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who are his superiors in human learning Atonement, and of Grace, and of but of the Supreme Being. If he lightly. Predestination, and the present state take in hand to explain the sacred text of of the sacred text, are points upon the word of God, to exhort his brethren, to lay down the principles of sound doc. which much doubt and misappretrine and good conduct, without having hension are wont to prevail, and thoroughly inforned bimself of all that is which should at all times be clearly necessary, he is not only blameable, but and rightly understood. They are he incurs no small risk of being accounted points which originally belong to. sinfully presumptuous in venturing to
the investigation of the learned, by touch high and holy things without becoming preparation, in daring to sully
means of whose easy and familiar their parity with unconsecrated hands. expositions, they may be accomBat more than this, he makes himself an modated to the capacities, of unswerable for an injury to the present and learned men, and may be generally eternal peace of his fellow-creatures, which improved to the removal of objec. through want of information that he ought tions to a public conformity with the to bave acquired, and of cautiou that he established Church, and to the adought to have exercised, he may be instrumental in producing.
vancement of peace and consolation “ Under the influence of feelings arising
in the moments of private reflection. naturally ont of such reflections, deeply
These points are discussed by and solemnly impressed with the responsi. Mr.Strong in Six Discourses, preachbility which he incurs, and painfully sen- ed before the University of Oxford, sible of his own many deficiencies, the and now offered to the notice of anthor is aware that the work in which he well-educated men, to whose con. is engaged is of no small importance, for it embraces the entire scheme of human firmation in a Scriptural faith they redemption, and the whole circle of reli
are well adapted, and by whom gious obligations ; and of no ipconsider they will not be less appreciated or able difficulty—for its province is cate- approved, because Mr. Strong mogorically to affirm the truth with respect destly disclaims all pretensions to to questions, in which the wisest and the ingenuity, eloquence, or research. best of men have differed in opinion.”
They are principally intended Dr. B. is so full of his subject, • To invite the attention of the younger as sometimes to press into his ser- clergy, and more particularly of those who vice
passages which have but a re- are candidates for ordination, to some mote and slight bearing on the matters of great consequence, which are main point: but his anxiety to
often seriously misunderstood; and to
warn them against certain errors, which leave nothing untouched which
havesoigetimes proved disgraceful to the might contribute to his purpose, clerical profession, and injurious to the may plead a very sufficient apo- Christian cause.” logy. He has discharged his task with conscientious fidelity, and
The importance of the topics, the brought together documents ex
vehemence with which they are .tremely interesting to those who brought into the discussion of every are studious of our ecclesiastical day, and the ease and perspicuity history.
with which they are treated by Mr. Strong, will render the present vo. lume an acceptable summary to all
who are entering upon the study of Six Discourses, preached before the theology, and are desirous of ac-.
University of Oxford. By Tho. quiring a competent knowledge of mas Linwood Strong, B.D. of Christian truth, and have not the Oriel College, Oxford, Chaplain means of collecting, or the leisure to the Lord Bishop of Llandaff. for consulting, more voluminous and
elaborate discourses, 158 pp. Rivingtons. 1821.
The purpose of the first Discourse The unity and integrity of the is to shew, that no countenance Christian faith, the doctrines of the is given in the Apostolical writ.
ings to the propagation of discor- influenced by the noblest zeal for religion, dant articles of faith. The mind and as if they liad been exempt from those of man has ever been too prone to base and malevolent passions which were, form private conceptions of religi- The words : in pretence' and 'in truth,' on
in fact, the main spring of their exertions. ous iruth, and if none has been which the misinterpretation of the passage found to defevd the innocence of seems chiefly to rest, have no allusion to positive error, many have maintain the nature of the doctrines preached, but erl, that there is no offence in the relate solely to the private motive of the varieties of religious beliet.
