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suffice to show why a good man cannot It remains that some reasons be do evil, and why a wicked man cannot offered to support the opinion now do good. The former hates sin, and given, and that some reply be made to loves the law of God; and, therefore, the objections which may be produced sin hath not the dominion over him against it; but these must be deferred The latter hates God and holiness, and to another opportunity. loves iniquity; and, therefore, is the
I remain, servant of sin, and free from righte
Mr. Editor, ousness. He does not like to retain
Yours, &c. God in his knowledge; he hates the
LEPSOG light, and loves darkness; and, seeking Sept. 1822. the honour of his fellow men, he cannot believe in Christ. If this inability included a natural and physical impossi- | THOUGHTS ON THE DIVINITY OF bility to believe, though ever so desir
CHRIST. ous and willing to do so, it would not be the sinner's crime, but his calamity.
By a late venerable Deacon of a Baptist
Church at Frome. This, however, is far from being the case. His impotence is nothing but an A SUPREME and subordinate Deity is aversion to Christ, and his method of contrary to reason and revelation; every salvation; and the greater his inability being in existence must be either God is in this respect, the greater must be or a creature-the Creator, or created. his guilt, sin, and consequent punish- Could we conceive of a being, as far ment.
exceeding an angel, as the latter does & When I say the sinner cannot believe, worm, in power and greatness, still if I mean to express only the sentiment he began to exist, and derived bis being contained in the words of Jesus, “ Ye from another, he could be no more than will not come to me that ye may have a creature, as dependent, every moment, life.” But when I affirm, that the sin- on his Maker, as the most feeble creaner can believe, I wish to convey the ture. There are innumerable gradaidea, that there is nothing in heaven or tions in the scale of animated existence, earth to hinder or prevent him, but his from the minutest animalcule, to the own wicked disposition; that in the tallest archangel; but here the chain strict and proper sense of the word, he breaks; there is no medium between wants no more power or strength than finite and infinite. What are all crea he bas, but only a will or inclination. tures, the inhabitants of all worlds, He has a price in his hand to get wis. when compared with God in any moral dom, but, fool as he is, he has not heart excellency; and they must be totally to it. Prov. xvii. 16.
destitute of every natural perfection of From the clear, full, and undeniable Deity—such as eternity, self-existence, testimony of God-from the perfections immensity, and the like. If our Saviour of the divine Being-from the nature then, be not God in the highest sepse of of man, and his relation to, and depen- the word, he can be no more than a dence on, his Creator—from observa- creature. The Arian hypothesis retion — and from my own experience, presents him too high for a creature, I conclude, without any manner of he- and too low to be God. But the Bible sitation, that God requires every man, represents him as both the one and the to whom his word is sent, to believe it, other. The Arian Saviour is only an and that man's present strength is equal ideal one-a notional being that never to the performance of the duty thus im- did, and never can exist.-An ideal one, periously required of him.
did I say?-I must recal that expresa
did ja I might have availed myself of the sion, because I can form no idea of comdistinction between natural and moral municated infinity, and a derived selfinability; but these terms having been existence. The Scripture account is a ridiculed by some, and being a stum- mystery: the Arian notion involves an bling-block to others, I refrain, as much absolute impossibility; and the Socias possible, from the use of them; nian hypothesis is so gross, so palpable though I know not any distinction more a denial of so many express passages of clear and important, nor any other Scripture, that I think it would be more terms by which the idea can be more honest to embrace Deism, and roundly fully or forcibly expressed.
