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who have at any time been most same standard of truth and righnegligent of that which is now po- teousness? If there has not been pularly, and with just limitations, this agreement, if the alleged paralproperly called evangelical preach. lelism between the Heathen and the ing, and who have insisted chiefly. Christian writers is merely of a on such topics as the attributes of negative cast, and consists altogeGod, the resurrection, and the last ther in the omission, or in the injudgment, or who have treated se adequate notice of the fall of man, parately of repentance, humility, may not another parallel with equal meekness, temperance, charity, and truth and candour be drawn, beother Christian graces, can be justly tween the Heathen philosophers charged with delivering “a system and certain Christian preachers, by of etbics little better than the whom tbe doctrine of the last judgHeathen instruction which it super- ment is less fully insisted upon than seded.” If the absence of those it requires to be ? Nothing, howleading doctrines of the fall of man, ever, can be more unjust, than to justification by faith alone, and impute to public preachers, whose other truths, wbich are now some- doctrines are founded in the Scrip. times made the form and sub- tures of truth, the adoption of a stance of religion, constitutes the “ system of ethics little better than offence of moral preaching, may not the Heathen instruction which it the same offence be imputed to the superseded." There are many reaSermon on the Mount, to the hor- sons, and many topics of pastoral tatory conclusions of St. Paul's exhortation, in which the preacher, Epistles, to the Epistle of St. whose judgment is not biassed in James, to the writings of the Pri- the interpretation of Scripture, will mitive Fathers, to some of the not think it necessary to insist on Homilies, which in the judgments what are improperly called, the of some men have a sacred and peculiar doctrines of Christianity, almost prescriptive authority, and which he cannot interpret at any to the discourses of many of the time in a sense agreeable to the best and most profound of English British Reviewers. It is easy to theologians, whose writings abound make the fall of man and the grace in the fullest and most varied ex of God, the two sole causes of all positions of Christian truth. If the effects in religion and morality : most distinguished of the moral and to infer from the omission of preachers, Blair, or Sturm, or these doctrines, upon any occasion, Samuel Clarke, preached « little however irrelevant their introduce better than Heathen instruction," tion might be, a general charge of will it be contended, that the doc- moral preaching. trines and maxims of Aristotle, of Dr. Copleston preached a SerCicero, and of Epictetus, were little mon for the benefit of the Devon worse than Christian ? Have the and Exeter Hospital; the Sermon Heathen and the Christian preachers was afterwards published, and was been known to draw the attention reviewed in the Christian Observer, of mankind to the same virtues and in which it was described, as “comthe same vices, to enforce the same pletely exclusive of every motive common responsibility of all men, to benevolence deduced from the and to direct their hopes and their principles, which are peculiar to fears, to the same eternal recom the Christian dispensation ;" as pense of evil and of good ? Has “having little or no claim to the the Heathen philosophy in its appellation of a Christian dis. bighest elevation, or the Christian course;" and such as mutatis mu. morality in its lowest degradation, tandis might have “ been delivered in any degree approximated to the in the porch, or in the academy,

in & Mahometan mosque, or in a this, according to the reviewer, Jewish synagogue." Dr. Copleston whose observations principally chal. naturally felt the wrong, which was lenge our attention, the full height done by this gross misrepresenta- or front of their offending. tion of his argument, and having “ We are quite sure, that in endeavourendeavoured in vain to obtain a ing to excite attention to a spiritual and correction of this misrepresentation, superior cast, both of teaching and preach. republished the Sermon with the ing in all who minister in holy things, we charges annexed. Thus the doc shall incur uo hazard of being understood trine of the Sermon was maintained, to recommend the exhibitiou of any crude

doctrinal theories; much less to advocate and the justice of the reviewer's

any other than the most practical and charge was denied. It is remarked, experimental course of instruction. Our most probably with allusion to this simple object is to guard against the dem controversy, by another writer in secration of the sacred office by a merely the British Review, in a candid and moral style of preaching, which is neither temperate critique on the Provost's

honourable to the Law nor to the Gospel, Inquiry into the Doctrines of Ne

—which leaves whole coogregations in cessity and Predestination :

