Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

says she.

January 19, 20.-- Visited the for a few moments too much agiAlms-House, in company with se tated to proceed. At length, with veral of the brethren, from the semi a countenance expressive of the nary at Princeton.

We went from greatest anxiety, she inquired, “ Is couch to couch, conversing with the there any hope for one who has

apossick and the dying. Some were tatized from a profession of relihardened; others inquiring what gion ?" I replied, by quoting Mal. they must do to be saved ; and but iii. 7, “ Return unto me, and I will very few rejoicing in the hope of return unto you ; saith the Lord of forgiveness of sin. We endeavour

hosts.”

I told her that these were ed to awaken the hardened sinner the words of the Lord to apostates. to a sense of his danger; to direct Her pale countenance was instantthe inquiring; to inspire the truly ly illuminated with a smile of joy. penitent with the hope of salvation; «These are indeed precious words," and to confirm the hopes, and soothe

Yes, the Lord will the sorrows, of the children of God surely receive the returning sinin their afflictions. One whose ner." heart affliction has softened, told Wednesday, 24.-Attended at the me that she suffered justly, for she Alms-House. There are four or five had loved the things of this world in one ward, that profess to have more than she had loved her God. lately received a hope of acceptance, She had wasted her strength, and and some of them give as satisfacdestroyed her health, in endeavour tory evidence of a renewed heart, ing to get together a little property, as can generally be expected from whilst she neglected the one thing new born souls. The evidence of needful. Instead of attending the others is of the doubtful kind.* worship of God on the Sabbath, she There are six or seven anxiously spent that holy day in adorning her concerned for the salvation of their house, and sometimes in trying to souls. But there are many that give increase her gains, by doing work deplorable evidence of their igno. in secret. “But,” says she, “ the rance and depravity. One poor curse of God has fallen heavily upon young creature, about fourteen or me; now I am stripped of all that I fifteen years of age, did not know so much loved, and sent to the Alms that she had a soul, and appeared House. I know that I do not de greatly surprised, when I told her serve to have even this place to go that although she died, and her body to. I am now anxious only for my was put in the grave, a part of her, soul."

her soul, would never die. AnAnother said, that she had seen other told me she had suffered so us pass from bed to bed, and con much in this world, that she would verse with others, but no one came surely be happy in the world to to her. She began to fear that the come; for she did not believe that Lord had given her up, and would the Lord would make her miserable be gracious to her no more.

in both worlds. I told her that it sir," says she, “ you know not what was her sins that made her miseraa burden rests upon me.” She was, ble, and not the Lord ; and if they

made her miserable here, then most after her recovery. Her manner of life, assuredly they would, if not forfrom that time, has been totally changed.

saken, make her miserable hereafter. At one period, several circumstances rendered her piety doubtful. But since, we

Her hope of future happiness was, have had reason to conclude that her therefore, entirely without foundachange is radical. I was sent for, on the tion. She was much displeased, and 29th of October, to visit her, as she was extremely ill. She supposed herself to be * All those of whom I have at present on her dying bed; but had a full assurance any knowledge, continue to give evidence of a happy immortality,

of genuine piety.

[ocr errors]

began to complain bitterly of the with some books on the evidences of pains of her body. I then told her, Christianity. He said, that if the that unless she repented of her sins, Bible did actually contain the rethe pains she now felt would be vealed will of God, it was of imnothing, in comparison, with what mense importance to him, and he she would suffer in another world. ought to be convinced of the truth.

Another said she hoped to be He now had leisure for a thorough saved, for she had taken the sacra investigation of these evidences. I ment, and had never committed a engaged to supply him with such sin in her life; and all attempts to books as he wanted. convince her that she had sinned, Friday, March 9.-Visited Mr. and needed a Saviour, were unsuc H. He has just finished reading cessful.

the books with which I furnished Wednesday, Feb. 7.-Preaching him. In the course of his inquiries had been appointed in the men's sick many difficulties occurred to his ward, but as no preaching is ever mind, but they have been happily allowed there, I concluded to spend || removed, by means of the explanathe day in visiting. Here I found tions given him by myself, and several persons who appeared to be others who have occasionally visited pious, and who rejoiced greatly to him. He says, that he never expecthave an opportunity of conversing ed to find the Christian religion with a preacher of the gospel. One supported by such irresistible eviman remarked, that he could truly dence. He had rejected it without say with the Psalmist, “ It is good examination; and supposes that this for me that I have been afflicted. must be the case with every one Before I was afflicted I went astray, who does reject it; for he says, but now have I kept thy word.” that he is convinced that no real He declared that he was happier in lover of truth, who possesses even a this diseased state, lying on a pallet small share of intellectual vigour, of straw in the Alms-House, than he can examine those evidences, and had ever been whilst he enjoyed then deny the divine origin of the health, possessed property, and was Christian religion. surrounded by friends. “ For," His faith is merely speculative. says he, “I never knew till now He has declared his rational convicwhat it was to have peace of con tion that the Bible is a revelation science, and joy in the Holy Ghost. from God; but confesses that he I never knew what it was to hold

has not a realizing sense of the imcommunion with God. There is portant truths it contains, and gives enjoyed, in these things, a greater no satisfactory evidence of a renewdegree of happiness than earth can

ed heart. afford.

