ment? The revelations of GOD must ever be to mankind in one sense mysteries; whatever He makes known, opens to view far more which we know not. Not light only, but the "cloud" also, is the especial emblem of the SPIRIT's presence. "GOD is light," but "clouds and darkness," also "are round about Him;" "His pavilion is in dark waters, with thick clouds to cover Him." The comings and goings of our LORD are often significantly said to be with clouds; of Wisdom, that hath made her dwelling in Jacob, it is said, that she "dwells in high places, and her throne is in a cloudy pillar. She alone compasses the circuit of the heaven, and walks in the bottom of the deep 1."

In the same manner of considering the subject, which we have spoken of, it might be said, that St. Paul, a person of all others the most laborious in preaching, had no other object than that of declaring the Gospel to the world; and what did the Gospel contain of good tidings, but the Atonement? It might further be stated, (though I am not aware it has been,) that a certain Tappŋoía, or openness in confessing the truth, was the very characteristic of St. Paul; it was the very object of his prayers; and his request, that it might be that of others for him, (Eph. vi. 19. Phil. i. 20,) that this free utterance and boldness of speech might be given him. It was his boasting that he had thus spoken; he appealed to his converts that he had kept back nothing from them that it was expedient for them to know. "With great boldness to speak the truth," is one of the first gifts of the SPIRIT, as bestowed on the Apostles on the day of Pentecost; and "utterance" is numbered among the highest Christian graces. Now all this is not only granted, but also that if any thing here maintained would imply conduct different from that of the Apostle, would in any way derogate from the necessity of that rappnoia, it would of course be to be condemned in the strongest manner of this there could be no doubt. It is needless to observe, that to withhold the truth from fear or false shame or pride is to be ashamed of CHRIST, to which that awful warning is denounced. Let it therefore, if necessary, be ex

1 Ecclus. xxiv.

2 1 Cor. i. 5. 2 Cor. viii. 7.

plicitly stated, that if any conduct is supposed to be here taught different from that which would have been practised by St. Paul, among inspired Apostles, by St. Chrysostom, among the Ancient Fathers, and by the earnest and single-hearted Bishop Wilson, in our own Church, such is far from being the intention of this treatise.

With regard to that mode of argument alluded to, it is evident that in this manner Holy Scripture might be quoted against itself, and a principle based on one command utterly repudiated without consideration, on account of its supposed discrepancy with another apparently opposed to it. But in such cases, it is by reconciling and explaining such apparent contradictions that we obtain the most life-giving principles contained within them, and the most important rules of conduct; thus we derive them best and most safely. These difficulties are like the hardness of an external covering, which preserves and guards the most precious fruits of nature, and affords trouble at arriving at them. That this reserve is not incompatible with such a declaration of the truth is evident from this, that the two persons whom we should select as most remarkable for fulness and freedom of speech, St. Paul and St. Chrysostom, are equally as much so for this reserve. For the Fathers speak of its being most observable in St. Paul; and it is evident how it marks his writings, especially when he touches on the subject of mysteries. Perhaps the most obvious passage that could be adduced, which seems at first against this supposition, is that in which St. Paul says, he "had kept back nothing that was profitable ;" and it is remarkable of this text, so often quoted against us, first of all, that it was spoken to the Ephesians, to whom we know that St. Paul beyond all others revealed spiritual knowledge: secondly, that they were not the Church at large, but the elders of Ephesus; and, thirdly, to show how differently the ancients viewed these things, on referring to St. Chrysostom, we find he marks as emphatic the word "that was profitable, rv ovμpepóvтwv; for there were some things," he says, "which it was not expedient for them to learn; to speak every thing would have been folly." And as to St. Chrysostom himself, he often refers to this reserve,

as an acknowledged principle, and it is observable, that though he sometimes shows he is fully impressed with the secret senses of Scripture, yet in his Homilies he seldom alludes to them.

