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minds might be taken down. Anselm-I adore thee, I bless thee, Whereunto so much we have Lord God of heaven, and Redeemer already gained, that the evidence of the world, with all the power, of the cause which breedeth it, ability, and strength of my heart pointeth directly unto the likeliest and soul, for thy goodness so imand fittest helps to take it away. measurably extended; not in regard Diseases that come of fulness, emp- of my merits, whereunto only tortiness must remove. Pride is not ments were due, but of thy mere cured, but by abating the error unprocured benignity. If these which causeth the mind to swell. Fathers should be raised again from Then seeing that they swell by the dust, and have the books laid misconceit of their own excellency; open before them, wherein such for this cause, all which tend to the sentences are found as this-Works beating down of their pride, whether no other than the value, desert, it be advertisement from men, or price, and worth of the joys of the from God himself chastisement; it kingdom of heaven; heaven, in then maketh them cease to be relation to our works, as the very proud, when it causeth them to see stipend, which the hired labourer their error in overseeing the thing covenanteth to have of him whose they were proud of. At this mark work he doth, as a thing equally Job in his apology unto his eloquent and justly answering unto the time friends aimeth. For perceiving and weight of his travels, rather how much they delighted to hear than to a voluntary or bountiful themselves talk, as if they had given gift. If, I say, those reverend, their poor afflicted familiar a school. fore-rehearsed Fathers, whose books ing of marvellous, deep, and rare are so full of sentences witnessing instruction, as if they had taught their Christian humility, should be him more than all the world besides raised from the dead, and behold could acquaint him with ; his with their eyes such things written, answer was to this effect; Yeswell, would they not plainly pronounce as though ye had conceived some of the authors of such wits, that great matter ; but as for that which they were fuller of Lucifer than of ye are delivered of, who knoweth Christ; that they were proudit not? Is any man ignorant of hearted men, and carried more these things ? At the same mark swelling minds than sincerely and the blessed Apostle driveth; Ye feelingly known Christianity can abound in all things, ye are rich, ye tolerate ? reign, and would to Christ we did But, as unruly children, with reign with you : but boast not! For whom wholesome admonition prewhat are ye, or have ye of your vaileth little, are notwithstanding selves ? To this mark, all those brought to fear that ever after, humble confessions are referred, which they have once well smarted which have been always frequent in for ; so the mind which falleth not the mouths of Saints, truly wading with instruction, yet under the rod in the trial of themselves. As that of divine chastisement ceaseth to of the Prophets; We are nothing swell. If therefore the prophet but soreness and festered corrup- David, instructed by good expetion: our very light is darkness, rience, have acknowledged, Lord, and our righteousness is self-un- I was even at the point of clean righteousness. That of Gregory— forgetting myself, and so straying Let no man ever put confidence in from my right mind; but thy rod his own deserts : in the sight of has been my reformer ; it hath been the dreadful Judge, it is noisome, good for me, even as much as my which in the doer's judgment mak- soul is worth, that I have been with eth a beautiful show. That of sorrow troubled-if the blessed Apostle did need the corrusive of fall, that, being raised, he may be sharp and bitter strokes, lest his taught what power it was wbich heart should swell with too great upheld him standing. I am not abundance of heavenly revelation- afraid to affirm it boldly with St. surely, upon us, whatsoever God in Augustine, That men puffed up this world doth, or shall inflict, it through a proud opinion of their cannot seem more than our pride own sanctity and holiness, receive doth exact, not only by way of a benefit at the bands of God, and revenge, but of remedy! So hard are assisted with his grace, when it is to cure a sore of such quality with his grace they are not assisted, as pride is; inasmuch as that which but permitted, and that grievously, rooteth out other vices, causeth to transgress; whereby, as they this, and (which is even above all were in overgreat liking of themconceit) if we were clean from all selves supplanted, so the dislike of spot and blemish both, of other that which did supplant them, may faults ; of pride, the fall of angels establish them afterwards the surer. doth make it almost a question, Ask the very soul of Peter, and it whether we might not need a pre- shall undoubtedly make you itself servative still, lest we should haply this answer; My eager protestawax proud that we are not proud! tions, made in the glory of my Wbat is virtue but a medicine ; and ghostly strength, I am ashamed of; vice but a wound? Yet we have so but those crystal tears wherewith often deeply wounded ourselves my sin and weakness were bewailed, with medicine, that God hath been have procured my endless joy! My fain to make wounds medicinable, strength bath been my ruin, and my to cure by vice where virtue hath fall my stay!” stricken; to suffer the just man to
IMITATION OF PSALM CXXX.