It was necessary faithfully to inI conversed likewise with Mr. H. form him, that his faith was not such a lawyer, who has passed through as constituted its possessor a parmany vicissitudes of life. Having taker of the righteousness of Christ. lost his property; being totally dis The difference between speculaabled for the active duties of his tive and saving faith was then, as profession by a stroke of the palsy; || distinctly as possible, stated to and destitute of such friends as him, and he was informed that the could grant him effectual aid, he is one, without the other, would not compelled to take up his abode in profit him. Some works on practhis asylum for the destitute. He tical religion were then left in his had imbibed deistical opinions, but hands, which he engaged faithfully says

that he finds them a wretched to peruse. He was then told, that support in the day of adversity. reading of the word of God and of

He requested me to furnish him | pious books, meditation and prayer,

FOR THE PRESBITERIAN MAGAZINE.

were the means of

grace,

which duced him to trouble them with this could never be effectual of them production.” He lets them know, selves, but were made so only by that at one period of his life, it was the power of God. In the use of his lot to get entangled in certain these means, therefore, he must look questions and speculations, which up unto him, and depend on him in his simplicity he supposed to bealone, to render them effectual unto long to the system of Christian docsalvation.

trine, and the settlement of which, he J. H. VAN COURT. imagined, to be indispensable to the Philadelphia, Nov, 12, 1821.

man who would preach the gospel correctly; and that this unfortunate

mistake had led him into distracHeviews.

tions, toils, and perils. No doubt the benevolent author, from “ the duty of love he owes these students of the

ology," or rather his “sense of perGENTLEMEN,

sonal duty, and his desire to acquit I have lately read with some at himself to himself,” will cheerfully tention, a new work, entitled “ The contribute all in his power, to preMediatorial Reign of the Son of

serve
these

young men from similar God,” &c.; and shall trouble you distractions, toils, and perils. with a few observations which oc In page 21, the author justly obcurred to me on perusing it.

serves, “ that the Christian church The author informs us, that he has often suffered fearful calamiwrote purposely for the use of Stu ties from the rashness and incomdents of Theology. No Christian petency of her sons." Now, that will hesitate for a moment, in agree he will be able, both to preserve the ing with the author, “ that these students of theology, from distracmen are an object of great interest tions, toils, and perils, and quiet the in the Christian church.” The love fears of the church against being of truth at all times powerfully in once more exposed by the rashness fluences its possessor. The truth, or incompetency of her sons, there as it is in Jesus, has a transforming is no reason to doubt, since he ininfluence upon all who savingly forms us that “he knew the gospel know it. It teaches them “to deny as well at fifteen, as he does now at ungodliness and worldly lusts, to fifty years of age; that he does not live soberly, righteously, and godly, know at this day one principle of in this present world. And when the Christian faith, which he did we find the advocates of that truth not know then,” notwithstanding exemplary in their lives for sobriety his entanglement in certain quesand practical godliness, we attend tions and speculations, and the disthe more readily to any new dis tractions, toils, and perils, into coveries they may have made in which his unfortunate mistake led the illustration of gospel doctrine, him. He declares, “he does not or in the detection of error.

come forward to propose discoveThe author in his dedication in ries in Christian theology: he has forms the students of theology, not a discovery in Christian theolo" that he owes them a duty of love,

This his Christian which he endeavours to discharge, readers ought carefully to keep in by putting into their hands the pre mind, lest they should be led to sent publication;" and further adds, draw a different conclusion, when “that it is in fact, rather a sense of meeting with such passages as these: personal duty, and a desire to ac “I have discovered in confessions, quit himself to himself, than any and creeds, and systems, &c. (he other consideration which have in. makes no exceptions) things which VOL. I.

4 B

gy to make."

I never could find in the Bible, and new idea is added to the common which I am sure are not to be found stock. in it,” p. 22. “They will wonder To us it does appear, notwithat me, that I cannot see that con standing, that there are some things fessions, &c. I shall wonder at exceptionable in this book, some of them, for not believing that these which we propose to notice. instruments are wedges of division; In page 48, two questions are that their necessary effect is to or proposed to the reader's very seganize society into factions of hos rious consideration : tility,” &c. p. 437. “The Augs “ I. Has Jesus Christ the power burg Confession, the Thirty-nine to verify his own commission, by Articles, and the Westminster bestowing on all mankind, that Confession of Faith, are the docu which he has commanded his minisments of my mother's degrada ters to offer them? tion,” &c. p. 446. .