the quiescent though perilons state of

spiritual darkoess and security in which If any doubt has ever been made of it found them, and of which, we fear, it the strength and quality of the Christianity may be too truly predicated, that it is not of Dr. Copleston, we do not think, that

even its object or design to turn many such doubt ought in common candour to

from darkness to light, and from the power survive the perusal of this Discourse, in

of Satan anto God.” which we find the true spirit of the Gos. Experimental instruction is the pel breathing in every line,-the scholar language and study of a sect : tempered into the disciple,-the accom

practical instruction, comprehendplished reasoner bowing to the discipline of the cross,-the man adorned above

ing Christian truth in combination most in our day with those gifts, which

with Christian righteousness, is the minister occasion to self esteem and en great duty of the Christian minis. courage ideas of human dignity, avowing try, and it is neither candid nor just his own inherent guiltiness before God, to assume, that that duty is neghis reliance on Christ alone for pardon and lected. But what shall be thought acceptance, as attainable only by his grace, of this series of gratuitous iŋsinua, and the sanctification of the Holy Spirit.”

tions, that there is a style of There is nothing peculiar in the preaching, which not only in effect case of Dr. Copleston, except the leaves whole congregations in the high merit and character of the quiescent, though perilous state of person unjustly suspected and ac- spiritual darkness in which it found cused. There are many others, of them," but of which it is also the purity and integrity of whose feared, “ that it may be too truly doctrine, of the strength and quality predicated, that it is not even its ob of whose Christianity, if any doubt ject or design to turn many from had been suggested by the delivery darkness to light, and from the and publication of one and another power of Satan unto God." This discourse, that doubt ought in sentence can impute no less to 4 common candour to cease on the certain portion of the Clergy, than more full developement of their re a wilful and deliberate indifference ligious opinions, and whose censors to the object and design of their ought to blush and be ashamed of sacred office, a profane and callous the presumption and the precipi- disregard to the salvation of themtancy, with which they infer from selves, and those that hear them. single cases, hardly understood, a Be it, that there are some, by whom general charge against the English the full and unreserved expo. Clergy of preaching" little better sition of the humbling and trans than heathen instruction.” Nor is forming doctrines of the cross," is

are

less appreciated than it deserves to pressed, with the usual variations be, and that there are some by of uncharitable suspicion, in anowhom the doctrines themselves are ther part of the article. variously interpreted and under

* Still it is not to be doubted or disstood ; it is nevertheless affirmed, guised, that there exists an entire and with confidence, that there essential difference between certain views none the object or design of whose and statements of Divine Truth, within preaching is not in agreement the pale of the same ecclesiastical estawith the recorded commission of blishments ; or perhaps we should rather St. Paul, to turn many from dark- Divine Truth is scarcely exhibited at all

say, that cases are not uncommon, where ness to light, and from the power in its sacred lineaments and due proof Satan unto God, as far as their portions, but is superseded by the lifeless « faculties” will allow, and as far and spiritless ethics of natural religion, a as is consistent with the existing system altogether destitute of the vitality circumstances of the Church upon and power of a revelation from heaven, the earth.

and neither calculated to confer honour Upon the important truths for upon God, nor to improve the condition

of his creatures. We fear it is a truth, which he contends, the reviewer which however painful to tell, and howobserves the difference of some, and

ever unwelcome to hear, is still not less the agreement of all, which it is a truth--that in some quarters, the happily not in our province to ex. genuine and life-giving principles of our plain, as it is not in our power to early reformers, as displayed in their doccomprehend.

trinal instructions, exhibited in their holy

lives, and embodied in their invaluable “ We desire to institute no invidious formularies, are found no longer; and that comparisons; but it is impossible, with a cold and heartless system of mere all our unfeigned attachment to the

morals has usurped the place of the only Church of England, (and we are, per- legitimate principles, which Christians can haps, rendered somewhat more quick- safely recognize as the role of their faith, sighted on account of that very attach- and the guide of their practice. Now we ment,) not to observe a difference between apprehend, that Mr. Richardson, least of some, who minister at the same altar.

