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“ he could never do enough” to after many days, their labour in express his gratitude: thus the Lord shall be proved to be not strongly did he declare his own in vain," if they have not the hapunworthiness of God's favour. I piness to behold immediate suchad the pleasure to commit his cess. For this poor man was unmortal remains to the earth; and, questionably prepared, by the inin my mind, honoured them more, structions he had received when than I have those wbich have been young, for those, which, on his followed by a long train of mourn- death-bed, were given to him. Let ers, who, when in the body, lived all such, then, go to the good not. He had none, alas! in the work of educating the poor in faith of the Gospel to make la- Christian principles, with thanksmentation over him; and he needed giving; rejoicing to act the part of not any, for his death was his in- the good Samaritan; rejoicing in expressible gain; for, like La- the thought, that God, our Sazarus, I doubt not, long before he viour, may so bless their good had been introduced into the pre- counsels, that thereby the poor sence of his divine and all-gra- will find a solace in the midst of cious Saviour. Oh! what a change their sorrows, which will wipe has not this destitute man expe- away many a bitter tear, as rienced; from a workhouse passed they pass over the waves of this to a mansion in the heavens; and troublesome world; and be the for painful days and nights found means of rescuing them from derest to his poor body, and un- struction, and guiding them to the speakable rest to his immortal land of everlasting life: “ where soul : from having nothing, to the wicked cease from troubling, the possessing of all things! And and the weary are at rest;" and what encouragement does not this “where God will wipe away all case give to all who seek to rescue tears from their eyes." the young from destruction; “ for,
Who can suppress the flowing tear ?
Whilst faith exults without a fear?
Gone to the mansions of the blest,
Now thou art enter'd into rest?
Releas'd from all the storms of time,
In yon serene and blissful clime.
Thy long-lost parents now embrace,
The wonders of redeeming grace.
God for thine offspring shall provide,
On which thy faith did here confide.
Until we all shall meet above,
The wonders of Emanuel's love!
DIALOGUE BETWEEN TWO CLERGYMEN. James. It has given me no small James. Why, to say the truth, concern, my dear John, to find I have not enquired very deeply your name of late enrolled among into the subject. But these sentithe clergy commonly called Calvi- ments are so universally condemnnistic, or Evangelical. Am I to ed, that I have no doubt of their give credit to this report; or has it evil tendency. been raised by some enemy to your John. And are you sure, James, character, who takes this method that public opinion is a safe criteof stigmatizing the object of his rion by which to judge of the charesentment?
racter of religious doctrine? Do John. That my religious senti- you not know, that if we were to ments have lately, my dear James, abide by this tribunal, Christianity undergone a considerable change, itself must lose its title to our apis what I feel no disposition either probation ? The very language which to deny or conceal; and that the you now employ was once employchange in question is of such a na- ed with respect to Christianity :ture, as to make me liable to the “ As for this sect," said the Jews imputation you speak of, is, I think, to the Apostle, “ we know that it highly probable; but that it should is every where spoken against.” occasion either surprise or regret James. From which, I suppose, in the mipd of any one who pro- you mean to infer the identity of the fesses himself to be a clergyman of two things. the Church of England, is, in my John. Not exactly. The only mind, a striking evidence of human inference which I mean at present inconsistency.
to draw from the fact is, that a docJames. Your account of your trine may be true, and yet be sentiments, then, leaves me no room “every where spoken against," and to doubt of the truth of the report, that, consequently, your deference which, till this moment, I hoped to public opinion may lead to a remight be questionable. But why jection of the truth of God. you should think that, on my prin- James. But I do not mean that ciples, I ought not to regard it as my judgment is altogether decided matter of grief and astonishment, by public opinion; what I have I cannot possibly conceive.
heard of your doctrine satisfies me, John. For a very simple reason, that, in this instance, public opiJames. Because you have formal- nion is correct. As an instance of ly and solemnly pledged yourself the extravagance of your religious before God, and in the face of the' creed, I shall mention, in the first world, to maintain those very prin- place, the doctrine maintained by ciples, on account of which I am your sect; namely, that “ we are now branded with a title, which ap- saved by faith without works." pears to you so opprobrious.
