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come to perceive their similarity. Suppose such a perception to be arrived at, not by a logical process, but by prayer and moral earnestness; and that we thus obtain an instant, firm, and warranted persuasion, that God who made the heart, also made the Book that is so well adjusted to it. Here there is no room for imagination; we only see what was there before. is not with illusions, but with realities, that we have to do. And we believe, that in all ages, Christians have been formed in this way; and the conversion of a Greenlander, instead of being fanatical and enthusiastic, is identically the same process as that of an Archbishop Fenelon. There is an intelligent sympathy between Christians in all parts of the globe.
The evidence is valid at every step. Suppose we see a land across the sea ; we apply a telescope ; and the objects we then behold are not fancies; for all who use it see the same things, which have started into sudden, but sure observation. But suppose a landscape sketched in sympathetic ink, and requiring the application of a chemical reagent, in order to make it distinguishable. If, on applying this reagent, we see an exact copy of the prospect we had previously beheld through the telescope, the conclusion is irresistible, that he who drew the one, had his eye on the other. But this is not more sound than the conclusion, that the resemblance between the outer and the inner tablet indicates, that the Maker of the one was the writer of the other, and thus brings out the secrets of the mechanism Himself had formed.
It may be thought, that by this species of internal evidence, there is nothing gained in addition to what is furnished by the kinds previously discussed.* It should be considered, however, that though it might be said—“We do not see why some man may not have written a book wonderfully adapted to the human heart;" yet that the truth should be thus peculiarly made known, and in a way laid down in the Book itself, imparts to it a peculiar impress of the Deity. Many passages point to this great event at the outset of the Christian life; and should this event happen to any individual, this accordance between the Book and the most interesting part of his history, constitutes a powerful coincidence. It does not tell what is in you, but what will befall you; not what you possess, but a part of your future history; and thus the divination resolves itself into a prophecy. This proof is most effective to yourself; and, when multiplied through all Christendom, furnisbes a strong argument for the reality of our faith. Such a general evidence, however, it would not be easy to collect; and therefore it is fortunate that this evidence brightens along the path of the individual himself. There is a busy interchange going on, between what he finds, and what the Book says. Hence he feels the same confidence in his Book, as he would in some prophet, who had predicted the events of his history. It does not say merely what is, but what will be in the successive stages of the road to heaven; and, in all the coincidences which time discloses, he finds increasing evidence for the truth of a Volume, which reaches not only to the penetralia of his character, but also to the events of his coming life. This is indeed an accumulating evidence. His belief is not fanaticism, but true philosophy
We well remember the antipathy to missions entertained by many, who averred that they could not succeed for want of miracles. They thought another pentecost was necessary, and would have had us await it in mystic quietism, thus falling into the weakest enthusiasm of expecting more miracles. We are sanguine as to the success of missions, but we do not think miracles will appear again; for the system has within itself sufficient evidence to accredit it, wherever it may go. Both for peasants at home and heathens abroad, there are the same means of conversionThe manifestation of truth to the conscience.
Conscience, or the faculty of distinguishing the morally good from the morally
. The first kind of internal evidence is the accordance between what the Bible says we are, and what we feel ourselves to be. The second is the accordance between what the Bible offers as a remedy, and what we feel that we require. The third is the accordance between what the Bible says will happen to its disciples, and what they experience in themselves as actually happening. See “ Dr. Chalmers, on the Experimental Evidences of Christianity,” and on “ Scriptural Divination," in the “ Evangelical Register” for March and May, 1841; Nos. 137 and 139; pages 89 and 177 of the present Volume.
bad, is universal among mankind. This is a peculiarity belonging to all countries and conditions of humanity. There is a morality, which is recognised by all, and which has a place in the vocabulary of every language. Go to any tribe, and tell them of right and wrong, and you have one ground on which they understand you. But conscience does not exist alone; there will be a notion, more or less vivid, of the Sovereign who placed it there. The moral vision does not terminate in a sense of right and wrong, but in the belief of a God dispensing rewards and punishments. This is the theology of nature, and is far stronger than that of the schools. It is a mistake to suppose it is not universal, or that it can be stifled. It was not wanting amid the polytheism of the Greeks and Romans; nor is it among the tribes of the desert, for it appears in their invocation to the Great Spirit. There is a felt harmony between the conscience of the savage and the serion of the missionary; there is a ground on which the most polished inissionary from Europe may hold converse with the rudest tribe of the desert. It is a great proof of a man's wisdom, if he makes known to me what I feel to be the constitution of my mind ; and such proofs may be so multiplied, as to fix my conviction of their emanating from superhuman sagacity. Conscience can see the honesty, worth, simplicity and perfect sacredness of the story; and that all about it is in keeping with its professed origin. It can see when the proofs are so multiplied as to evince its descent from a God of wisdom and holiness.