all men, intended to apologise ........for the We had rather, indeed, that they, who

absence of sound scriptural instruction in may derive benefit from the discovery,

any case; and still less to assert or in. should discern this difference for them- timate, that it was of no importance selves, than be more particularly re

whether truth or something else than minded of it by any plainer statement on our part; but we will simply observe, No one better understood than himself

truth were propounded from our pulpits. that the good of souls--the security of the

the indispensable importance of that kind national establishment, the very exist

of instruction which can alone effectually ence of the country-all appear to de

abase the sinner and exalt the Saviour ; mand the full and unreserved exhibition

which, while it displays the depth of our of the humbling and transforming doc

original apostacy, and the extent of our trines of the cross. All unite in declar

practical incapacity, does yet assert the ing, that the necessity of repentance and

absolute necessity of a renewed heart, renunciation of sin cannot be too ear

and a holy conversation ; and at the same nestly enforced ; that faith in Christ, as

time directs the penitent to the only single the fundamental principle of our common

source of all spiritual life, and all sincere Christianity, and alone sufficient to pro obedience, in pointing to Him, who came duce the fruits of righteousness, cannot into the world to save

sinners, and without be too distinctly inculcated as essential to

whom no man cometh to the Father, Mr. salvation—that the influence and agency

Richardson was least likely, of all men, of the Holy Spirit, (in his ordinary opera

to feel that the course of religious intions, indeed, but not less certain, because

struction, which (we say it . more in sora not extraordinary,) cannot be too strenu

row than in anger') is but too commonly ously maintained and that the meagre

afforded, could supply any adequate restatement of mere moral duties, abstracted medy for the moral miseries of mankindfrom and unconnected with, a justifying

a system which leaves men as fully satisfaith, cannot be too carefully avoided.”

fied with themselves in their natural conThe same sentiments are ex- dition, as if the expensive sacrifice, pro

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pounded by a Gospel of mercy, had never they have heard only upon occabeen offered, and indeed had never been sion, at various times and in distant necessary ; and which in the proportion that it sets up human merit, irrespective places, in London, and in the counof saving faith in the great atonement, try, as chance or choice, and vicious does in the same degree depreciate and

or censorious curiosity has drawn invalidate the costly provision once of them from their favourite preachers fered for the sins of the world."

to their own or to their neighbour's Is it unjust to call upon the Re- Church? The charge cannot be viewer to specify some of the cases justified without betraying a neglect “where Divine Truth is scarcely of sound doctrine, and an exceeding exhibited at all, but is superseded love of itinerancy in pursuit of by the lifeless and spiritless ethics error: nor is a casual attendance of natural religion:" and to declare sufficient to ascertain what may be openly and without reserve in what the course of religious instruction, quarters the genuine principles of nor can the experience of a few inthe Reformers are abandoned, in dividuals establish the fact, that " which the cold and heartless such a course is “ not uncommon", system of mere morals has usurped in a Church, in which from ten to the place of the only legitimate twenty thousand sermons are deliprinciples, which Christians can

vered every Sunday. A charge, safely recognize," in which there is which it is thus difficult to substan"an absence of sound scriptural tiate, should at least be advanced instruction,” in which “ something with studied and scrupulous modeelse than truth is propounded from ration : and while the Reviewer is our pulpits,” in which the system of painfully reflecting on the character religious instruction “ leaves men