John. Our sect! James. This James. What do you mean, John? is a language that surprises me. Surely you do not conceive it pos- Can you produce any evidence of sible, that I am in any way re- a disposition on our part to sepasponsible for principles which I rate from the Established Church, cordially detest.
and constitute ourselves into a disJohn. When you speak of Cal- tinct community? If so, let it be vinistic Clergy, I am not quite cer- produced, and we shall know how tain what you mean. But let me to defend ourselves; but if no such know, James, what the obnoxious evidence exists, let us not be chargtenets are, which you suppose I have ed with what we unanimously disembraced.
James. It is a common opinion ders of our Church were sober and among the class of people with rational divines, whose good sense • whom I associate, that your con- is a sufficient pledge to us of their nexion with the Establishment rejection of every thing that has a would be very easily dissolved; fanatical tendency. and, I confess, I agree with them John. Perhaps, James, it would on the subject.
be wiser to inquire than to presume, John. I hope to show you, James, in a case of so much importance. before we have done, that it is our You are considered, I know, as a strict adherence to the genuine prin- man of prudence in the business of ciples of the Establishment, that life; and you have acquired this has exposed us. to the odium of a character, from its being underclass of persons, who, at least on stood that you commonly avail this question, appear more ready yourself of the niost authentic to advance an accusation, than to sources of information in every afprove its truth.
fair of consequence in which you James. I make little account, are engaged. What is the reason John, of professions, unless they that you proceed so rationally in are supported by actions. While everything connected with your you unequivocally avow, and zea- secular interests, while you seem lously propagate, doctrines so dif- to abandon every sound principle, ferent from those of the Established in the management of those affairs Church, I can give very little cre- which relate to eternity? In matters dit to your declarations of attach- of eternal concernment, your lanment to that Church. Where does guage is, I take it for granted, and she in the least countenance the as- I presume. But, when did you sertion, that “ we are saved by ever take it for granted, when you faith without works?”
were going to lend a sum of money, John. I suppose, James, you that the security was sufficient; or have read the Articles and Homi- presume, when you were going to lies?
make a purchase, that the title was James. I believe I did once look good? into the Articles, but I cannot say James. I do not know, John, that I have any distinct recollec- what right you have to call me to tion of them. As for the Homi- an account for my conduct; nor lies, I cannot say that I have ever do I consider myself responsible seen them.
to you, or to any one else, for what John. It is possible then, James, I do. Every man has a right to that you may be censuring me for judge for himself. holding doctrines, which, as I be- John. This I freely admit, James. fore said, you had solemnly pledg- But you will observe, that you ed yourself to maintain ; for, as you were the first to violate your own confess your ignorance of the pub- maxim. lic standard adopted by our Church, James. When a man goes out of you must, of course, acknowledge the beaten track, as you have done, your ignorance of the agreement or he seems to forfeit his privilege; disagreement of my sentiments with and has no right to complain if he that standard.
is called upon to account for that James. I take for granted that singularity, which conveys a tacit our Church would never have censure upon the conduct of his adopted a standard of faith so much neighbour. at variance with public opinion, as Joha. Be it so, James. I do the sentiments are, which are com- not decline the investigation; on monly imputed to the Evangelical the contrary, I wish for it; and Clergy. I presume, that the foun. shall feel myself happy in affording DEC. 1823.
you all the satisfaction in my ed of God, so as to give them a power. The charge of “ preach title to heaven: but, James, so far ing faith without works” is one, from recognizing this notion as scripwhich I did suppose would prove tural, I assert, on the contrary, that a principal article in that accusa- the doctrine, " that we are justion which you were about to pre- tified by faith only, is a most fer against me; and I am prepared wholesome doctrine, and very full to meet the charge. There is a of comfort t." sense in which I admit the justice James. You have employed a of the allegation; and there is an- term that I do not well understand, other, in which I utterly deny it. in its theological sense. You speak I disclaim the doctrine in that sense of being “ justified.” in which the world means it should John. I mean by that, what I be understood, as subversive of think the Apostle meant:“Being acobedience; and I avow it in that counted righteous.” And you might sense in which it appears, what it have observed, that I used these really is, the only foundation of that terms before, as being of the same principle from which all practical import, when I said, “ We are acreligion flows, I mean LOVE. If counted righteous, only for the me· you believe the Scripture, that rit of our Lord Jesus Christ, by * LOVE is the fulfilling of the law,” faith 1. and that “ faith works by love," I James. I cannot agree with you. do not see that you need be afraid Faith is a very proper thing, but of our ascribing too much to something else is necessary to our faith.
acceptance with God. James. I suppose faith performs John. And do you object to my a very important affair in our salva- statement, that the doctrine of our · tion; but my objection is to your being “ justified by faith only, is a
doctrine of " faith without works.” most wholesoine doctrine, and very · John. Let me explain myself, full of comfort $ ?” and tell you what I do hold on this James. I do most heartily. Nor subject. I hold, “ that we are ac- can I see any comfort in it, except counted righteous before God, only a man chooses to deceive himself for the merit of our Lord Jesus with notions, which have no founChrist, by faith, and not for our · dation but in his own fancy. own works or deservings *.”
