deserve to be imprinted upon the tion, that sanctification of the Holy heart and mind of every reader. Still Ghost, by which the boundary line there are some defects, affecting the is passed. Thus he tells us, whole tone of the author's doctrine « There is no reason to suppose that any and the character of his theology; sufferings, from disease, poverty, or other and we feel it our duty not to close worldly

affliction, can be in themselves

meritorious, and likely to entitle any one our review without pressing a repre- to acceptance with God. If, indeed, any sentation of them upon his candid and person supports such trials with Christian deliberate reflection.

patience and fortitude, that will doubtless

make him an object of God's favour." In the first place, there is a want

View, p. 251. of distinctness in his conception of

Surely none but those who are althe characters to whom his admo- ready objects of God's favour can bear nitions are directed. Of course, their trials with Christian patience every writer and preacher is at liberty and fortitude; for none but Christians to select, from time to time, the class

can possess, or exhibit, Christian paof persons whom he thinks it best to

tience. It is of great consequence address; but it is not consistent to to keep this distinction steadily in deliver to one class of hearers or

mind,—that we are not made objects readers arguments or reflections which

of God's favour by our own good are suited only to another. Now, the qualities, but by his tender comauthor's view of the Scripture reve- passion and fatherly care for us lations of a future state constitute a

(Rom. v. 8; 1 John iv. 10). Dr. series of lectures; and he has“ thought Whately seems to regard all persons it advisable to print them almost who are born in a Christian country, exactly as they were delivered ;-in and baptized, even in infancy, into the homely and simple style which the Christian faith, as equally entitled was adopted with a view to the in

to the comfort of Christian doctrine. struction of a mixed congregation, In his estimation, they start, as it consisting principally of the un

were, alike ; and no difference exists learned.” (View, p. vii.) This is not between them, except that which the class of persons whom we should arises from their greater or less have expected a clergyman to select

attention to certain practical duties for propounding all the peculiarities of religion. Now, the Bible regards and difficulties which are heaped men under a different aspect. Some, together in this little volume. But, though born under the dispensation besides this grievous want of judg- of God's mercy, and by birth-right ment, in puzzling plain, unlettered 'heirs of his covenant, have “neither persons with these subtleties, instead

part nor lot in this matter;" because, of feeding them with the bread of though belonging visibly to the life, there is a want of moral discri.

family of faith, they have never mination of character ; the persons themselves possessed any real faith addressed being supposed, as a matter in the Saviour (John viii. 47; x. 26). of course, to be practically in a state

Others have laid hold of the promises of salvation; to be looking forward

for themselves, by faith, which is of to heaven as their final portion, and the operation of God; and, though to be interested in all the promises subject to temptation, withheld by of God. Yet these persons are oc- infirmity, and often drawn back casionally spoken of as if the whole

towards the world, they are yet subject of eternity and of salvation seeking, through Divine aid, to live were entirely new to them. Indeed, by faith, and not by sight : and to we cannot but notice what we must address such persons as persons whose characterize as a most defective view attention cannot without difficulty of the awful line of difference which be kept awake to their own eternal separates, even now, the converted existence hereafter, after the subject from the ungodly; and of that re- has lost the attractions of novelty, is newal of heart, that spirit of adop- productive of confusion.

Dr. Whately sometimes appears ends, and becomes altogether a new to us to push his candour in con- creature, distinguished from what he cession beyond the limits warranted was by nature as light is distinguished by the standard of truth. For ex- from darkness, and acting under an ample, he writes :

influence as opposite to that by which “Some have ventured first to conjecture, he was impelled naturally as the and afterwards confidently to teach, that power of Satan is to the dominion of the punishment of the wicked in the next

God. This the author would admit, world will not be eternal_which, they contend, is inconsistent with the

goodness perhaps, as applied to the case of of God; and that all will at length be Christians and Heathens. But even brought to immortal happiness. Now, baptized Christians are separated whether this their doctrine be true or not, from each other by the same broad I scruple not to say, that it is highly pre distinction. Their eyes need to be sumptuous in any one to assert it; since it is wholly unwarranted by Scripture ; and opened; and the grand effort to be therefore, even if their opinion be right, made for them should be directed to they cannot possibly know it to be right. bring them to take that first step The expressions used in speaking of the rewards of the faithful and of the punish

which governs all the remainder. ments of the disobedient are the very

Now we would not willingly missame; both are described in the like terms, understand our respected author; but denoting that they shall have no end : as, for example, Matt. xxv. : These shall go look upon Christianity as a dispen

we much mistake if he does not rather away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life everlasting.” View, sation of grace by which men are put pp. 181, 182.