I deny the whole at once. The Bible
ascribes every perfection of Deity to the up ourselves to despair, and consign our blessed Jesus, as fully as ever it does to Bible to oblivion, not as a martyr once God the Father; and I see no reason did, with a “ farewell thou precious why we may not believe that he is book of God," but, “ farewell thou (without any diminution of language) most unmeaning book in existence." "oyer all, God blessed for ever.' The If Jesus be not Jehovah, I cannot doxology of heaven runs thus : 66 Wor- see why a Jew has not as good ground thy is the Lamb that was slain, to re- to glory in Moses, as a Christian has to ceive power and riches, and wisdom, glory in Jesus Christianity would be and strength, and honour, and glory, no more than a system of morality, and and blessing.” When Christ was ma, that important question must for ever nifest in the flesh, the divine Father remain unanswered—“How can man said, “ Let all the angels of God wor- be just with God." ship him." What! has God, who so
S. T. solemnly prohibited men-"Thou shalt Frome. have none other Gods before me,” commanded angels to worship a creature ? did he so severely punish his ancient
MR. EDITOR, people, the Israelites, for idolatry, and
In your number for the preintroduce it himself among the angels? sent month I observe that I am called After having said he would not give his upon, both by you and your corresponglory to another, did he teach angels dent, for an explanation of an expresthe distinction between supreme and sion which occurs in the “ Essay on subordinate worship? The blessed Re-Justification." Your correspondent, it deemer is represented in the Bible as appears too, writes on behalf of some the grand object of the Christian's faith, few of your constant readers; and as hope, and love-obedience, prayer, and there appears to be such a stumblingpraise the author of his eternal salva- block in their way, I am willing to retion in all its parts. Has he ever a move it; at the same time, I do think doubt how far he is to honour his Sam that the scope of the paper is, of itself, viourThe Saviour informs him, fully sufficient to satisfy all concerned, "That all men should honour the Son as to the writer's opinion on the subject even as they honour the Father;" he need of human merit :- it is from the scope not fear giving his Saviour more honour of an author's writing that we collect his than is his due, or of offending the Fa- sentiments, and not from any one partither in so doing; " for every tongue cular expression of which he may make shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord use. The subject itself, it must be alto the glory of God the Father.” The lowed, is of immense magnitude; and obedience and death of Jesus Christ for the sake of the very pleasure which derive all their efficacy from his Deity it would afford me, I would, if I could -here God can be just while he justi-command time for it, send you an essay fies him that believeth in Jesus-here on it of greater length than that which is a foundation for our faith, more firm your correspondent seems to think so than the fundamental laws of nature likely to be useful to many; but you -here our hope may expand itself to must be satisfied with a few brief remillions of future ages, and view an marks. eternal weight of glory, as the fruit of First, then, I would observe that, al. the infinitely precious obedience and though there are many passages of sufferings of a divine Redeemer-here Scripture which would seem to intimate, love kindles, devotion glows and in that good works ought to be done with creases till it rises into a joy that is un- a view to reward, yet the very nature of speakable and full of glory. Our faith these works would be destroyed by in the proper divinity of Christ is the their being performed from such a molife and soul of all internal religion. tive. The passages to which I refer, are Without it we have nothing to trust to such as the following: Blessed are they for our eternal happiness, but the mercy that do his commandments, that they may of an absolute Deity, who has declared have right to the tree of life." “ Look to he will by no means clear the guilty; our yourselves, that we lose not the things faith has nothing to support it; our which we hade wrought, but that we receive hope expires; a gloomy horror, dark a full reward." " For he (Moses) had reas night, would seize us, we must give spect to the recompence of reward." “ Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which | vants we are to whom we obey, it is in hath great recompence of reward.” But vain that we talk of salvation, while we who that knows and believes that there ourselves are not delivered from the is only one Being in the universe who dominion of sin. And as this line of hath life in HIMSELF :-who that be conduct will tend most effectually to lieves that the soul of man is merely a cure us of all pride and selfishness, so receptacle of the divine LIFE, and must, the very circumstance of persevering in to eternity, be every moment dependent it will lead us to look forward to our on that Life, could suppose that these, | future state of existence with all its feor any passage of similar inport, sup- licity, not as the reward of service we port the absurd doctrine of human have done to the Lord, but rather as merit in matters of religion? But perfecting our bliss by affording us an again: In all those passages of Scrip- opportunity of casting our crowns at the ture, the co-operation of man is clearly | feet of Him who hath loved us, and stated as being necessary in the great hath given himself for us, that He work of salvation ; every thing like might redeem us unto Himself, a peboasting is excluded by the considera- culiar people, not having spot for tion, that it is God who worketh in us, blemish. both to will and to do of His good plea- I might pursue these considerations sure. Jesus reminds his disciples of to a much greater extent, and show that this, when he eshorts them to abide in every man who understands any thing Him, because without Him they can do of the nature of the happiness of beanothing. Independent of Him, there is ven, must be aware that it will consist no such thing as salvation; hence it is solely in admiring and enjoying the said : “Neither is there salvation in MERITS OF THE LORD:-that they who any other :" and hence again it is said :attach merit to their own good deeds, “IN THE LORD shall all the seed of do them from a principle of evil that Israel be justified, and shall glory.” heaven, to such persons, would appear Thus, he who glorieth, must glory in an absolute blank of the most bitter The LORD ; and his glorying must have disappointment: – pay, that if thieves respect, not to the works of righteous- are to be excluded from it, it is imposa' ness which he has done, but to this- | sible that those can ever enter it, who that he knoweth the Lord, who exer- appropriate to themselves the glory that ciseth loving-kindness, judgment and belongeth to God only; but enough, I mercy in the earth.