2. On preaching the word most effectually.

But with regard to that short and summary manner in which the whole subject may be got rid of by saying, that, notwithstanding all such speculative and abstract principles, it is nevertheless our duty to "preach the Word" (i. e. CHRIST Crucified) "in season, and out of season," and woe be to us, if we do it not. Doubtless it is so a 66 dispensation is committed" unto us, a talent which it would be death to hide. And to this it must be said, that the principle of Reserve which we mention is so far from being in any way inconsistent with this duty, that it is but the more effectual way of fulfilling it. And this may be shown by another case very similar. It is our bounden duty to "let our light shine before men," to set a good example, that they "may see our good works :" but nevertheless it is true notwithstanding, that the great Christian rule of conduct, as the very foundation of all holiness, is that our religious actions should be in secret as much as possible. These two therefore are perfectly compatible. And unless we do act upon this latter principle, that of hiding our good works, our example will be quite empty and valueless. So also may it not be the case, that our "preaching CHRIST Crucified" may be in vain and hollow, unless it be founded on this principle of natural modesty, which we have maintained will always accompany the preaching of a good man under the teaching of God?

But without considering the subject in the light of a holy and religious principle, if we put it on the very lowest ground, why, it may be asked, in religion are all truths to be taught at once? in all other matters there is a gradual inculcation, something must be withheld, something taught first; and is not the knowledge of religion as much a matter of degrees as any human. science? But we have rather treated it here in the higher point of view, in order to show that our efforts to do good will be

worse than fruitless, unless in doing so we act on this principle, to sanctify and strengthen our intentions, that the contrary mode of proceeding is not an indifferent matter, but very injurious. If any one acts on the pure love of God, there is no occasion to command this secrecy; for GOD will doubtless "reveal even this unto him:" and if we preach CHRIST from the highest motives, there is no occasion to teach this reserve; but if we are liable to be influenced by new religious schemes, and indirect motives, we have great need of the warning.

And the fact is, that all we say is so natural, so obvious to natural modesty, if men would but seriously consider it, that those who are most opposed to all we maintain, do in themselves practise it unconsciously in other points. But when they hear of this Tract, without waiting to know what it intends, they hasten to the attack: like the hasty servant in Aristotle, ȧrovε μév TL τοῦ λόγου, παρακούει δὲ, and ἀκούσας μὲν, οὐκ ἐπίταγμα δὲ ἀκούσας, ὁρμᾷ πρὸς τὴν τιμωρίαν.

It is asked with some degree of impatience," Is not knowledge. good for man?" Doubtless we have maintained it most especially by making it the very highest of all things, as a talent of exquisite worth, the very jewel of great price, infinitely divine and sacred. We do not lower the doctrine of the Atonement, but heighten and exalt it, and all we say is, that it should be looked upon and spoken of with reverential holiness. If it is the name of Reserve only which is objectionable, then let the substance of this article be expressed by any other which may be found equally to serve the purpose, whether it be forbearance, or reverence, or seriousness, or religious caution, as long as the full intention of it is equally preserved.

A rule of moral and religious teaching of such a nature as this of course requires a little attention: there is no subject with which the generality of persons are so little acquainted, or which they have so little considered, as that of practical moral principles. And there often may be something in their mode of life, which peculiarly indisposes them to enter into the one now under dis

1 Ethics, vii. 6.

cussion. If a person has never been engaged in religious teaching, where his object has been to bring men to a serious consideration of the truth; if he is known to look upon theology rather in a political than a religious point of view; if he is much used to popular speaking, and the applause that accompanies it; if he allows himself to discuss the most sacred subjects in the daily periodical; if he has never been trained to any reverence for holy places; if he considers Christianity as a mere popular system; if he disparages Sacraments: then of course we cannot consider such an one as an adequate and fair judge on a subject, the very nature of which is opposed to his own practice; for the discernment of every moral principle depends on conduct regulated with regard to it.

3. On teaching the doctrine of the Atonement.

But there is another reason, more pervading and deeply rooted than any of these, although in various ways connected with them, which remains to be considered. All the objections are made without reference to the case we adduce, and without attention to the arguments, on account of a previously conceived strong bias against it; which makes it necessary that we inquire more at length into that system of the day which has claimed for itself the inmost sanctuary of religion, and at once predisposes men so strongly to be thoroughly opposed to all that we can urge. All the arguments adduced, and the principle maintained, are at once looked upon with respect to that system; all other matters to which it applies, and all the circumstances on which it is founded, are immediately set aside as unworthy of consideration, because this system of late years and of human invention is through all its branches thoroughly opposed to it: and many, and more than are aware of it, have taken up their position in these opinions, and consider it so impregnable, that whatever opposes it must necessarily be false. The system of which I speak is characterized by these circumstances, an opinion that it is necessary to obtrude and "bring forward prominently and explicitly on all occasions the doctrine of the Atonement." This one thing it

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