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We rejoice to see Mr. Carson taking the high ground to which revelation invites him, when he affirms the strict universality of Scriptural inspiration. We are almost sickened when we read the manner in which some modern divines apologize for the popular errors of philosophy which they admit to exist in the Scriptures. For our own part, we heartily join with Mr. Carson in saying, p. 31, “If the Bible gives us a bad lesson in philosophy, it will condemn it, as well as if it bad given us bad morality." But examples of philosophical error are not in the Bible, but in that petulant ignorance that objects where it has not studied. When, for instance, some witling philosopher objects to the Bible, that it speaks of the sun's rising and setting, and calls it unphilosophical, we have often wished to know what term he himself would be pleased to employ. Nay, were Copernicus, and Newton, and Herschel, to arise. from the dead, and furnish the world with a new nomen. clature, we should wish to know what terms they could. employ but sunrise and sunset for these two occurrences. They could employ no other. And is the Scripture un. philosophical because it employs the very terms which pbilosophers themselves must employ?
Mr. Carson's reasonings upon the point will be found from p. 25, and onwards. At p. 28, he justly observes:
“For my part, I am convinced that to look into the Scriptures for a system of philosophy, is utterly to degrade them. But verily if they have delivered one philosophical dogma, it must be true, or the Scriptures, or a whole, are false.-I must have the inspired writers cleared of the accusation of pledging themselves to a philosophical untruth, as well as to a religious untruth.”
. Of all possibility of such accusation, we believe the Scriptures to be perfectly free. They are as correct in philosophy as they are sound in religion.
The examination of the Ecclectic Reviewers is important, when we consider the high rank that work has held in the estimation of the evangelical churches. The errors of such a work are full of danger. In p. 86, Mr. Carson has given şuch a specimen of their unhallowed audacity as justly called for severe reprehension. They unblushingly admit that the four Evangelists have fallen into errors, "iņ dates of events, combination of materials, and other minute circumstances.” This admission Mr. Carson cha. racterises as an “infidel statement;" and in this censure we heartily agree with him.
Mr. Carson's Review of Dr. P. Smith's Theory of Ina spiration, is perhaps more valuable than the others, as in it he meets and overturns the objections to complete verbal inspiration. · It possesses also an additional importance, inasmuch as the character of Dr. Smith is likely to give "currency to his opinions. Dr. Smith is a man of the highest rank amongst learned divines; a man whose wri. tings have served the cause of truth. Should he therefore, in any case, turn aside, his observations are more than commonly dangerous. Dr. Smith has put the objections to complete verbal inspiration, in a strong point of view; but Mr. Carson has not, in our opinion, left one of them unrefuted. The objections and replies are too numerous to be repeated here. We think every dispassionate reader will adapt Mr. Carson's views; and we would fondly hope that Mr. Wilson and Dr. Smith'themselves will be in the number of his converts. They are great men; and they are good men; but let them, therefore, beware. If they "stand upon 'an elevation, they stand upon a precipice; an error in them is not the solitary error of a common man: a multitude would be included in their judgment. May be that is able, keep them from falling!
It is now many years since we looked into the work of Dr. Dick, on the subject of inspiration; and we confess we had read him either with so little attention, or so little suspicion, that we had set him down in our mind as the firmést supporter of complete verbal inspiration. And so indeed Mr. Carson confesses his book would lead any unsuspecting Christian to believe. Indeed we are disposed to believe Dr. Dick thought so himself. And yet we can. not deny that Mr. Carson establishes his charge. Dr. Dick is another divine occupying a most conspicuous place 'in the church of Christ; and we think Mr. Carson has done both him and the church a service in pointing out inaccuracies or errors. "We think we are not fastidious when we would hint that Mr. Carson, in his phraseology, is aocasionally severe. But if a word sound harsh, his spirit is of the true Christian temperament-gentle yet firm; rejecting all that he believes to be error, yet embracing every one who loves the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.. ;: " The 'Books of the Old and New Testament proved to be Canonical, and their Verbal Inspirations maintained and established, &c. By Robert Haldane. Esq. 3d Edition. 3s. • Mr. Haldane's' work has only just reached us; and though we have glanced it over, we can scarcely say we have yet read it thoroughly. Every work of Mr. Haldane's, however, requires and deserves a thorough reading. He brings to his subject a mind clear-sighted, well exercised, bold, persevering; simple in its conceptions, yet multifarious in its acquirements; valuing the truth for its own sake, and apt and anxious to teach the things of God. The work commences with a view of the genuineness and authenticity* of the Old Testament, and of the grounds upon which the primitive Church rejected, and Protestants continue to reject, the Apocrypha. The second part of the work' treats of the genuineness and authenticity of the New Testament. And the third of the Inspiration of the whole Scriptures. The book concludes with a well selected Appendix, containing the opinions of eminent Christian writers in favour of verbal inspiration.—This and Mr. Carson's book we decidedly recommend to our readers; and especially to those who may be exposed to the attacks of Unitarians and Deists.
