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or, 6thly, to pardon transgressors only in and it would be to them a question of no case of repentance and reformation. importance, whether in future they were
As to the first of these instances, I ap. | righteous or wicked. prehend, not the boldest denier of the atone In the next instance, it is true, we perment will be disposed to give it to a place ceive something like an approximation to in his creed.
just and rational government. To hold up As the second scheme is, in tendency, as monuments of justice the deeply crimithe same as the first, it is liable to similar nal, would in some degree be calculated to objections. Both of them exclude the jus- awe the wicked. And to spare the less tice of the divine Being from all share in guilty, would bear some resemblance to that his dispensations; and neither of them is exercise of regal prerogative by which a calculated either to bring glory to God, | human governor averts the penal stroke or to prevent wickedness, anarchy, and from those whose crimes have been attendwretchedness among men. What stronger ed by extenuating circumstances. But inducement to crime could be offered to still this system is far from possessing the men, than the assurance that no penalty perfection to be expected from infinite could be incurred.
wisdom. It is here implied, that there is To punish the whole offending race, in human crimes, on account of their without affording them any opportunity of number or enormity, a difference of deescape, according to the third instance, merit. Some are supposed to be venial, would as effectually exclude the mercy of others unpardonable. God from his government as the two for- Now this distinction must be defined mer would his justice and holiness. A according to some established rule; and measure like this would give a most repul- this rule must either be published to mansive and appalling display of the divine kind, or be kept a secret in the mind of the character. And as the subjects of such a Deity. If it were published to mankind, governor could have no inducements to they would have no restraint whatever from love him, their obedience, if they tendered the commission of what might be called any, would be extorted from fear, instead | minor sins. They would know, that to a of flowing spontaneously from the nobler certain extent they might sin with impunity; principle of love.
and, till the measure of their iniquity were Nor will the fourth instance, though full, they would feel no apprehension of exhibiting, in its general aspect, a mixture danger. But their presumption of safety of justice and mercy, be exempted, when would induce them to indulge in habits impartially considered, from a charge as which would give an increasing acceleration severe as those preferred against the pre- to their progress in vice, till, by a kind of ceding systems. For though, in the arbi- necessity of their own imposing, they would, trary and irrespective punishment of some, in ten thousand instances, be carried beyond and forgiveness of others, justice and mercy the bounds of safety before they were aware. would both be brought into exercise, in If, on the other hand, this rule were kept reference to mankind as a whole race, yet a secret in the mind of the Deity, mankind their exercise would never be combined in would consequently judge of their state any single act, nor in reference to any sin- according to the most probable rule which gle individual. The treatment of one part themselves could devise. Accustomed to of mankind would be all justice, and of estimate everything comparatively, men the other part all mercy. To the honour would compare themselves with others. In of the divine rectitude, it is said in proportion, therefore, as public morals descripture, that God is no respecter of per- generated, the standard of character would sons. This impartiality forms certainly an be altered in favour of vice; and no man important branch of his justice; and hence would think himself wicked, so long as he the hypothesis which supposes this prin- conceived that others more wicked could ciple thus excluded from the conduct of be found. That universal selfish prejudice the deity, supposes that at least a partial too, which ever exerts its influence to soften violation of justice is exhibited in the a person's verdict upon his own character, whole of his government. Besides, what would whisper peace under all circumends worthy of his wisdom could be an- stances. swered by such a method. It would have We come now to consider the last of the no tendency whatever either to promote cases supposed, which is certainly more virtue, or prevent vice. The fate of the plausible than any of the rest; and, as it is sufferers depending not upon their own the only one, perhaps, for which any senactions, but upon the mere will of their sible and well-informed person will contend, Maker, their lives could not be exemplary; } it demands a more serious consideration.
