Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

277

Theological Review.

The Divine Prescience considered in | posed by a return to the wholesome connerion with Moral Agency. The dialect of purer times.” Only, to avoid Substance of a Sermon preached at “this wide spreading pestilence,” let us Soho Chupel (London), on Lord's not run into the opposite extreme, and day evening, May 19, 1822. And pub

And nu' do homage to that thin-skinned monlished at the request of the hearers. By

ster of the ooze and the mire"-let us: Evan HERBERT. London: Gardi

beware of the bogs of Arminianism, a ner and Son, Princes Street, Caven

system which is as completely at varidish Square'; and Jones, Lovell's

ance with “ the true grace of God,” as Court. '1822. pp. 58, 8vo. price

that of Antinomianism is with the laws 1s. 6d.

of moral obligation. We have very im-,

portant reasons for dropping this hint It gives us great pleasure to see the in this place ; but a word is enough to efforts of our Baptist brethren in the the wise, and we pass on to give our ministry, so powerfully exerted as they readers some account of the sermon now are, in stemming the torrent of | before us. Ultra-Calvinism, and vindicating the Mr. Herbert has taken a very approtruth as it is in Jesus, from the gross priate text; viz. Acts ïi. 23, “ Him be-. perversions to which it is frequently ing delivered by the determinate counexposed, in the hands of that class of sel and foreknowledge of God, ye have writers, and preachers, and professors. taken, and by wicked hands have cruciThough we have always questioned the fied and slain.” These words naturally propriety of his application in that par- lead hiin to illustrate the doctrine of the ticular instance, and are still persuaded, mediation and atonement of the Rethat, had he been better informed, he deemer; to shew that the whole plan of would not have applied his censures pre- Redemption was founded in the divine cisely in the way he has done; yet, as foreknowledge, and in all its minute containing a general principle applica- , circumstances conducted according to ble to the Antimonian party, we agree the counsels of infinite wisdom. He with Mr. Hall, when he pronounces it then proceeds to examine the nature of as including " within a compass which human agency as exemplified in this every head can contain, and every awful transaction; and concludes with tongue can utter, a system which can- shewing that the divine prescience, and Çels every moral tie, consigns the whole the spontaneous agency of man are perhuman race to the extremes of pre- fectly reconcileable. sumption or despair, erects religion on The subject is unquestionably of mothe ruins of morality, and imparts tomentous import; and we certainly the dregs of stupidity all the powers of think, that Mr. Herbert has discovered the most active poison."* We coincide no inconsiderable judgment and ability with him also, when he says, that “while in discussing it. He modestly terms it, Antimonianism is making such rapid“ the Substance of a Sermon," and be: strides through the land, and has al- speaks the candour of the religious ready convulsed and disorganized so public towards its defects. All this is many churches, it is not the season for very well as coming from the author ;

al! measures; danger is to be repelled but we owe it to him, and to our reaby intrepid resistance—not by complio ders also, to say, that it is no every day ances and concessions: it is to be op- production. It is an enlarged discourse

* See his Difference betwixt Christian Baptism and that of John, p. 68.

on a subject of vast importance; and a creation. If moral rectitude can be consubject too, which is grossly misrepre-sidered as desirable, surely the rule of it sented, and often most vilely carica. given by God himself, and sanctioned by tured by the disciples of William Hunt

Him, must have the strongest claim upon ington, and other corrupt teachers.

our attention and veneration; whilst the The extravagant conceits (we might

fitness of it, and the anarchy that must ever

be introduced by the abrogation of it, canhave said, the bold blasphemies) which

not but be apparent to every enlightened these people utter upon the subject of mind : for, where po law is, there is no the divine decrees, and the perverse transgression. It was the sanction and auuse which they make of the doctrines thority of the moral law, that armed the of election, and the perseverance of prophet Nathan with courage to soar above the saints, are enough to petrify one consequences and the fear of a king, and with horror. In the sermon before us. I to tell David, “Thou art the man. It was Mr. Herbert has taken a comprehensive

