Page images
PDF
EPUB

a

them willing to bring for all man- tations; these show distinctly a ner of work, which the Lord had recognition of the doctrine. commanded to be made by the For the same meaning of yn we hand of Moses.” i Chron. xxviii. direct only to the three following 21. After David had given Solo- passages as sufficient for the purmon, his son, the pattern of the pose. Levit. xix. 5.—“if ye offer house of the Lord, he said to his a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto son, “there shall be with thee for the Lord, ye shall offer it at your all manner of workmanship every own will." Chap. xxii. 19. “Ye willing skilful man, for any man- shall offer at your own will a male ner of service.” In chap. xxix. 5. without blemish of the beeves, of David said " who then is willing to the sheep, or of the goats.” Again, consecrate his service this day un- verse 29. “And when ye will offer to the Lord?” Ezra, iii. 5. In the a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the account of the “set feasts of the Lord, offer it at your own will.Lord that were consecrated,” it is That here is a recognition of the said that the people brought their dotrine, we think no one can raofferings to the priests, and they tionally doubt, who will examine “offered the continual burnt-offer. the passages and interpret them ing" and of the feast; and “ of eve- according to their obvious meanry one that willingly offered a free- ing and connexion. will offering unto the Lord.” The New Testament abounds

These inay suffice for one im- with the full recognition of the portant use and meaning of 373. same doctrine, but we shall conThey show conclusively the same tent ourselves with the examinathings as stated under 7Ox; volition tion of some passages in which directing the conduct, proceeding Otaquest, and Oidew, the principal from a faculty of determination, Greek words occur. The more and that under the government of frequent meanings of Brampece are the heart. The interpretation of three, will, purpose, design, or inthis word according to the connex- tention, for the first class; for the ion and scope of the passages where second class is the object of one's it occurs, cannot fail to show the will, in general, without specifirecognition of the doctrine we have cation, or specifick command, stated before.

statute, or law;' for the third the vs) seems to have primarily the pleasure of mind is indicated. Almeaning of animal life, but it has though we distinguish three sig. a secondary meaning which indi. nifications of Beauce they are all cates will. Take the following pas- directly or indirectly connected sages as a specimen of its occur- with the faculty or the exercise of rence in the latter sense. Exod. will; so that they all directly or xv. 9. “The enemy said, I will indirectly recognise the doctrine. pursue, I will overtake, I will di- We quote a few of the many vide the spoil; my lust shall be passages in which de anuce is found, satisfied upon them.” Ps. xxvii. that we may present the varieties 12. “Deliver me not over unto of meaning intimated above. John the will of mine enemies.” Ps. xli. i. 13: “ Who were born, not of 2. “ Thou wilt not deliver him blood, nor of the will of the flesh, unto the will of his enemies.”- Coude εκ θεληματος σαρκος) nor of the Ezek. xvi. 27. “Behold, therefore, will of man, ovde ex Beamuslos avdeos) I have stretched out my hand over but of God.” Ofnfpice here must inthee, and have diminished their volve volition, whatever particular ordinary food, and delivered thee meaning may be given to its interunto the will of them that hate pretation. The intention of the inthee " We need not multiply quo- spired historian is very plain: it is to ascribe the regeneration of those would express merely the exercise who received Christ solely to God, of will, would reach the meaning and to deny that it was effected of the Apostle in this place. by human agency, either by bloody It will be sufficient to cite two sacrifices offered for them, by na- or three passages more in which tural dissent, or by the determina- the verb Jenew is found applied to tion of man. Osamuese is used to ex- volition. John v. 40, [ov Dracle] press the determination, or voli- " ye will not come unto me that ye tion of God in the following pas- might have life.” John viii. 44. sages, as well as many others. “Ye are of your father the devil, i Cor. i. 1: “Paul called to be an and the lusts of your father (Jenele apostle of Jesus Christ, through Tortiv] ye will do.” Rev. xxii. 17. the will of God, δια θεληματος Θεου. “ And the spirit and the bride say, 2 Cor. i. 1, has the same phrase- come.

And let him that heareth ology. Gal. i. 4, reads thus,“ Who say, come. And let him that is [that is Chist] gave himself for athirst, come. And whosoever our sins, that he might deliver us (Seder) will

, let him take the water from this present evil world, ac- of life freely." Every one according to the will of God, and quainted with his bible, will at our Father,” xxTo το θέλημα του once recollect that there are mulΘεου. In Eph. i. 5, we have the titudes of passages where will is phrase, κατα την ευδοκιαν του θεληματος used in the same sense, to signify avlov, “ according to the good plea- the determination of the mind; or sure of his will;"-in verse 9, to to speak more specifically, to deμυστηριον του θεληματος αυλου, « the note the exercise of the faculty mystery of his will;" and in verse called will. As for command, sta11, την βουλεν του θεληματος αυτου, tute or decree, we need not quote

the counsel of his own will.the passages where frappelle and These passages involve the idea of Senew are used to indicate them. volition or exercise of the deter. The reader of the Greek Testamining faculty of God the Father. ment will readily perceive them, We refer to these passages to