You will now understand what is meant by " the self-evidencing power of the Bible ;” an evidence that may be addressed to men in every quarter of the globe.
The revelation of the Spirit gives a perfect understanding of the Word. He opens our eyes, but it is to behold wondrous things out of God's law. He taketh away the veil from our hearts, and we behold what is within and what is without the record, and become alive to the adjustments between them. There is no direct announcement from the Spirit, no voice or vision ; but the light of the Bible is now made visible on the tablet of the heart, now made luminous. The subject of this change may remember the day when he never saw his own deficiencies or the perfection of God's law ; but now he feels the need and preciousness of a Saviour, and to him this change forms an important evidence of the truth of revelation.
This subject is closely connected with missionary enterprises.* We have a Bible, which can be multiplied, and sent to every person ; we have a conscience to respond to it in all ; we have the influence of the Spirit in answer to prayer; and with these we have sufficient for the great, but possible enterprise of evangelizing the globe.
We ask clergymen, what mode of instruction they have found most productive of conversions. Was it a series of lectures on the deistical controversy, or on the demonstrations of Butler? Was it an argument about the Book, or something in the Book? The humblest Christians have “ a reason for the hope that is in” themt; and if you examine their scanty library, you will find boks, not on the historical argument, but on the subject matter of the Bible. By a constant interchange between their consciences and the Bible, their religion is sustained. This upholds the Christianity of ploughmen and artificers; a Christianity founded, not on imagination, but on sound faith, derived from internal evidence.
A Proverb MISAPPLIED.—The world talk of “ taking care of number one;" but in the deeper view of things, they are neglecting “ number one” altogether.“ Common Sense” (Religious ?ract Society).
* See “ Dr. Chalmers on the Philosophy of Missions," and "on the Triumph of Missions,” in the "Evangelical Register” for April and December 1838 ; Vol. x. pp. 145 and 503. See also his Works Vol. iv. pp. 205 10 212, and Vol. xii. pp. 49 to 67.
+ 1 Peter iii. 15.
SECTION II. Mr. Editor,-Your readers, no doubt, will easily remember the fresh subject which was introduced in your last number under this head; and being merely mentioned in that, it was then left for future discussion. Consequently we shall here, in humble dependence on Divine grace, renew our consideration of it. The subject was to this effect:-the propriety of urging evangelical repentance upon the unconverted portion of our Christian audience; Gospel ministers being prohibited from doing so, by those who are denominated Antinomians. Now the
philanthropic and sainted Wilberforce, in his Practical View of Christianity, says, that “ there is in fact a region of truth and a region of errors." And we readily admit, that this is by no means a vague assertion, but it contains in it a truisin that cannot be contravened ; and in accordance with this significant figure, employed by that noble minded writer, we might suppose this appellation-Antinomianism, to be the name of a promontory belonging to the region of errors, and the subject under our notice one of its barren fields, or rather one of the perilous quagmires that abound in that sickly and miry country. Or we may conceive it to be the name of a high mountain in the region alluded to, and our present subject some of the prickly gorse, that may be growing on the furzy sides of that imaginary hill; or rather, some of the fruitless heaths that cover its chilly summit, which force themselves through the hard surface of its cold soil, notwithstanding all the inclemency of weather generally prevalent in such unwholesome regions. But to return to the metaphor originally employed in the exordium to this antidote. There is a great variety of monsters to be met with in the doctrinal districts of the religious world; and the above designation might very justly be taken as the name of one of the most distinguished of that species, and the error which we are about to refute as one of its chief offspring, which bears a considerable resemblance to its unlovely and unnatu
But we must desist from ilealing in knotty comparisons, and aim to make our pen to yield plain language, to produce transparent sentences instead of dark say. ings-sentences that have proceeded from a thinking mind, flowing through the medium of a quill to our paper; and not those that appear as if they were hazel fruit, gathered by an effort, and presented to your readers for the purpose of giving them an opportunity of using their nutcrackers, that they may clear away the rust that that instrument may have generated by disusage, or damp, or any other cause; we must still further divest our pen of its figurative drapery, and endeavour to make its humble production to set forth truth more plainly and in its full bearing-to set it forth in its three-fold aspect, namely-doctrinal, experimental, and practical. We are fully aware, however, that some readers have a peculiar aversion to this method of treating the subject ; some of them relish only the doctrinal feature of truth, while they gladly lose sight of the other two. And surely such persons might be resembled to a silly master builder, who contents himself with finding a good foundation, yet builds not upon it. Some one is ready to ask, And will such an individual derive any benefit from his discovery? We would answer, None at all, unless he proceeds to rear the superstructure, and unless bydiligence and perseverance, having sought aid from the proper quarter, he beholds at