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with the ruin of all his genuine sentiments. The Stoic imagines himself to have gained a point of speculation so elevated, as to enable him to overlook the laws and order of the moral world; and having ascertained that the principle upon wbich the movements of human life are constructed, is notbing but a fraud, he descends among the realities of his condition, with the deterinination no longer to be cheated into a complianee with the primary impulses of bis nature. He feels himself released from the burdensome belief in the connexion between the means and the end, at least so far as human agency is concerned ; and having wholly abandoned the lower ground of action and passion, he retires to the height from whence be can, undisturbed, contemplate the revolutions of eternal fate. Foolish and cowardly man! To escape from the laws of his being, he has persuaded himself into the perpetration of a suicide upon his moral life : henceforward, he walks the world, the mere spectre of humanity.
In using the phrase Intellectual Quietism, we had it in view to advert, in the way of comparison, to the scheme of Sentimental Quietism, or Mysticism. Both systems are alike opposed to religious indifference. We have not now to do with the opinions of those who have felt nothing of the powers of the world to come, whose devotion is adequately expressed by any formula of external observances, and whose anxieties for the future are easily allayed by a scrupulous attention to such observances. Both systems are, again, alike opposed to that active pride which crushes the incipient alarms of the conscience by abridging Revelation at once of all those facts upon which its efliciency depends.
So far as both systems may be considered as an evasion of realities, and a contrivance for the production of a factitious and inactive happiness, they are, also, alike opposed to the scheme which excites the mind to labour upon the stock of its own resources, and to seek tranquillity in the restlessness of the active powers, and which scheme is accordingly distinguished, in a theological view, by its deficiencies in those points which are erroneously supposed to abate the stimulating tufluence of more favourite positions.
It is the uniform characteristic of error, that, in some di. rection, it protects the present condition of human pature, and under the pretence of restoration, presents a distorted image of its original glory.
With the Mystic, the active powers, and the affections which are the springs of those powers, become gradually enfeebled by the overgrowth of the imagination, and the luxuriancy of those sensibilities that are the most immediately within its influence. With the Antinomian, these active powers are palsied at once
under the touch of withering speculation. The passiveness of the Mystic, is that of expectancy and settled desire; that of the Antinomian, is the hopeless, fearless resting upon the validity of a reversion : besides, the latter is jealous of desire, of hope, of fear, lest they should dissolve the charm upon which depends his tranquillity. The eye of the Mystic is directed upward; he loses the recollection of himself in gazing upon the objects which have engrossed his imagination. The Antinomiad, pitched, in his own conceit, upon the very pinnacle of contemplation, looks down, and looks around; he blesses himself, and admires his good fortune; and the unvaried recurrence to this survey, is that part alone of his experience, which he can allow to be reasonable. The Mystic is more separated from his fellows in fact, than in feeling ; he is seduced to retire from the haunts of men, by the engrossing influence of self-pleasing habits, as well as by the morbid refinement of his tastes. The Antinomian is more isolated in feeling than in fact : while he dives among men, he is disjoined from them by the paralysis of the expansive affections. It might be added, that Mysticism is the dream of the twilight of evangelical truth ; Antinomianism is the rioting in the broad day-light of that truth : the former bas constituted the redeeming article of Popery; the latter is the damning sin of Protestantism.
We design presently to direct the attention of our readers, to some of the many secovdary and extrinsic causes, the operation of which may be traced in the production of Antinomianism; but we must add something by way of illustrating the uniformity and consistency of its details as a system of evasion.
When Divine revelation has produced its first effect, that of instructing man in the real nature of his present condition ; when he perceives himself to be standing upon a mere shelf, which the tides of time are ceaselessly undermining, and from which, when at length it fails, he must plunge into the ocean of immortal ruin; that primary law, the desire of well-being, agitates bim with emotions under whose operation it is impossible he should rest. The voice from above calls to him to leave without delay his perilous position, and it points to a way of escape ; the suggestion of his own breast is, to remain where he stands, and to seek for pleas by which to allay his first apprehensions. The more nearly these pleas are assimilated to the light he has obtained, the more certain will be their success in producing a fatal tranquillity.
What, then, are those points of Divine truth, which Antinomianism selects, and to which it gives an exclusive prominence? It is hardly necessary to reply, that they are those in which man is, immediately, but the spectator of movements to whicla his own agency is related by a more remote implication,
points, which it is easy so to present, as to keep entirely out of sight even that implication. Grant, for the sake of argument, that the secret of Antinomianism is the endeavour to cheat men into a forgetfulness of their own moral condition, and what more probable means could it adopt, than the engrossing of the attention wi h these sublime bui remote objects? The system moves, indeel, upon a narrow line; to secure its object, it must present the truths of religion with exactly that degree of force, which shall sufficiently interest and stimulate the intellect, and detain the faculties in a state of luxurious abstraction, and at the same time, provide such counter-working principles as shall arrest the progress of those truths, when they would touch upon the springs of the active powers.
