« PreviousContinue »
invariably the case; and some
&c. ; and Henry and Scott are their porepresentations are occasionally pular Commentators.-P. 107. made, which we have read with Now, while this statement is in surprise. For instance, Mr. Adam some respects true, it is in others represents Calvinists, generally, as very incorrect. The majority of maintaining the five points of par- modern Calvinists do not maintain ticular election, particular redemp- the sentiments contained in the first tion, moral inability in a fallen and second propositions, which we state, irresistible grace, and the have marked in Italics. Not only final perseverance of the saints. many Sublapsarians have asserted, These are summed up in the fol- in opposition to the second propolowing propositions :
sition, the doctrine of general re1st. That God bas chosen a certain num- demption, but it is expressly mainber in Christ to everlasting glory, before tained by the Synod of Dort ; by the foundation of the world, according to almost all those ministers of the his immutable purpose, and of his free grace and love, without the least foresight Church of England who are called of faith, good works, or any conditions Calvinists in the present day, and performed by the creatures: and that the was strenuously inculcated by both rest of mankind he was pleased to pass by, those eminent commentators,
Henry and ordain them to dishonour and wrath for and Scott, and especially by the their sins, to the praise of his vindictive latter; and even Calvin himself justice.
2dly. That Jesus Christ, by his sufferings says, 'Redemption is sufficient for and death, made an atonement only for the all.' sins of the elect.
We deem it a duty owing to the 3dly. That mankind are totally depraved author, and our readers in general, in consequence of the fall; and, by virtue of thus to advert to some of the defects Adam’s being their public head, the guilt still existing in this laborious comof his sin was imputed and a corrupt nature conveyed to all his posterity, from pilation; and we notice these dewhich proceeds all actual transgression; fects in the first instance, that we and that by sin we are made subject to
may be able the more decidedly to death, and all miseries, temporal, spiritual, express our approbation of the reand eternal. 4thly. That all whom God has predesti
mainder. nated to life, he is pleased, in bis appoint- After every imperfection we have ed time, effectually to call, by his word discovered, we know of no publiand Spirit, out of that state of sin and cation of this nature, which redeath in which they are by nature, to grace ally contains so few blemishes as and salvation by Jesus Christ. And, 5thly, That those whom God has
that before us.
None which may effectually called and sanctified by his Spi- so safely be put into the hands of rit, shall never finally fall from a state of young people, and where there is grace.-Pp. 102, 103.
so little danger of meeting with Mr. A then intimates,
erroneous statements on essential Many Sublapsarians, struck doubtless subjects. Mr. A. is evidently a with the force of those texts which set no man of sense and piety, and conlimits to the object of Christ's death, reject siderable attainments. He obvithe second leading article of their creedously leans to the Arminian side of those others who do not profess to hold the question; and this has probably this doctrine, some, and among the rest been the reason of his imputing to even Calvin himself, occasionally drop such almost all Calvinists these dogmas, expressions as cannot well be construed in which so many who maintain the a way consistently with that article, or
doctrine of personal election have otherwise than as admitting or implying the doctrine in question.-Pp. 105, 106.
always rejected; and the same bias and adds at the close of the section,
* See Scott's Synod of Dort, 128. See Their best systems of divinity are those
also the Sermon on Election and Final of Turretine, Pictet, Stapferus, Dr. Gill, Perseverance. First published in 1785.
