Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

ch. ii. ver. 16; which may be kept by presented, in a pássage which is quoted those who are uncircumcised, ver. 26, 27; in the text, as demanding universal and which forbids theft, and adultery, and unceasing obedience. 2dly, Whether it cursing, and covetousness, ch. ii. 21–23; it is not calculated to hold out the most ch. iii. 14: ch. vii. 7; and which stops melancholy prospect, as to the attainevery mouth, and brings in the whole ment of justification to guilty men; for world guilty before God,' ch. iii. 19: there never was an individual of the hu. assertions which, though true of the mo. man race who did what he could in obe. ral, can in no sense be maintained of the dience to the law : and, if this is a preceremonial law. Nay, it is distinctly requisite, even before we can be justified mentioned, that, if there had been any by this milder constitution, we must die law,' whether ceremonial or moral, the in our sins. In the 3d place, Whether demands of which men could have satis. it is not directly opposed to the account fied, and their obedience to which could which is given of the way of salvation in have been accepted by God, as the con- the sacred Scriptures ? According to the dition of their justification, this blessing latter, we are so entirely indebted to the would have been granted to them through blessed Redeemer for wisdom, and right. that law. If there had been a law cousness, and sanctification,

and regiven which could have given life, verily demption, that he who glorieth must righteousness should have been by the glory in the Lord.' 1 Cor. i. 30, 31. But, law.” Gal. iii. 21. And at the same time according to the former, we must glory it is declared that there is no such law, in ourselves as well as in the Lord ; for, and that they must look for justification though the righteousness of Christ supto that way of salvation which is reveal- plies our defects, yet it is our own sined to them in the gospel. Ver. 22, But cere, though imperfect obedience, when the Scripture hath concluded all under we are compared with others, who come sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus short of justification, that procures us a Christ might be given to them that be title to the abodes of blessedness. And, lieve.' See, too, Rom. viii. 3, 4.

in the last place, Whether it will not “ It is contended, however, by others, weaken the motives to practical Christthat, though all this may be true, and ianity, if you inform those individuals, though it may be utterly impossible for who have long been enslaved by habits us to attain justification by performing a of intemperance, and other gross immorcomplete and unsinning obedience, yet a alities, that, if they only do what they can milder law has been provided for us by to abstain from these vices, and to per. the Almighty, by which we may receive form the opposite duties, their defects that blessing : for, if we do what we can, will be supplied out of the merits of he will be perfectly satisfied, and will ad. Christ, and they will get a title to immor. mit us into heaven, partly for our sincere, tality? We have often heard of a simi. though imperfect, obedience, and partly lar tendency, as imputed to Calvinism, from a regard to the merits of Christ, a charge from which it has been ably and which will supply our defects. Now, we triumphantly vindicated by Witherspoon would beg to inquire, in the first place, and Fuller, and others of its defenders ; where this new and milder law,—which but we shall be glad to be informed what will accept of such small and imperfect will be advanced, by the advocates of a obedience, if it is only sincere, and if, mitigated law, to repel this imputation from long continued habits of vice and from their favourite hypothesis, and to iniquity, it be all that we can perform,- see upon what grounds they will prove it is to be met with in the New Testament?

to be consistent with the character of Not surely in the Sermon on the Mount; God to grant to his creatures an abatefor there it is declared by the Saviour, ment of the first and great command, Matt. v. 17, 18, that he came not to ment, which enjoins them to love Him destroy the law, but to fulfil it; and that with all their hearts, and of the second, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot which requires them to love their neighor one tittle shall not pass from the law, bours as themselves." till all be fulfilled :' nor in the epistles of Paul; for he affirms, Rom. iii. 31, that,

The next is on the argument for in place of making void the law by faith, we establish the law;' and that the the divinity of Christ, from his language of the law still is, Gal. iii. 10, creating all things: • Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the “ If it be alleged by Socinians, that book of the law to do them ;'-nor in all which is intended in the first of these the writings of James, where it is re- passages is only a new creation, or the re: formation of the world by his instructions Is it objected by Arians, that the and example, we would briefly remark, worship which is presented to him will not that it is stated in the second, that he prove his divinity, because it is said to created the whole of the angels in hea. have been given to him as the reward of ven who needed no such reformation, as hisobedience, Philip. ii. 8, 11, and is well as men upon earth; and conse. never represented as having been offer. quently it must be the first creation. ed till his ascension to heaven? We And if they still reply, in the language answer, that there is not the slightest al. of Dr. Priestley, that there are no such lusion to the worship of the Redeemer beings as angels or spirits, for they are in the passage referred to, but merely a only figures of speech, and that the de- declaration of the exaltation of his huvil himself, as was maintained by Fon- manity to universal dominion, and of the tenelle, is but a trope, or an allegory, we appointment of the Father, that every refer them to the third passage, where it knee should bow to him, in token of its is asserted distinctly, that he laid the submission to his sovereign authority, foundation of the earth, and that the hea- and that every tongue should confess that vens are the work of his hands,—and he is Lord. And while this will be done certainly they will not affirm that these

at present by genuine Christians, it is two are figures. But if they are real ex. elsewhere announced, Rom. xiv. 10, 11, istences, and were produced by Christ, he that it shall be done by all men, whether must be admitted to be the author of the saints or sinners, at the universal judgfirst creation, and the Most High ment, when the worship of the Saviour, as

