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cles was vouchsafed. For when the disciples ask Jesus, Matt. xvii. 19. why they could not cast the devil out of the lunatic, (a question they certainly would not have asked, unless they themselves had failed in the alltempt,) His answer his, “ because of unbelief: and He adds, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, Matt. xiii. 32. if ye have that trust in God, that particular kind of faith, that fixed dependence upon, and confidence in Him, Mark xi. 22. required of you at this season, ye fall say to this mountain, .. “ remove hence to yonder place," and it shall remove.
Sometimes the word faith means veracity, faithfulness, truth. Thus, Matt. xxiii. 23. in our Lord's reproof to the pharisees, ye have omitted, says He, the weightier matter of the law, judgment, mercy, and FAITH, i.e. fidelity, truth, or faithfulness, in the discharge of any trust reposed in, or committed to men.
3. Sometimes the meaning of the word faith is transferred from fidelity in the discharge of a trujt, to the truji itself, i. e. to the matter committed to our charge. Thus St. Paul, Rom. xii. 6.-Having then gifts, differing according to the grace that is given us, i. e. according to the favour vouchsafed unto us, whether prophecy, let us prophecy according to the proportion of Faith ; that is, according to the nature and degree of the gift beItowed upon us, or the trust reposed in us; whether it be prophecy, or ministration, or teaching, or exhortation, or the exercise of any other gift, which requires faithfulness, fo let every man discharge his respective duty.
4. Sometimes the word faith is put to denote the whole gospel. Thus we are told, Acts vi. 7. that the number of disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly, and a great company of the Priests were obedient unto the Faith, i. e. embraced the gospel : and Rom. x. 8. St. Paul styles the gospel the word of Faith which we preach. So the truths revealed in the gospel are called Faith by the fame Apostle, Philip i. 27, 28. and are said to be an evident token of perdition to those who reject, and of salvation to those who receive this FAITH.
The word faith is often used in a most obvious sense, for a firm belief, and well-grounded perfuafion of the general truth of Christianity, in consequence of that conviction, which may julily be expected to follow, from a due consideration of the irrefragable evidence there is for the certainty of it.
Perhaps a careful investigation may discover other senses in which the word faith is used; but those above noticed are fufficient to fhew the reaTons why they have been produced.
When then divines take upon themselves to explain particular texts, they must
Ascertain clearly the ideas which they suppose to be conveyed by the words of such texts. ----And
2. They must thew that these ideas do undoubtedly belong to the words in question. - For~-
Propositions consisting of mixed modes, may be true or false, according to the dificrent ideas arbitrarily aligned to such modes. If propositions consist of words to which either no ideas, or inconijient ideas are annexed, such propofitions are unintelligible. Thus, when certain divines put together the ideas of pardon and acquittal, into what one of them calls a Scriptural notion of justification ; and when another of them says, certain ideas cannot be conveyed by any words whatever, but that they, i. e. the
truths conveyed by such ideas, must be felt, both these assertions are equally unintelligible. And therefore
When divines affirm that faith is the gift of God; if they annex the Same idea to the word Faith as St. Luke does, Acts vi. 7.--and St. Paul, Rom. x. 8. and Philip i. 27. the affirmation is true; and the truth of it may be proved from 2 Tim. i. 9. and Titus ii. 3,4. But if they mean that the belief, and persuasion of the truth of the gospel in these days, is in consequence of the immediate, and therefore miraculous influence of God (what Dr. D. calls a DIVINE AGENCY) vouchsafed to some persons and not to others'; and like the faith produced by inspiration, not the effects of rational argument, but of sudden and supernatural conviction, which is the only precise meaning of faith, being the gift of God, when by faith we mean belief; it is impossible to thew that faith in THIS SENSE is his gift. Because the only text ever quoted to establish this opinion, viz. Eph. ii. 8. cannot possibly be used by any persons who attend to the construction of the words : for the whole analogy of the original language must be set at nought, and the meaning of the Greek tongue rendered utterly uncertain, before this sense can be forced from the verse in question: and this opinion wholly changes the meaning of the word faith : for if we understand by faith, a firm belief, and well-grounded persuasion of the general truth of Christianity, founded upon that evidence which God has given for it, then this faith cannot be restrained to any particular person ;, because this evidence is open to all wherever the gospel is known. It may also be further observed, that this opinion renders the distinction between the ordinary and extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit perfectly nugatory.
