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THE French have made no progress in Spain during the last month, and yet the little strength displayed by the Spanish government is rapidly melting away. The central army, certainly the most formidable, best disciplined, and best appointed, has been reduced to a state of destitution and dispersion, by the lukewarmness or treachery of its commanders. The leading constitutional generals, Abisbal, Villacampa, Sarsfield, Morillo, and Ballasteros, have fallen off from the cause of the Cortes, and have declared it to be equally hopeless and undeserving of defence. These defections have had the most decisive effect upon the contest; because, by neutralizing all the various Spanish corps, one after the other, and by dispersing the supporters of the constitution, encouragement has been given to the French to advance fearlessly and rapidly, even to the very verge of the kingdom, and to besiege the present government in Cadiz, its last place of refuge; measures upon which the Duke d'Angoulême would never have ventured, had he entertained the slightest fear of any part of the Spanish army.
There are, however, rumours afloat, which, if they offer no hope of the successful resistance of Spain, still encourage us to trust, that she may come out of the contest less substantially injured than might have been expected. Of the evils of war, indeed, she has known but little; for the war, over the greater part of the kingdom, has been merely a name. But it is now said, that, in weariness of the protracted nature of the contest, the French commander is willing to grant such terms to the Spaniards as will leave them a government, comprehending as large a share of liberty as the people of France at present possess.
Notices and Acknowledgments.
In reply to the letter of ave↓iòs Bagváßa, we have no hesitation in saying, that it is his duty to call upon sinners of every description to repent and believe the Gospel; the command of Christ is to "preach the Gospel to every creature;" and that explanation which confines the term every creature to the elect, appears to us a mere sophism. As, however, the sentiment has been advanced with so much confidence as to perplex and mislead many, it may not be improper to add a few remarks.
1. The secret purposes of God are not the rule of our duty. Ministers are commanded to preach the word; to be instant in season and out of season; to reprove, rebuke, exhort, &c.: but this command is perfectly independent of any consequent success; though such success is generally promised, and will ordinarily attend the faithful discharge of ministerial duty. Thus Moses was commanded to deliver repeated messages to Pharaoh, even when expressly told that Pharaoh would not hearken. Thus Ezekiel was required to speak God's words to the people, whether they would hear or whether they would forbear and thus St. Paul declares, "We are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish. To the one we are the savour of death unto death, and to the other the savour of life unto life; which certainly appears to imply that the preaching of salvation through Christ, even to those who finally perish, is agreeable to Almighty God. In fact, it is this preaching which demonstrates his long-suffering and their determined obduracy. Rom. ii. 4, 5.
2. Believers are, by the Apostle Peter, described as being "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever:" and the effect of the preached Gospel, on four distinct characters, is pointed out by our Lord in the parable of the sower. But unless the Gospel is preached, unless the good seed is sown, no effect can be produced. God works by means and instruments, both in providence and in grace. The blessing is in both cases from him. To neglect using the means is presumption; to depend on those means, without referring to the divine blessing, is a species of idolatry; and both are inexcusable. We know nothing a priori who will receive or who will reject our message. While we are warning, exhorting, and entreating sinners to be reconciled unto God, to believe the Gospel, to renounce themselves, to come unto Christ, to repent and be converted, the Holy Spirit vouchsafes oftentimes effectually to apply the word, sinners are converted, and souls are consequently saved; whereas, if we warn not the sinner of the evil of his way, and he perish in his sins, his blood may be justly required at our hands; and if, having warned the sinner of the evil of his way, and having so pointed out the danger as to alarm bis fears and excite his apprehensions, we neglect to exhibit Christ crucified as an allsufficient Saviour; if we do not encourage him to apply to this Saviour, by proclaiming the general invitations of the Gospel, and the gracious assurances, that those who come unto Christ he will in no wise cast out, we are acting at once an unfeeling and an unfaithful part: we are not exhibiting Christ as the good and tender Shepherd, whose love
is as infinite as his power; and we are, to a certain extent, approximating to that proud and unfeeling spirit which characterized the ancient Pharisees, instead of that tender and compassionate spirit which the Saviour and his disciples exhibited. Luke, vii. 89. xviii. 11. xix. 10.