upon their trial under circumstances “ In our translation it is “everlasting' of favour which the well-disposed will in the first part of the sentence, and turn to good account, while the

eternal' in the other; but in the original Greek the same word is used in both thoughtless and wicked will be inplaces.” View, p. 182.

different to it; and that, consequently, Surely the supposition that such less difference is made by it between an opinion may be right, in opposition two opposite classes of men than we to such evidence, is candour pushed suppose to be intended. to an extreme. Yet the author makes The difference between this view a similar remark afterwards, as if he of the case and the Scriptural view, himself were not convinced that the may be thus paralleled : We should punishment of the wicked will last compare the Gospel covenant to the for ever.

entrance of a prince into his own “ Whether evil and pain will ever cease territories, amidst subjects who have to exist, or not, we shall then perhaps be revolted from him. His entrance able to decide, when we have learnt why will immediately divide them into they exist at all; which no one will ever be able to explain while this world lasts.” two classes : those who are desirous View, p. 187.

to return under his authority will On the whole, we are constrained flock to his standard; those who to state our conviction that the author stand aloof from him, even though has not in any of these volumes de- they should not be in arms, are rebels veloped, or done justice to, the real still. Dr. Whately, on the contrary, scope of the everlasting Gospel. We if we conceive him rightly, would look upon it as an act of grace to compare it to an absolute king giving mankind, by which a difference is at a constitutional government to his once made between those who avail subjects, who will henceforth be dealt themselves of it, and those who are with according to the law, but who strangers to it or neglect it. Hence, are regarded as one people. Which “if any man be in Christ he is a new of these two views is the more accreature” (2 Cor. v. 17). That one cordant to Scriptural doctrine we decisive act of embracing Christ as must leave our readers to judge; though his righteousness and his all, has we would not press the parallel to changed his whole character: he is its details; for, alas ! by nature none actuated by new motives, seeks new of us return to our allegiance till inCHRIST. OBSERV, No. 353.

2 Q

- seems to


fluenced from on high, and made and all these doctrines are united in
willing in the day of God's power. one grand aim—"adding souls to
Can this be said of the mass of the Lord.” Mr. Wilson then applies
careless persons in a parish, whom Dr. these particulars to his deceased friend;
Whately would address as if they and in the course of his statement
were sincere believers, and needed respecting the truly Scriptural doc-
only to be urged on to perfection?

trines which that excellent man in-
culcated, he takes occasion to glance
in a note, as not alien to his subject,

at the unhappy controversy now in The Character of a good Mun as

progress at Oxford. a Christian Minister; a Sermon

“ I perceive there is still need to guard preached at Bentinck Chapel, Mary against errors on the doctrine of justifile-bone, on occasion of the Death of cation. I had thought this truth had now the Rev; Basil Woodd, M. A. By been generally conceded; but I see with

pain and grief that the Professor of Dithe Rev. Daniel Wilson, M.A. vinity in the University of Oxford—from Vicar of St. Mary's,Islington. With the haste, I would fain hope, in which Notes on the Controversy between his Remarks were published, the Professor of Divinity at Oxford imply that justification takes place at

baptism—that this sign of the covenant and Mr. Bulteel. London. 1831.

conveys the vast blessing—that at that

moment the baptized person is righteous, Having devoted considerable space but that his salvation depends on his subto an obituary of the excellent man

sequent works. I have not space here so justly and affectionately comme

to enter into the question fully, but I

must say I consider such a statement as morated by Mr. Wilson, we must most unscriptural. It is directly opposed not trespass far upon our readers to our Articles and Homilies—and in conwith a notice of the present discourse. tradiction to the whole spirit of the Re

formation. I lament, indeed, that any Nor is it necessary, since the main occasion should have been given to the features, as sketched by Mr. Wilson, Professor by the inaccurate manner in correspond very closely with those which justification was described in the exhibited in our own pages. Mr.

discourse (Mr. Bulteel's) which drew

forth his remarks. I agree with the ProWilson has most happily selected

fessor, that the statements in the sermon for his text the character of Barnabas, on that subject are not the Gospel.'

