. Christ is mistaken in assuming Mr. FULLER's Gospel worthy of all that the three letters on Assu- Acceptation, Part I.; in his Works, rance, &e. were written against Vol. I. p. 21—26. him and his fellow-sufferers. I I would have suppressed some trust that there was nothing in parts of the letter, but the omistheir spirit, language, or tendency, sion would bave obscured the just inconsistent with the most affec- representation of the writer's amitionate honour to those devoted able and christian spirit; othermen, and their numerous com- wise, a becoming feeling on my panions in the faith, whom perse- part would have obliged me to cution, though it grievously ba- leave out those expressions. I am rasses, has not yet driven from greatly mistaken it the reading of their native land. But, in pro- this letter will not very much en. portion to our veneration and love hance the affection of your readers to them, must be our solicitude to those holy servants of Christ, for their highest perfection and who are suffering the manifold difcompleteness in all the will of ficulties and sorrows of spoliation God.
and exile for the word of God 2. He is also mistaken in think and the testimony of Jesus.” If, ing that the observations sub- in the fuluess of our enjoyments, mitted to your readers could have we forget them; if our sympathies no utility with respect to England. and our prayers are not lively on The very contrary is the case. their account; surely our criminal Several of my brethren in the insensibility is very great. ministry, who are in stations of
J. P. S. extensive observation, had strongly urged upon me, as an important “ Sir, and much-honoured Broduty, to compose for your Maga- ther-The extremely distressing zine some paper on the subject of state of my health, for two or three Faith and Assurance, with a par- months, has at last compelled me ticular view to the active propaga- to give up writing almost ention, in our own country, of the tirely. dangerous errors referred to.
“My heart thanks you for the 3. If I touch upon the subject affectionate letter wbich you were itself, it shall be only to say, that so kind as to write to me.. But I my highly esteemed friend over. now wish to say something to you, looks a main point in the argu- with all brotherly freedom, on the ment, namely, WHAT is the formal articles which you have written proposition presented to the mind, against us in the Congregational and the cordial crediting of which Magazine. They have distressed is faith unto salvation. This ap. me. It seems to me that they pears to me to be the hinge of the can be of no advantage to Engwhole question. I conceive my- land, since there is hardly any self to be fairly exonerated from probability of our coming to infect writing any more upon it : but to that country with our errors, if it those of my hopoured brethren in be the fact that there are errors in Switzerland and France who un- our religious principles : and the derstand English, I would take the natural effect of those articles will liberty of recommending and be- be to chill the kind feelings of seeching the careful perosal of any English Christians towards their or all of the following passages :- persecuted brethren in SwitzerMr. SCOTT on the Warrant of land, though I know that this is Faith, p. 10, 98, 99. On Repent- very far from your intention. You
N.S. No. 26.
conscientiously believed yourself language of which can be that bound to write thus, and I respect only of a soul renewed by divine the sense of duty which led you to grace. It is profanation; it is take up the pen.
downright impiety; it is drawing “Being quite incapable of apply. souls to ruin." ing myself to any continued study, “If there are any persons who I cannot attempt a methodical dis- say cavalierly to the souls of men, cussion of this subject. I can only · Believe that you are saved, and offer you, without arrangement, you are saved,' instead of fixing and without explanations, a few their serious attention upon their thoughts which have arisen on own ruined state, and the inthese subjects in my feeble head changing promises of God, I am as I sate by my fire-side. If I far from approving of them. Far were in better health, and if I from us be every approach to the were not obliged to consider the representing of faith as a mere noexpense, I would have repaired to tion carnally got into the head, London to talk with you, my dear instead of its being the act of a Sir, at length on these points. soul which, overwhelmed by the Perhaps we are agreed in the sense of its sin, flies to the refuge, essence, and differ only in form. and embraces the promise as not I delight myself with the thought only perfectly sure, but perfectly that there is only a misunder. holy ! standing between us. But, be that “[believe that repentance should as it may, here are the uncon- be preached along with faith, and pected reflections of a poor sick that in the boldest and strongest sufferer, which I commit to your manner. Without this, a person kind consideration.