“ It may also be observed, that when far as concerns the impenitent, shall have God is said, Eph. iii. 9,-' to have cre. ceased for ever. But if the passage in ques. ated all things by Jesus Christ,' it by no tion does not refer to worship, and let means denotes that he produced them by our opponents, if they are able, establish the Redeemer merely as an instrument; the contrary,) the objection vanishes. for it is asserted above, that no such in. Besides, even allowing that the Redeem. strument was employed by the Almighty er was appointed to be worshipped as a in the creation of the world. And as the return of gratitude for that amazing love word da is frequently applied to primary which he had manifested to sinners, when agency, as in 1 Cor. i. 9; Rom. xi. 36, he condescended to die for them, it would &c. it seems rather to intimate that it not follow, from this circumstance, that was the Lord Jesus Christ who was the adoration which is offered to him is pointed by the other persons of the God- of an inferior description, or that he is head to this important work, while at the not really God. We are frequently in. same time it is evident, from other parts formed, in the sacred Scriptures, that of Scripture, that he used in it the agency God is to be worshipped not merely for of the Holy Ghost. In whatever way, what he is in himself, but' for his works however, you interpret these words, it is of wonder to the children of men ;' and utterly inconceivable that the Redeemer it is never insinuated, that the adocould have sustained only a subordinateration which we are to give him for the part in this mighty work; for, had this latter is inferior to what we are to renbeen the case, it would never have been der to him for the former, or that any said of him, that all things were created being is to be worshipped for his works for him;' nor would he have been celebrat- who is not worthy of this homage upon ed by the Psalmist as the Supreme Jeho- the prior ground of his being possessed vah, who had laid in the beginning the of all divine and infinite perfections. foundations of the universe, and who Now, if the Father is to be worshipped on was entitled to the glory which results account of his works, as well as for what from this grand and magnificent under- he is in himself, why may not the Son ? taking. Psalm cii. 25-27. And that and if the worship which is presented to he is exhibited in this light seems to be the Father for the former is not inferior beyond a doubt; for it is affirmed of the to that which is offered to him for the Father, by the apostle Paul, when he is latter, upon what principle can it be in. proving the superiority of the blessed ferred that the worship which is to be Redeemer to the most glorious angels, given to the blessed Redeemer for what that to the Son he said, thou Lord, in he has suffered and done for the redempthe beginning hast laid,' &c. The Son tion of his people is only of an inferior of God, therefore, must certainly have description ? Certainly if the highest and been a primary and efficient agent in the most elevated adoration was presented by creation of the universe.”

the Israelites to God the Father, for their The next is on the worship that ly potentate, (Exod. xv.) the most exalt

deliverance from the power of an earthis offered to Jesus Christ :

ed praises may well be ascribed to the

3 н

VOL. XXIII. NO. VI.

divine Redeemer by all genuine saints, in some instances it will not prove even for accomplishing a more glorious and the sincerity of the sufferer. Should the excellent salvation. We know, more. contrary be maintained, it would immeover, that the Redeemer was worshipped diately follow, that the superstitions of before he ascended to heaven; for we Popery must be founded in truth, and are told by Isaiah, that he saw him re- that the Jesuits believed them; for many ceiving the adoration of the seraphim, of the latter suffered under the hands of before he appeared in our nature, and their relentless persecutors, both in China tabernacled among our race, (chap. vi.) and Japan, for their adherence to their Paul, too, declares, (Heb. i. 6,) that, principles. And in the 3d place, If all • when he was brought into the world, that he did for the redemption of men all the angels were required to worship was to officiate for a time as a religihim,' for the new display which he had ous instructor, and, after presenting in given of his goodness in engaging to die his life a striking example of active for guilty men. And it might easily be goodness, to leave in his death an im. proved, that he was worshipped by his pressive pattern of the suffering virtues, followers while he dwelt upon earth, -upon what ground is the title of the some of whom exclaimed upon seeing his Propitiation of the World applied to him glory, · Depart from us, O Lord, for we exclusively in the sacred volume, and are sinful men ;' and by the penitent why is it asserted of him alone, that · he thief who died upon the cross, for he has washed us from our sins in his own prayed to him as that great and mighty blood ?' Has every other instructor wbo Being, who, when he had entered into has appeared since his days been so in. his kingdom, was to be the dispenser of ferior to Jesus, (if he was only a man,) future and everlasting blessings. In e. as to be unworthy of this name, although very point of view, therefore, the objec- we know that the ministry of the apostle tion is groundless, and the worship which Paul was nearly ten times as long, and is offered to the blessed Redeemer in the extended to many more nations and sacred Scripture, presents a strong and countries, and was much more explicit invincible argument to convince us that on many important subjects, and was far he can be nothing less than the supreme more successful? And has every other Jehovah,"