“II. Is it the anxious desire and There are novelties not a few in wish of Jesus Christ, that all should the work under consideration. Ne obey him and be saved ?" vertheless we are not willing to ad It is evident that the author inmit that the author takes new tends to maintain the positive of ground every where, even when he both these questions. In p. 62, he would persuade us that he is main hints that the righteousness of taining doctrines denied by Cal Christ is capable of saving the revinistic writers, systems of divinity, probate. In p. 68, 69, he maintains &c. He seems to hold out the idea, by consequence, that there is remisthat the value of Christ's atonement sion of sin in the blood of Christ for is not sufficiently admitted, and more than the elect. This is but that the offer of the gospel is too skirmishing, however. In chapter much limited. We might, however, vii. and viii. he comes to close fightinquire, who of the reformers or ing, and directs all his artillery their successors ever refused, that against the doctrine that would there is an intrinsic worth, suffi confine Christ's atonement to the ciency, or merit, in the death of elect. He uses every argument in Christ, for the salvation of all men, his power, to prove that Christ proif it had been so determined by cured salvation for the whole huGod? Who ever denied that there man race; that his remedial rightis an indiscriminate, free, and un eousness is of the same extent, restricted offer of the gospel to be bounds and limits, as the transgresmade to sinners of mankind with sion of Adam : p. 91. In p. 70, he out exception, wherever the oppor asserts that election is no way contunity is afforded? It is appre nected with the merit of Christ's hended, that it would be difficult to atonement; and in p. 401 and 402, find any confession of faith, system he seems to be at a loss what to do of theology, or sound Calvinistic with election, and renews a queswriter, in which these things would tion, proposed in his Fiend of the be denied.

Reformation detected, « What is The author sums up all that he precisely the use which the sacred thinks he has proved through six writers make of the doctrine of chapters of his book, in “eight pro election ?” and complains that “not positions, or grand principles of one had paid the slightest attention gospel truth," p. 74, 75; and it to that question.” would be hard to point out any con The author inveighs with bitterfession of faith, or system of divinity ness against the use of logic, metaapproved by Calvinistic churches, physics, philosophy, and systematic that would contradict a single iota divinity, in theological discussions. contained in them. By them no

By them no Against metaphysics particularly

He repre,

fiend, emerging from the date ting at the but the thing is impossible chete

he wages eternal war.

the question of salvation away to sents this science as an “infernal something that is not salvation. We

therefore dismiss it. Erebus and old Night, croaking an But the thing is impossible. Let endless and unblest ditty,” p. 109. us put it to the test. Jesus Christ Yet, strange to tell, he draws large-purchased salvation for all men. ly on all these. Scarcely a page in What is salvation? I speak not of his book is found without employing every or any kind of salvation, but them.

of that salvation which was purIt is proposed to make some re chased by the Saviour of sinners. marks on the author's views in re This matter will be cleared by relation to the above subjects, and, if ferring to his name, Matt. i. 21: time permits, on some other sub “ And thou shalt call his name JEjects which he has discussed. sus, for he shall save his people

His two questions, p. 48: “Has from their sins.” Is this the reaJesus Christ the power to verify his son why the divine Redeemer shall own commission,” &c.-It would be called A Saviour, because he be necessary, first, to settle the shall save from sin? Then the salquestion, what is this commission ? vation which Jesus purchased is a Or what does Christ command his salvation from sin. Jesus Christ ministers to offer to all mankind ? purchased this for all men, that they Is it that Jesus Christ will save you, shall be saved from sin, whereas O sinner, embracing his salvation; some, yea many of them, shall die believing in his name? Without a in their sins. .Saved from sin, but single exception, the missionary of not saved from sin! The thing is the cross is authorized and com impossible. The salvation of our manded, to offer salvation to every Doctor will turn out the salvable sinner of Adam's family, to whom state of the Arminians at last.

may have access, assuring him, “ Has Jesus Christ the power to on the authority of his Lord and verify his commission, by bestowing Master, that thus believing, he shall on all mankind," &c.- Is this what be saved. Believe on the Lord will verify his commission ? If the Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be Lord Jesus Christ never gave a saved.” If this is the commission, commission to any man to make as we verily believe it is, what does such a declaration to sinners, as the author gain by proposing the that he had purchased salvation for question ? But this does not seem the final rejecters of that salvation, to be his view of the subject. If we how could the bestowing of it be a understand him rightly, he views it verifying of that commission? A thus: 0 sinner, Jesus Christ has commission is verified by the granpurchased salvation for you, whe ter of the commission furnishing ther you

receive it or not! To us the holder of it with sufficient dothis would appear both absurd and cuments to verify his powers, i. e. impossible. Absurd, inasmuch as to prove satisfactorily that he acit would then be a salvation that tually received such a commission. does not save! That purchased sal- Thus the Redeemer verified the vation, for the sinner not receiving commission given to his apostles, it, remains with the purchaser, en by enabling them, in his name, to tirely inefficient, and as to any pur

work miracles, as an irrefragable pose of salvation, he might as well proof that he had commissioned not have procured it. It may be

them. And thus his own commisanswered, however, that it may sion from his heavenly Father was serve for other purposes.

This verified : “ The same works that I would be one of the discarded me do bear witness of me that the Fataphysics. It would be a shifting ther hath sent me."

he

« PoprzedniaDalej »