John. I am inclined to think, James. I admit that we are to be James, that your objection to this saved only through the merits of doctrine, of our being“ justified by Christ; but I do not acknowledge faith alone,” has a deeper root than that it is by faith only. Leave this you are aware of. It springs, if out, and I will agree to the rest. I am not mistaken, from your being
John. But, my dear friend, that ignorant of the condition of man as would be to leave out every thing a sinner; perhaps, therefore, it
upon which the whole controversy might be well for us to come to this · with the world hinges. Every one point, and see what we have to say
professing Christianity will acknow- upon a subject of such importance. ledge some obligation to Christ; Jomes. I have understood, that and, without hesitation, allow that you hold a strange opinion respecthis merits confer a value upon their ing the state of human kind: such works, which they would not other- a one, indeed, as, if true, would wise possess; and even admit, that make one almost wish to have bewithout the stamp of his name their longed to any other species of beperformances would not be accept- ings.
John. You moan, I suppose, the now become the image of the dodoctrine of “ original sin."
vil; instead of the citizen of heaJames. We all, you know, admit ven, he was become the bond-slave the doctrine; but it is to your re- of hell; having in himself no oné puted explanation of it that my ob- part of his former purity and cleanjection lies.
ness, but being altogether spotted John. That you may know what and defiled; insomuch that he now I do hold on this subject, James, I seemed to be nothing else but a will give you a full explanation of lump of sin; and therefore, by the my sentiments. I hold, that origi- just judgment of God, was connal sin " is the fault and corruption demned to everlasting death *.” of the nature of every man, that “ This so great and miserable a naturally is engendered of the off- plague fell not only on him, but spring of Adam, whereby man is also on his posterity and children very far gone from originál righte- for ever t." And to make the matousness, and is, of his own nature, ter quite plain, I would say, that inclined to evil; so that the flesh “man of his own nature is fleshly lusteth always contrary to tlie spirit; and carnal; corrupt and naught; and therefore, in every person born sinful and disobedient; without any into this world, it deserveth God's spark of goodness in him; without wrath and damnation.”
any virtuous or godly motion; only James. And do you mean, that given to evil thoughts and wicked all human beings are equally de- deeds." praved, and “ deserve God's wrath · James. I wish to ask you, once and damnation ?"
for all, why you choose to employ John. I was quite persuaded, this quaint phraseology in expressJames, that your objection to the ing your sentiments ? Is it the afdoctrine of justification by faith fected dialect of your party, that alone, had its root in your opinion you have adopted on principle? on the subject of original sin. On or does it arise from your confining this point, a difference of opinion your studies to the puritanical dimust preclude agreement on all the vines, whose style is consecrated leading doctrines of divine revela- in your eyes, as the only fit vetion: I wish, therefore, to be ex- hicle for the conveyance of these plicit on the subject, that there may precious doctrines? Whatever may be no room for misapprehension. be the cause of this peculiarity, I I conceive, that“ of ourselves, and can only say that it is very offenby ourselves, we have no good- sive; and that I wish you would ness, help, or salvation; but, con- dispense with it in your conversatrariwise, sin, damnation, and death tion with me. everlasting*.”. Allow me to add, John. I must request your inin further explanation of my senti- dulgence, James, on this subject, ments, that Adam's change of cir- for the present; and I hope to be cumstances, after his fall, was such, able, before we have done, to sathat, “ as before he was blessed, tisfy you as to the reason of that so now he was accursed; as be- which now offends you. Allow fore he was loved, so now he was me, therefore, James, to proceed abhorred; as before he was most expressing' myself in the same kind beautiful and precious, so now he of language that I have hitherto was most vile and wretched in the employed, though it should appear sight of his Lord and Maker. In- to you old-fashioned. But, if you stead of the image of God, he was have any objection to it, on the
ground of obscurity, I should feel * Homily on the Misery of Man-20 Part.
* Homily. † Ibid.