The preacher. They who preached in pretence, Scriptures are quoted without hesi.. as we have already seen, were the Apostle's tation in vindication of this lati- others the unadulterated doctrines of the
personal enemies. They preached to tude of religious opinion, and the Gospel; but, at the same time, under preexample and authority of St. Paul tence of a zca lor religion, they gratified are alleged in proof, that the pecu- those passions which religion especially liar doctrines which are taught are
forbids. The same persons are said, in matter of little concern, if they are
the fifteenth versę, to preach Christ,'. a but collected from the word of God. plırase which is never applied, in Scripture, The appeal is made to the difficult preachers of true religion. So, again, the
without some qualification, to any but the text of the Apostle to the Philip- words in truth’ do not here mean sound pians, (i, 15–18.) and Mr. Strong doctrine, in opposition to false, but a pure has rendered good service to the and honest motive, in opposition to a corChurch in proving the irrelevancy rupt one. If they are understood to signify of the appeal, hy an exact inter- parity of doctrine, the whole passage is
thrown into confusion; whereas, the Apospretation of the passage, in its con
tle's discourse, according to the other innexion with the general spirit and terpretation, is perfectly clear and natural occasion of the Epistle. The sub- in all its parts."' P.11. stance of the exposition is thus recapitulated :
This interpretation is confirined
by the general analogy of the Scrip. “ The Apostle is speaking exclusively tures, and especially of the writings of the state of the Christian Church at
of St. Paul, who was distinguished Rome at a particular time, and the sentiby his zeal in contending for sound ments he expresses are, in all respects, worthy of liimself and of that holy religion doctrine and the unity of a settled which he so firmly believed and practised. faith, and in opposing in conjuncHe describes the different molives by which tion with the other Apostles, the different preachers were actuated, bat does progress of error and heresy. The not intimate that any diversity of doctrine same analogy of the Scriptures will prevailed anong them. The observation confute another popular misappreof Erasmus upon this passage appears both hension of the text, in which it is just and lumivous : 'Non Paulus de his loquitar, qui docebant hæretice, sed qui
arbitrarily brought in defence of the recie licet animo parum siucero. Nec hos ministrations of private and unau. probat tamen : sed negat sibi discutien- thorized teachers, as if ordination dum, quo animo id faciant, modo prosint.' to the ministry were a matter of inThe whole scope of the Apostle's discourse difference, or as if St. Paul had neis confined to the character of the man. A contrast is drawn between two classes he beheld the order of the Colos
ver recorded the pleasure with which of precahers, who were then engaged in propagating the Gospel at Rome. One sians, or had never warned the Ro. class was actuated by envy and strife,' mans to mark such as caused divithe other by · good will. The one la- sions and offences, contrary to the boured in pretence, the other“ in truth. doctrine which they had learned. But as the pretensions of both were equally The conclusion of Mr. Strong is as fair, the general congregation of Christians, applicable to schism as it is to disto whom their instructions were addressed,
sent: did not perceive the bypocritical character of the former class ; and, consequently, “ If St. Paul had intended, in the lantheir preaching, tras productive of as much guage of my text, .to represent uniformity public benefit as if they had been truly of faith as a matter of indifference, he
would have contradicted himself and other - « When our Saviour said, “ He that inspired teachers of the Apostolical Church. believeth : not shall be damned,' lie doubio, But if the words be applied to the motives less intended to denounce punishment on of the preachers, without reference to all wlio, with sufficient means of inforina. their doctrine, they will be found in per- tion, might reject, or wilfully corrupt tlie fect harmony with the general declarations doctrines of his religion; bnt not on those of Holy Writ." P. 17.
who might be ignorant of the Gospel, or It has been sometimes supposed, ledge of its doctrines and conditions. It
incapable of attaining a competent knowthat the severe judgment pronounced is clearly the perverse disposition of indivi. upon unbelief, especially in the last duals, not the deficiency of their knowcommission of our Lord recorded by ledge, against which is anger is denounced. St. Mark, is irreconcilable with the So the language of the Athanasian Creed is mercies revealed in the Gospel, but of the truth, and obstinate infidelity. In
intended to condemn all wilful depravation it is shewn by Mr. Strong in the se. this sense it has always been understood cond Discourse, to be no valid ob- by the most temperate and judicious wrie jection to a revelation otherwise au
ters of the Church of England ; and it is, thenticated, and proved of Divine perhaps, worthy of remark, that the comorigio. The sentence in its just iv. missioners who were appointed to revise terpretation, is applicable to none the Liturgy, in the first year of King but those who possess and neglect
William the Third, had resolved to prepare
a rubric to this effect: the condemping the opportunities of Christian knowo clauses are to be understood as relating ledge; and, as in the preceding only to those who obstinately deny the clause, obedience is implied in the substance of the Christian faith. It is promise made to such as believe and well known that the main object of this are baptized, so the condemnation commission was at last abandoned; but of those who believe not, is founded the fact that such a rubric was prepared on their deliberate and voluntary re
by the commissioners is a proof of the jection of the truth. While Chris- damnatory clauses of thie Atbanasian
construction which they put upon the tianity thus considers the relative Creed.
