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Jesus for salvation, for this is the act of faith, hath everlasting life.My poor girl was acquainted with one whom the world despises. She knew him, whom to know is life eternal. What is his name? said M- His name is Jesus.'
The points of doctrine discussed, are the mystical union between Christ and his Church, and the Election of Grace.
• In the receiving these truths into her heart by the power of the Holy Ghost, (the old man remarks), my dear Mary found that peace which passeth all understanding-believing the record which God gave of his Son, she saw herself
one with him in him pardoned-in him justified-in him complete-in him perfect. But how, continued M-, could she know all this? The faith of my daughter, replied the old man, was a very simple one--Mary's creed was drawn not from the systems of man, but from the word of God.-Reading the Bible one day she came to this verse- _." All that the Father giveth me shall
come to me; and him that cometh, I will in no wise cast out''then, said she, is my soul saved--for Jesus, to whom can I go buť unto thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life—where can I look for pardon but to thy blood? where can I look for acceptance but to thy righteousness ? - Lord, 1 come, and thou wilt not cast me out-no, thou sayest_it, thou wilt in no wise cast me out-nay-thou hast spoken it, Lord, and thou canst not cast me out. Had some one gone to her bed-side, and told her to take comfort in herself-in her holy desires-in her spiritual affections—in her past life-Miserable comforter! she would have said, -No-Jesus is my comfort-my salvation-my hope my life—my all. He is my peace—it is not self, but Jesus --it is not my work but his work- it is not my righteousness but his righteousness-It is not my holiness but his holiness which can give my soul rest. And yet, stranger, let me say that Mary received the truth, not in word only, but in power and in the Holy Ghost. As far as man can judge of the faith of another by outward conduct, her's was indeed the faith of God's elect. In her life and conversation she appeared to adorn the doctrine of God her Saviour.' pp. 89–96.
That activity, intellectual and moral, which commonly distinguishes a nascent party, and which gives it so much advantage over the adherents of long-established forms, generates an impatience of the antiquated phraseology, even where precisely the same thing is intended to be expressed. Indeed, whoever thinks for bimself, in doing so, must receive a strong impression of that inadequacy and confusion which are the inseparable imperfections of language as the vehicle of thought; and it is hard if he do not imagine that he can invent a system of terms, much more closely allied to his conceptions, than that which he finds in common use ; at least, better adapted to prove to others, that he has bimself made an excursion into the world of things, and has brought back something which had been overlooked by other men. These novelties, however, will not fail to give offence, and occa
sion debate : debate, while it widens external separation, seldom fails to produce in the minds, at least, of the more acute disputants. a secret conviction that absolutely nothing but an unmeaning phrase, preserves both parties from the mortification of a confessed agreement. This consciousness, we believe, too often urges the aggressor to fit up a doctrine that shall be a solid something, to prevent his great point from crumbling into ashes, which, once upon the ground, neither ingenuity nor zeal shall be able to gather up again.
The greatest prudence, delicacy, and forbearance are therefore called for, in handling the nero coinage of a rising and active party. We should often be disposed to waive a strictly theological discussion of the propriety of particular terms; and, to those who use thein as if their salvation depended upon their incessant iteration, make an appeal of this kind. If our opinions are the opinions of ibe Apostles, if we think as they thought, if we cannot pretend to any further insight into the mystery of Redemption than they enjoyed, can we not be content to express ourselves nearly as they expressed themselves ? for although much may very properly be said, which does not occur in so many words in the Bible, surely, upon the most essential doctrines of religion, which passed from the pens of the sacred. writers under almost every possible form of direct and allusive expression, there can be no necessity for the perpetual recurrence to phrases which not only do not occur in Scripture, but are manifestly of a different stamp from any thing we there meet with : not only the words are not the same; the style is not the same; the direct impression produced by them, is of a different kind.
Let this test be applied to some system allowed on both sides to be anti-scriptural. Let us listen to the devotions, so called, of a Socinian assembly, or take up at random a merely hortatory passage from the writings of this party. Previous to all discussion, is it not manifest and flagrant, that these persons find it impossible to express their views, and their feelings, in the terms which sufficed to-which were selected as the most significant, from the stores of a very copious language, by-the first teachers of Christianity? Is it not most apparent, that when writers of this class relieve themselves from the toil of perpetually outraging honest words, and, like honest men, express themselves naturally, and in their own language, their style is not more foreign to that of the Apostles, than are the dialogues of Plato, or the Shasters of the East i a style, indeed, which may well excuse him who employs it, from the reproach of the Cross; for who would say to such a one,“ surely thou also art ope of "them, for thy speech bewrayeth thee?"
Like causes produce like effects : where the faith is aban
doned, the idiom of the Bible is relinquished; where the faith, though essentially retained, is distorted, strange phrases, which shock the ears of the simple and uninitiated, which delight the shallow by their appearance of paradox, which, from their ambiguity, are the fit instruments of the designing in leading astray the unstable to their own destruction, and whichi, some of them, seem contrived to tempt the licentious to the most horrible abuse,--such terms, we say, are introduced; they become the form and the matter of all discourse, they are placed in the focus of choice sentences, they are considered as containing the very essence of Gospel truth, and do, to a great extent, supersede those “ sound words which the Holy Ghost teacheth.” Of what then is such a state of things the sign and symptom? We think it is the infallible symptom of a human corruption of Divine Revelation. What we say of phrases unauthorized by the inspired writers, is, of course, applicable to the constant employment of Scripture terms, in a sense obviously different from that in which they are used where they occur; and even to the very disproportionate and exclusive use of such terms in their proper
For the present, we must leave it with those of our readers who have had opportunities of becoming acquainted with facts to judge, how far these remarks are appropriate to the case of those among us, who are loudly and unremittingly laying claim to an exclusive knowledge of the Gospel, those with whom, according to their own account, wisdom shall die,--the favoured Israel, dwelling in the Goshen of our land.