might get a semblance of faith in “ Though I rest my faith only the head, without the heart's havupon the word of God, I do not ing any part in it. Yet we cannot despise the writings of good men; but affirm that we often meet with that would be to despise the gospel persons who believe from their · ministry. But, when the Spirit hearts, who by the Holy Spirit of God began his gracious ivfu- are enabled to believe the glad ences of late, in a more remark- tidings, but who have not as yet able manner, in our country, if a deep knowledge of their wretchwe set aside our old divines, who ed state. But then it is absolutely were not within the comprehen- certain that this will come aftersion of common readers, there was wards. It is a fruit of the Spirit scarcely one of the religious books of God, which can never be wantknown in the Canton that was ing; and a minister of Christ really proper to enlighten the souls should have his vigilant attention of men. The books of this kind particularly directed to such permost current among our popula- sons, to observe whether this sense tion, either did not exhibit the truth, of their lost condition is conferred or were positively opposed to it; upon them. The want of it would and these books were even made a be a sure evidence that the faith great engine for contradiction to thus professed was but an illusion, the gospel of the grace of God. a deception of Satan. Hence we have been obliged to “If a person should say, 'I beappeal solely and exclusively “ to lieve ;' and we see him continuthe law and to the testimony." ing in the same course of life, the
“ I disapprove, as much as you, same sentiments, the same tastes the practice of making a whole and inclinations, we should urge generation learn a catechism, the most powerfully upon him those
passages of Scripture which de God. Scripture. positively declare the necessity of SANCTIFICA- clares so. I acknowledge, that TION, in order to show him, that a man who sees his life flowing be does not really believe. We away without perceiving in himmust cry aloud and spare not. self any fruit of the Spirit, cannot
« But further, my dear Sir, I but fall into doubt with regard to frankly tell you what I think of his election. But their due weight faith. Doubting is not believing: should be given to the following and believing is not doubting. considerations. This is demonstratively proved by “This day the Gospel is preached the following, among other pas. to me. I may die to-morrow, sages, Heb. xi. 1.; 1 John v. How shall I find rest to my soul? -9, 10, 11. ; James i. 6.; Rom. iv. (For, unless 1 yield myself to a 18–25. T'he Gospel is the glad criminal indifference, I must obtidings. That which it announces, tain something to afford peace to is the forgiveness of sins. This it my mind against the dreadful posdeclares from God to every sinner sibility of being to-morrow in the for himself: every sinner, then, is state of damnation; and the Bible bound to believe it for himself. declares, that faith gives peace.) If he believe this with the heart, it I will rest upon the promise alone, is the work of the Holy Spirit; quite alone, before the fruits of he will certainly be sanctified and sanctification, which have not yet finally saved. As God declares had time to be produced. Such the forgiveness of sins to every was the case with the thief upon sinner, in the name of Christ, and the cross. declares it to him certainly for “ When, as I advance in the himself, it follows that, if he does Christian course, I discern more not believe it for himself, he does and more the depths of my misery not believe God. To prove this, as a sinner, there are seasons in I shall cite only Acts xüi. 38, 39., which I find myself so overand x. 36. 43.
whelmed, beset on every side, “ Doubt is torment to a reflecting beaten down by sin, that I can and serious soul, which feels itself no more perceive in myself the daily at the portal of eternity, an fruits of the Spirit, however really eternity of happiness or misery. they exist; I can see nothing Doubt is the next neighbour of but the abominations of my heart. despair, to a soul which contem- What shall I do, that I may not *plates this eternity seriously, face fall into the dreadful abyss of to face, and as ready every hour doubt?. I will rest upon the proto open before it. I may die in a mise alone. few moments. Shall I be saved ? “ What child of God is there, Shall I be cast off for ever? I who does not know that Satan believe that, under these reflec- often succeeds so far as to hide tions, it is most frequently the only completely from our eyes the answer which the mind of even the sanctifying graces which the Lord most eminent Christian can listen has, notwithstanding all this, really to, is this : " As Moses lifted up produced in our hearts ? the serpent in the wilderness, even “I feel myself destitute of sanc80 must the Son of Man be lifted tification, Certainly this should up, that whosoever believeth in awaken my vigilance, in a very him may not perish, but may have powerful manner, But, in order eternal life.'
to obtain this sanctification, the I admit that the fruits of the word of truth directs me to believe Spirit in our souls are evidences and not to doubt. 1 John y, 4.; which assure our hearts before James i, 5, 6, 7,
“ Finally, more than once, my but also I do not neglect to lead dear brother, I have believed my- them ever to fix their dependence self to be very near the eternal upon the promises of God; since world. But, though God, by his I find these two things constantly grące, has not left me without united in the divine word. I beevidence of his work in me, I de- lieve that if you, my dear broclare to you that I never could ther, could see that little flock, bring my soul to peace but by and others in our country, you the promise; on nothing could I would be delighted with the simtind rest but on the promise, I plicity and sincerity of their walk could live only on the promise, in the ways of God; and you I could steadily contemplate the would be convinced that the judgment of God only by views teachings which they receive, are of Christ and his promise. At to the utmost degree opposed to the those solemn seasons I have often horrid evil of Antinomianism." thought, that we perhaps carried our notions of theological accuracy too far for the poor expe- ON THE IMPOSITION OF CREEDS, rience of a feeble soul, and the OCCASIONED BY A PASSAGE IN feelings of a dying bed.
THE CHRISTIAN OBSERVER, “May God preserve me from re- .
(To the Editors. ) jecting the weak in the faith! I should reject myself, for often [ GENTLEMEN,-In a recent numbelong to that class. The smallest ber of the Christian Observer, germ of faith is precious in the there occurs an expression of sursight of God; and should we de- prise, that a person of Dr. J. P. spise it? But, though I might Smith's knowledge and expesay of any person who still enter- rience, should object to the imtains doubts, that he has faith, position of creeds and articles, as I cannot say that he has an entire a qualification for the office of faith; for he has not yet entirely the Christian ministry. It is far believed for himself the testimony from being the design of the wriwhich God has given concerning ter who now addresses you, to his Son, and which God gives undertake a vindication of any him, not for others, but for him- statement, which Dr. Smith may
have submitted to the public; that “I believe I may affirm, that all Gentleman is himself abundantly my brethren, the ministers who better qualified to discharge this have separated from the National office, whenever it may appear to Church of the Canton of Vaud, him fit so to do. Dr. Smith knows would approve my views as con- nothing of the present communiformable to their own.
cation, nor is he in the least de“ Farewell, my dear brother. As gree responsible for it. Having Bure yourself of the respect and said thus much to prevent any Christian attachment, with which, unfounded surmises, which might " I am,
possibly arise, in relation to the “ Your devoted servant, author of this letter, I beg to offer,
“* * * *. for the use of the readers of the 6** * * *, 10th Jan. 1827.". Congregational Magazine, a few
« P.S. I endeavour, by corre observations, which a perusal of spondence, to direct and guide the the passage alluded to has sugDissenting church, which God has gested to me. It is unquestioncommitted to me at * * * * In ably incumbent on the Christian my letters, I continually exhort Observer to defend, to the utmost them to press on to perfection; of its ability, the propriety of im
posing creeds and articles; inas- Pythagorean, than with the Chrismuch as this is the practice of tian system. the Established Church a church, But not to insist longer upon which is in the estimation of the this point, it might, I presume, Christian Observer, truly apos- occur to persons of “ knowledge tolical, and all the formulas of and experience,” to inquire what which bave obtained the un- have been the results of the imfeigned assent and consent of position of creeds and articles in erery clerical person who contri- the Church of England. We know butes towards that very respec- it to have been the design of this table miscellany. A noncon- measure, “ to conserve and mainformist, writing for the readers tain the church in the unity of of the Congregational Magazine, true religion, and in the bond of may however be permitted to de- peace." Is it not very natural mur upon this topic. I have in to ask, to what extent this expemy thoughts, Gentlemen, the well dient has answered its end? Has known Horatian maxim. “ Nul- it prevented different opinions lius addictus jurare in verba ma- from being adopted and maingistri," and the still better known tained by the subscribing memand authoritative precept of the bers of the Established Church? Divine Founder of the Christian Has it been productive of that religion, “ peither be ye called great desideratum, a uniformity masters; for one is your master, of faith? Your readers well know, even Christ." In what manner that the most celebrated divines the Christian Observer would ob- of that church, have not hitherto viate the objection apparently re- been so happy as to arrive at a sulting from this precept, against uniformity of judgment respecuing the imposition of creeds, &c. I even the purposes of subscription shall not attempt to conjecture. itself; which, however, the less That the conscientious 'adherents acute and practiced perceptions of to the principles of that publica nonconformists represent to them tion, are in possession of what to be perfectly intelligible and deappears to them to be a valid cisive. Much less have these direfutation of such an objection, I vines, men certainly, many of them do not doubt; but your readers inférior to none in acumen and will, I imagine, with myself, find literary endowments, advanced to it very difficult to reconcile the the much longed-for attainment of injunction, “ neither be ye called uniformity of belief, respecting the masters," with a submission to essential truths of Christianity; the dictates of ecclesiastics and since it is a matter too palpable to statesmen, calling themselves the be concealed or controverted, that Church of England. Cicero in- the most discordant opinions upon forms us, that the ipse dixit of these subjects are entertained by Pythagoras was implicitly re- clergymen, who have declared, garded as absolute, and preclud- ex animo, their unfeigned assent ing all farther discussion, by the and consent to all that is contained disciples of that philosopher; and in the Book of Common Prayer. when a candidate for the Chris- Now, Sirs, after witnessing this tian ministry subscribes a for- result of a measure so long and mula, which dictates to him the so thoroughly submitted to the Essential principles of the Christian test of time and experience, I faith, drawn up by men con- shall not enter upon a detail of fessedly fallible, it becomes him the sufferings, the bonds and imto consider, whether he is not prisonments, the tears and blood acting rather in unison with the of which this measure was produc