martyr who has died for the gospel been

so inferior to Jesus in the measure of his The last is on the hypothesis of sufferings, and in the spirit with which

he bore them, as to be undeserving of the Socinians respecting the ends this title, although we know that the sufof Christ's death :

ferings of this illustrious apostle were of

a much longer duration, and (if there • It has been affirmed by Socinians, was nothing of an atonement for the in opposition to the above, that the sins of men in what was endured by principal design of the death of Christ Christ,) greatly more affecting ; (comwas, that he might seal with his blood pare 2 Cor. xi. 23—27,) while they were the truth of that doctrine which he taught supported at the same time with a firmduring his life, and might leave us an ness and magnanimity (Rom. viii. 37,example of the suffering virtues. But 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8,) beyond what was displayupon this we would remark-1st, That ed by the blessed Redeemer, upon the if death, as we are assured, be the wages supposition that he did not die for the of sin, and if Jesus, who was innocent sins of the world ? Never were such of all transgression, was not required to words uttered by the apostle, in the prosundergo it for the sins of men, upon pect of his dissolution, as were heard from what principle could he be subjected to Jesus, when he exclaimed in the garden, it by the God of heaven? The very cir- • Now is my soul sorrowful even unto cumstance, then, of his dying at all esc death ;' and when he cried out again on tablishes the doctrine which is asserted the accursed tree, My God, my God, in this exercise, that he must have been the why hast thou forsaken me?' Why then substitute of his people, and that he must he alone, of all the instructors who have have borne their sins when he endured been vouchsafed to the church, and of all that evil which is the wages of sin. 2dly, the martyrs who have died for the gospel, If he suffered to attest the truth of his should be dignified with the names of doctrine, then he must have died in vain; the Lamb of God, and of the Propitiafor the death of an individual who seals tion of Sinners, and why it should be with his blood what he has taught with asserted of him exclusively that he gave his lips, will not demonstrate by any his flesh for the life of the world, and means the truth of his principles, but was delivered for our offences, and washmerely that he himself belicves them, and ed us from our sins in his own blood,

and that not a syllable like this should taught us to anticipate no ordinary be affirmed of Paul, or of any other

gratification. teacher however distinguished, or of any other martyr however pre-eminent, presents, we apprehend, an insurmount. able difficulty against the Socinian hypothesis, which combined with the evi. Mr. Owen's Ohjection to Christdence that is stated above, must be suf.

ianity and New View of Society ficient to convince eyery candid inquirer

and Education refuted, by a Plain that it is contrary to the principles of the word of God.

Slalement of Facts ; with a Hint “ We should be happy to be informed, to Archibald Hamilton, Esq. of by the opponents of the atonement, what

Dalzel. By the Rev. John Aito were the ends of the sufferings of Christ during his infancy and nonage? It can

on, 8vo. Pp. 92. price 3s. 6d. not possibly be alleged that it was to con

Edinburgh, 1824. firm his doctrine, and to exhibit an example of patience and humility ; for not We have said nothing of Mr. a single communication of heavenly wis. Owen for some months. In truth dom had proceeded from his lips, nor had

the “ New Views" are become a a single instance of holy obedience appeared in his conduct. What then was

very tiresome and sickening sub- . the end for which the immaculate Savi- ject. The author is like a horse in our, even in his tender years, was doom- a mill; he goes the same unyaried ed to these sufferings, which are uniformly round of blundering statement, and ty: Upon the principles which are ad- illogical reasoning, and Utopian vanced in the preceding exercise this is prediction, for ever and ever; and easily answered,-for, even from his ear, though defeated in argument, cover, liest years, he was laid as a sacrifice on ed with ridicule, convicted of error, the altar of God to expiate our guilt: despised by philosophers, shunned but, upon the hypothesis of the Soci. nians, and of the greater part of Arians, by Christians, repulsed by Parlia. who consider the Almighty as pardoning ment, pitied by his friends, and cona our sins from a general regard to the tradicted by himself, he perseveres in virtue of Christ, as the ancient Israelites his dull stupid course, as if he were got many temporal blessings for the sake really inaking progress in the work of of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, this is totally inexplicable.'