3. The examples of sacred Scripture are, in our judgment, perfectly conclusive on this point. The addresses of St. Peter, on the day of Pentecost (Acts, ii. 38), in the temple (Acts, iii. 19), and before the rulers of the Jews (Acts, iv. 10, v. 31); the discourses of St. Paul in the synagogue of Antioch (Acts, xiii. 38), at Thessalonica, Athens (Acts, xvii. 3, 30), Ephesus (Acts, xx. 21), Jerusalem, and Rome (Acts, xxvi. 20, 21; xxviii. 24—31), evidently prove that they called upon all men, without exception, to repent and believe the Gospel, and that some of those very persons whom they invited showed themselves not to be of the number of the elect by contradicting, blaspheming, and persecuting. 4. But, says our Correspondent, "there must be something of a pricking of the heart (Acts, ii. 37), before we can venture to say, Repent and believe the Gospel.' This position, however, is not correct. John the Baptist preached generally the doctrine of repentance; the disciples were commanded to preach "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;" it was declared, that "repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations, in the Saviour's name; and we are expressly told, that the disciples "went and preached every where that men should repent ;' "God" commandeth all men, every where, to repent." Repentance, therefore, is every one's duty, and in like manner, it is every one's duty to believe in Christ. Repentance and faith, it is true, are the gift of God; but of them, it must still be said, ye have not because ye ask not. It must be maintained, that if we continue impenitent and unbelieving, it is OUR SIN, not our misfortune. The blame must rest with ourselves, and not with God.
5. Lastly. The plain preaching of the duty and the necessity of repentance and faith; the pointing out the certain misery of the impenitent and the unbelieving; the exhibiting the perfect standard of the law of God; the frequent inculcating of enlarged views of Christian duty, in social and relative life; the demonstrating the readiness of God to bestow repentance and faith, especially as evinced by the gift of his Son, John, iii. 16, 17, Rom. viii. 32; and the inviting and entreating our hearers to seek, by fervent prayer, for these inestimable gifts; are all points of the utmost importance to the faithful discharge of a Christian minister's duty: they have all a direct tendency to awaken the sinner from his sleep of sin, and are all, therefore, to be brought forwards continually, with every variety of illustration and argument, and enforced with those persuasions, entreaties, motives, and encouragements, of which the Scriptures give us so many striking examples. We have no hesitation in saying to the vilest of the vile, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ: as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. We, then, as workers together with him, beseech you also, that you receive not the grace of God in vain."
Received, W. L. T.-Scriptural Cards-Kirton-Gulielmus C. O-d-l—Annette— Prudens-James T.
A correspondent states, with reference to the suggestion of Anti-Bartholomæus in our last, that there is a tract, No. 110, in Watkins's Sunday School Tracts, entitled, "The Day after the Fair," well calculated to show the mischiefs of attending fairs. Two others are published by the Religious Tract Society; one, entitled, "The Fair," and the other, "Beware of Thieves and Robbers."
We have not the remotest idea to what passage our Glasgow correspondent refers; but at all events, he ought to have had some better reason than a mere supposition that he was alluded to, for writing so testy a letter.
THE Rev. W. Davy, Curate of Lustleigh, Devon, now in his eightieth year, has, during the last winter, printed with his own hands an octavo volume (fourteen copies only), of more than 500 pages, on the Being of God, the Divinity of Christ, &c. &c.; in which the different views and arguments of Atheists, Deists, Arians, and Socinians, are considered and disproved, both from reason and from Scripture. This volume principally consists of improved extracts from Mr. Davy's own "System of Divinity," (in 26 vols. 8vo.); some few years ago printed by himself, with a press made also wholly by himself. This singular and extraordinary volume is now to be intrusted to the different Reviewers, for their opi nion and judgment, with a view to its republication if thought advisable and necessary.