| the authority that God's immutable record view of the great work of Redemption ;

still held over the erring monarch of Israel,

tion; notwithstanding his faith and love, or his and while he gives full scope to the fun

circumstances as a regenerated man, that damental doctrines of the everlasting

gave efficacy to the charge, to sink him to gospel, he prudently guards them from the common level of human responsibility, that abuse to which we have adverted, and to cause him to cry out under a sense We could select numerous passages of it, with poignancy indiscribable, 'Hare, from this discourse, which would both mercy upon me, o God, according to thy interest and gratify our readers, for

loving-kindness, according unto the multithere is an originality of mind, and a

tude of thy tender mercies, blot out my richness of sentiment pervading the

transgressions.' Transgressions against wbal, whole, which must strike every one ed or ceased to have authority over a be

let me ask, if the moral law were abrogatthat examines it; but we content our- liever ? Now a little attention to the subselves with one extract, merely as a lject will convince us,that, in many instances, specimen of the preacher's style and the children of meu have violated the remanner, and recommend the whole to vealed will, whilst they have in the same actheir careful perusal. In reconciling tions fulfilled the secret purpose of Jehovah. human agency, or the voluntary exer- | And this, I trust, I shall be able to make cise of the will of man, with the pre

manifest by an appeal to facts, without de

nying the freedom of the will, or profanely science and appointment of God," he

charging the Fountain of Holiness with thus proceeds:

sin, The Scriptures furnish us with many “I am naturally led to observe, here, instances to this effect, but a few sball sufthat the secret will of God, cannot be the rule fice. Indeed we might content ourselves of conduct to created, dependent beings; and with our text, which, while it charges home that for the most obvious reason, it is uns, upon the Jews the crime of murder, at the kpown to us ; whilst that which is revealed, same time assures us that every thing hapnamely, love to God, and benevolence to pened according to divine prescience and man,' with all the various ramifications de. I appointment. But let me direct you to the ducible from those fundamental principles, conduct of Jacob towards his aged and remains immoveable. Whether the revealed | venerable father; and that of Rebecca towill of God be considered as the law of wards an affectionate and tender husband. creation, or viewed in the re-delivery and Look at the deception practised upon the formal promulgation of it at Sinai, is no al-patriarch Isaac, to obtaid, mipisterially terative; whether we meet with it charm- from his dying lips, the highly esteemed ingly interspersed among, and inseparably blessing of primogeniture. See Gen. xxvii. annexed, to the soul-cheering doctrines of Considering his bodily infirmity consumthe gospel, or embodied in Jewish legisla- mated by blindness, the imposition was tion, cannot make any difference; whether doubly cruel and affecting. We see, inwe read its injunctions in the twentieth deed, in the whole affair, a master-piece of chapter of Exodus, or in the thirteenth of deceit-a violation of the laws of creation, the Romans, the essence and design are un and a breach of the filial and conjugal ties, changeably the same. It is the revealed the strongest in nature. But this, though as will of God; the rule of human action; the a moral action exceedingly sinful, was neeternal, unalterable criterion of obedience; vertheless a fulfilment of the Divine purthe standard of rectitude; the delight of pose as appears from the unerring pen of every good man; and whilst it is the shac- inspiration. Let any unprejudiced mind kle of the ungodly, and a stumbling-block examine the two first verses of the prophecy to many vain-glorious boasters, it is-de- of Malachi, and compare the contents with

lightful thought !-a transcript of the divine the explication given us by Paul in the episi image, and the happiness of the rational tle to the Romans, chap. ix. 11. and follow

