Page images

propensity in the nature of all man

wonder I read his work on the Freekind is a very evil, depraved, and dom of the Will. It gave ne views pernicious propensity, making it of God's omnipresence and power, manifest that the soul of man is in a

which astonished and transported corrupt, fallen, and ruined state, and me. When I read of God's having did he mean that this propensity is

a choice about the positions and not in itself sinful and deserving of movements of every atom of matter; punishment ?

and of his knowing all the volitions T. R. is anxious to prove that of all creatures, I could not but Edwards does not maintain the doc- pause and shut up the book, and trine of physical depravity, which indulge in contemplation on the peris ; “ that there is concreated with fections of Jehovah. His work on man a substantial property or attri- Original Sin gave me clearer views bute of his nature, which is in it- than I had ever before had of the self sinful and deserving of punish- corruption of mankind; and his ment.' But the method pursued work on the Affections produced an does not appear to me to be war

effect more powerful and more perranted by Edwards's language. Ed- manent than any other human prowards, in my view, endeavours to

duction I ever examined. But I do shew that men are so connected

not believe that the science of thewith Adam, that they personally and ology stopped short where Edwards voluntarily sin with him, or have a

left it. He had himself no wish to personal, sinful disposition like his, be to theologians, what Aristotle and with him; and for this personal was to schoolmen, and Augustine voluntary sin, or personal sinful dis

to Catholic divines. His works ney. position, they are condemned; but er perhaps will be out of date; and such he supposes to be the connex- even if they should be forgotten, all ion between Adam and his poster future ages will be deriving benefit ity, that his sin and their first sin from them : future divines will sow are one and the same sin, his sinful and reap where he broke the disposition, and their first sinful dis- ground. The men who survive a position, are one and the same disc battle, who gave the last stroke, and position.

who gather the spoils, often owe the This is incomprehensible to me; victory to those who met the first but whether intelligible or not, it shock, and died in the front ranks. ought to exonerate Edwards from Edwards, Owen, Calvin, and Authe charge of maintaining the doc- gustine were great men, but their trine of physical depravity. I be- perfected spirits do not stand at the lieve that man is created a moral point of knowledge at which they agent, that is, with moral faculties, left the earth ; but their minds are and be instantly acts as a moral expanding in their conceptions of the agent, and his first disposition, feel. Deity. The church on earth too, will ing, or action, is as much his own, go onward in theological science,and as any disposition, feeling, or action it will be the glory of these and oththrough his whole existence. This

er men,

that they led on the church first disposition, &c. Edwards would to heights of knowledge, of which represent as the same thing with we cannot now conceive, and which Adam's sin. Surely then he does they did not themselves reach. not hold to the doctrine of physical

E. M. depravity.

I do not know an uninspired writer from whose works I have deri

Ix perusing Thomas Hooker's ved so much profit as the writings of Survey of the Summe of Church Edwards. With intense delight and Discipline," which, though not often


TO J. P. W.


quoted, is yet regarded as the work doubtedly has this reference. of one who by his wisdom and skill that it is by no means taken for in the Scriptures is claimed to be granted that “ the idea of an order the father of congregationalism, I of presbyters in the comment would find a quotation from Ambrose, have been a departure from the wliich follows.

text." Apud omnes ubique gentes hon- Secondly, Of the comment : Bat orabilis est aetas, unde et syna- if this were true. it is perhaps not an goya, et postea Ecclesia seniores unsupposable case that." the comhabuit, quorum sine consilio nihil ment should be a departure from agebatur in Ecclesia, quod quâ neg- the text.” In bringing forward ibis ligentiâ obsoluerit, nescio, nisi ancient commentator, whoever he forte doctorum desidiâ, aut magis was, as a witness, we are to inquire, superbiâ, dum soli volunt, aliquid not what he ought to say, as a comvideri.

mentator, but what he does say, as a This passage is translated and witness. To me it appears plain, commented on in your “ Lay Pres- that if “ he does not speak of an byters, No. XII." (Christian Spec- office or order of men, he speaks of tator for 1825, p. 183,) where the a class of men who used to be concommentary on the Epistles of Paul, sulted in all the affairs of the church, from which the passage is taken, is and whose usefulness (if we must ascribed to Hilary. In remaking on not say office) had grown obsolete the passage, you say, “ This com- by the sloth and pride of the teachment, like the text on which it was The teachers would make made, relates solely to old men who themselves alone eminent, by disare not presbyters." The text is 1 annulling the importance of others. Tiin. v. 1. I am not fully satisfied Even admitting that the persoas that either the text or the comment spoken of were old men, “ majores “relates only to old men who are aetate,” yet they are not spoken of not presbyters.” First, as to the simply as old men, but as certain text: The reason assigned is, that seniors in the church, who used to “ they are contrasted with young have a voice in all church acts.