In attaclıing this sense to the opportunities of its disciples, we, clauses in question they acted in conforwho have the opportunity of believe mity both to Scripture and reason, and ing, are inexcusable in infidelity, bequeathed a lesson of wisdom and moand it becomes a question of the deration to the clergy of future times.
Although the rubric which they proposed deepest interest and importance, what is the doctrine professed in tend to confirm our judgment and to pro
was not inserted in the Liturgy, it may baptism, of which the rejection in- duce much private satisfaction in a point curs the judgment pronounced on of acknowledged difficulty. As our Saunbelief? The obvious and only an: viour did not think it necessary to guard swer is, that it is the doctrine of the the strong language of my text, but has left Trinity, which, as well as all other us to understand it with such exceptions as doctrives of the Gospel, it is neces of his religion might suggest, so we may
common sense and the general principles sary to preserve whole and undefil- understand these clauses of the Creed as a ed. The Preacher is thus led to broad and general statement of an imporoanimadvert on the composition and tant truth, which applier, in different de. spirit of the Nicene or Constantino- grees, to different persons, and must, politan and the Athanasian Creeds, therefore, always be received in a qualified to the former of which an anathema scuse." P. 36. founded on ibe text (Mark xvi. 16.)
The doctrine of the Athanasian was originally annexed, but forined no part of the Creed: the damna- Creed, is true, and is founded in tory clauses, as they are called, of the Scriptures, and was designed to the latter, although equally autho counteract many pernicious hererized and sanctioned, have been the sies, with which we are not at li frequent occasion of cavilling and berty to compromise the faith of dispute :
the Guspel, and which may at all
times be disclaimed without incur. Scripture, but in the purest writings of ring a charge of intolerance: antiquity, to signify a benefactor, a sense
which appears to harmonize exactly with “ It appears, then, that the language the general spirit of the text before is. of the Athanas;an Creed is not more According to this interpretation St. Paul's severe than the language of our Saviour language may be thus paraphrased : and bis Apostles; and, moreover, that "Scarcely would a man die for the sake of similar expressions were used by the a fellow-creature, in whose character the Church in primitive times, not with a noblest qualities were combined. I will presumptuous intention of anticipating the not absolutely maintain, however, that decisions of almighty wisdom, but simply . such a thing is impossible where especial with a view of protecting the everlasting ties of gratitude and love are added to Gospel from the errors of the weak and that high veneration which a virtuous chathe designs of the wicked. On the same racter naturally excites; but this is the ground we are required to nse the Atha. utmost extent to which human benevonasian Creed. It becomes us to recite lence and affection can be carried. Mark, that ancient formulary, not in a spirit of then, how far the love of God towards intolerance and pride, but with humility, men exceeds the most devoted attachment charity, and faith ; in the earnest hope of man to his fellow-creatures. God corgthat it may please God ' to bave mercy on mendeth his love towards us in that while all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics; we were yet sinners Christ died for us, to take from them all ignorance, hardness Greater love hath no man than this, that a of heart, and contempt of his word, and man should lay down his life for his friends. so fetch them home to his flock ; that they But the Son of God died for his enemies, may be saved among the remnant of the for those who were in open allegiance to true Israelites, and be made one fold under the prince of darkness, sunk in the abomi. one Shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord.'». nations of idolatry, and utterly estranged P. 40.
