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Cowan doubt whether he, as a be liever in the Son of God, be under any obligation to keep these precepts, or in other words, to make them the rule of his life, we entreat him to take any one of them-for instance "Thou shalt not kill-thou shalt not stealthou shalt not commit adultery"—c any other he pleases to select, and let him seriously ask his own conscience, whether he be at liberty to violate it with impunity. The man who should answer in the affirmative, whether believer or unbeliever, we should think a fit object for the care of Dr. Munro! but if he answer in the negative and allow that it would be sin in him to transgress it, he plainly shows by such answer that his objection is a mere quibble-an idle strife of words. The truth is that the moral law is the eternal rule of
doctrine of progressive sanctification. | It was a single act and perfected at once by the shedding of the blood of Christ" the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world." See Heb. x. 5-10. But the New Testament writers also speak of sanctification in a moral sense; agreeably to which, to be sanctified, signifies to be made holy by a renovation of the spirit of the mind, being created after the moral image of God in righteousness and true holiness. Eph. iv. 23, 24. This sanctification is produced by the Holy Spirit, and so is termed "the sanctification of the Spirit." 2 Thess. ii. 13. 1 Pet. i. 2. but it is by means of the truth that this is effected, and hence Christ prays "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth." John xvii. 17. It is through the knowledge and belief of that truth which testifies of redemp-righteousness, and consequently is tion from the curse of the law by the not like positive or temporary instiblood of Christ, that men are not tutions, which depend entirely upon only justified, but also sanctified- the will and pleasure of the Instituthat they become dead unto sin, and tor-but is founded on the very naalive unto God. Rom. vi. 6, 7, 22. ch. ture of God, being a transcript of his vii. 4-7. Col. ii. 11-15. and from this holiness, justice and goodness-on inward sanctification proceeds holi- our relation to him as his creatures ness of life and conversation, for the and the subjects of his moral governsubjects of it are led to deny ungodli- ment-and on our relation to one ness and worldly lusts, and live sober- another as possessed of the same ly, righteously, and godly in this pre-common nature, and connected by sent world. Titus ii. 11-15. This various ties. It must consequently holiness or sanctification, which is remain the same, in substance, under essential to our happiness in the en- every dispensation, and nothing can joyment of a holy God, must, in the either_relax or destroy its obligation very nature of the thing be progres-upon the creatures of God. Christ sive—and indeed it admits of as many degrees in the saints on this side the grave as there are degrees of knowledge, faith, charity, and every other Christian grace. It is perfect in none of them while in this world; for the most advanced of them, even those who are termed fathers, in distinction from babes, in Christ, still carry about with them a body of sin and death, from which they groan for deliverance, saying with the Psalmist, "I shall be satisfied when I awake in thy likeness." Ps. xvii. 15.
2. Mr. Cowan also objects to the Baptists of Bristol, their considering the moral law as the rule of life to believers—an objection as old, we believe, as the days of Dr. Crisp, but of which it has always confounded us to make out the grounds and reasons. The moral law, as delivered to Israel in the Sinai covenant, comprises ten precepts. See Exod. xx. Now if Mr.
has indeed fulfilled it in the room and place of his people as their substitute and representative, and delivered them from it as the condition of life, or the terms of their acceptance with God-but still he has delivered it unto his redeemed people, under the covert of his own blood, and enforced it upon them by his redeeming love, and by the rewards and punishments of a future state. See Matt. v. 19, 20. Rom. xiii. 8—11. James ii. 8-13. The spirit and substance of this law was imprinted on Adam's heart at his creation, and is summed up by our Lord in two particulars, namely, perfect love to God and our neighbour-duties which are of eternal and immutable obligation upon all the people of God. Matt. xxii. 37-41. It would be easy to enlarge on this subject, and expose the utter absurdity of the contrary sentiment, but we hope these few re
marks will be deemed sufficient to | THE GREAT AND GOOD BISHOP TAYinduce Mr. Cowan to review his principles, if not to remove his objections.
