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has never received the Romish doctrine of purgatory. Aud yet, with what seems to Protestants a strange inconsistency, she has always sanctioned prayers for the dead. She reconciles the seeming inconsistency in this way. The penalty of sin is twofold, consisting partly in eternal reprobation, and partly in temporal chastisements. Remission of the first is obtained by penitence and faith, through the merits of Christ. But the liability to the temporal consequences of sin, such as human justice, shame, affliction, sickness, and death is not removed by repentance. Now many die in a state of penitence indeed, but before they have undergone the temporal penalty of their transgressions. To supply this deficiency, the church imposes on them pious exercises, voluntary privations, which are called canonical penalties. It is for those who die before they have undergone these providential or canonical penalties, that the maternal solicitude of the church has appointed prayers and commemorations. There is nothing here of expiation in purgatory, nothing of merits or demerits after death ; but only a maternal aspiration of prayer on the part of the church in behalf of the dead, with a view to their obtaining the free remission of the temporal penalties which they have incurred, while as yet their eternal destim is not irrevocably fixed by the sovereign Judge. Nothing short of certain signs of final impenitence imposes silence on the distressful cry of her maternal heart.
In regard to the resurrection of the dead, and the eternal awards that follow it, there is nothing peculiar in the doctrine of the Eastern church.
The above statement of the belief of the modern Greek church will put the reader in a position to judge of the correctness of the assertion made by a Scotch apologist, that “the principles of the Protestant Reformation and Eastern Orthodoxy (separated from practical abuse, and fairly cshibited) are identical.” 1 In another part of his book, the same author qualifies somewhat this identity:
1 An Apology for the Greck Church. By Edward Masson. p. 41.
“ The standards of the Greek church, strictly speaking, contain, in fact, but two points of difference between the Greek and the Protestant faith. The Greeks admit pictures into places of Worship, and maintain the Nicene Creed in its original form, without the undeniable Western interpolation.” The object of this apologist is to show, “ that the complete regeneration of the Greek church is perfectly compatible with the integrity of her standards.”? As an inference from this view, he maintains," that a system of missionary operations, founded on the principle of noninterference, may be rendered entirely efficient; and that every other system will end in disappointment.”3 This is not the place to argue this question ; but while the writer heartily approves the principle which restricts the series of Articles in this Periodical on the theological views of different divisions of the Christian church to the statement of facts, principles, and arguments, to the exclusion of heated polemical discussions, yet he is unwilling to close this view of the doctrines of the Greek church without recording his profound conviction, the result of more than ten years' observation and experience of missionary operations among the Greeks, that the only missionary policy which has produced, or which promises to produce, any thorough reform of faith and worship in the Greek church, is that which, while conciliatory and Christian in its spirit, is distinctly and avowedly aggressive in its principle: “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." 1 An Apology for the Greek Church. By Edward Masson, p. 78. Ibid., p. 41.
; Ibid., p. 4.
GOD THE SUPREME DISPOSER AND MORAL GOVERNOR.
BY REV. ENOCH POND, D.D., PROFESSOR IN BANGOR THEOLOGICAL
In the scriptures, God is represented as being himself, in some sense, the end of all his works : “ Thou hast made all things for thyself” (Prov. xvi. 4); “ Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created ” (Rev. iv. 11); “ For whom are all things, and by whom are all things ” (Heb. ii. 10).
By the most respectable theologians these scriptures are understood to mean that the glory of God is the great object and end of all his works; that in all that he has done, or ever will do, his prime object is, to exhibit himself, to display his perfections, to show forth his glory, so that his intelligent creatures may have the means of knowing, loving, and enjoying him in the highest degree of which they are capable. And this involves, necessarily, their highest good. In this view, the brightest display of God's glory, and the highest good of the intelligent universe are identical, and together constitute the ultimate and most worthy end of the Supreme Being in all his works.
In displaying his glory to the view of creatures, God necessarily exhibits himself in different attitudes and lights. He represents himself as discharging different offices and works. Viewed in one aspect, we behold his power; in another, his wisdom; in another, his goodness and his truth. In fulfilling one office, he displays his glorious sovereignty; in another, his glorious justice and his grace. In these ways God makes a more full exhibition of himself than would otherwise be possible. He glorifies himself in the highest degree.
Among the different offices which God fulfils, and in the fulfilling of which he shows forth his glory, are those of
Supreme Disposer and Moral Governor. There is a manifest distinction between these offices; and in what follows we shall endeavour to illustrate and apply it, and show its importance in a system of theology.
In different parts of the Bible God speaks, and is spoken of, in each of these different offices and works; and, first, as the Sovereign and Supreme Disposer : “I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil ; I, the Lord, do all these things” (Is. xlv. 6, 7). And again, in a parallel passage: “ I am God, and there is none like me; declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done ; saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Is, xlvi. 9, 10). “He is of one mind, and none can turn him; and whatsoever his soul desireth, even that he doeth” (Job xxiii. 13). “He doeth according to his will in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou” (Dan. iv. 35) ?
“ Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another to dishonor ?” “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom. ix. 15, 21). “ Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will ” (Eph. i. 11).
In these and the like passages God speaks, and is spoken of, in the high character of supreme and sovereign disposer. It was in this office of supremne disposer that he in eternity formed the plan of all his future operations. It was a boundless plan), extending through all space and time, to all contingences and events. It was an infinitely perfect plan, requiring no change, adınitting no improvement or alteration. At the appointed season, and in fulfilment of his eternal purpose, God brought the worlds into existence; some higher, and some lower; some material, and some spiritual; some nearer the great source and centre of being, and some at remoter distances from it. He upholds in existence the
worlds he has made; he moves them in regular order, according to established laws; he has filled them with living creatures of different orders and species, from the highest angel to the meanest worm; he preserves and disposes of all things according to his pleasure. Not a planet rolls or an angel Nics but by his power; not a hair is plucked or a sparrow falls without his notice. Not a human being is born or dies, is prospered or afflicted, is saved or destroyed, but his hand is, in some way, concerned in it all.
The affairs of nations, too, as well as of individuals, are all subject to his providential control. He builds up or plucks down, as seemeth good in his sight. He often dashes guilty nations one against another, and makes them the instruments of their own destruction. Even those events which are brought about by human agency are not exempt from his providential control. 66 Man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps.” - The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is from the Lord" (Prov. xvi. 9, 33).
Thus, God is not only the original contriver and creator, but the supreme disposer of all things; and the devout mind loves to regard him in this light. He loves to see God exalted above all contingences, beyond the reach of all his foes. He delights to behold him rolling along the great wheel of his providence in its appointed course, bringing light out of darkness, and good out of evil, and overruling all things, however they may seem to us at present, for his own highest glory and the greatest good. It is under impressions such as these that the believing heart exclaims : “ Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, and thy glory above all the earth." “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.”
Such is God, the supreme disposer. Let us now turn and contemplate him in that other aspect of which we spoke, as moral governor. The moral government of God is that government of law which he exercises over intelligent and moral beings. In kind it resembles human governments,