We have also before us “ The History of the Covenanters." The men who were persecuted for the truth's sake of old; who have been scoffed at by profane novelists, in modern times; but to whom we are indebted, on the confession of an enemy, for all that is excellent in the civil constitution of our country. We cannot at present notice the work as we could wish; but shall, on some future occasion, present some extracts to our readers. This is a work well suited to congregational libraries. . We have also examined “ Letters and Dialogues on Love' to God, Faith in Christ, and Assurance of Salvation. By J. Bellamy, D. D. With an Introduction, by the Rev. R. Burns, D. D. Paisley.” We have long been acquainted with Dr. Bellamy's “Religion Delineated," and were thereby prepared to entertain a favourable opinion of any thing from his pen. He is a writer, with whose conclusions we generally concur, and whom we must respect and love, when at times we differ from him. The recommendation of the work by Dr. Burns, entitles it to attention; and, if opportunity offer, we shall, in a future Number, lay before, the public a brief statement of its object and contents. This work refers to some im. portant subjects of modern controversy.
* A genuine book is one written by the author whose name it bears. An authentic book is one that relates matters of fact, as they really oc.. eured. :
“Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”—LUKE xiii. 3.
That many, nay, that most men have need of repentance, is generally acknowledged; but that the exercise of it should be universally necessary, there are many who would willingly deny. But deny it who may, repentance is a duty of universal obligation. We do not mean to assert, that all have sinned to the same extent, or that the sorrow, which constitutes an essential ingredient in true repent. ance, must necessarily be equal in all. But we do assert, that God “commandeth all men every where to repent,” – Acts xvii. 30; and that in this language, we can find no exception in favour of any individual of the human race. And we do solemnly charge all, to whom these words shall come, on their peril, to lay the matter to heart; for, “except they repent, they shall perish.”.
We shall consider the subject under three heads. First, the reason why repentance is demanded of all. Secondly, the nature of true repentance. Thirdly, some motives that should lead us to lay the matter immediately to heart.
1.-The reason why repentance is demanded of all, is “ because all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."-Rom. jii. 23. Were there a man that had never offended his Maker in thought, word, or deed; who had loved God with all his heart, and soul, and mind, and strength, all his life long, and his neighbour as himself; that man might claim an exemption from the exercise of repentance; but such a man is not found among the fallen children of Adam. The Psalmist tells us in the 14th Psalm, that the Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God, and the scene that presented
itself to his eye, is thus described :-“They are all gone aside; they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Isaiah asserts, in the 53d chapter and 6th verse, that “all we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” Paul asserts, that “the law so speaks, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."-Rom. ili. 19. And John declares, that if we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.—1 John i. 10.
The religion of the Bible is a religion for a sinner; and the religion that brings a sinner to God, must include repentance. Accordingly, the prophets called on men to repent, and turn from all their transgressions, that iniquity might not be their ruin.-Ez. xviii. 30. When John the Baptist and the Apostles went forth on their missions, they preached that men should repent.-Mark vi. 12. Our Lord opened his ministry with the same message, Mark i. 15, and his commission to his disciples was, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.-Luke xxiv. 17.
II.-Let us inquire into the nature of true repentance. · First, it implies conviction of sin.
To admit, in general terms, that all have sinned, and to bave a deep consciousness of our own quilt in the sight of God, are two things widely different. The former will he admitted by many, who, when you come to inquire into the particulars of their guiltiness, will fly off' with a declaration, that “they hope they have never done any thing to expose them to the divine displeasure, or to ren. der them liable to the bitter pains of eternal death.” But we beg such persons, to pause a little before they venture to express such a hope of themselves. We entreat them to read over seriously the ten commandments; then to read over the illustration of their meaning and extent given by our Lord in the 5th chapter of Matthew, from the 17th verse; and then to examine their prohibitions and re. quirements, as they are admirably explained in our Shorter *Catechism; and if they do not find there what is sufficient to convince them that they are wretched, and miser. able, and poor, and blind, and naked, it must be because they have not eyes to see, nor hearts to understand.Consider, O friends, that to love any thing more than God, is, in the sight of this law, idolatry; and have you not