and know how to interpret their show that wherever Geamua is used, meaning: We leave the passages whether applied to God or man, it to speak for themselves on the plain involves the faculty, or exercise common sense principles of interof the faculty of determination. pretation. Confident that every These few are sufficient for our mind, unprejudiced by philosopresent purpose. Recur now to the phical speculation, will find obviapplication of de ampece to man's will. ously a recognition of the doctrine 1 Cor. xvi. 12: “As touching our which we have stated. We have brother Apollos, I greatly desired made our quotations few and our him to come unto you with the analysis brief, because we think brethren; but his will was not at all that the recognition of the princito come at this time,” xao Favlws ples, is exceedingly plain, and beovx nu de ampece ivce ver enen. In Eph. cause we wished to reserve room ii. 3, 6camua is used for desires, in- in this article, briefly to compare cluding both pleasure and choice, some other suppositions with the or feelings of the heart, and voli- same standard. tions of the will; ποιουντες τα θελη- There is a pretended philosoμαία της σαρκος και των διανοίων, “ful- phy which represents the mind as filling the desires of the flesh and of consisting of exercises only, withthe mind.” The word is rendered out any permanently existing prindesires, in our English version, al- ciple. But this is so absurd on its though volitions would be more face, and so contradictory to the literal, because no word which whole current of the Scriptures,

[ocr errors]

a

[ocr errors]

that we will not stop gravely to tion to what we have already said examine its claims. It never can of the obvious distinction between be admitted, without setting aside heart and will, and the difference all legitimate rules of biblical in- in the nature of their exercises, we terpretation.

see in many passages a recognition Another scheme of philosophy, of the principle that the will is goworthy of more regard, blends to- verned by the affections. To the gether in one class, the exercises heart is ascribed character of the heart and the will. But we evinced by its exercises, but behave shown conclusively that the longing to the principle, anteceScriptures do sometimes distin- dent to its development. It is the guish them, and ascribe qualities heart upon which the Lord lookto one class which cannot belong to eth; but why should he look upon the other. Between the source of it, if it has no moral character? affections, and the source of voli- Why should men be commanded tions, there is often a wide discri- to keep the heart with all dilimination in the holy Scriptures. gence, if it be without character? The heart is hard or soft, grieved or Besides the reason given in the joyful, pacified, or angry, but not so connexion, "for out of it are the is the will ever represented in the issues of life,” involves clearly the Bible. It would not express the character as belonging to the heart. meaning of the sacred writers of- The phrases hard, stony, new, and tentimes to substitute heart for evil heart, are all connected with a will, or will for heart. Take the permanent moral principle, not specimen from John i. 13, and read with exercises merely; and we it" which were born not of the think “the hidden man of the heart of the flesh, nor of the heart heart” denotes a good or wicked of man”-and it will be readily principle. The ornament of this perceived that the sentiment is « hidden man" may relate to the changed.

It might express a exercises of gracious affection, truth, but not the mind of the Spi- which proceed from the heart. If rit. Take many other passages we have not mistaken the princiwhich express the appropriate ex- ples of interpretation, the whole ercise of either faculty, and substi- current of the Scripture opposes tute one for the other, and the dis- the philosophy in question. crimination will be clearly seen.

The mischievous theological inThere must be a different mean- fluence to which we refer, is at ing attached to the different terms present extensive in the church. heart and will in the passages The definition of the philosophy quoted in these articles, and in identifies it with the first princimany other passages, which the ples of Pelagianism. It would careful reader will readily observe. therefore be natural to expect its

But there is a philosophy which application to the same doctrines, we think is mischievous in its and its tendency to the same ertheological influence, denying all rors. The usual, and at present distinction of faculties, or rather popular theological form of the all moral character belonging to first principle is, that “all holiness any principle or faculty of mind. and sin consist exclusively in voAccording to this philosophy, all luntary exercise." This is subject moral character belongs to volun- to some variety of modification, tary exercises, and attaches not to according to the more full or partheir source.

This scheme of tial understanding or adoption of philosophy subverts the plain exe- the principle. It is also applied gesis and common sense interpre- more or less extensively to the intation of the Scriptures. In addi- terpretation of the Bible, and ex

[ocr errors]

erts its transforming influence upon be healed by his stripes. We do the doctrines of the gospel. One not mean to say, that all who modification of the scheme admits adopt the philosophical principle, the distinction between heart and apply it in this extent; but it has will, but ascribes the government long been an established maxim, of the heart to the will, and adopts that the tendency of error is rapid. under some modification the old ly onward in its departure from theory of self-determining power truth. We think the application of the human will. But in all its of this philosophy explains the various modifications the princi- fact, and illustrates the maxim. ple, that moral character belongs Men of speculative minds, who exclusively to voluntary exercises adopt the first principle, may be is retained.