[graphic]

ing verses. Let him pause awhile, and the , of that age to look to the Messiah to come result will surely be a conviction, that more as one that was to suffer and to die, previous tals may violate the revealed, whilst accom- to his entering into his glory; whilst Daniel plishing the secret will of God. The same and the evangelical Isaiah, the amanuenses thing is observable in the unnatural conduct of the Holy Spirit, have expressed the whole of Jacob's sons towards their brother Jo design and benefit in so many words: sepb. Gen, xxxvii. 13. &c. We see the Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himtender-hearted youth acting under paternal self,' said the former, Dan. ix. 26. 'He direction, on a message of love and duty to was wounded for our transgressions'_by his labouring brethren; while, at the same his stripes we are healed,' said the latter. moment, we see them consulting how they Isaiah liji. But were the Jews and Romans may destroy him. In the sequel, however, exonerated thereby from blame? far otherwe find bim sold to a straggling, vnprinci wise. • They perpetrated the deed with pled company of Ishmaelites for twenty wicked hands. The crucifixion of the pieces of silver. Alas! human nature : Lord Jesus was, in the eve f moral rectiJacob's sons too! with all their advantages; tude, the most diabolical act that ever was acting not from blind impetus, but with the heard of, because of his innocence, for no most profound deliberation; acting too a fault was found in him, his enemies themmost wicked and unreasonable part. Nei. selves being judges." ther Joseph's age, nor his mission of love,

We cannot take leave of this Sermon nor his tears, nor the known affection of an aged fond parent for him, nor the anguish

without repeating the satisfaction which they must have known be would feel in the

it has afforded us as a whole, nor without

nas loss of him, could preponderate. Joseph adding, that it is no small augmentation was sold into Egypt: but God was with of that satisfaction, to find the church him.' Without harrowing up your feelings | under Mr. Herbert's pastoral care, thus in weighing the atrocity of the crime, publicly avowing their attachment to the which is sufficiently obvious, I hasten to lay doctrine maintained in it; and we say before you, Joseph's own account of the this the rather, because, in the earlier matter wbich we bave in detail, and expli- | part of their history, they were subcitly laid down in Gen. xlv. 7. God,' said be, 'sent me before you to preserve you a

ject, we believe, to teaching of a very posterity in the earth, &c. Such an expla

différent description, and suspected of nation of the whole transaction, from a person nording, opinions

holding opinions which are here ably eminently taught as Joseph was, and speak

confuted. ing under divine direction, with the whole connection of the Jewish history, and that of the church of Christ to this moment, will be found decisively illustrative of the posi- Two Letters on the Mystery of the Goslion advanced ; namely, that the children pel, and on the genuine Experience of a of men may violate the revealed, whilst ful Believer in Christ. BY THOMAS MU. filling the secret will of God.

LOCK, Newcastle. Printed and pubThe mysterious fall of David, in the affair i of Bathsheba, who was the mother of Solo

lished by J. Mort, pp. 44, 8vo. price mon, may with humility and prayer be pro

1s 6d. fitably consulted in reference to the doctrine in question. *

These Letters present us with a preBut to embrace the text for a moment: cious specimen of Antinomian rant; nothing can be more evident than that the and, for the matter of it, Mr. Hall might death of Christ was the fulfilment of an have had them before him, when he eternal plan emanating purely from the characterized that system as the “ thicklove of Jehovah for the expiation of the skinned monster of the ooze and the sins of men. Ought not Christ to have mire, which no weapon can pierce-no suffered these things ? Luke xxiv. 26, said the risen Saviour, obliquely observing, it!

discipline can tame"-" an epidemic was that which they might have learned

malady-an evil of gigantic size, and from their own prophets. The Mosaic eco

deadly malignity; which is qualified for omy in general, the temple, the sacrifices. mischief by the very properties which te priesthood, with the many appendages | might seem to render it an object of

that dispensation, directed the believers contempt-its vulgarity of conception

n

[ocr errors]

There are many striking occurrences in the History of England very much to the point. Without much penetration, we may discern the purpose of our heavenly Father in the removal of the Roman Papal yoke. Henry the Eighth, seeking only to gratify

lust, sapped the foundation of Popery in England, and promoted the reformation. ven he who had, a little before the time alluded to, written against Luther! See the History of Henry VIII. and Burnet's History of the Reformation.

its paucity of ideas--its determined hos- elect were spiritually endowed with tility to taste, science, and letters." being and well-being, in their uncreated