To and the effects of his preaching and be justified, is not, as it is there stated, conduct: He was a good man, full to be made and counted prefectly righ

teous and holy, without any spot, or of the Holy Ghost and of faith; and

blemish, or any such thing;' but is simply much people was added unto the the being counted and dealt with as righLord” (Acts xi. 24); and has shewn,

teous before God. Justification is one in a very striking and ingenious

thing; sanctification another.

counted righteous by imputation; we are manner, how accurately the

passage made holy by the operations of the Holy describes his departed friend. He Spirit upon the heart; and neither one depicts the good man, when sustaining nor the other render us without spot or the office of a Christian minister,

blemish, or any such thing:' that perfec

tion of holiness will be attained at the end as exhibited in his doctrines, his

of our course, and not before. I entreat labours amongst his flock, and his the Professor not to conceive that such private life. First, in his doctrines inaccurate sentiments prevail to any exfaith leads the


tent. In a period of thirty-five years, or was full of faith.” And this faith

more, I have scarcely met with a like case.

But even this erroneous view is not so is not the product of the human will, fundamentally wrong as that which evabut a fruit of the Divine Spirit: porates the whole doctrine itself in the "he was full of the Holy Ghost.”

sacrament of baptism. So here is bapAnd this and every spiritual blessing, regeneration! Need I say that the Gospel

tismal justification as well as baptismal with all the steps of his salvation, is thus virtually overthrown; the glory of he ascribes to“ the

grace of God;" the Reformatiou lost; the conscience of for thus is the matter accounted for of our acceptance with God involved in

men left without hope; the great question in the verse preceding the text; inextricable confusion; and Christ, our

[ocr errors]

We are

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Lord, robbed of the fruits of his obedience respective schools alluded to by unto death? " If the Professor fears as to the con- witnessing a succession of the same

Mr. Wilson; and Mr. Wilson is now sequences of the doctrine of justification by faith only, let him remember, that fruits : and thus has it ever been sanctification is inseparable from that faith since the Reformation—wemightsay, which justifies.

“ I enter not upon this topic, but lament ever since the days of the Apostles that in the sermon alluded to, so much and thus perhaps will it ever be, till occasion is given, however unintentionally, the days of millennial grace and to misapprehension on this point. Alas! illumination. There will be the frigid I see little or nothing of sanctification in creed that disparages the freeness with justification, in a manner to sap the and privileges of the Gospel ; there virtue of both. Let the 3d, 4th, and will be the flighty notions that destroy 5th chapters of the Epistle to the Romans its lovely symmetry of sound docbe well understood, and our justification trine and holiness. Mr. Woodd stands forth glorious in the righteousness had seen several Bulteel and Burton of God by faith of Jesus Christ. Let the 6th, 7th, and 8th, be then studied, and controversies, and, like his judicious our sanctification is equally established, memorialist, Mr. Wilson, had discoby the work of the Holy Spirit changing vered that scriptural truth lies farapart the whole bias of the soul, and renewing from either of the contending systems. fallen man after the image of God. Let the 12th and following chapters be then read, We bless God that both our univerand we have the rules of obedience by which sities can shew us not a few eminent the justified person walks.” pp. 12–14. ministers of Christ who have been

We cannot read this discriminating enabled by his Holy Spirit to dispassage without feeling gratitude to cover and adhere to this narrow line God, that, in this age of novelty and of truth and consistency; who neiextravagance on the one hand, and ther substitute frost for scriptural of heterodoxy or cold orthodoxy on moderation, nor fever for genial the other, there are not a few faithful warmth : and among these, without ministers of Christ, who, as Mr. disparaging many other beloved and Wilson says of Mr. Woodd, and honoured names, we know not that future memorialists will say of Mr. Oxford can proffer one that stands Wilson, have kept closely to the higher at this moment than that of doctrine of Scripture; neither seduced Mr. Daniel Wilson; while Cambridge from the grace, the freedom, the ple- in the same walk exhibits pre-eminary mercy, the gratuitous salvation, nently that of the venerable Mr. the whole system of life and love Simeon, who, when taken to his rest, and joy and privilege of the Gospel, will be held up as an example to the nor ashamed of its evangelical duties, next age, in precisely the same aspect its requisitions, its cautions, and its in which Mr.Wilson has exhibited Mr. commands. Christ a sacrifice for Woodd ;—as a man truly orthodox sin, and Christ an example of holy and truly evangelical : a man neither life,are two prominent characteristics, fearing to be branded as an enthu. which are too often virtually sepa- siast for the excellency of the knowrated, but which the good steward ledge of Christ Jesus the Lord ; nor of the mysteries of the Gospel well to be sneered at as a meagre legalist, knows how to unite; keeping all things because he did not soar to the extrain their respective places; neither de- vagancies of assurance without evipreciating grace nor setting aside dence and imputed sanctification. duty; not rejecting the Cross of Would that some of the younger Christ, either in its sacrificial or its men, who are now glaring with self-denying aspect; a cross to be clung erratic course upon the religious to for pardon and justification, a cross world, would restrain their eccento be taken up and carried in meek- tricities, and, like these, their senior ness and sanctification. Mr. Woodd brethren, revolve in the orbit of had seen several periodical phases of scriptural truth, attracted by the the unscriptural ultraism of the Sun of Righteousness, warmed and


