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to those who make grace to consist in the natural faculties, If righteousness come by nature, then Christ is dead in vain. But as man possessed both the law, and the natural faculties, before Jesus Christ came, without being justified by one or the other, it is clear that Jesus Christ died not in vain. It is one fruit of his death, then, to cause us to accomplish the law by his grace; according to the following saying of this Divine Saviour, * Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil ;' and to renew our nature, lost and ruined by Adam ; according to this other saying of the same Jesus Christ, « The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.'
“ Canon XXII. No one has aught of himself, save falsehood and sin; and if there be any truth and righteousness in man, it must necessarily have its origin in that fountain which we ought to thirst for in the parched wilderness of this life, in order that it may us some drops of its waters, to support us on the way, and keep us from fainting
“ CANON XXIII. When men do things displeasing to God, it is their own will that they do, and not his. But when they obey God, and act according to his will, although it may be said that they do their own, inasmuch as what they do, they do because they are pleased to do it, it is then God's will that is done, both because it is he who commands the things to which their will inclines, and because it is he that prepares
their will. “Canon XXIV. Although the branches remain united to the trunk, the trunk derives no benefit from them ; they, on the contrary, derive from the trunk the sap which supports their life. So when Jesus Christ abides in his disciples, and they abide in him, they profit thereby, not He: for even if we cut off a branch from the trunk, the trunk continues whole, and can put forth another: but the branch that is cut off cannot live, after it is separated from the trunk.
“ CANON XXV. To love God is a gift of God. It is he who has given us to love him, having loved us before we loved him. He loved us at a time when we were able only to displease him, in order to put that within us, which makes us to please him. For love is shed abroad in our hearts by that Spirit of the Father and of the Son, whom we love with the Father and the Son.
“We ought then, with the help of God's mercy, to believe and expressly to preach, according to these passages of Scripture, and decisions of the ancient fathers, that free-will has been so debilitated and borne down by the sin of the first man, that since this sin no one is
any more able either to love God aright, or to believe in him, or to do
any thing good for the love of him, unless he be prevented by his grace and mercy. Therefore let us not think, that the excellent faith, for which the Apostle commends righteous Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and so many saints of the Old Testament, came to them because there was once something good in man's nature, given to him in Adam, but that it came by the grace of God.
" And even since the Saviour's coming we believe, and indeed we know, that it is not from the source of free will that those who seek salvation derive this grace; but that it is Jesus Christ, who gives it them out of his free bounty : as the Apostle declares expressly by these words, already cited by us; 'Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake :' and by these ; "He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ :' and by these ; · By grace are ye saved, through faith ; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God:' (and also because this holy Apostle says, speaking of himself, that he has obtained mercy to be faithful: for he says not that he has obtained mercy because he was, but to be, faithful) :—and the Apostle St. James by these; Every good gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights:' and the Gospel by these ; A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.'
“ There are innumerable passages of Scripture besides, which might be brought to establish the doctrine of grace. But we dispense with them for the sake of brevity ; and because their quantity would avail nothing with those, for whom the few that we have brought are insufficient.
“We profess moreover our faith in this wholesome doctrine, that in all the good works which we do, so far from its being true that they begin with us, and that the mercy of God comes not to our aid till after we have begun, it is He, who, without any merit going before on our part, inspires us with faith and love to him, in order that by the impulse of this faith we may seek a state of salvation, and after having obtained it may be able, with his grace, to accomplish that which is pleasing to him: wherefore it clearly is to be believed, that the faith, wonderful as it was, of the thief whom Jesus Christ delivered from sin, to go with him into Paradise; and of Cornelius the centurion, to whom an angel was sent from God; and of Zaccheus, who had the happiness to receive the Saviour into his house; was not an effect of natural powers, but purely a gift of God's free bounty.
“ Hoping that the above-written decision of the ancient fathers and ourselves, will serve, both to laymen and to ecclesiastics, as an antidote to error, we have thought fit that the excellent persons, who are here present with us on this solemn occasion, should sign the same with their own hands. “Read a second time and signed, in the name of Jesus Christ,
by me, Cesarius, bishop, July the third, the younger
Decius being consul.
bishop. “Signed in the name of Jesus Christ by me, Cyprian, bishop.
&c. &c. &c.
RELIGIOUS ANNIVERSARIES OF 1829. It has been justly observed of our religious anniversaries, that we there see the “collected representatives of the Christian world.” But this is not all. There is no other place, at least on earth, of which this can be truly said. The religious meetings of our great societies afford the only spot, where such a collection takes place. They present the only visible union of the church of Christ.-And how is it in the country? There, the system of travelling, and visiting associations, effects a similar object. Many faults are found with this system ; but objectors do not consider what is the end it answers. It keeps up the unity of the church of Christ. Subscribers to religious societies should not complain of the attendant expense. The travelling agents and representatives should not complain of the attendant trouble and loss of time. They may depend upon it, complain as much as they will, that they are answering an important purpose in God's church. By passing thus from place to place, they constitute as it were a thread of connexion running through the whole community, making that to be visibly one, which would otherwise, to all human appearance, be broken and unconnected. For this is the point to be kept in view : that this visible union is sustained by them alone. There is no other way, in which the visible union of the general church is kept up. And thus the people of God, scattered throughout this land, and throughout Europe, and throughout the world, are visibly one, through the anniversaries and visiting system of our great religious societies; and, without them, would not be so in any way whatever.