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS. Lectures on the Gospel of St. Matthew ; delivered in the Parish Church of
St. James; Westminster, in the years 1798, 1799, 1800, and 1801. By the Right Reverend Beilei PORTEUS, D.D. Bishop of London, 9 rols. 8vo,
(Concluded from page 242.) THI HE Nineteenth Lecture is an admirable commentary on the twenty
fourth chapter of St. Matthew's gospel, in which the destruction of the Jewish nation is strikingly described, as the primary object of the predictions of our Lord, contained in that chapter. But the Bishop very properly considers also the prophecy, as a "type and an emblem of the dissolution of the world itself, to which the total subversion of a great city and a whole nation bears some resemblance.”
In the next Lecture, his Lordfhip recurs to the same subject, on account of its vast importance, as proving to a demonstration, the truth of Christ's mission, when all the circumstances of the destruction of Jerusalem, as related by Josephus, who could have no inducement to favour the Christian cause, tally fo exactly with the several parts of our Lord's prediction, which was delivered before that historian was born. This argument for Christianity has been allowed by that eloquent advocate, Mr. Erikine, on a public occasion, to be of itself absolutely irresistible.
The remainder of this Lecture is occupied by a consideration of the two parables of the ten virgins and of the talents, and the awful description of the lait judgment, as related in the 95th chapter.
Speaking of the two divisions into which mankind will be cast at that folemn period, the Bithop strikingly remarks :
“ There is no middle, no interinediate station provided for those who may be called neutrals in religion, who are indifferent and lukewarm, who are neither hot nor cold,' włro do not reject the Gospel, but give themlelves very little concern about it, who, instead of working out their salvation, with fear and trembling, leave that matter to take care of itself, and are at perfect ease as to the event. These men cannot certainly expect to inherit everlasting life. But they hope, probably, to be considered as harmlets inoffensive beings, and to be exempted froin pu. nilment at least, if not entitled to reward. But how vain this hope is, our Sa. viour's representation of the final judgment molt clearly ihews. They wlio are not fet on the right must go to the left. They who are not rewarded, are contigned to punishment. There are indeed different inansions, both for the righteous and the wicked; there are different degrees of punishment for the one, and of reward for the other; yet still it does not appear that there is any middle or intermediare state between punishment and reward."
The Twenty-firft Lecture considers the following subjects--" The Inftitution of the Lord's Supper.-Our Lord's Agony in the Garden.-His being betrayed by Judas—and his Examination by the High Priest." In the next are narrated, and commented on, the trial and crucifixion of our blessed Lord. There is one observation on the character and conduct of Pilate, so novel, and yet so apposite and judicious, that we cannot forbear quoting it, although our extracts have already exceeded our first intentions. After relating the timidity of Pilate in yielding to the popular clamour, for fear of the wrath of Czesar, his matter, the Lithop observes : “ Could any thing like this have happened in this country?
We all know that it is impossible. We all know that no dangers, no threats, no fears, either of Cæsar or of the people, could ever induce an English judge, to condemn to dtath a man, whom he in his conscience believed to be innocent, And what is it that pro. duces this difference between a Roman and a Britiih judge? It is this : that the former had no other principle to govern his conduct but natural reason, or what would now be called philofophy; which, though it would sometimes point out to him the path of duty, yet could never inspire him with fortitude enough to perfevere in it in critical and dangerous circumstances; in opposition to the frowns of a ty. rant, or the clamours of a multitude. Whereas the British judge, in addition to his natural sentiments of right and wrong, and the dictates of the inoral sense, has the principle of religion all to influence his heart; he has the unerring and inflexibles rules of evangelical rectitude to guide him; he has that which will van. quith every other fear, the fear of God, beiore his eyes. He knows that he himself muft one day it and before the Judge of all, and that confideration keeps him firm to his duty, be the dangers that surround him ever so formidable and tre. mendous.