In this instance, we must confess, there offered to the penitent without the adoption is, in several respects, an accordance with, of any method in which the demands of what we believe to be, truth. That repen- justice are sufficiently recognized and as. tance is necessary, and that none but the serted, may it not also be so far relaxed, that penitent can be pardoned, are doctrines ultimately even the impenitent may, either perfectly scriptural, and fully calculated to entirely or in part, escape the punishment suppress every false hope of salvation in denounced against them? The moral inthose who are not heartily renouncing sin. Auence of a system from which such inferBut though this is, perhaps, the best system ences are deducible must be too feeble to which human wisdom could devise, it is promote the obedience, the order, and hapnot, we conceive, the best that is possible; piness of mankind. since it is not the system which appears to From all these defects, the system embe revealed in the gospel. Between the bracing the atonement is free. While mercy system last supposed, and the system of the is exercised to the sinner, in this system, gospel, let us, however, institute an impar- justice is preserved inviolate, as far as its tial comparison, and then it will at once be moral influence in the divine government seen on which side the excellence lies, and is concerned. The importance of obediwhether of the two appears most worthy of ence, and the heinousness of sin, are exhithe ever blessed God
bited in the most striking and influential While the former system shews mercy, it manner. The violation of God's law is does not sufficiently support the dignity, never forgiven without a full recognition, the awfulness, and the claims of justice. both on the part of God and men, of the Repentance is the only condition required, | indispensable requirements of justice. In on the part of any being, in order to the addition to repentance towards God, the sinner's forgiveness. It must therefore be gospel requires faith in our Lord Jesus considered as being either an equivalent to Christ. This is an act emphatically exfull obedience, or an atonement for crime; pressive of the great obligations of man, if not, the claims of justice, as to the time the deep demerit of his sin, and the terrible spent in wickedness, are totally set aside. | degree of misery he has justly incurred. If, in opposition to this assumption, it should The humble penitent comes to the throne be said, that the Divine Being acts simply of grace, and, with his eyes streaming with in reference to the general welfare of his tears of godly sorrow for his past conduct, creatures, and that, therefore, if that object he pours forth his confessions and supplicabe accomplished, it is mere trifling to talk tions to God. He beholds the Lamb of about the claims of this or that perfection; God that taketh away the sins of the world, we reply, the requirement of repentance and O how the sight affects his heart. He only, as the condition of pardon, is not sees the well-beloved Son of God, by his calculated to answer the end proposed. Father's gracious appointment, and his own Never will the mind be influenced to moral voluntary choice, made a sacrifice for sinpropriety, on which happiness is allowed ners, and his mind fills with self-abhorto depend, unless it be deeply impressed rence for his sin, with awe at the justice, with the importance of obedience, and the and astonishment at the love, of the Supreme evil of transgression. But in this system Being. The sorrows of the Saviour through there is nothing to produce such an impres life, his agony in the garden, and his torsion. What real importance can there be tures and death upon Calvary, when conin obedience, if a total defalcation in the nected with the immaculate purity and discharge of duty for a long series of years, illustrious dignity of the sufferer, assume an can be passed by without notice, if the | infinite and awful significancy. He views defaulter only repent? Or what can there them as being not only the meritorious be odious in the nature, or very dreadful in cause of the sinner's salvation, but also as a the consequences of sin, if all the evil can representation in specimen of the dreadful be averted by repentance? Besides, how misery which, but for the Saviour's intercan even the Divine veracity be raised above position, would inevitably have proved his suspicion, if God, in the very act of justify fate. He, therefore, while pleading for ing the ungodly, be not unequivocally de mercy, lays his hand of faith upon this clared to be just? Might not the sinner vicarious sufferer, and confesses that his reason with himself thus? Surely the prin sins have deserved a punishment as great ciples of justice in general must be, in the as that sustained by his substitute, with all estimation of God, as important and indis- the augmentation derived from the infinite pensable as the principles of truth, which dignity and worthiness of his person. While form but a part of justice. If then justice contemplating the peculiar death of Christ, has been so far relaxed that pardon is discoveries the most interesting, and caler
