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that the election is merged in the predes groans of men. The sin of slander tination. Our Church considers election may be confounded with the imagi. as distinct from predestination, and that nary holiness of an ignorant and inpersons may come under the one descrip- judicious zeal; and men and women other. They may be called and elected of less discernment than presumpbut not predestinated, inasmuch as they tion, whom a very little insinuation may after their calling and election fail will tempt to suspect the fidelity of througb their own fault of attaining to their pastor, will be hurried away everlasting felicity."
in the pursuit of doctrines, which Is this also an accurate descrip- and which promise to gratify for the
have at least the merit of novelty, tion of the modified course of the hour the love of choice and change, Church in the interpretation of of an assumed right of independence Scripture? And yet, as if the doctrine were not already sufficiently
and a practical unsettleduess in their perplexed, another reference is made
spiritual communion. in imitation of Dr. Copleston
whose religious education has been Mr. Sumner's excellent treatise on neglected, and who have no fixed. Apostolical preaching, particularly will be distracted in the sincere enhis chapter on election, which refers will be distracted in the sincere enhis expressions on that subject, to quiry for religious truth, by the the election of the Gentiles rather
errors imputed to its ostensible than to personal election."
teachers, will be embarrassed with
doubts and scruples, and ultimately Thus the Church of England does and does not hold Calvinistic elec- and schism, into a neglect of public
inveigled into false doctrine, heresy, tion, does and does not hold conditional election, does and does not worship and instruction, and a ge
neral indifference and unconcern hold personal election. Instead of these crude theories on a doctrine of minds not sufficiently grounded
to sacred truth. Even clergymen which perplexes the minds and dis.
in the Scriptures, and exquisitely turbs the peace many men, how
sensitive and conscientious, may be. much more worthy would it have been of the advocate of the invalu- of a British Reviewer, impressed
alarmed by the confident assertions able formularies of our Church, to explain the child's avowal of his rity and integrity of their doctrine,
with vain apprehensions of the sanctification with all the elect peo- and led astray from the good old ple of God, by the corresponding answer in which he gives thanks to paths in which they have been the heavenly Father, that he bath taught and accustomed to tread, the heavenly Father, that he hath into the bye ways of error and called him to this state of salvation 'and
doubtful speculation. None but prays that he may continue in
the scorner and the infidel has oc. the same unto his life's end.
It is not easy to conceive the casion of rejoicing in the sins and mischief or the misery, which arise's of controversies, in which they have
sorrows of the Church, in the issue from these jejune and unsatisfactory no interest or concern, but in their references to controverted doctrines. The minds of men are thus kept in known tendency to counteract the à state of continual ferment and progress of truth and righteousness.
No conceivable advantage can result agitation, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of in such a spirit as distinguishes the
from a tissue of insinuations offered the truth. The depraved but too article which has challenged our popular passion for religious gossip may be indulged, and fed like the observations, and of which it is only antient Moloch with the sighs and doubtful whether the blame princi
pally devolves upon the writer or REMEMBRANCER, No. 43.
the editor, who suffered its inser- The Manifold Wisdom of God made tion. Its spirit and tendency can. known by the Church: a Sermon not we trust, for the honour of preached at the Cathedral Church Christianity, be agreeable to a large of Calcutta, on the Third Day of class of readers. It is by such December, 1820, being the First publicatious that the peace of indi Sunday in Advent. By Thomas viduals is disturbed; that families Fanshaw, Bishop of Calcutta. are divided under different teachers; With Notes and an Appendit. that the order of the Church, and 8vo. pp. 56. Balfour, Calcutta. the unity of the Christian brother 1821. hood are violated, and that jealousies are inflamed among Churchmen, We should be happy, if we could when the exclusive merit of evange- convey to our readers the same plealical preaching is claimed to one sure which we have ourselves expeparty, and the other are accused of rienced in the perusal of this clear preaching “ little better than hea- and masterly discourse. The texto ihen instruction ;” and of abandon- is from Ephes. iii. 10, and the three ing the formularies with which they topics offered to our consideration have pledged themselves to conform, are these. and to which they from their just 1. What is the manifold Wisdom adherence by inculcating with equal of God? force and earnestness the doctrines 2. Why should it be proclaimed and the duties of their religion, and to the Gentiles? enforcing Christian practice upon
And, 3. What are the means, by Christian principles. The unchari- which the work may and must be tableness of some of their adversa- carried on, till all the kingdoms of ries, insinuations and censures, all this world are become “ the kingunfounded and unjust, may cherish doms of our Lord and of his Christ.” the narrow pride of a Pharisaic spi- (Rev. ix. 15.) rit, which thinks itself righteous In treating of the first, the Bishop and despises others. “At Bristol justly remarks, that the very phrase we abound in spiritual light,” said itself, “ the manifold wisdom of a lady to the wife of a distinguished God—" writer in the controversy on the