Who this Mr. Mulock is, we know and eternal Head, Christ; so they were, not. He dates his two Letters from | by creation, set up in, and represented Stoke-upon-Trent, which is in the Staf- by, their nature head Adam." These fordshire Putleries. But though we are are sublime discoveries certainly, and ignorant of him, he is certainly a per- such as required supernatural revelason of great consequence — we mean, tion; but the following surely is not in his own estimation! What, for in- less so. “ Here I would observe, that stance, can surpass the display which as the elect never fell, and never could is contained in the following sentence: fall from Christ, nor did he ever cease it forms the opening of his first letter. to be related unto them as their spiriAddressing his correspondent, he says, 1 tual Head and Husband; so it was in “ I cheerfully comply with your request, consequence of this, in the divine counand shall attempt to convey in this sels of Godhead, that he was appointed sheet, a clear and comprehensive out to be their glorious mediator and Sa. line of that glorious gospel, which the viour.” This shows our author's famiLord Jesus Christ hath committed to my liar acquaintance with the counsels of trust.With such ease and facility Deity! Let us now hear him upon does Mr. Mulock step into the apostle's another subject. ' shoes, and proclaim his vast import- “ The righteousness of the Lord Jeance, at the same time reminding us of sus Christ, which is imputed to his the deference which we owe to all he is church of redeemed sinners, 1 Cor. i. pleased to say. “He is Sir Oracle, and 30, if I properly apprehend and state the when he opens his mouth, let no dog subject, [query, how is this? we had unbark !" But let us hear him again: “I derstood that his knowledge was “ withcommence, therefore, with saying, that out doubt or difficulty”] is, the purity I call no one miaster, for one is my mas- 1 and perfection of the holy Lord God, ter, even Christ. I have learned, not imparted by way of union and commufrom the systems of men, but from the nion to elect creatures, so as to render scriptures of truth revealed to my spi- them impeccable, or incapable of eter comritual mind, by the Holy Ghost,” &c. miliing sin.” Here is a discovery inIn other words, he is an apostle," not deed! but how shall we reconcile this of men, neither received he the gospel high state of privilege with the language from the teaching of any man, but by 1 of the apostle John?.“ If we say that supernatural revelation." Accordingly, we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, he apprises us, p. 5. that “ such know- and the truth is not in us.-If we say ledge as I am possessed of, is unper- that we have not sinned, we make him plexed with doubt or difficulty." Happy a liar, and his word is not in us." 1 John man! who does not envy him his at- i. 8, 10. Surely such a privileged class tainments ? how well qualified must he of persons can have no occasion for the be to instruct us in the mystery of apostle's exhortation, “ Let us, therethe gospel”—the deep things of God. | fore, come boldly unto the throne of He does not profess, however, in these grace, that we may obtain mercy," &c. few pages to offer “ more than a truth-nor for the prayer taught them by the ful outline of spiritual" things, p. 35. Saviour-" forgive us our sins,” Luke xi. Let us, then, the more highly prize the 2. Mr. Mulock teaches us that “Christ's treasures which he has laid be- church, even now, answers to the origifore us!

nal pattern of purity drawn in the diSpeaking of the elect, he says, vine inind, and is, in very deed and “ These persons having been thus set truth, a glorious church, not having spot apart in Christ by an inexplicable and or blemish, or any such thing." “God's irreversible act of the divine will, were elect,” he tells us, “ are justified by God gifted with grace, with eternal life ; and himself in the person of his Christ. these measureless blessings are scrip- God proclaims their free pardon. There turally traceable to God's everlasting is no sin in Christ's worldthere is no love to Christ, and to the church bound death in Christ's world. All is light up in the bundle of life with him. Here and life, and eternal glory." We need we gospelly discover the fountain cause not remind our readers, that this is of the great acts of the Lord Christ, on spoken of Mr. Mulock's elect, even in behalf of his church." p. 3.-" As the the present life; and it is the very rant