LOR lived at a time when the doctrine of Toleration was very imperfectly understood in this country; and, by the two great contending factions, the Episcopal and Presbyterian, perhaps, still less relished. He was unquestionably a man of great genius and very extensive learning; inti
Were it not that we have already devoted so many of our columns to Mr. Cowan's pamphlet, there are several other subjects on which we could have wished to offer a few observations, particularly the intima-mately acquainted with the Holy tion at p. 46. of his using a printed Scriptures, and well read in the Liturgy in public worship! This is a Fathers and Ecclesiastical writers, pretty plain indication that though both of the Greek and Latin church. the clamours of conscience have com- He was also tolerably versed in the pelled him to withdraw from the civil and canon Law, together with all establishment, he still fondly clings the various branches of polite literato the skirts of the "Mother of Har- ture. He had thoroughly digested lots," or, at least to those of her un- all the ancient moralists; with the chaste daughter! These half-hearted Greek and Roman Poets and Orators, dissenters, of whom we have several and was conversant with the best among the ministers in the Metro- French and Italian writers. These polis, are a perfect non-descript in the acquisitions rendered him one of the kingdom of Christ. Was it thus greatest divines of the age in which that Owen and Charnock and Bates he lived, and, combined with his and Howe and "the noble army" of amiable personal qualities, they conthe Puritans in general acted, when stituted him, one of the brightest driven out from the church of Eng-ornaments of the Episcopal church. land? Far otherwise. But it is manifest that Mr. Cowan is hitherto very partially enlightened into the import of Christ's good confession, which he witnessed before Pontius Pilate, when he declared his kingdom to be not of this world. When his other avocations shall allow time for it, we with all deference beg leave to recommend to his perusal, "Towgood's Dissent from the Church of England fully justified"---" Theological Dissertations, by the late Dr. John Erskine, of Edinburgh"---" An Essay on the Kingdom of Christ, by the late Mr. Abraham Booth"---" An illustration of Christ's Commission to his Apostles, by Mr. M'Lean"---and though last, not least deserving of his regard, Mr. Glas's "Testimony of the King of Martyrs"---though the volume we believe is now rather scarce and difficult to be met with:
A Discourse on the Liberty of Prophesying, with its just limits and temper, showing the unreasonableness of prescribing to other mens faith, and the iniquity of persecuting different opinions. BY JEREMY TAYLOR, D.D. Chaplain in ordinary to King Charles I. and Lord Bishop of Down, Conner and Dromore. A New Edition. London. Gale and Fenner, 1817. pp. 434. Octavo. pr. 12s. boards.
fervent; and his practice of the His piety was steady, rational, and several duties of Christianity truly exemplary. He was remarkable for his humility, being always courteous, affable, and easy of access, even to persons of the lowest ranks. He never considered arrogance and pride necessary to keep up the dignity of the Episcopal character; but was distinguished as much by the meekness, gentleness, and loveliness of his disposition, as he was by his superior attainments. His cotemporaries describe him to have been extremely handsome in person; possessing a voice uncommonly harmonious: so that as an orator, he excelled; while his sweet and obliging disposition, and the urbanity of his manners, joined to the acuteness of his wit, and the extent of his knowledge, rendered his private conversation equally delightful and instructive. Nor was he less distinguished for his benevolence and humanity: for he is said to have expended nearly all his income in acts of beneficence and liberality to the poor.
He has bequeathed to posterity the fruits of his genius in his writings, which are numerous, though the style may want something and which, of the ease and polish of modern times, will ever remain an exhaustless mine of rich information. In
the Volume now before us, he pleads | with great eloquence and force of reasoning, the noble cause of religious liberty---or the rights of conscience. It is unquestionably an excellent treatise, and has deservedly obtained high applause from the most enlightened friends of religious freedom and the common rights of mankind-though, as might naturally be expected, it has, in the same proportion, extorted an effusion of spleen from bigotted zealots, and been as liberally censured by the advocates of ecclesiastical tyranny. Such a work, however, should never be allowed to be out of print; and the publishers of the present handsome edition, will, we trust, not only be liberally remunerated but encouraged to similar undertakings by the suffrages of the friends of freedom.
The publishers have given, at the close of the Work, the Bishop's Statement of the litigated Question of Infant Baptism, which will of course furnish an additional recommendation of it to the advocates of that practice. We cannot indeed say
All the Elect children of God contemp lated as members of one body; gathered together under one head; and actuated by one spirit: in a few familiar thoughts, on John xvii. 21-24. Br ROBERT HARKNESS CARNE, A. B. Exeter, Gresswell; Button and Son; and T. Hamilton, London, 1817. p.p. 290. royal 24mo. pr. 2s. 6d. boards.