“ This is one, among a thousand other proofs, of the benefits we derive, even in the present lite, from the Christian revelation. It has, in fact, had a molt falutary and beneficial influence on our most important temporal interests. Its beneficent spirit has spread itlelt through all the different relations and modifications of human fociety, and communicated its kindly influence to almost every public and private concern of mankind. It has not only purified, as we have feen, the administration of juftice; but it has intensibly worked itself into the inmost frame and conftitution of civil societies. It has given a tinge to the complexion of their governments, and to the temper of their laws. It has softened obe rigors of despotism, and lessened, in fome degree, the horrors of war. It has defcended into fa. milies, has diminished the pressure of private tyranny, improved every domestic endearment, given tenderness to the parent, humanity to the matter, respect to su. periors, to interiors security and eale ; and left, in Nort, the most evident traces
* of its benevolent spirit in all the various subordinations, dependencies, and connections of social life."
The subjeets of the Twenty-third Lecture are “ The Doctrine of Redemption ;-and the Burial and Resurrection of our Lord,” which are discussed in the Bishop's usual perspicuous and forcible manner.
The last Lecture is on the closing chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, in which, from the baptismal formulary given by our Lord to his difciples, the Bishop naturally takes occafion to treat of the doctrine of the Trinity, and of the reasonableness of mysteries in religion. In answer to the futile objections of rationalists, it is inconteftibly proved, that all religions have mysteries; and moreover, that even Deilm, pure and unmixed, as it is pretended to be, is incumbered with difficulties. But we have already exceeded our limits; and must here conclude, with earnestly recommending these Lectures to the heads of families, for domestic initruction; to the Clergy, as an excellent method of teaching their flocks; and to all, as an inestimable view of the whole Chriftian doctrine and duty.
Letters addressed to a Young Man on his first Entrance into Life, and adapted to the peculiar Circumitances of the present Times. By Mrs. 2d edition. 3 rols. 12mo.
(Continued from page 167.) N our Number for September last, we gave an Extract from this in
teresting book, in which Mrs. Weft explains her own motives for drawing through the press, the Letters originally addreffed to her Son.We proceed to fulfil our promise, by giving some specimens, taken from the body of the Work. Our limits will not allow us to introduce an entire chapter ; which would best exemplify this Lady's clear way of reasoning, and thew how entire the preserves the chain of argumentation. We must, therefore, content ourselves with a few insulated paffages ; but these, we doubt not, will have the effect we in some measure intend; viz. they will stimulate our readers, particularly those of the younger class, to perufe the whole series of these admirable Letters.
The Second Volume opens with “ considering the Socinian opinions which lead to Deism ; and vindicating the historical books of Mofes, by circumstances drawn from Natural History, and profane authors." The reader will here judge of the extent, and see the excellent use of Mrs. West's reading.
(P. 1.) The difficulty of opposing those persons who arrogantly style themselves rational Chrijlians, says she
_" confiits in their appealing to scripture whenever it countenances their opi. nions, and terming those texts interpolations which press hard upon their doctrines. We shall foon see what testimony we possess to disprove their favourite afsertion, reípecting the pretended early corruption of the facred volume.