lated to influence his heart and conduct | ment, to dispose to adoration, and prompt open to his view. In that death he dis- | to obedience, the mind of every true becovers a manifestation of the wisdom of liever. God. How admirably has he adapted his! The vast superiority of this system over means to the circumstances of his creatures every other, affords, to my mind, the most and the purposes of his government. In undeniable proof that the atonement, so that death he discovers an expression of the essential to its constitution, was absolutely goodness of God. Such, it is seen, was necessary. his regard for mankind, that he was willing As the name of Jesus Christ, then, is the to make the greatest possible sacrifice, in only name given among men, whereby we order that they might receive the greatest must be saved, let it be our wisdom here possible blessings. While a believer pro- | with all our hearts to embrace him, that it perly considers this fact, how can he remain may be our happiness hereafter to behold insensible of his obligations, or unmoved to his face in glory, and mingle with the grateful obedience by so much kindness? | spirits of just men made perfect, to swell In that death he discovers a display of the the grateful chorus, Worthy is the Lamb justice of God. So important and inde that was slain, and hath redeemed us to feasible, it appears, are its rights, that mercy God by his blood, to receive riches, and could not be extended to sinners without wisdom, and strength, and honour, and the death of a suitable substitute. Is it glory, and blessing, for ever and ever. possible for a person, under the impression Amen.
J.R. of such a view of divine justice, to disregard Bradford, Sept. 19th, 1829. its imperative demands, and to live in opposition to its precepts? He dares not expose himself to the consequences. God
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPECULATIVE has threatened that tribulation and anguish
AND EXPERIMENTAL RELIGION. shall fall upon every soul of man that doeth Religion is a subject with which every evil, and in the death of Christ the believer human being is connected, and in which discovers a striking pledge of the veracity he is deeply interested. While it regards of God. He sees that his perfection must in no small degree his temporal welfare, it engage him to execute every purpose de- has reference more immediately and speclared to mankind. Aware that there re- cifically to that which is eternal. It is by maineth no more sacrifice for sin, and that religion he can look for pardon, peace, and therefore the gospel dispensation is the last | happiness, obtained by a sacrifice which and the only expedient of mercy, he knows speaketh better things than that of Abel, that should he trample under.foot the blood even the sacrifice of Jesus Christ the righteof the covenant, there would remain to him ous. It is from religion he is to obtain nothing but a certain fearful looking-for of much to smooth his path through the judgment and fiery indignation, which shall wilderness of this world,by means of devour the adversary. For if God spared this, his desponding fears may be allayed; not his own Son, but freely delivered him his spiritual desires enlivened ; and his up for us all, to render our salvation pos ransomed soul elevated to God. sible, how shall he spare the wicked rebel, It is obvious, however, on even a curby whom his mercy is finally slighted, und sory review of the religious part of manhis justice defied ?
kind, that two kinds of religion, distinFrom this comparative view of the diffe guished by their difference of situation, rent systems which, under the existing cir have obtained among them. I shall, no cumstances of mankind, are possible, we doubt, be anticipated as referring to that perceive that the system distinguished by which has its seat in the head only, and the atonement is the only one that gives a that which holds a place in the heart. full display of the Divine character, and These are of such a nature that they should that furnishes sufficient motives for the be concomitant in their progress and operaobedience of men. It is the only system tions; though nothing is more common in which the glory of God is not eclipsed, than to see them disunited, and speculathe only one in which his perfections appear tive religion, or that of the head, usurping in harmonious exercise. In every other we the place of the experimental. The cause discover something unworthy of some attri of this disseveration is, perhaps, not very bute of Deity. But in this, each of his deeply concealed. Men, in general, aware perfections shines forth in all its splendour, of the truth of religion, give it, as far as and the commingling rays of the whole external circumstances are concerned, a form, around his character, a halo of glory, | favourable reception. They profess to which cannot fail to strike with astonish- / obey its authority and dictates, to ac