in heart and mind from the knowledge and
service of the true God." P. 52. The doctrine of Universal Atonement, and the doctrine of Universal
It was plainly the doctrine of St. Grace, are argued in the third and Paul, and indeed of all the Aposfourth Discourses, with reference tles, that Christ died for a sinful to the objections of the Socinians, world : and his death is both unwhose confidence in maintaining equivocally called an Atonement, their peculiar opinions, whose sub, and may be demonstratively shewa tlety in the perversion of Scriptural to be an Atonement, froni a comtruth, and whose endeavours to parison with the Mosaic sacrifices. abate the sovereign authority of the In its benefits, the sacrifice of his Scriptures, render it necessary at all death included not only the first times to warn the young and inex. disciples, but all mankind. These perienced of their delusive argu are certain truths in the judgment of ments. The general doctrine of St. the Christian believer, and ihe more Paul concerning the Atonement, in
they are perverted, the more necesRomans v. 7, 8. is too plain to be
sary misunderstood, notwithstanding the explained. They are mysterious
is it, that they should be variety and the difficulty of inter- truths, but they are not iberefore preting the particular expressions of unreasonable; they have their evi. ajust” and a “good” man, which dence in our own hearts, and in the are not unfrequently opposed in the deep conviction of our own neces. Scriptures, and of which the first sities. may be thought to respect the ri
In his address to the Jews on the gour of the Law, and the last the day of Pentecost, St. Peter may be benevolence of the Gospel. Mr. thought to have referred especially, Strong interprets the latter expres. and almost exclusively, to the mirasion, of a benefactor:
culous effusion of the Holy Spirit, “ It is well known that the word arabos, and to that event, and to the extrawhich occurs here, is used, not only in ordinary powers of the Apostles, it tolic age :
is known, that the Socinians would the Apostle to the communion of restrict the whole doctrine of the the Holy Spirit with the faithful : Holy Spirit of God. Mr. Strong, “Ye are the temple of the living in a very luminous and satisfactory God, as God hath said, I will dwell argument, refutes this opinion, by in them and walk in them, and I the citation of various predictions will be their God, and they shall be of the ancient Prophets, expressed my people." in very full and general terms, which
“ It may be sufficient to produce one can hardly be understood of any
more testimony from the prophetic Scripother subject, than the effusion of tures. Ezekiel, having assured · his counDivine grace, on a scale much more trymen that their own perverseness was extensive than can be applicable to the cause of all their calamities, comforts the miraculous gifts of the Apos- them with a distant prospect of divine
mercy, and breaks forth into expressions
which can only apply, in their full sepse, * A well-known passage of Jeremiah to the times or economy of the Gospel. may also be produced in confirmation of “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon the same point. • Behold the days come, you, and ye shall be clean : from all your saith the Lord, that I will make a new filthiness and from all your idols will. I covenant with the house of Israel and with cleanse you. A new heart also will I the house of Judah : not according to the give you, and a new spirit will I put covenant that I made with their fathers, within you. And I will take away the in the day that I took them by the hand stony heart out of your flesh, and will give to bring them out of the land of Egypt; you an heart of tlesls, and I will put my bat this shall be the covenant that I will Spirit within you, and cause you to walis make with the house of Israel: I will put in my statutes.' Here, surely, is rather a my law in their inward parts, and write it description than a prophecy of the urdi. in their hearts, and will be their God, and nary operation of divine grace upon the they shall be my people. It would be Christian Church, without any apparent, difficult to give a consistent exposition of reference to that special degree of illumithis passage, which is so frequently cited nation which was limited to the Apostolic as a prediction of the Gospel, without age. A manifest allusion is also made to especial reference to the influence of the the sacrament of Baptism, by which the Spirit bestowed npon 'mankiod, under the first portion of sanctifying grace is beChristian economy, for the ordinary pur- stowed, and a principle of spiritual life poses of salvation. For the prophet not implanted in the soul of man. It is impos. only anticipates the superior holiness and sible to read those words of the Prophet, efficacy of that dispensation which was • I will sprinkle clean water upon you, to succeed the law, but alludes expressly and ye shall be clean,' without remarking to the more intimate communion which how exactly they correspond with the was then to subsist between the Deity langnage of the New Testament on the and his creatures. I will put my law in doctrine of Baptism. • Arise,' said Anatheir inward parts, and write it in their nias to St. Paul, “and wash away thy sins.' hearts. In the New Testament the Mo- He saved us by the washing of regenerasaic covenant is called the law of a carnal tion and renewing of the Holy Ghost.' commandment, and the Christian · the And in the verse immediately preceding ministration of the Spirit.' The strongest my text, St. Peter thus addresses his expressions are also used to describe that audience: Repent, and be baptized every holy intercourse which snbsists between one of yon, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God and the souls of the for the remission of sins, and ye shali faithful. • He that is joined to the Lord receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.' To is one spirit,-know ye not that your body the same effect is that poble and spirited is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is exhortation in the Epistle to the Hebrews : in yon, which ye bave of God ?—therefore 'Let us draw near with a true heart, in glorify God in your body and in your full assurance of faith, having our hearts spirit, which are God's."" P. 76. sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our
bodies washed with pure water.'” P.78. The concluding words of this prophecy of Jeremiah, are frequent- These prophecies are sufficient to ly repeated by the Prophet Ezekiel, justify the inference, that the gifts and they are expressly applied by of the Holy Spirit are commensuREMEMBRANCER, No. 42.