On the 28th of August, the Rev. Josiah Pratt, B. D. to the Vicarage of St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, by election of the inhabitants.
Church of England Magazine.
OCTOBER 1, 1823.
MEMOIRS OF THE REFORMERS.
THE carnal mind is enmity against God." This is the decided position of an Apostle. Humiliating as may be the concession, if we admit, as we ought, the inspiration of Scripture, and by consequence the unerring testimony of St. Paul, we must allow, that the hostility of man to divine truth is not an accidental circumstance, but an essential quality of fallen
From the concession itself, however, we derive an easy solution of the springs and causes of many events in the history of the church, for whose terrific aspect and fearful character it would be difficult to account on any known principles of human action. It furnishes a sufficient reason for the similarity of opposition to true religion in different ages, and under every variety of political situation. It explains, in a concise but satisfactory manner, the source of that resemblance which is found to subsist, between the features of a heathen persecutor of the first century and a papal inquisitor in the sixteenth. In vain should we inquire of philosophy, wherefore this resemblance is so strong, that in many instances it merely requires an alteration of names, to make the detail of cruelties exercised on the professors of OCT. 1823.
Christianity in one age a record of similar crimes perpetrated in another. But more especially may we find, in this remarkable assertion of an inspired writer, the melancholy cause of those evils which have stained with blood even the domestic hearth. The Messiah declared to his disciples, referring to the treatment which they must expect from an ungodly world, "The brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child; and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death." How strong must be that malice, which should prevail to such a degree as even to triumph over natural affection, and dissolve the very ties of kindred! Yet, alas! the annals of our race commence with an instance of fratricide; and thus enforce on our notice the admonition of St. John: "This is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous."
In the Memoirs of the Reformers, we meet with an event, the exact counterpart of the bloody deed perpetrated by the first murderer. One of the most pious, amiable, and well-informed of the
earlier Protestants, was destroyed by the malice of a brother. Juan Diazio was born at Cuença, in Spain; and, passing with credit through the rudiments of education in his native country, went to Paris to complete his studies, where he continued thirteen years. For a time, he applied with diligence to the lectures at the Sorbonne; but from perusing the holy Scriptures, some writings of Luther, and the works of other reforming divines, he was led to perceive the errors of the Romish church. This change of sentiment rendering his further abode in the French capital inconvenient and unsafe, he resolved to avoid the fury of the bigots both in the court and university, and at the same time to improve his knowledge of a purer system of faith, by repairing to Geneva. Here he formed an intimacy with the celebrated Calvin *.
From thence he went to Strasburgh, where he was admitted to the valuable friendship of Martin Bucer. He is said to have labored at the newly invented art of printing during his residence in this town, and with feelings of the truest patriotism to have prepared a Spanish version of the Bible, and some theological works, with design to publish them at Newburg. His industry and attainments, together with his unaffected piety, endeared him much to Bucer, who requested the Senate, that he might be associated with him in a conference with the champions of the see of Rome, then on the point of being held in the city of Ratisbon. His Holiness, meanwhile, set a price on his head, as one who was likely to disturb the peace of the
Arriving at Ratisbon in December 1545, he went to pay a visit
*Verheiden, p. 54.-Sleidan, L. 17.Clark, p. 179.
+ Seckendorf, p. 657.
to Pedro Malvenda, the Spanish Jesuit, a master of intrigue, and the papal agent in Germany, whom the Emperor had invited to attend the conference. This ecclesiastic, to whom he had been known at Paris, was both surprized and chagrined to find his young countryman, so distinguished for his erudition and eloquence, in the train of the Protestant divines. He declared, that the reformed would triumph more for one Spaniard brought over to their party, than for ten thousand Germans, and began in the most artful manner to dissuade him from a continuance in their society. Diazio observing how many learned characters he had met with in Germany, who were attached to the new doctrines, Malvenda put on a sanctimonious look, and replied, "Why, truly, six months in this country might well appear to a pious man as many years, or, I might say, as many ages; so distressing is it to one who loves the unity and venerates the authority of the Romish church. For my own part, I grow more grey with anxiety in Germany in six days, than I should in as many years out of her territory."