" Seems to overwhelm us by the variety Bible Society, “ but we hold the and weight of the topics, which it immediname of “ (the Lady's husband) ately suggests. Manifold, indeed, (he con“ in abhorrence and execration." tinues) is that wisdom; infinite in its conThe words still tingle in our ears, ceptions and modes of operation, even as and our hearts yearn at the recol- apprehended by the faculties of man; and lected sound ; and our eyes still what then must it appear to sublime and painfully dwell on the hardly less heavenly intelligences, although even they, censorious aspersions of the British scholars and novices in the knowledge of
as the text plainly intimates, are as yet bat reviewer, when he describes a style the Divine dispensations.” of preaching “ of which we fear it may be too truly predicted, that it is
From this the Bishop takes occanot even its object or design to turo sion to point out the excellence of many from darkness to light, and this wisdom, as it is displayed in from the power of Satan unto God.” Creation and Providence, and more Alas for the charity, which is the especially, (as that which is chiefly end of the commandment, and of contemplated by the text,) in the diswhich it is the distinguishing cha- pensation of Grace, and the scheme racter that it vaunteth not itself, of Redemption. thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in “ In Creation, the field which displays iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. the divine wisdom, is absolutely immeasur
able: into whatever district our curiosity complete for the purpose, and exhibits inor piety leads us, there we discover the dubitable and connected proofs of profound wisdom of the Almighty, whether the ob- design ; bnt in the system of Providence the ject of research be a plant or an insect, or proofs are not easily drawn from parts: we the system, by which worlds revolve; whe- are required to contemplate and comprether it be the instinct of animals, or the hend the whole. We cannot sever a link reason of man; whether it be the structure from the midst of a chain, but the chain is of the human frame, or those faculties and broken. In Providence we have to c90powers, which constitute the activity inhe sider a long series of causes and effects, of rent in mind. And then what a countless purposes and results, which, in that view multitude of subjects are either too great of the subject, exist not but in counexion. or too small to be grasped by our feeble vi- The results, indeed, are apparent, but not sion! What regions lie beyond our reach, so the process : we cannot always clearly of which we but dimiy descry the confines ! connect the first cause with the primary efThere is no boundary to what we see: we fect: the intermediate steps elude our indiscern not the termination of any thing: vestigation. Let it not, however, be there is always sometbing beyond, seen thought that this difficulty at all invalidates more and more indistinctly, till it is lost in the doctrine of Providence, as evincing the distance : the whole circle of human know. wisdom of God. It is as if we beheld some ledge in comparison with all the subjects of vast river discharging its waters into the knowledge, with all which might be known ocean, but were not permitted to trace it by an infinite intelligence, and therefore is upwards to its source; we catch, indeed, known to God, is probably but as a single glimpses of it at distant intervals; but leaf torn from the middle of some vast vo mountains and forests frequently intervene. lume, filled indeed with references or allu- Still we are sure, that it has its source somesions to what has preceded, or with faint where, however distant or inaccessible. anticipations of what is to follow, and And so it is with all the good we enjoy in therefore but imperfectly understood, yet the world, with all the provision made for leading the mind to lofty speculations, and our wants, with all our deliverances from admiration of its author: we understand danger, in short with all that is incident to just enough to be instigated to thought men or to nations : events are brought and inquiry, and to be convinced from abont, good is accomplished, and evil avertthe little we comprehend, that wisdom musted, not only through means quite inadequate have dictated the whole. For how many to the end, as we estimate these things, but benevolent ends do we discover in all the frequently in opposition to natural causes, realms of nature, and in every work of God? of which we see the full force and efficacy, What mighty effects are accomplished by and are quite at a loss to understand how means the most simple, and apparently the they have been defeated. And what is the most inadequate? What provision is made inference? It is, that what is not of man to meet what in human mechanism we is of God: it is that an over-ruling Power should consider as insuperable difficulties, directs all things; influencing the wills of but which in the divine workmanship serve those, who serve Him, to what is ultimately only to evince the operation of one Per- good ; and in those, who by corruption are vading Mind? and what adjustment in a biassed to evil, averting the consequences, system inconceivably complicated, so that if not to themselves, at least to others, or there is no collision or interference, where even converting them to His purposes. all at the first snperficial glance would seem Here, however, we pass to what our text to be confusion ? Our limits will not per- chiefly contemplates the manifold wisdom of mit us to illustrate these general remarks God in the dispensation of Grace and in the by individual examples: but they will be scheme of Redemption. This wisdom, ioverified by every inquiry into the works of deed, is not so epsily discerned by minds, the Creator,