BY THE LATE MRS. 1. TIGHE.
From Sorrow's depths to Thee I cry,
Oh Thou who know'st my inmost fear!
Now let it reach thy pitying ear !
Thy children's faults--Ah! who could stand ?
Or bless his God's creating hand ?
While painful nights their course delay;
Not more desires the morning ray,
Hath watch'd for inly wbispered peace,
And bid its anxious sorrows cease.
Let all thy children, Lord, be found,
Consoling hopes and joys abound.
, ON CONTROVERSY, AND ON JUSTIFICATION.
SIR,—The query which I ventured to propose in a former Number with regard to Justification,* has given occasion to some remarks from your correspondents which refer to two particulars : first, the utility of religious controversy in general; and secondly, the subject at issue. Will you give me leave to offer a very few observations upon each of these points ? As to the first, it cannot be denied that there are many topics of a comparatively inferior nature, upon which there is considerable diversity of Opinion amongst those who are united in “ one hope of their calling," and whose sentiments upon all fundamental doctrines are essentially the same. Now the question is, whether the agitation of such topics is likely to be productive of good or of harm ? It must be conceded, that since there is truth and error upon every subject, it is desirable in all cases to distinguish the one from the other. In proportion as our sentiments on any given point are correct, in such proportion, with all the limitation and imperfection inseparable from sinful human nature, are they the same as those of the great Author of truth himself. Now as the truth of God is inseparably allied to the holiness of God, and as all error must therefore be in some degree unholy, it cannot be indifferent what is the right and what is the wrong view upon any subject relating to Christian doctrine or practice, although confessedly of rather smaller moment. Another reason why we should desire to obtain right views upon these subjects is, that we may not put a stumbling-block or occasion of falling in our brother's way; who though not established in the faith, may yet perhaps have
perception sufficiently acute, to discover a defect in our argument, or a fallacy in our conclusion, and be thus led to doubt, or confirmed in the suspicions he has already entertained, or content himself with the uncertainty, whether our doctrine may not be altogether false, or our practice erroneous. On the other hand, many and serious evils have arisen from controversy. Are these, however, essential evils, or have they not arisen rather from the manner in which such discus, sion has been conducted ? may they not be considered as the abuse, rather than as the necessary result, and if so, is it not possible to obtain the advantage without the evil. I think it is, and if the following rules were more habitually considered and observed, much might be done towards the attainment of this desirable end. On this account therefore, I beg leave to urge them upon the attention of your readers, and would endeavour to impress them upon my own. :1. We should endeavour to keep constantly before the mind a sense of the comparative impor tance of the question in dispute. A subject in itself of some considerable moment, may sink almost into insignificance, when compared with the many fundamental and momentous topics, on which the contending parties are perhaps mutually and firmly agreed, but yet how often has a spirit of angry controversy been induced, and the existence even of brotherly love endangered, from a forgetfulness of this circumstance. Let the subject however, but occupy in our minds its due place, when viewed in comparison with those leading doctrines; those fundamental principles, which link Christians together in one common brotherhood, and surely the recollection must go far to diminish, if not altogether to remove
• See Christian Guardian, Sept. 1827, P. 337.
that over-eagerness of dispute, that sincere, and impartial examination tenacity of opinion, and that feel. of that standard, we can have no ing of disaffection, which rank certainty that we are free from error. amongst the foremost and the The due estimation of a Christian worst of evils to which I have friend, or minister, to whose instrualluded.
mentality we owe much, or perhaps 2. Let an accurate adjustment be all that we understand and feel as made as far as possible, of the sense Christians, is both right and scripuffixed by each party to the terms tural ; but we must not forget that made use of in the course of the in so far as we rest in their opinion argument. It is not too much to simply as such, so far are we directly say, that the observance of this substituting a human for a divine preliminary measure, might have instruction, and so far do we cease saved. whole volumes of contro- from reposing upon the immutable versial writing. Its importance is foundation of eternal truth. If, so obvious, as to need no illustra- therefore, we honestly desire to tion.