We regard the operations of these institutions, therefore, as producing, besides their anniversary purposes, much collateral good. We would have all their meetings attended, in the right spirit for receiving benefit; for instance, in a friendly, approving spirit, not in a dissatisfied, captious spirit. Attendance at these public meetings should be reckoned amongst the means of grace, as well as going to a place of worship; and if we go to them in a right spirit, we shall find benefit. We have already expressed our disapprobation of that over-caution, which represents the impressions produced at them as “mere excitement.” We do not at all enter into the fastidious feeling of those, who object to the system of returning public thanks for public services : the beginning of which system may be traced to St. Paul, and to the primo-primitive churches : for, speaking of certain individuals, by whom public services had been rendered,
he says, “ unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.” We view the frequency of such meetings in our metropolis, as a high distinction of British Christianity: and, when we take up the printed list, which sets forth their respective objects, their order, their places of holding, and their number-amounting in the present year to about thirty-we exclaim with wonder, “Strange, that all this succession of great meetings should take place in this metropolis at its most crowded season; that the whole should be going on and brought to a conclusion; and that there should be persons on the spot-bishops and archbishops, the appointed upholders of religion, to say nothing of laymen-to all appearance totally indifferent about them, or totally ignorant of any such proceedings taking place !”
Several of the meetings of the present year, we had ourselves the privilege of attending : and it strikes us that the late anniversaries were of two kinds : those which were characterized by a maintenance of harmony, and those which were distinguished by an expression of principle. In previous years, meetings have chiefly, perhaps, borne the former character. We do not altogether regret this. Contention has been dreaded : the maintenance of peace has been made an object : and it has at any rate been pleasing to see, that the object could be gained. Where conscientious persons have contributed to this, by keeping back what they would rather have brought forward, that the wish for peace might not be defeated, let them have due praise for their self-denial. Meetings have commenced with apprehensions of disorder in the minds of many, and have ended in mutual congratulations on the spirit of harmony and love.—Of this former kind, in which the maintenance of harmony was made the great point, have been many of the meetings, also, in the present year; especially those of the old societies, which took place at the beginning of May, in what is sometimes called the meeting week.
At the same time we doubt, however, whether this plan, of making the maintenance of harmony the first object, has not been sometimes carried too far : and as we are going to state our reasons, we hope it will be understood, from what has been already said, that we are lovers of peace as far as peace is desirable; that we do not think harmony an evil in itself; that the joy at seeing this harmony maintained is a joy which we ourselves have felt; and that we hope a beneficial effect has been thereby produced on our own minds. Where Christians of various denominations meet, who can grieve in seeing them associated in promoting their Master's cause, beginning their work with prayer, and perhaps ending it with praise ?—We now proceed.
The cause which principally led men to expect (we may say, which led us to hope for) a difference of opinion at the late anniversaries, was the question of Catholic Emancipation. But the maintenance of harmony was deemed the grand object, and the expression of principle was to be kept down. This was not, however, merely from the love of peace, common to all occasions. If the object could be now gained, of maintaining harmony, it might appear that emancipation had been carried with the general consent, or with the very slight disapproval, of the religious world : and the degree of harmony that actually was maintained, seems already to be used as a proof of this very point. Under these circumstances, the desire for peace appears chiefly to have been on one side :-and how was the object gained ?
It was gained, chiefly, by means of the chairmen and speakers at the different meetings. These, for the most part, made it their business, to deprecate discussion, and to inculcate harmony. The chairman begins, by appealing to our love of peace; and by intimating a hope, that there will be no “ expression of religious differences," inasmuch as the servants of the Lord are not to strive.—The same course is followed by the speakersmost of them, so far as they have expressed their sentiments, persons favourable to the claims of Popery. One person, a member of parliament, states it as his opinion, “ that any attacks upon the religious principles of the Roman Catholics should be studiously avoided;" thereby declaring himself, totidem verbis, no Protestant : -and adds, “ On a former occasion some strong language had been made use of, and so decided were his opinions against turning that society into a controversial society, that he quitted the room.” And why did he come back? Really this interference of members of parliament, to prevent clergymen and ministers from speaking their sentiments at religious meetings, is growing into a monstrous evil, and the sooner it is put a stop to the better.---Another individual, himself a clergyman--and a clergyman whom, unless his tarnished Protestantism is first scoured, we trust we shall never see sitting as the member of a higher house—tells a meeting that “it is time they should avoid as much as possible any recurrence to irritating topics ;” meaning, if he meant any thing, much the same as the previous speaker. In fact, English principle, English Protestantism, the English constitution, have been recently subjected to something that looks very like “ Burking;” and these pleas for pacification have been a part of the process. Put "Wellington” for “ Burke," and our allusion will be un