of accusations, not proven, it may fully satisfied with themselves in direct his attention to be reminded their natural condition," sets up that the body which he accuses has human merit irrespective of saving been industrious in vindicating the faith in the great atonement,” and genuine principles of the Reforma“ depreciates and invalidates the tion, and in supplying the public costly provision once made for the with sound scriptural instruction : sins of the world." These are grave that in the hour of danger, they charges which should not be ad- have been zealous in maintaining vanced without sufficient proof; the evidences of Christian truth; and what is the nature of that that they have powerfully counterproof? We know of no volume of acted the efforts of the socinians in printed sermons out of the Unita- disputing the original apostacy and rian school which deserves these practical incapacity of mankind, the accumulated imputations. And in necessity of the great atonement, and respect of sermons delivered from of faith in that atonement, the sole the pulpit, we are bold to ask, does merit and worth of the One propitithe charge rest on the testimony of ation for sins, the Deity, personality individuals, or on the collected evi- and office of the Holy Spirit, with dence of the whole company of the incarnation and divinity of the British Reviewers ? Does it refer to Son of God. Whatever be the sermons which they themselves have merits of the school of which the heard, or to sermons which they British Reviewer is the advocate and know only by report, and of which apologist, and whose fair fame we the merit has been debated with the desire not to depreciate, the versions exact discrimination of a religious of the Unitarians and of Mr. Bella. coterie ? Is it appropriated to ser- my, and the insinuations of Hone mons which their forbearance has from the Apocryphal Gospels, have been exercised in hearing for a long been examined and refuted by some course of time, or to those which who are not of that school, and

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whose ministerial labours the Bri- Baptism is thrown out of the idea tish Reviewer pretends more in sor- of regeneration; renewal of state is row than in anger to condemn. confounded with renewal of mind;

He especially charges, " that in conversion and repentance are held some quarters the genuine and life- equivalent to regeneration; and the giving principles of our early re- doctrine of infant regeneration and formers as displayed in their doc. the practice of infant baptism are trinal instructions, exhibited in their rejected. holy lives, and embodied in their This is the consequence of the invaluable formularies are found no misuse of words, and it may teach longer." The fact is denied, and the British Reviewer while he imof the competence of the British putes to others the abandonment of Reviewer to decide the fact, the the formularies of the Church, to reader may judge from the following be himself more circumspect in inpassage, in which he writes with terpreting and explaining them, more reference to the year 1769, at which diligent iu ascertaining their proper time he says,

sense and import, than he appears “ The best friends of the Church of hitherto to have been. It is the England are willing to allow that those observation of Mr. Richardson : leading doctrines of the reformation, the

" I found that the Bible will not sub fall of man—justification by faith alone- mit to any system however neat, and the absolute necessity of that` death onto made to go upon all foars : that in the sin and new birth unto righteousness,' of

perpetual controversy between Calvinists which baptism is the outward and visible sign,' had greatly fallen into neglect in the line of simple truth, in order to make their

and Arminians, both sides go beyond the Established Church."

respective systems complete, and that the Now in which of the invaluable Church of England agreeable to Scripture, formularies of the Church of Eng and the Arminian doctrine of general re

holds the Calvinistic doctrine of election, land is it taught, that BAPTISM is " the outward and visible sign” of of her Creed, where ' I learn to believe in

demption, as is plain from the explanation a “ death unto sin and a new birth God the Son, who hath redeemed me and unto righteousness ?" It is the doc- all mankind, and in God the Holy Ghost trine of the Church Catechism, that who sanctifieth me, and all the elect peoBaptism is a sacrament, and as a ple of God.sacrament comprises two parts, an The Reviewer remarks, outward visible sign, and an inward spiritual grace; that the outward “ ...... it is impossible to pass by visible sign or form in Baptism is without commendation what appears to water, and that the inward spiritual and modified course pursued by the Church

us so accurate a description of the safe grace

of which water, not Baptism of England, in her interpretation of Scripis the sign, is a death unto sin and

ture." new birth unto righteousness. This is the doctrine of the Church With what accuracy of chronoof England: but the Reviewer mis- logy the Arminian doctrine is im. takes the part for the whole, the puted to the Catechism, the Resacrament including the sign and viewer will probably explain upon the grace, for the sign without the another occasion : of the Calvinistic grace. This confusion is in itself doctrine of election which “ the most erroneous, and in its direct Church of England agreeable to and immediate consequences by se- Scripture” is here said to hold : parating the outward sign from the another writer in the same review inward grace destroys the sacra

observes with admirable perspicuity: mental character of Baptism, and

“ According to Calvin, the predestinathus according to the masterly ex tion is absolute and irrespective, and the position of Waterland, outward election single, sure and everlasting, so

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