WHOEVER has attentively considered the style of the Evangelists and Apostles, must have remarked the singular simplicity which uniformly chabeen so profoundly penetrated, with They appear to have of the subjects on which they treat, the ineffable grandeur and importance as to think that, by applying to them the flowers of rhetoric, they should only have eclipsed their glory-even as the painting of a diamond would answer no other purpose than to obis something in Mr. Carne's style of scure its lustre. Now, to us, there writing, in the small volume before us, so very different from what we it exceedingly. We had no sooner have just mentioned, that we regret entered upon the perusal of his Preface, than the following sentence presented itself to us.
that we think the learned writer's reasoning is quite so clear and demonstrative on this point, as it is on the subject of toleration and the rights of conscience. He finds it "The gentle breathings of the Spirit of necessary, we perceive, to go back to truth, are not like [the irregular blasts of the Covenant made with Abraham, in one direction, sweetly wafting the vesthe prince of darkness]-they for an authority to baptize infants! sels of mercy, through the same channel but surely there is something very of scripture doctrine, to the fair havens unaccountable in the fact, that a in the kingdom of Immanuel. Having New Testament ordinance must go Jesus for our pilot, and his word for our a begging for its evidence to Old chart and compass, it is good to spread Testament types. We are, however, our sails before such heaven-born gales, obliged to the good natured bishop and to have no other desire, than for our for supplying us with an apology for barks, throughout the voyage of life, to be under the immediate influence of that not altogether agreeing with him on celestial wind, which, while it bloweth this disputed point. He seems to where it listeth, is sure to bear us onward have been somehow aware that his to our desired haven, in the pacific ocean arguments are not perfectly indispu- of eternal rest.” Pref. p. vi. table, and he candidly anticipates a Alas! how unsuitable is this phra demur from his opponents. "To all seology to the subject on which it is this" says he, p. 325. "the Anabap-employed. The proper epithet by tist gives a soft and gentle answer, that it is a goodly harangue, which upon strict examination will come to nothing: that it pretends fairly, and signifies little; that some of these allegations are false, some impertinent, and all the rest insufficient!" Were we questioned upon oath, as to our opinion, we really think we should not be found to differ very widely from the same judgment.
which to describe it is that of fustian.
tament, we are not only struck with Again: In reading the New Tes the simplicity and plainness of the style which the Holy Spirit has seen fit to employ in communicating divine revelation to us; but the strictest regard is uniformly paid to coherency in the sentiment. We can trace the concatenation of ideas in the writer's mind, and are never perplexed or wildered by having extraneous matters
jumbled together, which have little or no affinity to each other. We are sorry to say that the case is often very different in the little volume before The author indulges in a dashing style of writing, which may indeed tickle the ear, but is necessarily a source of great pain to the judgment, which, if exercised at all, must be done in the way of marking the relation that one idea has to another, and consequently is always shocked at incongruity.
cope towards the heavens, he discovered unheard of wonders. On the surface of the moon he saw lofty mountains and deep valleys. The milky way he discovered to be a crowded assemblage of fixed stars, invisible to the naked eye. Venus he found to vary, in its phases, like the moon. The figure of Saturn, he observed to be oblong, consisting of three distinct parts. Jupiter he saw surrounded with four moons, which he named Medicean stars, after the family of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. And on the sun's disk he perceived spots, from the motion of which he inferred, that the sun revolves about its axis. These "great marvels” (as our excellent church would express it) Galileo had the temerity to publish for the information of others, for which he was cited before the Court of Inquisition, accused of heresy, and thrown into prison! A great revolution indeed has taken place in the public sentiment on this subject, since the days of the unfortunate Galileo. By means of the labours of Newton and Herschel, the discoveries of Galileo are now so well established and the science of Astropri-nomy so familiarised to persons of ordinary capacity that, except a few individuals of the Hutchinsonian class, a person who intimates a doubt of the orthodoxy of the Newtonian system, is rarely met with, and would be looked upon by his cotemporaries as a rara avis. Yet such an individual
The great defect in Mr. Carne's "Familiar Thoughts" is, their want of discrimination, or distinguishing the things that differ. For instance, the subject on which they treat is that of CHRISTIAN UNITY-Christ for his people that they all may be one, as the Father and he are one---that the world may be persuaded of his divine mission. Now instead of distinguishing between visible and invisible unity, as he ought to have done, and keeping in view that the words of his text were a prayer for a future blessing in behalf of his people, Mr. Carne's discourse is almost wholly occupied in considering the eternal union that subsists between Christ and his mystical body, with the vileges resulting to them from that union! Really, all this is little to the purpose, and betrays great want of attention to the meaning of Scripture. We wish Mr. Carne, at his leisure, would take the trouble of reading a discourse on the same words, which he will find in a posthu-is mous volume of Sermons, by the late Mr. Archibald M'Lean, of Edinburgh, recently published; we think he certainly might profit by it.