trust, has been said to convince your “ The grace of God” is a phrase of correpondent, and his friends also, that frequent occurrence in most writings of the writer of the “ Essay on Justificaa religious nature; but it is to be feared tion" is an admirer of that charity that it is often used in a very vague which vaunteth not itself, and which is sense; and, indeed, in a sense diametri- not puffed up; and that, for himself, he cally opposed to its use in Scripture. desires to rank with those who The grace of God there spoken of, is “ Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame." said to bring salvation. But the salvation that is IN CHRIST consists in Sept. 10, 1822. putting off the works of darkness, and putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. These are expressions of immense mag. So far our correspondent, whose aponitude, and plainly intimate that we are logy will, we trust, be found satisfacto strip OURSELVES of all those evil story. But, in addition to the passages of lusts which cleave to us as a garment Scripture which he has referred to, we does to the body; and, like the disci-think there are many others of equal ciples and the multitude, when our weight, which he might have adduced. Lord ascended to Jerusalem, cast them Such as, “ Him that honoureth me, I down to be trodden under foot, while will honour”-“ How can ye believe we hail Him as the only Saviour, and which receive honour one of another, receive Him to reign in our hearts with and seek not the honour that cometh undivided sway. It is only in as far from God alone;" What does this imas we thus act, that we experience the ply, but that it is our duty so to demean grace of God, and can become fit habi- ourselves as to endeavour to secure the tations of God through the Spirit; for approbation of God: Again : " Whereso long as it remains a fact that his ser- 'fore, we labour, the margin says, endeavour,” that whether present or absent readily solved or reconciled; since on we may be accepted of him." It were the authority of the New Testament, easy to extend these remarks, but it is and by the universal consent of the not necessary. The truth is, that though Christian world, the baptism of an when we have done all those things adult heathen, being supposed to folwhich Christ has enjoined, we are un- low a voluntary, conscientious, renunprofitable servants as to any benefit ciation of his former idolatrous princiwhich he can receive from our works, ples; and a cordial embracing of, and a or as to any proportion between our best credible profession of attachment to the works and the reward, yet Christ has gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; it assured us, that he will approve of the follows that it should at once introduce works of faith and love; that they are him into all the privileges and ordinanpleasing to him; that the very least of ces of that gospel; and that nothing them shall not lose its reward, but that can exist to bar his immediate admission he will make an honourable mention of to the table of his newly acknowledged them in the day of judgment, and re- Master, in conformity with his own compense them at the resurrection of divine command, but what would be an the just. For God is not unrighteous equally valid objection to his being adto forget his people's work and labour mitted to the initiatory ordinance of of love, which they have shewed to his baptism. name, nor unfaithful to his promise of On these points I earnestly desire sarewarding them. In a word, we cannot tisfaction ; since they appear to me to but think that there is quite as much involve a departure from that gospel danger of our losing sight of this doc simplicity for which Christians are trine, which is certainly the doctrine of bound constantly and zealously to conthe scriptures, as there is of a real tend. Christian perverting it to a self-righ
I am Sir, yours, teous purpose. -EDITOR.
A copy of the following letter has been sent to the Editor of the Old Evangelical
Evangelical Magazine, for insertion in that Journal. ] To the Editor of the New We are a little curious to see whether it
Magazine. be deemed admissible, and if so, what
SIR, answer will be returned to it.- Editor. To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine.