pious and not discover the legiThe mischief which it operates timate tendency of the error, or in the interpretation of the Bible, they may be kept from its control. depends upon the extent of its ap- ing influence by their love of truth. plication. It sets aside the doc- But let them yield their minds to trine of original sin, and teaches the influence of this philosophy, that children are not born in sin, and apply it to the interpretation are not morally depraved until of the Bible throughout; and we they act in view of known law, but see not where they will stop, until are innocent and without charac- they have swept away all the dister. We think the advocates of tinguishing doctrines of grace. this philosophy are consistent with The doctrine of regeneration units spirit and principles, in denying dergoes an entire transformation, the doctrine of original depravity, and becomes a mere change of voand exploding the long established lition or governing purpose, efformula of faith, that "the sinful- fected by moral suasion, without ness of that estate into which man any special agency of the Holy Spifell, consists in the guilt of Adam's rit. Thus men make themselves first sin, the want of original new hearts, regenerate themselves, righteousness, and the corruption and create themselves anew in of his whole nature which is com- Christ Jesus. And when men have monly called original sin, together philosophically broken loose from with all actual transgressions dependence on the influence of the which proceed from it.” But Holy Ghost, the next step is easy consistency is of little value, when and legitimate, from the principreserved at the expense of truth; ples to a dependence upon human and such we think is the only re- reason as the guide and revelation deeming quality in the application only an auxiliary, which after a litof this philosophy. This, how- tle may be dispensed with entireever, is only the beginning of the ly. Such we think the legitimate havoc made with the orthodox tendency of this philosophy. But faith, and with the interpretation what saith the Scriptures on those of the Bible. With the doctrine doctrines mentioned? On the of original sin, is also set aside doctrine of original sin, they speak the whole doctrine of representa- thus,“ who can bring a clean thing tion in Adam and in Christ. The out of an unclean,” not one Bephilosophical dogma is, that vo- hold I was shapen in iniquity, and luntary exercises are personal acts, in sin did my mother conceive me. and neither transferable nor impu- Wherefore as by one man, sin en. table to another consequently we tered into the world, and death by can in no sense be responsible for sin: and so death passed upon all the fall of Adam, and Christ could men for that (epce, in whom) all not bear our iniquities, nor can we have sinned. For if by one man's

ON REVERENCE FOR THE NAME OF

offence death reigned by one. those who advocate forins and an Therefore as by the offence of one, established Liturgy. But the evil judgment came upon all men tó is sometimes apparent in sermons condemnation. For as by one and exhortations, as well as in man's disobedience, many were prayers. made sinners—sin hath reigned unto death.” On all the other doc- A light and irreverent use of trines the Holy Scriptures are very the name of God is highly unbeexplicit, and so plain that he who coming on the part of man, disruns may read. We have not room pleasing to the Most High, a vioto quote

the

passages, and we can- lation of his own special command, not think it necessary, since the and exceedingly hurtful to the feelspecimens already given are plain- ings of every one, who, as Moses enly contradictory to the philosophy joined on the Israelites," has learnin question, and recognise princi- ed to reverence and fear that gloriples perfectly opposite. Besides, ous and fearful name, the Lord our on the face of the scheme which God.” Were the frequent and we oppose, there is such a glar- unnecessary use of this name coning absurdity, that an unsophisti- fined to irreligious persons, those cated mind will not be misled by who fear and reverence God would it. Let the whole subject be care- not have so much to deplore; but fully and fairly investigated, and that the practice is too common, we fear not the result.

E. even among Christians, few will

deny. This, Sir, is an evil to which I wish to call public attention; and, among the rest, I particularly request the regards of the

Ministers of the Gospel. Their Since the Synod of Ulster, in business is to minister in holy Ireland, purified itself from the things; and perhaps the frequency leaven of Unitarianism, which of their engagements in fresh exerthreatened to leaven the whole cises, leads them into forgetfulness lump, Dr. Cook, whose eloquent on this particular point. In reaspeech we published in our 7th soning with men on any subject, volume, has become the editor of unnecessary repetition of the same a monthly publication at Belfast, word is a proof that the speaker is entitled The Orthodox Presbyterian. ill informed, and greatly weakens We have not hitherto made any the force of his argument.

In extracts from this valuable work,' writing, the thing is quite intolebut intend in future to present our rable, and at once leads to the rereaders, occasionally, with some of jection of a book so composed. its short articles. We earnestly Various allowances are, howrecommend the following to the ever, to be made to those who deserious consideration of all who liver unstudied, extemporaneous lead in social worship, both cler- discourses, they are, I suppose, gymen and laymen; the evil which nearly unconscious of the evilit seeks to correct has often ex- this, however, they should not be; ceedingly marred our devout feel- for in addressing men on religious ings; and we think its correction subjects, and much more so when a matter of no small importance. they address the Majesty of heaAmong other reasons for endea- ven and earth, their words, few or vouring to avoid it, one is—that its many, should be well chosen. Our existence furnishes one of the Lord particularly charges his disstrongest objections against free ciples “not to use vain repeti

extemporaneous prayer, by tions.” Now I think it will be adCh. Adv.-Vol. X.

3 Z

GOD.

or

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »