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of natural and revealed religion, child's eye, till he has swallowed drove men to cruel and unwarrantable extremes. Calvin's situation was peculiarly delicate. Roman Catholics accused him of dangerous theological errors. Their eyes were fixed upon him; and had he remained an indifferent spectator of the process against Servetus, they would have pronounced him a favourer of his opinions. Add to this, had Servetus escaped, his gross and abusive charges against Calvin would have appeared well-founded; and Calvin's adversaries would have availed themselves of that advantage for ruining his influence.
RULES FOR PREACHING.
Found among the papers of a deceased minister, signed W. C. the author unknown.
[From the Biblical Magazine.] 1. DISCOVER DO more of your method than needs must.
2. Pass not any thing, till you have bolted it to the bran.
3. Use the mother speech and tone, without affectation or imitation of any man, that you may not seem to act a comedy, instead of preaching a sermon.
4. Clog not your memory too much it will exceedingly hinder invention, and mar delivery.
5. Be sure you eye God, his glory, the good of souls, having the day before mastered self and man-pleasing ague. This must be renewed toties quoties.
6. Let your words be soft, few, and slow; and see they come no faster than the weakest hearer can digest each morsel; pause a while, and look in the
7. Look to your affections most carefully, that they be not, (1.) feigned, nor, (2.) forcedly let loose to have their full scope; for then they will either overrun your judgment, or be a temptation to vain glory.
8. Preach speaking or talking to the people; look on the people, not on roofs or walls, and look on the most mortified faces in the assembly; let them know your preaching is real talking with them, whereby they may be provoked (as it were) to answer you again.
9. Take heed of over-wording any thing.
10. Be sure you have made the people understand thoroughly what is the good you exhort them to, or the evil you dehort them from, before you bring your motives and means; and,
11. Touch no Scripture slightly; trouble not many, but open the metaphors, and let one Scripture point out the other, the one a key to the other.
12. Let the Scripture teach you, and not you it.
13. Be sure you feed yourself upon every pause with the people, before you pass it, else that will do them little good, and you none at all: oh taste every bit.
14. Take these four candles to find out what to say to the people: (1) The Scripture unbiassed. (2) The thoughts and experiences of good men. (3) Your own experience. (4) The condition of the people.
15. Break off any where, rather than run upon any of these two inconveniences; (1) Either to huddle or tumble together spiritual things; or,
(2) Tire the weakest of the 22. Do not care so much flock. whether the people receive your doctrine, as whether you and it are acceptable to the Lord.
23. Do not conceive that your zeal or earnestness can prevail with the people; but the force of spiritual reason, the evidence of Scripture, and the power of the Holy Ghost.
16. Never pass over one point while you have any thing material to say of it, provided it be on a spiritual point.
17. Let your doctrine, and the constant stream of your preaching, be about the chiefest spirit ual things, and let small controversies and external duties come in by the bye.
18. Beware of forms; neither be tied to any one method.
19. Be always on that subject, which is next your heart; and be not too thrifty and careful what to say next, for God will provide; it will be offensive like kept manna, if reserved through distrust till the next day.
20. Be sure to extricate carefully, any godly point you speak of, out of the notions and terms of divinity; else it will freeze inevitably in your mouth and their ears.
21. Let there not be disfigur ing of faces, nor snuffing in the nose, nor hemming in the throat, nor any antic gesture, pretending devotion, made gravity; which will make you seem a loathsome Pharisee, or a distracted man broke loose out of Bedlam.
Review of New Publications.
An Historical View of Heresies,
ter, and to exhibit a concise view, of the origin, spirit, and moral tendency of Heresy; and clearly to mark the point of difference between that scheme of doctrine, called orthodox, and those schemes, which under various names, differ essentially from
The work is divided into ten chapters. In the first is stated "general principles by which heresy may be known." Under this head, the author justly remarks that every system of religion, which has appeared in the world, has had some distinguish, ing characteristic, and rests on its own peculiar and distinct foundation; and that "Christianity rests on this truth, that Gon has manifested himself to the world by Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son." p. 9.
In this scheme Christ appears in the character of a Mediator and Saviour, which implies, that he has opened a consistent way for divine, gracious communications to sinners. From "the nature of this mediatorial work of Jesus Christ, it is necessary that we receive and treat him as GOD over all-as no created being can perform more than the duty which he personally owes to God. A proper atonement for sin rests on the supreme Deity of the Saviour." p. 10.
The gospel is stated to be a manifestation of the divine purpose to save sinners through faith in Christ. As this faith is the gift of Gop, and the immediate effect of his operation, it is with the greatest propriety called a dispensation of grace. "If this be the spirit of the Christian dispensation, it is manifest, that whatever takes away that from the gospel, which is peculiar to it, or which makes it any other than a dispensation of grace, is Heresy. He is an heretic, in the Scripture sense of the word, who adheres to those opinions, which encourage him to hope for salvation in any other way, than through the merit of a perfect
atonement, and by a vital union with Christ." p. 11.
Our author makes a distinction between error in judgment and heresy. p. 11. A man whose heart may not be opposed to the spirit of the gospel, may yet, through wrong instruction, embrace essential error. Such a person he does not consider as an heretic,
The object of the second chapter is to shew that "all Heresies are known by the same general character, though they have appeared under different names." The one source of all heresy or dangerous error, our author conceives, "is a heart which is not reconciled to the gospel terms of salvation" [p. 14, 15.] Hence
disposition to reject, or to evade the force of the essential & peculiar doctrines of the gospel, commonly called the orthodox faith, forms a common and distinguishing feature in the character of all heretics.
The orthodox faith, and the doctrines of grace, our author considers as of synonymous im, port. "These doctrines are exhibited, in order, in the thirty. nine articles of the Church of England, and in the Westminster Confession of Faith. These were the Doctrines of the Reformation." p. 15. "That mankind have destroyed themselves, and that their salvation is wholly of GoD," is considered by our author as constituting the sum of the orthodox scheme. p. 16.They, therefore, who embrace and propagate opinions, which counteract the spirit and tendency of this truth, are considerey. as justly chargeable with heresd, The point where heretics take their departure from the ortho:
dox plan, he considers to be the denial that "salvation is wholly of God."
Our author, under this head, undertakes to shew, that the doctrines of grace all stand necessarily connected with "the divinity and perfect atonement of Jesus Christ." p. 22. His proofs of this connexion are ingenious, and we think scriptural and conclusive.
The third chapter is divided into two sections. The first gives "the scripture character of Christ." The second shews that "the design of the gospel and epistles of St. John probably was to confute the error of those, who denied the divinity and atonement of Christ." The scripture proofs of the supreme Deity of Jesus Christ, in this chapter, are exhibited in a clear and convincing light; and that the passages adduced for this purpose are not misapplied, is shewn from the nature of the gospel, and the design of St. John's epistles to confute those who denied this doctrine.
The fourth and fifth chapters exhibit the faith of the primitive Christians, and their conduct toward those who denied the divinity and atonement of Christ. From copious extracts, both from Christian and heathen writers, in the first ages of Christianity, our author satisfactorily proves that the primitive Christians believed what are denominated the doctrines of grace-that they were "Trinitarians," that "they believed in the ruin of mankind by the sin of the first man, and that the Son of GOD became incarnate, to deliver sinners from the deplorable effects of the fall;" also "in the necessity of divine
influence to renew holiness in men ;" and that, they "were alarmed at the appearance of the Unitarian doctrine, and took decisive measures to arrest its progress, as an evil of most pernicious tendency." p. 78.91.
In the sixth and seventh chapters are brought into view, the Arian and Pelagian doctrines, which are shewn to be a departure from the faith of the primitive Christians.
The eighth chapter exhibits a plain summary of the "doctrines of the reformation:" the ninth, an interesting account of the "revival of the ancient heresies after the reformation," by the modern Socinians, Arminians, Methodists, and Free-will Baptists, whose opinions are shewn to be subversive of that scheme of religion which rests on this truth, "that salvation is wholly of God."
The last chapter is designed to shew "in what respect, and how far those systems of doctrine, which have been exhibited, come within the general description of heresy." This is an interesting chapter, and deserves the serious attention of the reader.
The author subjoins some judicious and seasonable reflections and remarks, resulting from the view of religious opinions, given in the preceding work-and then closes with an "Address," 1st. "To those who adopt the Unitarian system." 2d. "To those who have trust. ed in Christ as a divine Saviour, and are established in the doctrines of grace."
The subject of this work is manifestly of great importance. There is certainly an essential
On the whole, we consider this a valuable and very seasonable performance, and we cordially recommend it to the attention of the public. To expose dangerons error shows no want of chari. ty or candour. In an age of prevailing infidelity, when many openly reject the articles of our most holy faith, it yields high satisfaction to the good man, who "trembles for the ark of his GOD," to see a man of piety, talents and learning employed in vindicating the pure doctrines of Christianity, and displaying them in contrast with those senti. ments, which essentially change the Christian scheme, and coun. teract those salutary effects, which the gospel in its purity is calculated to produce.
difference between that system, which is founded on the principle, that Christ is a divine person, and salvation wholly of GoD; and that which considers him as a mere creature, though ever so exalted, and salvation, either in whole or in part, of the creature. So different are these systems, that if the former be true, the latter, by whatever name it is called, is a practical error, which tends to destroy the soul.
We think the author incorrect in his distinction between an error in judgment and heresy. We believe with him, that heresy has its origin in an "evil heart of unbelief;" but that error in judgment has a different source may be justly questioned. That a person should be destitute of sentiment for want of proper means of information, can easily be conceived; but that any one should embrace error instead of truth, without any kind or degree of evidence, can be accounted for only on the principle of evil propensity.
The style of this work corresponds with the design of the author, which is to enlighten and establish the minds of the honest but unlearned, in the great truths of our religion, and to guard them' against the pernicious and prevalent errors of the day. It is plain, familiar, and commonly correct. The plan of the work is judicious, the arrangement of the several parts natural, and the principles advocated, in our opinion, scriptural. The facts stated are supported by proper evidence, and the reasoning grounded on these facts, intelligible, and in general conclusive. The closing addresses are serious, pertinent and useful.
The Shade of Plato; or, a defence of religion, morality and govern ment. A Poem, in four parts. By DAVID HITCHCOCK. To which is prefixed, a Sketch of the Author's Life, Hudson, Printed at the Balance Press. 1805.
HAVING read the introductory sketch of the author, the reader will not expect to find in this poem the choicest beauties of language. The poetry, it must be confessed, is not of the most elevated kind. The figures are not all expressive of refined taste, and the versification is sometimes unharmonious. But though in these respects the Shade of Plato will not rank with the Pleasures of Imagination, the Deserted Village, or the Essay on Man, it is by no means destitute of merit. It has many excellencies, but of a different kind. The author discov ers some knowledge of heathen