We have already spoken in commendation of the little volume before us, and, had we known nothing of the state of parties, or the name and religious connexions of the writer, a few objectionable expressions which it contains, might have passed us almost unnoticed : it is as samples, as symptoms, that they arrest our attention. Neither indeed are they at all of that offensive class that would call for a severe reprehension; and we refer to them chiefly for the sake of enabling the pious Author, if he be so disposed, to follow up and improve the hint we have suggested. Where, tben, in the Bible, we would ask, is sin called an unpardonable thing? or what is the use of so calling it, unless it be to amuse the vulgar with a paradox? The pardon of sin, is the separation of the consequence from its cause-of punishment from offence. The Gospel exhibits to men the wonderful expedient by means of which this disjunction may be effected, and yet God be just-that is, to Himself; and it declares that he is a God pardoning iniquity, and passiny by transgression. (p. 26.) Believers are indeed spoken of in the Bible, as being made righteous in Christ; and we read of the chastisement of their peace being upon Him;
but where do we hear of their enduring the punishment of sin in him? Christ made his soul an offering for sin. He was made sin, that is, a sin-offering, and he endured the curse; but it is only by putting an unusual sense upon words, that it can be said without blasphemy,' that we were not more sinful than he was
sinful in God's sight.' (p. 89.) At page 55, the Old Man professes his conviction, that' election is a inost urful act of God's
sovereignty.' "There is a sense, indeed, in which all the acts of Him who is “ fearful in praises, doing wonders," are uuful; but we suspect Mr. Evans had something more than this general idea in his mind in employing the epithet. If he had not, we recommend him to study more precision in his language; if he had, and intended to involve in the minds of his readers the doctrine of a sovereign election of grace, with that truly anful consideration, the final perdition of ungorily men, with which the sovereign acis of God have exactly as much to do as has the sun with the darkness of midnight ;--if this be the case, we must very strongly recommend bim to reconsider some important points of theology, which, we fear, exist in a very crude shape in his mind, lest, in speaking of the Divine character and ways, he be chargeable with “ not speaking of Him the thing that is “right."
Any remarks we might make upon the vehicle Mr. E. has chosen for the communication of his sentiments, would apply to his performance only in common with a host of recent publications. We view with unmixed displacency the every day increasing influence of the spirit of trade, and the counsels of traders, over the minds of authors. The state of things, in fact, seems to be such, that those who know what will sell, seem to be convinced that if a man wishes to be read beyond a subscription circle, even though it be on the gravest topics of religion, he has little chance, unless be dress up what he has to say in ' fine • summer evenings,'' venerable grey-headed old men, and interesting-looking females ;' and all this will hardly do without the set-off of some silly frontispiece. In truth, it not unfrequently happens to us in the exercise of our critical duties, to have a thing put into our hands, of which, after turning it about in all directions, we feel at a loss to decide whether it would be most appropriately denominated a book, or a toy;' and even when our clemency has induced us to let the article pass upon our table in virtue of its claim to the former appellation, we are often yet more perplexed to determine whether it should be considered as addressed to babes, or to men. Should these frequent instances be assumed as indicative of the state of the public mind, they would certainly argue a high degree of feebleness and frivolity ; but we are unwilling to believe, what seems indeed implied in the practice of many useful writers, that in addressing men and women, of any class, it is really necessary, or really desirable, to tickle their ears, and lure their eyes with tales and pictures. Art. V. Letters, descriptive of a Tour through some Parls of France,
Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, in 1816 : with incidental Reflections on some Topics connected with Religion, By John Sheppard. 8vo. pp. 353. Price 95. 1817.
of kuowledging it may well be doubted whether an additional description of scenes now become so familiar to English readers, and even to English eyes, is not altogether superfluous. And we need not say how obviously reasonable beforehand is such a doubt, supposing any material novelty to be indispensable to authorize such an addition to the recent prodigious invasion of books of travels on the Continent. The question would be, what peculiarity can it be on the strength of which this one more, so late in the crowded train of tourists, expects our attention to his description of that wbich a score of them have been describing ?We can answer this question for the present traveller. He is distinguished by one or two circumstances of very rare occurrence in his class.
First, he manifests, uniformly, an admirable candour and im. partiality. This is especially conspicuous in his observations on matters involving politics,-a ground on which it is found so peculiarly difficult to maintain any such virtues. It should seem that by some magical rite, which he would have done well to explain or describe, he divested himself, about the time of setting sail at Brighton, of all the temper, prejudices, and resentments of party,- for we may fairly deem it impossible that, as an Englishman, he could previously have been without them. In his judgements and censures be seems to have no recollections but of the pure principles of justice, constituted upon a temperate theory of liberty. If we were asked whether there are absolutely no faint traces, affording momentary hints of the party to which he belonged before the rite of emancipation, we might perhaps answer, that the very moderate tone in which he pronounces his not unfrequent accusatory observations on the characters and proceedings of sovereigns,' to adopt the term just now in vogue, bas sometimes suggested a suspicion to us that he may have been of that party who systematically judge favourably of this class of human creatures and actions. We should at least think it impossible he can have been any thing of the nature of what is palled a Jacobin.
That nationality of spirit, too, which some of our counirytren make it a matter of pride and boast to have preserved in violate