conversion, and would at last accom

plish the regeneration of the world. We sincerely recommend this But, in the mean while, he is not little production to the attention of incapable of making mischief. He the Christian public ; and trust that may succeed in perverting the iga the pious wishes of the author will norant, in misleading the young, in be fulfilled, by its becoming instru- encouraging the hall-instructed in mental, through the divine blessing, fidels, and in persuading a certain in “ promoting the improvement class of country gentlemen, and of a very interesting portion pf the some scores of discontented wea, church of Christ."

vers, that Christianity is a great, In conclusion, we have two short bar to the improvement and hapremarks to offer. We cannot for- piness of man. And it is not amiss get that to Dr. Brown we owe a

that now and then he and his sysmost able and satisfactory work on

tem should be taken to task, and the matter of dispute between exposed in their genuine aspect of Presbyterianism and Independen.. presumption, falsehood and folly. cy; and we must not allow him to This has been done by Mr. Ait, forget that he has promised us a on with great vigour and success. treatise on the Episcopalian con. He has employed ratiocination, and troversy, from which his talents, he has adduced facts, and by means and diligence, and erudition, have of both he has helped to demolish

for a very

the credit of the Philanthropist.

“ The author would ask Mr. Owen, in The farther, indeed, that the pre. Dale's method of management? Was it

what material respect he improved Mr. tensions and statements and labours in exacting an additional hour's work at of this visionary are examined, the night, and thereby breaking up an evenmore is it made manifest that great ing-school, which, till then, had been atinefficiency has attended the wise tended by 600 or 700 scholars ? Or, was parts of his scheme, or that in most it in endeavouring to compel the workers ibings the New Lanark establish- lowed by Mr Dale? Was it in giving

to eat their porridge in half the time alment is distinguished by quackery, greater facility to tippling, in allowing imposition, nonsense, infidelity, and whisky to be retailed at their very door, iminorality. We are indebted to and in permitting a “ well-regulated inn" the author of the work before us

to be kept at the head of the brae ? Was

it in depriving the workers of the managesasiisfactory demonstra.

ment of their sick-fund, and dismissing tion of this proposition, and we their committee for complaining of the could wish that those who have been institution having been deeply involved hitherto deluded by the vain boasto in debt? Was it in not suffering the little

children to come unto Jesus, by shorten. ing and systematic trickery of Mr. ing the time formerly allowed for their Owen, would take the trouble of religious instructionWas it in introgiving it a careful perusal. It ducing any new regulation as to diet, abounds in acute observation, sen.

treatment, education, and exercise, where. sible remarks, and authentic details;

by there have been fewer deaths among

an equal number of children for the same and while it administers castiga. given period? Was it in imagining that tion only where castigation is de- the study of geography and natural philoserved, and uşes no language unne- sophy, by children under twelve years of cessarily harsh, it carefully avoids age, is to be preferred to instructing them thatfrothy and mischievous applause Was it in teaching the children the lati

in the first principles of Christianity ? which has been too often lavished tude of Van Diemen's Land before inon the alleged benevolence of Mr. structing them in the attributes of the Owen by his avowed opponents as Almighty? or in learning them, like parwell as by his attached friends.

rots, to repeat the definition of Terra del We will tell our readers what Mr. which? Was it in supposing that the

Fuego before they can spell the pronoun Aiton has done in his work, and clasşification of shells, or the description what in our opinion he has done of sea-gulls, is more likely to engender in successfully. He has not only tlie young mind sentiments of humility, shown that Mr. Owen is not en.

gratitude, and love, than the sublime titled to adduce the present condi

views which the Gospel affords with re

spect to our fallen state, and the means tion of his villages at New Lanark, of our regeneration ?” in proof of the inefficacy of bis New Views, but has proved that all Mr. Aiton has devoted a section the useful regulations in that esta- to an account of the settlement of blishment originated with Mr. Dale, Catrine in Ayrshire, and to a com. and that under Mr. Dale's manage. parison of its merits with those of ment, the people were not what the New Lanark institution. He Mr. Owen for his own exaltation is visited both establishments, made pleased to allege, but fully as ho personal and minute inquiry, exanest, sober, religious and well be mined whatever was necessary for haved as they are at this moment. coming to a fair result, and, after After mentioning a variety of cir- recording what he saw or ascertaine cumstances in illustration of this ed to exist, he came to the conpoint, Mr. Aiton has the following clusion that New Lanark is eclippassage, which is nothing more sed by Catrine-notwithstanding all than substantiated facts put into that has been said by Mr. Owen, the form of a catechism, addressed and believed by others, as to the to Mr. Owen.

unrivalled superiority of the former.

« VorigeDoorgaan »