At a subsequent interview, the disciple of Loyola renewed his practices upon the honest coadjutor of Bucer. "I lately advised you, Diazio, to quit this new society which you have been forming, and return to the obedience of the Roman pontiff, and the religion of our fathers. I must repeat my intreaties to that effect. For I will not allow myself to suppose that you are otherwise persuaded, than that all those are excommunicated by the Pope, who knowingly and willingly associate with Lutherans;
and are indeed smitten with so terrible a bolt, that none but his Holiness himself, as vicar of Christ, can recover them. Such excommunication is not to be contemned, pronounced as it is by divine authority; since it has descended to
the Pope from Christ and his Apostles, with whom now resides the power of binding and loosing, and is at present actually exercised for the restraining of evil. You know, we are clearly warned in the word of God not to eat or have any fellowship with an excommunicated person, but to regard him as a gangrened member cut off from the body of Christ. If no private regard to your own welfare, both in body and mind, be sufficient to deter you from this exceedingly blamable course, surely a consideration for your country, and the faith of your ancestors, should have some weight with you. For what will other nations say, when they see you alone despising and impugning the religion of that country, whose constancy, fidelity, and integrity in observing the institutions of its fathers, all other people admire; and who now turn their eyes upon it as the bulwark of religion, and the grand exemplar of fortitude. In fact, it is madness, and the very height of desperation, for you to assume that you have acquired so much greater delight in doctrine, than was perceptible to thousands of mortals for many ages. But were it even so, you would not be warranted in acting so seditious a part, and violating the established discipline of your country, for the sake of the opinion of a few. Wherefore, I beseech you, consult your own safety, fear the divine judgment, regard the clamours of your country, which not only complains of the injury you have done her, but, as it were, loudly demands a renunciation of this detestable error. And I not only exhort you, in this weighty matter, with so much gentleness and friendship, but I engage you shall not want my assistance and interest, if you will follow my advice, which I am confident is for your real good. Therefore, if you will be guided by me, do not wait till the Emperor come to Ratisbon, which may pos
sibly be of serious consequence to you; but anticipate his arrival, and cast yourself down in his palace at the feet of the confessor, a religious and prudent man, and entreat mercy and forgiveness of your acknowledged offence."
"I must honestly confess," answered Diazio, "that I have made up my mind, in a cause of such immense importance as altogether affects our salvation, to undergo any dangers rather than purity of doctrine should suffer injury. I should even deem it an honour to lay down my life in testimony of the truth. For what is the life of man, but a continued series of evils, if a knowledge of real religion be wanting, which can alone minister safety and consolation? Nor do I think, Malvenda, that I have learned so little, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, as to pay more regard to the displeasure of the world, or the authority of man, than to the will of the everlasting God, clearly revealed in the oracles of truth. But this I know to be the standing command of the Son of God, given from above to all generations: "Whosoever will not confess me before men, him will not I confess before my Father which is in heaven.' An awful threat indeed, not proceeding from mortal tyrant, but pronounced out of the secret council of the Supreme? If you can hear it, and not tremble, I could scarcely think you had human feeling, but that your breast must be made of iron or marble. You would persuade me, on account of worldly dangers, which, however tremendous, can be but temporal, to renounce a Christian profession, on which depends that salvation which is eternal. Yet the very heathen gave better advice, who by the light of nature alone declared, that to suffer death for one's country, was not only necessary but honourable. So I think every lover of true piety should diligently seek the truth of God in the Scripture,