of Antinomianism. But let us hear on this principle, what our Lord incul. him a little further. "A Christian is a cates upon his disciples in John xv. supernatural man-he has nothing to do must be altogether wrong; for he not with self-self, either good or bad, is, in only speaks of them as branches in himthe view of the believer, the greatest self, the true vine, but as bearing difmonster out of hell; and this habitual ferent degrees of fruit, which looks somerenunciation of self, taught by the Holy thing very like the doctrine of progresSpirit, is the secret of all the saintship sive sanctification. He certainly speaks that has ever existed in earth or heas of their bearing fruit, much fruit, and as ven." p. 19. “I am unalterably con- pruned and purged by the Divine huse vinced," says our author, “ that all the bandman, to produce “ more fruit," see professors of religion who urge the ne- verses ?, 5, ; and he declares that, cessity of progressive sanctification--are in proportion to the fruit which they dead in trespasses and sins. p. 25. Yet bear, in that same degree is his heathe apostles were not afraid to say to the venly Father glorified in them. How Christians of their day, “ We beseech different is the doctrine of our Lord and you, brethren, to encrease more and his apostles from the rant of Mr. Mumore.” “But grow in grace, and in the lock and his fraternity! Which of them knowledge of the Lord and Saviour,” shall we believe? &c. “Let us go on unto perfection.” | But we cannot find room to extend What madness infatuates these delud- our remarks much farther on this ed men? If there be any truth in reve- pamphlet, or on the system it is intendlation, such a state of supposed exempo ed to promote; and we suppose our tion from sin, as that which they lay readers are by this time pretty well claim to, can arise from nothing short satisfied as to its contents. Mr. Muof a state of self-deception, an entire des- lock is a gentleman of large and high titution of the influence of the truth of pretensions-it is truly amusing to God. 1 John i. 8.-10. Mark, reader, witness the pomp with which he struts the following paragraph: “ We are throughout these pages ; but “ it is scripturally informed, that at the crea- great cry, and little wool," as the old tion of the material universe, the even- proverb has it. He abounds in refering and the morning were the first day. ences to texts of scripture, yet unfortuI notice the same divine order observed nately, not more than one in ten is at with reference to the spiritual creation all relevant. He sets out with professin the souls of regenerate persons. | ing to illustrate " the mystery of the Their first perception of holy things gospel”-to give a clear and comprehas a twilight dimness; then follows hensive outline of the glorious gospel of a horror of great darkness. It is night Christ;" but, in no one page of his when all the beasts of the forest creep pamphlet, nor in the whole of them colforth; at length the morning of gospel | lectively, is there to be found a plain manifestation breaks forth, and the true and scriptural statement of the genuine light now shineth. This is the progress apostolic gospel! We venture to affirm of the regenerate mind in the knows that no poor guilty mortal could learn ledge of the Scriptures; not progressive from these Letters, the way of salvation, sanctification as carnal preachers of false the doctrine of a sinner's acceptance peace, the sellers of doves in the temple, with God. The author abounds in vainly talk. The new creature in Christ great swelling words of vanity about Jesus is as holy at one time, as at ano- covenant transactions, and union with ther.” p. 37. If so, then, all the apos-Christ, and spiritual discoveries, &c. tolic exhortations to believers to “ fol- &c. mingled with sneers at “the reli-low after holiness, without which no gionists of the day"-the “ pietists” of man shall see the Lord.” Heb. xii. 14. various classes and denominations,

to be “ holy in all manner of conver- whose case he decides in a most sumsation.” 1 Pet. i. 15. — to " give dili- mary manner. " When I find per gence to make their calling and election sons," says he, “ unacquainted with the sure; adding to their faith, virtue, know- first principles of the doctrine of Christ, ledge, temperance, patience, godliness, babbling about what they call their expebrotherly kindness, and charity.” 2 Pet. rience, I have no difficulty in defining 1.5-10.-these must all be much ado their case. They are under a complete about nothing; " the new creature" delusion of Satan. They substitute can have no concern in them. In short, what is styled a work of grace in the VOL, VII.

2 N

« НазадПродовжити »