is visible in his account of the God, left the bosom of his Father in heaven, Church of England, &c. But the took our nature upon him, and by bis megrand and important doctrines of ritorious death and passion, by what he
did and suffered in our stead, redeemed us human depravity, justification by from the fatal consequences of the fall, refaith, and the influences of the Holy stored us to the favour of God, and “ openSpirit, are so decidedly maintained ed the kingdom of heaven to all believers.” by the Editor, in the present publi
This doctrine of the atonement for sin, cation, that we should most cordi- made in our nature by Jesus Christ, the ally rejoice at seeing it substituted Son of God himself, and both God and man
in one person, together with the principles in the room of various other views, on which it is founded, and the consesketches, &c. which are obviously quences naturally flowing from it, distincalculated to mislead on these essen- guishes the Christian religion from all other tial points. His statements on these religions whatever. It contains the great subjects may well, however, be il- charter of the Christian church, and is the
title by which we claim all the benefits and lustrated, by the following extracts promises of the Gospel: the hopes peculiar from the General view of Chris- to believers are built upon this great artianity:
ticle: and whatever advantages and fa1. Besides the other evils and misfor- vours we pretend to under the Gospel, tunes which our first parents brought upon
more than can be claimed upon the terms of themselves, by listening to the suggestions justice, and what is called natural religion, of Satan, so as to break that single com
are to be ascribed to this only, that mandment, the observance of which God
“ Christ Jesus came into the world to save had enjoined as the test of their obedience; sinners;" that he suffered “ death upon the they lost their original holiness and righte
cross for our redemption," and there made ousness, the image and likeness of Jehovah “ by his one oblation of himself once ofin which they were created, and their na- fered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacriture became depraved and corrupted; so
fice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the that all mankind have ever since been, by sins of the whole world.” nature, inclined to that wbich is evil, and
3. But as our strength is not more or backward to that which is good. The in- greater than our righteousness, to redeem fluence of this original depravation of na
men from the displeasure of God, and ture affects every individual, and at every
leave them in an unavoidable condition to period of life. It is an internal enemy al
draw it upon themselves afresh every day, ways at work; but operating in the most would have been an useless undertaking, dangerous manner, when the concurrence
and highly unworthy of him who was enof favourable circumstances arms it with ployed in it. To secure, therefore, to manadditional force. It perverts the inclina
kind the benefits of the redemption which tions of men; darkens the understanding;
he had purchased with his blood, it was neadds strength to passion, efficacy to temp
cessary to enable them to become the sous tation; disposes the heart to evil, and in- of God, and to walk worthy of the high and disposes it to good.
holy vocation wherewith they were called. 2. The Scriptures are no less explicit This also he did, by the powerful aids and with regard to another doctrine: I mean,
assistance of the Holy Spirit. He prothat there is a remedy for this corruption
mised to his disciples, that after his own provided by the Almighty, and that not as departure he would send to them from a debt owing to man, but as the free boun- the Father, the Holy Ghost, the Comty of divine grace; that to repair this and forter, to teach them all things—to show all the other evils brought upon the human
them things to come-to bring to their rerace by our first parents, and to bruise the membrance wbatsoever he himself had said head of the serpent, the devil, who, by cor
to them to guide them into all truthrupting them, had entailed sin and misery
to endue them with power from on highon a ruined world, God was graciously and to enable them to make good their cause pleased to send his own Son into the against all worldly opposition. world.
The necessity of this divine influence on Man had sinned; and death, the penalty the heart, to reform our nature, and renew of sin, must be suffered in the same nature
us into holiness, and thereby make us wherein it was incurred; but man could
“ meet to be partakers of the inheritance not undergo this penalty, and suffer all the of the saints in light," is as universal as consequences of sin, without being for the corruption of our nature, and can be ever excluded from happiness and beaven. superseded by no amiableness of disposition In compassion therefore to our ruined and or sweetness of temper, by no supposed inhopeless state, Jesus Christ, the Son of nocence of conduct, by no extent of know
tedge, by no attainments, and by no fa- fulfil it, by our loving, not “in word, nor vourableness of circumstances or situation in tongue, but in deed and in truth;" let whatsoever.-Pp.16-19.
them fervently beg of God a sovereign re
medy for these our contentions. In revising the work for a future When shall these stumbling-blocks be edition, we should recommend the removed ?-“O when shall all these enmiinsertion, in the Index, of a brief ties be abolished by the over-powering influ
ence of the Spirit of light and love? When description of some denominations
shall these unhappy walls of partition be of small extent, and unworthy of a
broke down, and the whole flock of Christ place in the body of the work, become one blessed fold under Jesus, the such as Muggletonians, Johnson- Universal Shepherd? When shall we arians, Dunkers, Shakers, Jumpers, rive at the perfect unity of the faith,' and
maintain the unity of the Spirit, in the Swaddlers, &c.: in many cases, a
bond of love?' When shall the glory and single line would be sufficient; beauty of the primitive church be restored, while yet, the total absence of in- 'where the multitude of them that believed formation as to such people is apt were of one heart and one soul,' united in to excite disappointment.
one faith and hope, by the almighty influWe take our leave of Mr. A.,
ences of one Spirit?
“ Come, blessed Redeemer! come, and expressing our earnest hope, that accomplish thine own gracious words of his work may meet with extensive promise: let there be one fold, and one circulation, and be effectual in the Shepherd :' and let thy blood and thy Spipromotion of peace and charity; rit, by which we have access to one God, and we know not how we can more
even the Father, cement all our hearts to
each other in such an union as shall never suitably close this article, than by be dissolved. Then shall we join with all the insertion of the following ex- the creation in one eternal song, even the tract from our author's preface: song which thy word has taught us.Bles
sing, and honour, and glory, and power,sbe While the writing of it has served to
unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and establish and settle the author in his own
to the Lamb, for ever and ever!"" Amen. principles, in preference to those of other Pp. xxiii, xxiv. denominations, it has, at the same time, extended and strengthened his charity and good will towards those who differ from Short and plain Discourses for the him; and, by the nearer acquaintance with use of Families. By the Rev. them and their principles, to which it has
Thomas Knowles, B. A. 3 Vols. been the means of introducing him, his charity is no doubt more according to
12mo. Simpkin & Co. 1822. knowledge.”