“ Our present antagonists admit the assistances of human learning. They have called in its aid to disprove scripture testimony, nor have the champions of our faith shrunk from the test. They have tried to invalidate the Mofaic account of the deluge, and of the age of the world, by proofs drawn from Natural History ;from the various strata of different minerals and fossils which have been successively deposited in the earth ;--from the accumulation of soil upon torrents of lava which have flowed from the eruptions of burning mountains; and from a variety of other fupposed vestiges of the yalt antiquity of matter. Schemes of creation, which kave agreed only in two points, namely, in their contradicting the affertions of Revelation, and in their iniuperable absurdity, have supplanted each other. Each of them has reigned the fashionable theory of the day, and then sunk into oblivion.
“ These puerilities have, however, had one advantage: they have provoked in. vestigation, and have induced persons, who unite sound knowledge with humility, to step forth in defence of those truths which the wiseft and beit of mankind revered. The merits of Brvdone's discoveries have been reduced to the agreeable language in which he dressed the jejune communications of his deistical correspond. ents; and the systems of Buffon and Darwin have been exploded by deeper reasoners, and more indefatigable geologists. The book of nature has been searched with minute investigation; and it has been found to speak the same language with the book of Revelation.
" The records of one of the most ancient nations on the face of the earth were appealed to; and it was triumphantly proclaimed, that the scriptures of the Hindoos would overturn the allegorical fabric of Mofaical testimony. How wonderfully does the wisdom of God bring to nought the devices of presumptuous man! The very attempt that was expected to dilprove the facred writings has aitonish. ingly tended to confirm them. Traditions of the fall of man, of the deluge, the character of Noah, and the promised rettoration of mankind by a divine Saviour, are preserved among the old Sanferit literature, blended indeed with fable, but fut. ficiently distinct to thew their original fignificancy. They contantly describe the evil spirit hy the image of a ferpent; and the gigantic remains of ancient art which appear in the island of Elephanta, illustrate there records ; for a conqueror is there represented as treading upon a serpent. Let me observe, that the faine image fre. quently occurs in Pagan mythology. Of all the forms of idolatry, it seems most ftrange that this dangerous offensive reptile should receive divine honours ; yet it is fuppoled to have had more wornippers than any other idol. But in that worship much of its mysterious enmity to man, and !omewhat of its future humiliation, was signified. It seems as if the Almighty compelled the prince of darkness to assist in keeping up a faint idea of the truth, even in that species of worship whiclı he maliciously invented to proclaim and to continue the depravity of mankind.
“ But to return to the discoveries made by researches into Indian antiquities. It is no leis certain than ttrange, that the doctrine of the Trinity is allo preserved in these writings. The Brahmins have interpolated the life of their fabulous Chreeshna with the following remarkable facts, taken from the Hiltory of the true Re. deemer: His humble birth (an extraordinary incident to be copied by a people who are more scrupulous than any other, respecting the antiquity and pure nubility of delcent). The viht of the Magi; which remarkable fact is now discovered to have been caused by the predictions of Zoroafter, a Persian fage, who was contemporary with Daniel at the court of Cyrus, and is known to have travelled into Judea. He absolutely foretold, that a sacred personage would be born of a virgin ; and that his coming would be announced by a ptar, whole radiance would guide bis worshippers to the place of his nativity. The massacre of the infants is also pre. ferved in these records. Christ's descent into Hades, and ascension into Heaven. The Mofaical names of countries are also retained among the Hindoos; as are the names, and some traces of the bittories, of Abraham, Joseph, Moles, and Solo
" To these attestations of the widely-extended knowledge of scripture facts, I may add the testimony of Greek and Roman writers, who undefignedly establish the au. thenticity of that religion which their rulers (trove to eradicate, and of whose founder and early preachers they wished to infuse a contemptible idea. Tacitus and Suetonius relate, that the world in general was in anxious expectation of some great character about the time of our Lord's birth. The principal part of his history, of the labours and sufferings of his apostles and the primitive Christians, with the deitruction of the Jewish nation, have received this indirect confirmation from the enemies of our fait who wrote at the time when there transactions took place. The impostor Mahomet has fince given his impure evidence to the same facts. The departure of a fhepherd people from Egypt, who had been ill. used by