the author of the volume before us. The notion of a plurality of world fills him with dread alarm for the fate of divine revelation, which, he thinks, teaches a different doctrine, and his benevolent concern for the salvation of his fellow creatures, conPlurality of Worlds: or Letters, Notes nected with a deep feeling of distress and Memoranda, Philosophical and at witnessing the apathy of others, Critical, occasioned by "A Series of has determined him to buckle on his Discourses on the Christian Revela- armour, and arrest the progress of the tion, viewed in connection with the growing evil. We may further add, Modern Astronomy. By Thomas that the extraordinary celebrity which Chalmers, D. D. London. Max- Dr. Chalmers's Astronomical Diswell. Pp. 212. price 5s. 1817. courses have met with, seems to Ir is now just two hundred years have nearly compleated his discomfisince the celebrated Galileo, a native ture, and rendered every vestige of of Florence began to broach, what hopeful success to his labours aborwere then termed, very heretical doc- tive. "Is all this farce" he asks, "to trines, in the science of Astronomy. go on encreasing and gathering He constructed an optical instrument strength, merely because the great by means of which, as he himself mass of mankind have neither time, says, objects appeared magnified a opportunity, nor taste to examine for thousand times. Turning his Teles-themselves, and to exercise the prin
That the author of these letters should approve of Parkhurst's gloss on this text is easily accounted for; but we will venture to affirm that
of hypothesis could ever induce a sound mind to adopt such an interpretation. To perceive its manifest absurdity we need only to quote the remainder of text---having spoken of the worlds (plural) as "framed by the word of God" the apostle immediately adds, "so that things which are seen were not made of things which do
ciple of common sense? Has no one courage enough to lift up his hand, that the plague may be stayed?" Poor man! this is sufficiently indicative of his disturbed state of mind. We sin-nothing short of the baneful influence cerely hope that no greater mischief will ensue: but really we have our fears, for we find that as he proceeds, enthusiastic ardour in what he imagines the cause of truth, gradually accumulates, and in the next page he tells his friend that "half measures will never stop the roaring of the cannon, or the ravages of the enemy. The fortress must be assail-appear." Now this last clause of the ed, the rampart destroyed, the strong hold taken, ere the Christian church be permitted to enjoy peace and safety, or the contest subside between the astronomical infidel, and the humble disciple of the Christian faith. To attempt this is the design of the following letters."
We are not all disposed to question the good intentions of the author of these letters, but we much doubt the successful termination of his labours; not because we are of the number of those who ever despair of the progress of truth in the world, but solely because we verily believe him to be wrong upon the point in debate. The general doctrine of the Newtonian system of Astronomy appears to us to be too firmly established ever to be shaken by the cavils of the Sciolist. And we are far from thinking it so repugnant to the tenour of divine revelation as he would represent it. Now, to give the reader a specimen of this and of his unfairness in meeting the question.--
His ninth Letter is entitled "On the plurality of Worlds." He tells his friend that "the authors who adopt the opinion, of what is called the immensity of creation, are compelled to seek refuge in speculations rather novel and romantic, and suppositions are thus framed without any regard to the authority of Scripture," p. 145. He seems, however, to have been aware that this was going a step too far, and therefore he has subjoined a note upon the words marked in Italics, which we shall here quote.
"That the scripture is not altogether silent upon this subject, Heb. xi. 3. may be introduced. But Parkhurst, by the word Awas understands, and 1 cannot but think rightly, all the various revolutions and general occurrences which have happened to this created system."
verse demonstrably determines its
Those worlds on high, and worlds below