The economic relations and engagements of the Divine Persons, in the scheme of human redemption, the eternity, sovereignty, and infallibility of the Divine counsels, the vicarious work of the Redeemer, the mystical union of believers with Him; these are the glorious and precious truths which are too often employed to open a way into the hearts of pious but illinstructed persons, for the dotings of Antinomianism; while, perverted from their true design, in a deranged and distorted forin, they are detained before the intellectual sight, as the apparatus of a vast and pleasing spectacle. With respect to some of these doctrines it may be observed, that since they are but hinted to us by the inspired writers, in the style of reserved intimation, and only so far as they stand related to Christian experience, the mere circumstance of their being made the topics of disproportionate and exclusive expatiation, suficiently betrays the presence of some sinister influence, while the nature of the truths so selected and distinguished, suggests the specific character of that influence. As to those of the above mentioned truths to which this remark does not apply, we are forward to acknowledge that they contain the very essence of the Gospel, and that so long as they are stated with the unsystematic simplicity of Scripture, it is not possible they should occupy too prominent a place in the regards of the Christian, or the instructions of the Pulpit. Such are the glory and the excellency of these doctrines, such is their adaptation to the spiritual wants of men, such their almighty efficacy, through the teachings of the Spirit, to renovate the heart, that, though they be loaded with the frightful productions of ignorance, extravagance, and fanaticism, they are still accompanied, to a greater or less extent, by those genuine and excellent fruits which the most laboured and plausible schemes of human devising have ever failed to imitate. `Indeed, we think cases might be adduced, in wbich effects more fatal to the interests of genuine piety, have followed a scarcely palpable deficiency and falling off in the prominence given to these truths,
than from the prevalence, to some extent, of the incoherent additions and dangerous perversions of Antinomianism. But we proceed to advert to some of these additions and perversions.
It will not be imagined, that within the limits to wbich we are confined, we should attempt any formal refutation of the positions to which we may advert; our aim includes merely such a reference to them, as shall illustrate their uni ori tendency to counteract the design of Christianity as a system of excitements, addressed ultimately, not to the imagination, or the understanding, but to the springs of the moral life, with a view to its renovation, in the place of which renovation Antinomianism is adapted to substitute a simple change in the apprebensions of the mind.
They are powerful and quickening emotions which accompany the Christian's retrospection of bis recent condition as an enemy to the Divine Majesty, a subject of the curse, exposed to his righteous displeasure; in a word, “ a child of wrath even as others." They are, in fact, emotions quite inconsistent with a state of supine complacency and indulgent abstraction. In proportion to the sense be entertains of the happiness of being brought nigh to God, and justified freely by his grace, will be the trembling gratitude with which he looks back upon the danger he has escaped, and the anxiety with wbich be will shun whatever might cast a doubt upon the evidence of his safety. But if the Christian be prohibited from contemplating himself in any other light than in that of the eternal purpose of Sovereign Grace,--if he can forget that a relation can have no actual existence independent of both its objects,--that whatever relates to a creature, must, exactly so far as that relation extends, belong also to Time,-if he can imagine that the purpose of bestowing eternal life obliterates in the Divine apprehension the very distinction between sin and holiness,-if, in a word, he can persuade bimself that an intelligible idea, answering to some reality, is conveyed by the terni Eternal Justification,-il, we say, the Christian can do all this, and think of himself as in the same sense, and degree, the object of the Divine complacency, before as after luis conversion, he is at once relieved from all the troublesome and stimulating emotions above referred to. He is indeed saved, but he was never lost ; rescued, but he was never in danger. · Ilow can he mock his convictions by attempting or professing to derive any considerable motive or sentiment from the recollection of a transient, an insignificant, an inconsequential accident of wbich he has been the subject ?
But further : Transactions which we can attach in idea to eternity, though they may acquire a nominal increase of importance from the association, will ever excite an interest less sensible than those which belong to the kind of duration with which our feelings are familiar. If the idea of an Eternity to come, has the power of producing a profound impression, it acquires it in proportion as we indulge ourselves in thinking of Eternity as the perpetual repetition of Time. But of an Eternity past, (if we may use an expression so improper, we are absolutely incapable of forming any conception. No human mind, we imagine, ever rests upon the idea beyond the duration of a glance. The understanding feels itself touching painfully upon the boundary of its powers, and an involuntary revulsion takes place. It is true, that the great truths of the Christian scheme rest their foundations in this unfathomable abyss. The Christian gazes downward for a moment, to ascertain the stability of his hopes; it is with the bare inference alone which he thence derives, that his feelings are concerned. It appears then, that in transferring the interesting fact of our being justified before God, from its place in time, (and that a time quite within reach of our feelings, to a gone-by eternity, we at once remove it beyond the distance at which it can excite any emotion inconsistent with that artificial tranquillity which it is the object of Antinorianism to secure. To this vast and vague idea is, as it were, committed the custody of every object whose propinquity might disturb the musings of the religious Intellectualist.
But the main and central article of Antinomianism, is certainly the doetrine of Imputed Sanctification, in opposition to inherent boliness, and progressive renovation. We might, indeed, very justly abstain from dignifying this assumption, with the title of a doctrine, at least if this term be supposed to imply a proposition susceptible of some intelligible explication, and supported by some legitimate evidence. It does not enter into our present design, to dwell upon the open and fearless contrariety of this position to the obvious design of Revelation, to the uniform tenour and to the express declarations of Scripture, nor upon its entire want of even the colour of support from a single passage of the Divine word. Neither shall we insist upon its manifest adaptation to the wishes and the fears of the licentious, standing, as it does, surrounded with the sanctions of Religion, proffering the right hand of aid to every abomination, while with the left it stretches forth the shield of impunity. We pass all these topics, and having granted, what we think the facts of the case demand, namely, that a view to this practical abuse is not the true source of the principle, we ask, Whence, but from the determination to cut off from religion all connexion and interference with realities, can arise this monstrous violence against Soripture, reason, and conscience; this outraging of common sense, and Christian feeling, up to a point which it actually stagnates the faculties to contemplate?' Is there not here most satisfactorily betrayed the operation of some sovereigo