in which Religion has made but little pro“ But what shall we say of Providence ? gress, as that which beams forth in the The evidence under this head would pro works of Creation, or as that of which the bably be more striking, than under that of proofs are more slowly deduced from God's Creation, if we were equally capable of moral Government of the world. To be in deducing it; which, however, seems not to any degree appreciated, it requires a prebe tbe case. In Creation much may be in- paration of the mind and heart ; it requires ferred from the contemplation of single us to divest ourselves of pride and prejudice, parts, and those the most obvious and fami. and to be deeply sensible of our conditior liar to our apprehension. A blade of grass The mere Pbilosopher is very capable or an ear of corn, though indeeed we detect discerning facts, which establish the docnot all its contrivance, is yet sufficiently trine of final causes: or the Metaphysician
may be driven by the necessities of his ar whether life is rational without gument to acknowledge a pervading and
religion? or this present state, over-ruling Mind: but to gain even a glimpse of what the Apostle had called in
when uninformed by the views and the context the unsearchable riches of hopes of the Gospel
, any thing būt Christ, you must be in principle, in heart, a scene of vanity? And having forand in sentiment already Christian : the first cibly shewn this, he goes on to state step in your progress must be humility; more distinctly, in what particulars bumility, however, not as prompted by un,
especially our reason discerns the reasonable despair, but as founded in eter
wisdom of God in the scheme of hunal truth. Look, then at the natural con, dition of the species ; of man without Re
man Redemption ; and to combat a ligion, meaning Faith in a Saviour and Re notion but too prevalent, that all deemer: what is his contidence, or even his questions of this kind are purely spehope.” P. 5.
culative, and consequently of compaThe forcible and affecting picture ratively little importance. Whereas, which the Bishop draws, of the for,
as his lordship justly remarks, " all lornness of the deistical scheme, is
the speculative truths of Religion, worthy of very serious attention.
which are revealed in Scripture, (and
no others deserve any serious regard) “ We are evidently in the situation of are in their inferences, and consethose, who have violated a law fortified by quences, and relations, highly prac. penal sanctions, without any power of satisfying the penalty. Sceptics in the pride of all practice; and none is more ex
tical ; they are in truth, the very basis of their hearts, may cavil at this comparison; but they have never adduced any evi- tensively so, than the doctrine of out dence to shew, that it is not strictly appli- Redemption through Christ." This cable. If they will only admit the being of is strikingly exhibited in detail, and a perfectly just and holy God, all substan on the whole the Bishop thus contial consequences, wbich the Christian cludes. claims, will inevitably follow: it will follow, that the wisdom and mercy of God were “ These reflections, capable however of in some way to be exerted for the restor- being pursued through a thousand channels, ation of violated order and the indemnity of may prepare us to form some imperfect esman.- But even reason should revolt at the timale of the wisdom of God in the work very ground-work of the deistical scheme, of our Redemption. Mysteries, it is true, if scheme it can be called, which has no envelope the doctrine theoretically consiconsistent application. In what light does dered: but in a practical view nothing can Deism, if closely examined, place the Deityd be more intelligible. Our nature, in its It leaves Him in possession of perfect attri- inconsistencies and contradictions, in its butes, which are, however, but imperfectly weaknesses and in its strength), in its elevaexercised: it recognises His sovereignty, tion and depression, conspires with Scripbut would suspend His functions : it ad ture to bear witness to our primeval fall: mits and even insists upon His mercy, but and the wisdom of God has been exerted in a way which forbids us any longer to in a scheme for our restoration through consider Him as infinitely just, and which Jesus Christ; a scheme, in wbich mercy is affords us no means of asserting His holiness, the moving principle,-in which Holiness is It represents Him as the author of a Law, vindicated, --in which Justice is satisfied, the sanctions of which can never be abro. in wbich our weakness is upholden by divine gated, and the dignity of which can never support-in which holy desires are instilled be naintained. It acknowledges Him to into the heart,-in which sorrow is combe the eternal source of purity and truth, forted-in which repentance is efficacions, although if the language may be endured, -in which siu is pardoned-in which God He acquiesces in falsehood and coupives at is reconciled,-in which the world is over. iniquity. These results are inevitable, if come, and in our last hour Death is deprived Christ hath not appeared to put away sin of his triumph. It is to such a scheme by the sacrifice of lumiself.' (Heb. ix. 26.)” more especially, that the Apostle refers, P. 9.