But in 1 Pet. v. 5, the And the preachers had suffered same word as in the text, zoper- their agency to grow into disuse, in Sutepos, is contrasted with young order to increase their own influ

And yet plainly elders there ence and importance. means presbyters. See Robin- Are we then to conclude that son's Lexicon, and Ros. in 1 Pet. either Paul or his commentator v. 5. And why may it not here? treated of a third order in the There is only one passage in the church ? Not at all. These elders New Testament, where the term is who were not teachers, were the necessarily to be referred to age, deacons. By adopting this view, I and there it is used as an adjective, believe all the difficulties are obviawith its substantive expressed, Luke ted in regard to these and a multixv. 25. Unless we add Acts ii. 17, tude of other passages in which the which is a quotation from the pro. officers of the early churches are phet Joel. As to the circumstance spoken of. All the varieties of of of there being no mention made fice are to be ranged under these of office or order," I ask if it is con- two general heads, of bishops and mon for the apostle Paul, when deacons. speaking of “ Elders” to say “the I am happy to confirm, in general, order of elders ?” I see not why my view of Rom. xii, 7, 8, by the the text does not as properly refer opinion of so scriptural a divine as to office as 1 Pet. v. 5, which un- Hooker, Part II. p. 9.



[ocr errors]


“ These publike Functions and brose, or Hilary, whoever is the Gifts are ranged and referred to two author, is valuable as shewing the heads, in the generall, under which opinion of this ancient deacon, both the severals are comprehended, and of the importance of his office, and unto which referred, viz.

of the manner in which it had sunk διδασκων

from its primitive utility, through

the negligence and self-sufficiency μεταδιδους

of the clergy. The subject is imeither Alaxovice

προισταμενος portant, and I should like to learn ελεων*

the views of so skilful a Christian “So that Prophecie and Minis- antiquary as the learned J. P. W. tery are here put as common heads, Perhaps the result will be the disunto which the rest are referred, covery, that the first step of usurand under which they are ranged, pation was the degradation of the and that's the reason why the apos- second order of church officers, and tle in this enumeration changed his that the most effectual blow at the phrase : The first distinction he ex- root of all the evils of church govo presseth in the plurall : The second, ernment will be the restoration of in the singular. Beza in locum." deacons to their primitive dignity

Though the view which he gives and usefulness. This, as I conof the division of duties differs in ceive, will be most effectually done some particulars from that proposed by establishing the position that in the article on Deacons, yet it “lay presbyters” and “deacons” goes to confirm the idea of the va

have the same office, and that the rious subordinate officers of the government of the church, so far as church being all included in the it is separate from the pastoral care, general office of the deaconship. belongs to the diaconate. Whether in this passage there is an

J. L. allusion to the services of the deacons in teaching and exhorting or not, yet it seems to me there is evi.

DR. UWEN ON ANTINOMIANISM. dence in the other passages there quoted, that the deacons were so

In speaking of some of the first employed in early times.

heretics, Dr. Owen has this obserBut the main idea of the piece is, vation, which is the more worthy of that the office of deacons is proper

notice because from some of his pely a spiritual office, and includes all culiar views respecting atonement, the various services, which are &c. many Antinomians have been needed in the charch, and are not

fond of quoting his authority. provided for by the ministry of the

“Instead of Christ, and God in word. And the passage in Am- him reconciling the world to him

self, and the obcdience of the faith *To be thus translated.

thereon according to the Gospel, they \ teaching

introduced endless fables, which Prophecy exhorting

practically issued in this, that Christ Cdistributing alms

was such an emanation of light and Deaconship ruling or Ministry shewing mercy, or care of knowledge in them as made them the sick.

perfect ; that is, it took away all Under the deaconship, therefore, Hook- differences of good and evil, and er would include the care of the tempo- gave them liberty to do what they ralities of the church, of the good order of the church, and the relief of distressed pleased without sense of sin, or

fear of punishment. This was the members of the church.

first way that satan attempted the +Christian Spectator, June Number. faith of the church; namely, by

substituting a perfecting light and knowledge, in the room of the person of Christ ; and for aught I know, IT MAY BE ONE OF THE LAST WAYS