AMONG many pleasing symptoms May the reading, the perusal of it, have of the present day, we cannot but the same happy effect upon all those into
notice, with great satisfaction, the whose bands it shall fall! May it lead them to examine the foundation of their increasing number of plain, serious, own faith, as well as of that of others! and useful publications; admirably May it serve to excite their Christian cha- calculated for the instruction of the rity where it was wanting, and to strengthen lower order of society, in the prinlament the unhappy contentions and divi ciples and practice of true religion: sions that prevail in the world, may they all among these, the volumes before labour earnestly in their several stations to us must be placed. The author's suggest such methods as may prove most object in publishing them is thus effectual, for recovering and preserving the stated in a Dedication to the Paunity of the faith in the bond of peace, and rishioners of Humberstone, where for convincing those who are already of one heart in religion, that they may and ought
he for some years officiated as to be likewise of one mind! At the same
Curate. time, aware that it is He only who stilleth As you have long lamented the want of the raging of the sea, and the noise of his a set of Sermons, composed by some Clerwaves, and “the madness of the people," gyman of the Established Church, adapted that can say effectually unto contending to the use of Families, both as to brevity parties, “ Peace, be still;" and that it is and plainness of language; exhibiting at He only who gave us the command to "love the same time those doctrines of the Gosone another," that can enable us duly to pel which are so essential to the conver
sion of sinners, and the edification of the
this important and necessary duty; but righteous; and enforcing all those duties I would point out to you also in wbat way to God and man, which are so inseparably it may best be done. connected with the priuciples of the Chris- 1. By setting them a good example. tian Religion; it is with a more immediate If you wish your children and servants view to your accommodation and benefit, to conduct themselves in a proper and betbat I have made this humble attempt to coming manner, you must have a consupply that defect.-P. i.
stant regard to the propriety of your own
conduct. The author then states the plain
For if you know any thing of the great ness at which he had aimed, and influence of example, you can never exrecommends the regular perusal pect your children and servants to be virof these Discourses every Sunday tuous, if you yourselves are wicked. For evening, with devout and fervent instance; you would never look for much
sobriety in the family of that man, who is prayer to God for his blessing.
an habitual drunkard : or for much reverThe Sermons are fifty-four in num- ence for the holy name of God in the ber, and may be read with great house of one, who is guilty of common advantage. The truth is plainly or profane swearing. You would not exstated; and yet, considering the pect much regard to be paid to the sacred classes for whom they are especi- and servants of one, who lives in the con
duties of the Sabbath among the children ally intended, a little fuller expla- stant profanation of the Lord's day: or nation and illustration on some for much respect for the ordinances of points might have been expedient. God's bouse in the family of bim, who We trust, however, they will be cor
never attends a place of public worship.
Nor would you expect much honesty in dially welcomed by the inhabitants
the house of that man, who is fraudulent of Humberstone, as a most valuable and deceitful: or for much integrity in the memorial of their late Curate; that family of one, who is himself a common they may serve to perpetuate his liar: nor yet for much chastity in the serusefulness to succeeding genera
vants and children of those, who are inde
cent in their manners or dress, or who take tions, and extend it to many places
a pleasure in lewd and indelicate discourse. where he is personally unknown; 2. By giving them good instructions. and that those, who are now favour- Useful as a good example is, it is not sufed with the author's ministry, may
ficient without instruction. If you would indeed improve the day of their have your servants and children to be what
they ought to be, you must endeavour to visitation.
impress their minds with a proper sense of It were easy to fill our pages the duties they owe both to God and man. with instructive passages from the This you cannot do better, than by explainvolumes before us. The following ing to them what is contained in the answers
to those two questions in the Church Catemay, however, at once exhibit å
“ What is your duty towards God? specimen of the author's manner;
and your duty towards yonr neighbour?” induce some to purchase his work; You must explain to them also the nature and contribute to the general edifi- and perfections of God; that he is a just, cation of our readers.
and holy, and all-seeing God; that his eyes The first Sermon is on Abraham's
are always upon them; and that he will call example; a pattern to the heads of them to account for all their actions. You
must endeavour to convince them tbat they families, from Gen. xviii. 19.; in have sinned against God in many instances ; which he considers,—what is meant and therefore they stand condemned by bis by Abraham's commanding his holy law. Then show them, that God is a children and his household after merciful God, and bas sent his Son into the
world to suffer and die for the sins of men; him ;-and the advantages resulting and that if they sincerely repent, and trust from such a conduct.