when he speaks of the manifold wisdom Nor does the Bishop stop here; power and wisdom we are able to a certain
of God:' and its complicated characters of but proceeds to ask of those who
extent to appreciate, even with our faint profess to admit no test but reason, perception of things divine, In go specu
lation merely human have such difficulties heterogeneous substances in the bowels of ever been proposed for solution? still less the earth, the Geologist attests the break. can it be said that they have been solved ing up of the vast deep in times remote, if upon principles at once so coherent, and at he yield not implicit faith to the Scriptures: the same time so sublime in their objects, and here, in like manner, does the Chris so simple in their operation, and so effec- tian trace indubitable evidence of that tual in their result. Tbe greatness of the wreck and ruin of the moral world, which Deity and the misery of man had been the the same Scriptures record : the best qua, theme of sages from the earliest times: but lities or tendencies of our pature and their who bad ever suggested, as among things opposite defects are found in immediate possible, a theory, by which, while God contact: the fear without the knowledge should be vindicated, man should be God;-courtesy without brotherly love; saved?" P. 14.
profuseness without public spirit; - lowli. In treating of the second question sin without the want of a Saviour ;--forti
ness without humility ;-a consciousness of suggested in the text, “Why should tude withont feeling or resignation : --and the manifold wisdom of God be pro- a contempt of death without a thought of claimed to the Heathen?" the Bishop immortality ;-these are among the inconconfines himself to the argument sistencies and perversions of original goodwhich the Apostle uses. The edis ness, which every day's observation may fication, however, of the heavenly exhibit to our notice : and who can conSpirit by the preaching of the Gos. them ? or who that laments them, can be
template these appearances and not lament pel bere on earth, is an argument, backward to employ the remedy I mean which does not readily present itself not, of course, in any way but that of affecto the mind. Nor is it at the first tionate and Christian solicitude, and by sight sufficiently familiar to us, teaching and persuading the things conwhose intercourse is with God or cerning the kingdom of God.' (Acts xix. men; yet when presented, and duly 8.)" P. 18. weighed, it must be allowed to be The conclusion of this part of the well fitted to call forth our warmest discourse is occupied by a satisfacexertions for the conversion of the tory reply to those prejudices, which Heathen. For, whatever tends to have been, and may even yet be en. unfold the wisdom and goodness of tertained by certain, against all enGod, must lead to the increase of deavours to disseminate Christianity his glory, which is the legitimate end among the Hindoos. Those prejuof true zeal. And that, whereby dices, which are purely political, are the
very Angels, those superior In. very briefly and properly dismissed telligences that surround the throne with this pious and just remark, that of God, shall become wiser, must all policy is, to say the least of it, surely be needful in a tenfold degree very questionable, wben it is manito man in his present state of weak- festly opposed to the purposes of ness and ignorance. And,
Hini," who ruleth in the kingdom of “Where, (asks the Bishop with reference men, and giveth it to whomsoever He to the East), shall the energies of this zeal will.” (Dan. iv. 17.) And the quesbe excited, if they are dormant in the land tion is thus reduced to the very simwhich we now inbabit? In what other re. ple one, whether the temporal and gion of the knowo world is the glory of God eternal good, one or both of them, more effectually obscured, and His truth, of the nations of the East would not to allude to the Apostle's saying, more pal; pably turned into a lie (Rom. i. 25.) be promoted by a gradual developeThe case of ruder nations furnishes no an
ment to their minds and hearts, of swer to this question : refinement when the truths of the Gospel? We say corrupted, may be worse than barbarism ; with the Bishop gradual; for he, and system bas a power of evil beyond sim- who should attempt or expect more plicity. Where else too, we may ask, do than this, would in the attempt do we find more evident vestiges of that fall from primeval uprightuess, which the Gos mischief, and in the expectation pel was designed to repair ? From the dis- evince little knowledge of the actual located strata and confused position of state of things.