length the edifice completed and beautified. There is another class of readers ;-yea, hearers too, that might be resembled to one, that spares himself the trouble of digging for a foundation, but presumes to build on the sand or loose earth ; and by and by, as his fabric rises, he beholds it, to his utter astonishment, cracking into fissures, and eventually falling into ruins. And as we are building now for eternity, oh ! how necessary it is to seek for the Rock of ages to be underneath us;- a foundation, that will stand immoveable in the day of the greatest storm, and one that will endure when all others will have to yield to the alarming effects of the universal wreck. Yes, as there is a fiery trial approaching, it is of the utmost importance, to guard against placing in our building "wood, hay, and stubble,” that we may not suffer loss in the great and notable day of the Lord; for Paul says, “ By the Spirit every man's work shall be made manifest, for the day shall declare it; because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he bath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire”.(1 Cor. iii. 13--15).
Now before we come to our subject, we may insert here a short anecdote, which will bear considerably on the contents of our last paragraph-an anecdote which is ascribed to the venerable Matthew Wilks, the predecessor of Dr. Campbell, the present minister of the Tabernacle, in Moorfields; who, from the sphere in which he moved, was necessarily brought in contact with a great variety of characters, some wishing this thing, and others that; some knowing not what they wished; and some disliking to hear from the pulpit so much on practical truths, and others on doctrinal, discovering such a dissimilarity of tastes. He said one day to his congregation, “ I intend at present to give you as usual a mixture of doctrine, experience and practice; these I am not allowed to separate; for what God bath joined together, let not man put asunder, saith my Bible. And indeed, suppose that we were to advance from the pulpit all doctrine, our hearers then would become all heads; or suppose we were to give nothing but experience, then our hearers would be all hearts : or suppose that we were to advance all practice, then you would be all hands. In that case, what awkward people you would be!” Now this anecdote carries in it a considerable degree of force and meaning. We may rest assured on this, that the preaching, and reading too, that will do good is that kind, whereby the head, the heart, and the hands are conjointly addressed; the first enlightened, the next affected, and the third roused to a holy activity. The man that has his head full of scriptural light, his heart full of Divine love and holy zeal, and his hands full of good works, is the man that exhibits the full figure of what a Christian ought to be; and this is the man that obeys the command of the Saviour, when He said, “ Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven”--(Matt. v. 16).
Let us at length assume the distinct point under discussion. And our first effort inust be to explain what is meant by the term, repentance. And thus we shall remove the obstacles that may present themselves in our way, to execute our proposed work fully and effectively. But here we must promise, that in giving a definition of repentance, we shall endeavour to bear distinctl; in mind the chief design of these observations, while the utmost brevity shall be attended to ; although to condense is much more difficult than to enlarge or such a topic as this, which would much better befit a long discourse, than an epistle or an essay. And there is another consideration that renders this work still more arduous; and that is, the consciousness that our remarks may fall under the captious eye of an opponent, whose mind may be prepossessed in favour of the sentiment that hereby we are attempting to expose and controvert. However, be that as it may, we would observe, that one of the Welsh Druids gave a very happy and a pithy definition of this doctrine, when he said, “ that repentance is having a heart broken for sin, and a heart broken from sin ;” or, as the Psalmist says, who had some very acute experience in this doctrine, it is having“ a broken spirit”—“A broken and a contrite heart, O Lord, Thou wilt not despise.” Or, to be more minute in our statement, by repentance, one may understand-to think of our past misdeeds with sorrow and regret. Or, to be still more evangelical, it means—to contemplate our past sins with deep compunction of soul : such a compunction as will produce, by Divine aid, a radical change of heart, and a complete amendment of life, to the praise and glory of the grace of God. Now we are confident that nothing less than this, John the Baptist had in view, when he said, “ Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;"
"O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance”—(Matt. iii. 7, 8). Nothing less than this could have brought our blessed Redeemer from heaven to qur world, to preach to sinners, saying, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”—(Matt. iv. 17.); and again, Repent ye, and believe the Gospel”— (Mark i. 15). Nothing less than this could Peter have had in view, when he preached to the pentecostal assembly, saying, “Repent ye, therefore, and be ye converted, that your sins may be blotted out” -(Acts iii. 19.); and again, to Simon Magus,
Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee; for ( perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity”—(Acts viii. 22, 23). And, finally, nothing less than this could the great apostle of the Gentiles mean, when, by Divine inspiration, he made the following contrast :-"For godly sorrow worketh repent
ance to salvation, not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death”—(2 Cor. vii. 10).
