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Of quicksands 'neath the treacherous wave,
The joy of knowledge!-Ask the sage
The watching o'er the midnight oil
The joy of heaven!-'T is bought with prayers,
With deeds that shun the view,
With penitential tears and cares
Which worldlings never knew:
When earth-born pleasures spread their wings,
Or hide them in the tomb,
From the damp soil of sorrow springs
The bud of deathless bloom.
*In a late number of the Monthly Repository, a piece originally inserted in this work from Mr Bowring's Ms., is ascribed by mistake to the Christian Advocate.
Thy spirit in benignant hour
Then worlds arose, and own'd Thy power,
And still, and still from heaven above,
A scene with marvellous splendors drest
он THAT I HAD WINGS LIKE A DOVE."
OH! that the radiant plumes were mine
O'er mist,-o'er blast,-o'er cloud I'd fly,
Nor pause till I beheld the sky
Where weary, wandering souls find rest.
CONCIO AD CLERUM. A Sermon delivered in the Chapel of Yale College, September 10, 1828. By Nathaniel W. Taylor. H. Howe, New Haven.
It would seem, that the views which are unfolded in this address to the clergy of Connecticut, are thought by Dr Taylor to be unpopular. For he takes occasion particularly to vindicate them from all suspicion of having originated in a desire to win favor. "If," says he,
"popularity were the object, the charges of having departed from the true faith by renouncing former opinions, repeated from one end of the land to the other, show at least in respect to some of us, how ill-judged has been this expedient to gain popularity." (p. 27.) What! are orthodox churches instructed, by sounds so uncertain, and symbols so dark, that they have from one end of the land to the other, reprobated as false doctrine their own acknowledged truth? We cannot imagine it. Yet our author thus strongly represents his case. It is not a few unworthy or uneasy spirits, who can have given rise to charges so grave against one whose high station and every where respected name, might well have saved him. from such reproach. But from one end of the land to the other, have the views contained in this discourse been charged upon such as hold them, as a departure from the true faith.
Dr Taylor does indeed repel this accusation as slanderous, and announces his entire adherence now, as heretofore, to the orthodox faith. He is also claimed by leading publications as a writer of acknowledged orthodoxy. Here, then, is a mystery. Views confessedly not popular, and which have subjected those who hold them to a charge of departing from the true faith, all over the land, are yet declared by the best authority to be sound doctrine. We cannot pretend to be in doubt what the true solution of this difficulty is. What our author calls "a semblance of controversy," is, in reality, a serious difference in opinion. He may not thus view it now. But he will find it so. Just as the late disputation between two learned professors respecting the eternal generation of the Logos, which was made to appear no 14*
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fundamental question, but only a variance between such as hold" for substance" the same opinions, is now in solemn Synod declared by a Presbytery to be so vital a question, that he who even doubts, is not fit to preach the Gospel.
We have before us, at this moment, a series of Lectures upon the Confession of Faith composed by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster. It is the production of the first incumbent of the Hollis Professorship of Divinity at Cambridge, Edward Wigglesworth, and is therefore a good witness in evidence of that which we shall quote. "What the Calvinists maintain," says he, "is, that the first actual sin of Adam is imputed to all his posterity, antecedently to any regard to the corruption of human nature. On the other hand, their adversaries either deny any imputation at all, or admit only such as is consequent upon a view of the hereditary corruption derived to us from Adam, and is founded upon it." Such, in 1737, was the state of the question respecting depravity. But our author now affirms, "The doctrine of imputation being rejected, as it has been in New England for many years, there was no way left in which we could be viewed as the older divines viewed us." (p. 26.) So then, the full circle has been swept, and orthodox Calvinists now are where their adversaries were, less than a century ago; denying to a man what all Calvinists then maintained! And yet we are daily rebuked for our unitarian departure from the same good old way, by these very adversaries of the ancient Calvinists! It were better for us all to try opinions by some other standard than antiquity alone, can now afford. We are all gone out of the way, in which a Puritan of the ancient stamp, would
have required us to walk. It is no discredit to have departed from our fathers' creed, if that has brought us nearer to the faith of Jesus Christ.
Dr Taylor's opinions on the subject of human nature, are exhibited in the following paragraphs :
"By the moral depravity of mankind I intend generally, the entire sinfulness of their moral character,-that state of the mind or heart to which guilt and the desert of wrath pertain. I may say then negatively,
"This depravity does not consist in any essential attribute or property of the soul-not in anything created in man by his Maker. On this point, I need only ask,— does God create in men a sinful nature, and damn them for the very nature he creates ? Believe this, who can.
"Nor does the moral depravity of men consist in a sinful nature, which they have corrupted by being one with Adam, and by acting in his act. To believe that I am one and the same being with another who existed thousands of years before I was born, and that by virtue of this identity I truly acted in his act, and am therefore as truly guilty of his sin as himself,-to believe this, I must renounce the reason which my Maker has given me; I must believe it also, in face of the oath of God to its falsehood, entered upon record.
"Nor does the moral depravity of men consist in any constitutional propensities of their nature. Whoever supposed himself or others to be guilty, for being hungry or thirsty after long abstinence from food or drink; or merely for desiring knowledge, or the esteem of his fellow-men, or any other good, abstractly from any choice to gratify such desires? Who does not know that a perfectly holy man must be subject to all these propensities?