knowledge its excellency and advantages, not only by reason, but also by experience, and to be under its influences and con- a guide which opens wisdom's way;" trol. But they form to themselves mis and, in the prospect of his final dissolution, taken notions on the subject of that can triumphantly and delightfully exclaim : branch which is pure and undefiled: they “ I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that build on an unsafe foundation ; they con he shall stand at the latter day upon the ceive that if they unite in acceding to the earth; and though, after my skin, worms importance and authority of religion, and destroy this body; yet in my flesh shall I attend to some of its outward and (if such see God; whom I shall see for myself, and an expression be proper on such a subject) | mine eyes shall behold, and not another." least momentous particulars, they have ful- Thus his reason and his understanding corfilled its requisitions. They behold the dially unite with his affections in the deobject, but do not desire to possess it. | lightful work of his salvation. They are in error as to the very essence of re. The system of the Christian religion was ligion: they stumble at the very threshold; devised, and is adapted for other purand, like Chorazin and Bethsaida, will poses than those of speculation. Its ascome into greater condemnation; since, tonishing and invaluable privileges were sinking with the light of “the glorious intended really to be partaken of, as gospel of the blessed God" shining resplen well as to be believed in; to be subject dently around them, they refuse to be 10 practice and experience, as well as to cheered by its vital and vivifying in theory. The Christian religion is designed fluences.
to restore to man the long-lost image of The difference then, which exists be- his Creator; to alleviate the toils and contween speculative and experimental reli | tingencies of life ; to regulate his desires gion must certainly be great. While the and actions, and to inspire him with the speculatist and the formalist may go on hope of a future and incorruptible inheritday after day, to the appearance of their ance in eternity. And does it not most fellow-men, walking according to the truths unequivocally answer its design in the of religion, they are destitute of that in- heart of the true Christian ? Does it not ward witness which attests that it is not a display all its efficacy and beauty in such 'cunningly-devised fable, or a specious and a character? The divine Spirit applies the fallacious imposition, which the wisdom of doctrines of truth with power to his soul. God has devised. The carnal nature | If in prosperity,-he is preserved from exerts its powerful sway in their various pride and forgetfulness; and his breast is actions; and though the first appearance expanded with heavenly benevolence: if may deceive, a closer attention will mani- in adversity,--his reliance is on his Saviour, fest that they still lack “the one thing in the hopes and promises of the gospel; needful.” Even that man who may de though storms may beat around him, he is scant upon the blessings and privileges of securely fixed upon the rock of ages ;" Christianity; who may illustrate it by his and in the midst of appalling darkness, expositions; and who may wade very far supernal light arises in his soul. “Ile into the labyrinths of speculative truth, is a happy example of light and love. He may be as far from the kingdom of perceives the excellency and suitability of heaven as the east is from the west. The spiritual objects, possesses an ardent attachpublicans and harlots, the vilest of the vile, ment to them, feels their divine energy transformed by renewing grace, will enter upon his soul, and hence it is that his rewith joy and gladness into the mansions of ligion is of an experimental nature." Not eternal felicity, while the learned sinner, so the man whom a speculative religion with an unsoftened heart, will lift up his has unhappily possessed; all his hopes are fiery leyes in the lake that burns for uncertain and vain; all his reliances are ever and ever..
falsely placed ; he has no comforts springThe experimentalist is in a certain and ing from heartfelt experience; he grows happy state; he has embraced the gospel cold to religion; neglects its requirements, with all his heart. His nature has been and, feeling not its power, loses all its renewed : he has been born of water and blessings. 433'47
# 111-4810) ylio sul of the Spirit : he is in possession of that'' It is experience which is the true test of faith which purifies the heart, and "justifies , the Christian, whereby he indeed finds the the ungodly.” He can lay his hand upon / gospel to be “the power of God.” to Thed his heart, and, with the most sincere and longer he lives, the more he becomes cong indubitable satisfaction, point to the witness vinced of the corruption of his own heart, which he there feels of the truth and bless- and of the vanity and instability of the worldo edness of the gospel. He is convinced while his desires after God, after holities 131.-VOL. XI.