I should feel obliged if any of your intelligent correspondents would in
form me, through the medium of your miscel. Through the medium of your Magazine, I should be glad to obtain a solu
lany, whether the ministers of the established tion of some difficulties, which have church are enjoined by law to register the arisen in my mind, from a perusal of the births of the children of Dissenters, in the accounts given, relative to the South | parish books, without the ceremony of Sea Missions, under the patronage of sprinkling being used. the London Missionary Society. On I have heard it hinted, that by some rereference to the Report of the Stations, cent decision in our courts of law, the lega(Quart. Chron.-Vol. ii. page 155) it appears that a broad line of distinction
lity of Dr. Williams's registry to establish is drawn by the Missionaries, between
the age of a child has been called in ques baptized adults and communicants, the tion. Probably some of your readers may number of the former, far exceeding the be acquainted with the circumstance; if so, latter, at every station; and in some al- I should think it would be highly important most in a tenfold degree; and in a re- to the Dissenters as a body, to have the mat. cent private communication from one of ter settled, to obviate all difficulty. the Deputation, I have noticed the fact, that the late king Pomaré-though he
Yours, very truly, ad been baptized more than two years, ye. was never admitted to the Lord's table.
Watling Street. Now these circumstances seem to posss a mystery and inconsistency, not
The Christian Temper; or Lectures on the truth: and presents us with a striking
Beatitudes : BY THE Rev. John Leif- description of that renewed pature wbich CHILD. Second Edition. London: is produced in the fallen race .of Adam Holdsworth, 1892, pp. 820, 8vo. 85. by the belief and love of the word of the boards.
truth of the gospel, the grace that brings
salvation to perishing sinners. Tas first edition of these Lectures The beatitudes, contained it Matt. .escaped our notice; or rather, we should v. 8-13. to an elucidation of which Mr. say, it obtained so favourable a reception Leifchild has restricted his Lectures, from the public, that the whole impres- form an epitome of the whole discourse sion was called for before we could find of our Lord comprised in that, and the an opportunity of making our report of two following chapters. They are, in their merits. We now, however, hasten fact, the text on which his Sermon is to supply that deficiency and to congra- founded, and the characters which he tulate the author on the gratification has specified and illustrated, and prowhich he must derive from the success nounced “ blessed,” are a perfect conof his labours..
trast to those which he ascribes to the That portion of the sacred writings Pharisees of his time. Though this which is usually called Christ's Sermon sect took the precedency of every other on the Mount, has not unfrequently in the Jewish religion, for strictness and been the theme of illustration from both austerity of manners, for zeal in making the pulpit and the press; but there is no proselytes, and for apparent devotion ; danger of the subject being exhausted. yet, he who knew their hears and could This divine discourse comprises a com- pierce through the disguise, has painted mentary on the moral law, in which its them as proud, self-righteous, and insenspirituality is unfolded, and its real na-sible of their guilty state; as rich and ture explained according to the tenor in full in their own estimation, despising which it was originally given to man as others; as unmerciful, impure, hypocri-the rule of his correspondence with God,|| tical, fomenters of discord, persecutors and as obeyed by him who fulfilled all and revilers, &c. and all this, under a righteousness in the behalf of his guilty | flaming zeal of religion. In opposition people. It exhibits a perpetual standard to these unholy tempers and disposiof righteousness, not merely in the letter tions of mind, Jesus presents us with a or outward form, according to which the description of the characters of his geJews enjoyed the privileges of the Old | nuine disciples-those who are born Covenant, and in that sense in which again of the incorruptible seed of the Saul of Tarsus considered himself word, whose minds have been renewed “ blameless," (Phil. iii. 6.) but also, in in knowledge and holiness of the truth, the spirit, or full extent of its require- and who consequently are the real subments, as summed up in perfect love ljects of that kingdom which is not of this to God and our neighbour, forbidding world. And by what does he characteevery lust and irregular motion of the rize them? Not by any of those quaheart, promising eternal life upon con | lifications which give precedency in the dition of perfect obedience, and de- | kingdoms of this world, or in those cornouncing the curse of God on the minu. rupt bodies which, alas, often pass under test failure. In this sense, tbe Sermon the name of Christian churches, not by on the Mount holds up a perpetual their riches, 'learning, or worldly disstandard of righteousness, to “convince | tinctions-nor by their carnal descent the world of sin," and to shew mankind, from believing parents—but by their their need of a Saviour. It exhibits a humility, meekness, love, patience, pufair pattern of the purity and extent of rity: by their grief, on account of their Christian practice, or holiness of the short-comings, and their continual preso