arrive at truth upon any particu3. It should be our sincere endea- lar point, we should enter upon its vour to lay aside every pre-con- examination as though we had ceived opinion, and to appeal to the never hitherto held a sentiment, or testimony of scripture alone. The entertained an opinion respecting it. extent to which the opinions of the 4. We ought always to take the great bulk of mankind are other whole of any subject into considerthan the result of honest and im- ation, and every point that bears partial investigation, is a subject upon it. If it be, for instance, of a which may furnish both the moral doctrinal nature, our opinion must and the Christian philosopher with not be taken from one class of pås.. much curious but humiliating spe- sages only, whilst the rest are overculation. Suffice it here only to looked or endeavoured to be exsay, that in no case does the plained away, but from a careful deformity of prejudice appear so and attentive comparison of the great, as when it obscures our per- whole. This obvious measure has ception with regard to any topic been but too often forgotten, and connected with religious truth. has consequently proved a fruitful Yet how often do we find men who source of the evils to which we so far from having fully considered allude. This is remarkably exemthe question at issue, have scarcely plified in the maintenance of what bestowed one serious thought upon may be termed ultra sentiments of it, as tenacious of opinion, and as every kind,-and, perhaps, no where positive in conclusion, as though more than in the Arminian and they were masters of the whole Calvinistic controversy : but its subject; and this in consequence existence is often to be traced of some bias their mind has taken and always to be guarded against, they know not how ; from the in matters of a less important prepossessions of education, or character. from the current opinion of the 5. We should above all endeaparty to which they belong, or from vour to undertake and carry on any the sentiment of a friend, whose investigation or argument in the general judgment, or whose piety spirit of genuine Christianity ;they hold in high and deserved with humility, as recollecting our estimation. But let us remember entire ignorance, with regard to that there is only one unerring many points,--the limited extent standard of appeal; and if our of our knowledge, with regard to sentiments are not the result of many more, and the possibility, conviction, founded upon a diligent, nay the danger of our being in error, with regard to every one ; or purchased for them like pardon, with low liness of mind, not“ in life, and every other blessing by strife, or pride, or vain glory, but bis expiatory sacrifice ? I have esteeming others better than our ventured to enquire whether the selves;” - with love," endeavouring latter be not the correct view of the to keep the unity of the Spirit in subject, because it has appeared to the bond of peace;" and with much me to be the more obvious meaning prayer for, and entire dependance of the texts to which I have alludupon, the teaching and influence ed, and in which it is attributed to of the holy Spirit of God.
his“ bearing iniquity"-his“ reWith regard to the subject of demption ”-his “ propitiation " Justification, I must beg leave to “bis blood,” and his “ being made recall the attention of your corres- sin for us." * Your correspondents pondents, to what I conceive to be take the opposite view, and if they the correct and scriptural meaning can legitimately prove it from the of the term. It is, in fact, a forensic word of God, I shall most willingly term, directly opposed, doubtless, acquiesce in the decision, but I to condemnation, but signifying, I must confess that hitherto their apprehend, much more than merely manner of attempting to do so, cleansing from guilt,-namely, the has not been satisfactory to my judicialacknowledgment of the party own mind. Your correspondent, arraigned to be righteous : when R. M. argues thus -" If justificaapplied, therefore, in the Bible to tion flow to us solely through the sinners, it necessarily implies the death of Christ, of what use then pardon of their sin, but strictly was his life ? Now in the present denotes the imputation or convey. instance we know that one grand ance to them of righteousness, by end of his life was that “he might “ God that justifieth." To select leave us an example that we might one passage, for reference only, out follow his steps ;” but were we of many, compare Rom. iii. 22-24, ignorant of any such use, our igno"The rigbteousness of God which rance must be, I conceive, totally is unto all, and upon all them that inadmissible, as a proof of what can believe: for all have sinned, &c. rest solely upon the direct testimony Being justified” (Cikai Suevot) made of the divine word. Again, your righteous (that is, doubtless, con- correspondent V. in endeavouring stituted to be treated and dealt to prove the necessity of a title to with as such) “ freely by grace," eternal life, as well as of pardon &c. If this be not the sense of the of sin, loses sight of the point at term, what is the meaning of being issue-which is the manner in "justified by the works of the law?” which such title is obtained—the For it is a term which may, I con- necessity itself I admit I will not ceive, be applied, and in its strict occupy your pages with adverting sense too, to moral agents who have never sinned at all. Had
* Your correspondent V. accuses me
of misrepresenting the sentiments of those Adam never transgressed the di
from whom I differ, without due consideravine command he might have been tion. The death of Christ I am fully thus justified. Now using the term aware is taken into account, if I may so thus, the question is simply this,
express it, by them, as the procuring
cause of Justification ; but then it is usually Whether is this righteousness, which
his death, I believe, considered as an act is thus“ unto all, and upon all
of obedience ; for surely, according to their them that believe,” that obedience view of imputed righteousness, it were an which Christ paid to the divine law absurdity to say that the merits of the in bis human nature, reckoned as
penal sufferings of the Redeemer, consi
dered as such, constitute a part of that theirs; or whether is it to be con
active righteousness which is thus imputed sidered as a righteousness procured to beleivers ?