vivified by his sacred beams, and re- devil. I must say, I quite agree here flecting them with mild and steady with Dr. Burton, that the reader of the

Gospel may well shudder at such declaradiance, for the welfare of a barren

rations. The insinuations also, and more and benighted world. They might than insinuations, against the necessity of be less gazed at and talked off ; but our attending to the evidences of our faith, their lustre would wax brighter and are most unguarded and dangerous. Al brighter; and their light would so

sound Christianity is lost sight of, when

the grace and mercy of God in his coveshine before men, that the world, nant are thus stated. The very essence seeing their good works, would be of Antinomianism lies concealed in such constrained to glorify their Father assertions, however little it is meant—and which is in heaven.

I am sure it was not so meant in the pre

sent instance." pp. 31, 32. Mr. Wilson next proceeds to consider the good man filling the office Having thus incidentally adverted of a minister of Christ, in his labours to the pending Oxford controversy, among his flock, and in the private we shall pass over Mr. Wilson's reduties of life ; still keeping up the maining notices of his friend, as our parallel with Barnabas, whose name

readers will find enough, perhaps, “ the Son of Consolation ;”. on this subject in the Obituary in who evinced joy at the progress of

our last and present Number, and the Gospel, who exhorted the young

shall extract a few more of Mr. converts, and who journeyed to con

Wilson's observations on this afflictfirm the churches. These particulars ing discussion ; and, to say the are applied with just appropriation truth, under all the painful circumto the case of the late Mr. Woodd. stances of the case we shall not be We hardly know how to detach one sorry if we can feel ourselves acor two passages, as the whole de- quitted by this brief notice, of our scription is connected ; but we select obligation to go much further into the following note, in reference to the matter. The substance of it has Mr. Woodd's truly scriptural “ mo- been anticipated in our volumes deration” both in doctrine and spirit. again and again ; and we know not

“ I know the price at which I recommend any thing that needs be added to moderation, but I am willing to pay it. I what has been said on both sides, would earnestly entreat those of my bre

as often as a Huntington, a Baring, thren, who will suffer a word of caution, to consider the immense importance in

or a Bulteel, has chanced to provoke the present day, of not committing them- anew the discussion. The chief selves upon difficult and doubtful ques- danger, to our minds, at the present tions, and of not overs erstating those that

moment is this, that there is a may be true.

The moderation apparent in all the parts of the New Testament, larger number of persons than ever is as much a branch of inspired truth as

upon whom these extravagancies are the doctrines themselves. · With regard likely to operate, as well as more to predestination and election, let only powerful facilities for giving curthe scriptural order, the proportion, the spirit, the persons addressed, the end in

rency to them. When Mr. Scott, view, be preserved, and the tendency of for example, was opposing these them will be sound and holy. Mode- notions forty years ago, on a large ration, wisdom, Christian discretion, have scale, by his truly scriptural writings; here their place; and so, with regard to assurance and the perseverance of the

and such men as Mr. Basil Woodd, saints. Conceive only the manner in in their respective spheres, by scripwhich these matters lie in the Scriptures, tural preaching; the number of those and let them appear in the same form in who were in danger of contagion our discourses, and all will be well. But if these topics be perpetually and crudely

was comparatively small; nor was insisted on, I can conceive of few things there any powerful lever by which more dangerous. In this view I must the abettors of the unsound opinions protest against the assertions in Mr. could operate widely upon the public Bulteel's sermon, that God bebolds no sins in believers ; and that to suppose

sentiment. But how different is the that he takes notice, and is angry with us,

matter at present! Owing to the on account of sin, is a temptation of the extended diffusion of true piety, and

« VorigeDoorgaan »