in the merit of his blood, they “shall not
perish, but have everlasting life.” And, Now, what was Abraham's duty in this lastly, inform them how this gracious and respect, is the duty of every one who is merciful God, who is ready to pardon their intrusted with the care of a family. And, sins, will receive them into his favour;on this account, I would not only entreat will become their Friend and Protector; such of you as are heads of families, to be will supply all their wants, and defend them strictly conscientious in the discharge of in all dangers ;-will give them grace to worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteof God.
enable them to serve him faithfully here;
children and servants in to family prayer, and take them, 'at length, to dwell with and reading the Scriptures daily; so that, if him in a state of perfect happiness for ever. they do perish, their blood may be upon
But remember; if you would have your their own heads, and not upon yours. instructions to produce this happy effect, But if you adopt and maintain this practice, they must be attended with fervent prayer. you will have no reason to fear that either you And if you have a real love for the souls or they shall perish. I have already shown of your families, you will never neglect this that it will produce quite the contrary effect. important duty. Every morning and even- With the blessing of God upon your pious ing you will call them together to join you endeavours, it will promote both your own in prayer to the God of Heaven, for his bappiness and theirs.
And it may be a blessing and protection; and to praise him benefit even to generations yet unborn. for the daily supplies of his grace, and his Pp. 13-15. providential care. In this way, you will The excellence of the following have the greatest reason to believe that your
extract from the Sermon on the example and instructions will be blessed, to the benefit of your children and households; New Birth, will, we are well
perand you will reap some of those advantages, suaded, amply apologize for its which such a conduct must produce. P. 3, 6. length.
Again. The man who is born of the He then points out the advan
Spirit, lives a life of holiness and devotedtages resulting from such a con
ness to God. Sin is quite contrary to that duct; as, the enjoyment of God's spiritual nature which was begotten in him favour; the promoting the best at the time of his conversion. " The grace interests of children and servants; of God, wbich has brought salvation to his the welfare of society; the glory soul, teaches him to deny ungodliness
ously, and godly, in this present world *." It may be thought, perhaps, by some, to The drunkard becomes sober; the lewd be utterly impossible to pay this attention to person becomes chaste ; the passionate the spiritual interest of their children and man becomes mild, and gentle ; and servants. But this is by no means the case. the profane man becomes a pious and There are families in which these duties are humble worshipper of that God whom once constantly and faithfully performed. And he defied. Thus, under the influence of what is done in one family might be done that blessed Spirit, such persons, who once also in others, if the heads of those fami- lived without God in the world, now set lies were so disposed. I cannot conceive him continually before them. The Bible, that things have got to such a pass, that which they before wholly neglected, they a master has not authority and influence now value as their greatest treasure. They enough to prevail with his servants to come read it diligently; they meditate in it with in to family prayer, and to sit down for a pleasure; and they make it the rule of their few minutes to hear the Scriptures read to daily conduct. Prayer, which before they the family. It seems so contrary, both to seldom performed, is now their delight. reason, to common sense, and to their duty, And the ordinances of God's house, which that I cannot believe one servant in fifty they used to despise, or which they attendwould be so foolish and so wieked as to ob- ed with much weariness, they now esteem ject to it. But whatever may be the dispo- as the most valuable opportunities of spisition of servants in this respect, I am sure ritual improvement, and wait upou them it is the duty of masters to practice family with constancy and profit. devotion, and to call their servants to at- But the root of the change, which lies tend it. No excuse will be found sufficiently deep in the heart, is not so easily perceived. strong in the day of judgment, to clear them It consists in the secret conviction of their from the guilt of neglect, if they do not. own wretchedness, by reason of their sins, When the blood of those young and thought- and the firm persuasion that they cannot be less creatures, who were once committed to saved, but by the merits and death of the their care (but whose souls they entirely crucified Son of God. Before this change, neglected), shall cry against them for that they thought they were no worse than other neglect, they will then learn, that it was people; they had done no great harm ; their duty
instruct them; and that it they had good hearts ; and (though they would have been happy for them, if they had no assurance of going to heaven), they had faithfully discharged that duty.
hoped that they should not go to hell. But Let no master or mistress, then, be guilty now they are convinced that they are of neglecting those duties. Discharge your sinners; that hell is their due desert; that own consciences from blood-guiltiness on their hearts are not good hearts; and that, this subject, Make a point of calling your
* Titus, ii. 11, 12.