The situation of the invalid, with

the concomitant appendages of pain I'r seems to me that persons of and sickness, the pill and bitter delicate or sickly constitutions, whom for the sake of brevity I shali draught, solitary days and wearidesignate by the term, invalids, are cessarily imposed, and the priva

some nights,” the restrictions nea privileged class of people. As tions to which he is subject, has mere animal beings, they are in


little to excite the enry of a deed excluded from much of what world, which "places its bliss in is termed enjoyment; but man is a action," or luxurious "ease,” in rational being,

parade, and noise, and bustle, and —“a creature holding large discourse, (may I not add?) in vanity. But the Looking before and after ;"

world knows little of what may be

enjoyed, even under all those seemcapable of moral and intellectual ing disadvantages. There are cirattainments ; and every moral at- cumstances which can alleviate the tainment is a degree of happiness in sufferings of a sick bed—there are kind, far transcending aught of seasons of mitigation—there is that, which mere animal nature is sus- which can sustain the soul, the noceptible. The invalid, therefore, bler part, and give us strength to who feels “how much the soul is bear whatever an all-wise Provisuperior to the frame that is influ- dence sees meet to lay upon us. enced by it," though he may some- What reflecting invalid would extimes find occasion to lament the change situations with one individ. influence in turn, of a disordered' ual in the world, or barter his own frame on the mind that inhabits it, little stock of comforts, for all the has no cause to be dissatisfied with specious joys the world can promhis lot.

ise ? True he has a little world Without attempting a methodical in himself—a host of enemies withdissertation on the privileges of in- in to contend with—numberless valids, or even an entire enumera- petty fears and anxieties, and some. tion of those privileges, I shall name times, alas ! secret murmurings and only those which more immediately distrusts of Divine Providence occur to my mind, and shall express, (these, however, all belong to the in my own homely manner, a few reverse of the picture) and he is such thoughts as are naturally sug- apt too, to be “ forecasting the gested by the subject. These priv- fashion of curious uncertain evils.” ileges are neither few nor unimpor. On survey ng the bright side of the tant. I sometimes think they are of life of an invalid, we find enough to a more exalted nature than those overbalance all these, and that if appertaining to any other situation such a “life has its weakness," it in life. In one respect, at least, has “its comforts too.” The pleathey are to be prized, viz. that they sure of restoration from a fit of illexcite not the envy of the world. ness to a comparative degree of health,—to breathe again the fresh- his elegant epistles, “If what Walness of the pure air, and look abroad ler says be true, that once more on the green fields and all the smiling scenes of nature, ar

The soul's dark cottage, battered and rayed it would seein in a thousand

and decay'd,

Lets in new light through chinks that new charms-to taste a rain the

time has made, sweets of society, and to feel one's self no longer in need of the kind then surely sickness, contributing exertions of friends, e ideared far no less than old age to the shaking more than ever by their nuinberless down of this scaffolding of the body, labors of love, and patient, sympa- may discover the inward structure thetic listening to the tedious tale more plainly.” • Sickness," he of symptoms.”—to be enabled to re- further observes, " is a sort of early turn again to accustomed, loved old age ; it teaches us a sort of difpursuits and duties—these, with the fidence in our earthly state, and in. emotions of gratitude they excite. spires us with hopes of a future, are enough to compensate for all the better than a thousand volumes of little train of sufferings, and afford philosophers and divines. It gives a delight more exquisite than the so warning a concussion to those enjoyment of uninterrupted health. props of our vanity, our youth, and Is it not gratifying to the best feel- our strength, that we think of fortiings of the human heart, to be pla. fying ourselves within, when there ced in a situation, which though a is so little dependence on our outprivileged, and in many respects a works.” happy one, is such as to excite noth- In this school of moral reflection, ing of that baneful passion, envy, in the invalid learns too, that his is the breast of any beholder ?

not a detached, a separate interest; The invalid is also happily ex- that the world, though made for empted from the ordinary cares and him, was made “for others too." bustle of life, and“ keeps the noise. He perceives, that as a member of less tenor of his way along its cool, the great family of mankind, who sequestered vale."

The circum. are mutually dependent, however stices in which he is placed, are feeble, he is bound by the ties of friendly

consanguinity at least, to do good

to all, and to promote the welfare _" to virtue and to manly thought,

of every individual so far as may be And to the noble sallies of the soul ;"

in his power.

Feeling his own denor does he

pendence, and absolute need of -" think it solitude to be alone."

friends, he has an additional in

ducement to shew himself friend. In the quiet chamber of retire- ly.” His own bodily and mental ment and seclusion, he hears truths, infirmities, and the knowledge he salutary truths, which “the world acquires of human nature, tend to and the multitude would never tell soften his heart, and inspire him him.” He listens, he reflects, he with the gentle virtues of compasmoralizes, and “communes with sion and forbearance. He “feels his own heart.” Thus his situation some generous joys and generous facilitates the acquisition of that cares beyond himself." True, he very important attainment, self- finds his usefulness in active life knowledge. Pope, whose personal somewhat limited, but is there noexperience and knowledge of hu- thing for him to do? Will the examman nature might enable him to ple of his life and conversation bave write feelingly and accurately on no influence on those around him ? these subjects, observes in one of Can he devise no schemes, and Vol. 1.-No. XII.


« PreviousContinue »