980 con............................c rem .....mmm..................... . after heaven, are continually increasing ; | The great Erample of Judge Hale. and because he seeks and prays aright for
“Judge Hale, Lord Chief Justice of heavenly blessings, he fails not to obtain
England, in his youth was fond of comthem. The man, on the contrary, who is
pany, and fell into many levities and exnot possessed of this experimental religion,
| travagancies. But this propensity and encourages no such sentiments and desires;
conduct were corrected by a circumstance he seeks only the pomps and vanities of
that made a considerable impression on earth; and falls at last a victim to his tri
his mind during the rest of his life. Being ple enemy-the WORLD- the FLESI —and
one day in company with other young the DEVIL!
men, one of the party, through excess of Orford.
J. S. B.
wine, fell down apparently dead at their
feet. Young Hale was so affected on this ON DRUNKENNESS AND ITS EFFECTS.
occasion, that he immediately retired to An amiable and intelligent physician in
another room, and, shutting the door, fell Dublin has, on several occasions, through
on his knees, and prayed earnestly to God the Morning Post, drawn public attention
that his friend might be restored to life, to this demoralizing vice, with the pur
and that he himself might he pardoned pose of dissuading the working classes in
for having given countenance to so much particular from the practice of it. His
excess; at the same time he made a solemn essays are rather long ; but the following
vow that he would never again keep comextracts will, it is hoped, tend to direct
pany in that manner, nor drink a health serious attention to the subject. The po
while he lived. His friend recovered, and lice reports prove that the pernicious effects
Hale religiously observed his vow. After of drinking are as extensively felt in this
that event there was an entire change in part of the country as in Dublin; and,
his disposition; he forsook all dissipated were a society established for the purpose
company, and was careful to divide his of correcting the practice, it is very pro- time between the duties of religion, and bable, that the happiest consequences might the studies of his profession. He became be produced. Perhaps those worthy indi
remarkable for his sober and grave deportviduals who have interested themselves
ment, his inflexible regard to justice, and lately in endeavouring to prevent the pro
a religious tenderness of spirit, which apfanation of the Sabbath, would find it an
pear to have accompanied him through important auxiliary to their well-meant
life.” exertions, and they would not fail to meet with powerful co-operation.
Extract from Judge Hale's Advice to his We would be very far from wishing to
Grandchildren. prevent or check unnecessarily, the few “I will not have you begin or pledge humble recreations and enjoyments of the any health, for it is become one of the working classes ; but by kindly advice, greatest artifices of drinking and occasions their indulgences might be so regulated, I of quarrelling this day in the kingdom. as to prove a blessing to their families “Avoid that company and those cominstead of being a 'curse to society. panions that are given to excessive drink
"I shall commence with a remarkable ing; you shall thereby avoid infinite liule narrative of an event which occurred inconveniency, that will necessarily arise to the great and good Sir Matthew Hale, from such company. For you must know, when he was a young man, together with that it is a principle among such people, an extract of a letter from him, when after that they must draw others into the same wards Lord Chief Justice of England. excess and disorder with themselves : they And I may here propose, if you should so cannot endure that any man in the comvalue this letter, that you read it yourselves, pany should be sober and in his wits, individually-read it for your families - when they make themselves drunk and read it for your acquaintances, keep it mad; for that they think to be a reproach safely by you, and read it for your children to themselves; and if they can bear drink when they are grown to that age, in which better than you, (which, you must know, they will have to mix with men, and be they take to be their glory and perfection, otherwise exposed to bad company, bad if they can but drink you down, you beexamples, and deluding and cruel tempta- come their laughing-stock and perpetual tions. I wish that you had always laid slave. out, and would henceforth always lay out “ Therefore, if you meet any person your pence as well. I shall say no more given to excess of drinking, remember that hereon, but proceed to Sir Matthew your grandfather tells you such a person Hale:'
is not fit for your company: you must