Next, repentance is generally represented by divines in a two-fold view, legal and evangelical. And they distinguish it in this manner, not for the purpose of mystifying the subject: oh! no, but rather to prevent self-deception : to bring truth home to the conscience, and to help in setting up the scrutinizing tribunal of self-examination in the inner chamber of the heart. Now we cannot refrain from adverting here to an excellent, and, in our opinion, a very clear explanation of both the views above-mentioned, which is to be found in an article on the word Repent, in that admirable Concordance of the Holy Bible, by Alexander Cruden, M.A. There, he says, Repentance is taken for that regret and reluctance, that arise in a person after having done something that lie ought not to bave done. When Judas saw that Christ was actually condemned, it is said of him, that he repented of what he had done(Matt. xxvii. 3.); that is, he was mightily afflicted in his mind about it, and wished it had not been done. But this repentance arises from a fear of the punishment denounced against sin, and is not accompanied with hatred to sin : as when a malefactor suffers for his crimes, he reflects upon his actions with sorrow; but this, not being a sacred act, but proceeding from a violent principle, is consistent with as great a love to sin as he had before, and may be entirely terminated in himself; he may be sorry for his crimes, as they have exposed him to punishment, and yet not be grieved that thereby he has offended God. Nowthis we may call legal; but repentance is also taken for that saving grace wrought in the soul by the Spirit of God, whereby a sinner is made to see and be sensible of his sin : is grieved and humbled before God on account of it, not so much for the punishment to which sin has made him liable, as that thereby God is dishonoured and offended, His laws violated, and his own soul polluted and defiled; and his grief arises from love to God, and is accompanied with a hatred of sin, a love to holiness, and a fixed resolution to forsake sin, and an expectation of favour and forgiveness, through the merits of a crucified Saviour. This is evangelical or Gospel repentance. Moreover, these kinds of repentance differ materially from each other, and that on four grounds.
1. In their respective sources: the one arising, as it has been already stated, from a fear of the awful consequences of sin, and the other from a hatred to sin as a moral evil, and an offence committed against the kindest and the best of all beings,—the Father of all our mercies, the sole spring of all goodness, and the beneficent preserver of men. Hence, there is a great difference between shrinking back at the appearance of hell, when it flashes on the conscience, and aspiring after God's likeness from a real love to holiness. To grieve for sin as an offence against God, and to grieve for its consequences, are, we apprehend, two distinct subjects; they are the ebullitions of two different fountains. The former flows from a mind enlightened from above, to know the difference between moral good and moral evil, between right and wrong, between the source of order and happiness and the source of confusion and misery. But the latter flows from selflove ; from the dread of suffering pain, which is a feeling natural to every conscious existence, and a feeling that subsists in us just in proportion to the degree of consciousness possessed by us, and that becomes more and more acute as we advance towards the infliction and crisis of the dreaded suffering. Again: there is a wide difference between being terrified with the idea of falling into perdition, yet loving the way thither-and quitting by grace the broad road, and walking with pleasure in the narrow path that leadeth to life. In short, the source of legal repentance being the dread of evil, and the dread of it alone, without the admixture of hatred to it; and that of the evangelical, being pure love to that which is good, loving it for its own sake, and thus the man receding necessarily from the region of evil to abide for ever in the holy atmosphere of unmingled good. Hence we see their respective sources differing as widely as the relative result of each, the one being unto death, and the other unto life and salvation.
2. These tvo kinds of repentance differ again in their extent. The one refers to some particular sins, such as those that may be denominated open sins, or sins that will bring public shame and disgrace upon the perpetrator of them, while bosom secret sins are dealt tenderly witli, and cherished perhaps, or at least allowed