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read the books of the Old Testament is insufficient for the purposes of with any degree of attention, without theology, even if it could teach being struck with the force and fulness what some have supposed ; and with which the moral character of God is hence, too, we fear, the evident disthere set before us. “ The substance of what is taught in
like of many persons to the study both parts of the sacred volume upon
of a scriptural theology, who even
boast of their attachment to a this head, may be comprised in the fol. lowing propositions : God is holy; that
natural theology. is, he loves and wills whatever is true,
Along with the knowledge of good, and right, and for ever abhors all God, the knowledge of a future that is false, unjust, or vile. (Lev. xix. state is necessary. On this subject, 2; Psalm xi. 7 ; xxii. 3; Isaiah vi. 3; Mr. Alexander reviews the language James i. 13; 1 Peter i. 15–17; 1 John which occurs in various parts of the iii. 3, &c.) God is just ; that is, in all sacred history with much clearness bis intercourse with his intelligent crea. and force. He thus states the genetures, he maintains an inflexible regard ral conclusion :to the claims of that law under which he has placed them, and in which he has
“An attentive and impartial consider. embodied a revelation of his own intrin
ation of the evidence thus adduced, will, sic perception of what is true, good, and
I am persuaded, induce the conviction, right. (Deut. xxxii. 4; Job xxxiv. 10;
that knowledge of a remarkably clear and Psalm ix. 5; cxlv. 17; Isaiah v. 16;
impressive character, respecting a future Rom. vii. 12; 1 Peter ii. 23; Rev. xvi.
state of existence, and the events conse5, &c.) God is faithful and true ; that
quent upon death, was possessed by the is, he never changes his rule of moral
Old-Testament saints. What ought to procedure towards his creatures, nor de.
strengthen this conviction is, that these parts from the declarations he has made
evidences are gathered, not from books respecting the consequences of particular professing formally to set forth a system courses of conduct which they may pur. of religious truth, but from Darratives sue. (Isaiah xl. 8; Psalm xxxii. 4;
and poetical compositions, expressive of Mal. iii. 6; Rom. iii. 3, 4; iv. 20, 21; the feelings, hopes, and convictions of 2 Cor. i. 18; 1 Thess. v. 24; 2 Tim.
persons who may be fairly taken as chaii. 13; James i. 17.) God is good ; that racteristic specimens of the religious med is, he loves all his creatures, provides for of their day. From such sources we are their happiness, pities them in their des
to expect general intimations, rather than generacy, and is propense to the exercise
formal and dogmatical statements of of mercy and grace towards them. (Psalın
truth ; nor is it too much to affirm, that, civ. 10-31; Exod. xxxiv. 6; Psalm
in point of evidence, the former occupy, ciii.; cxlv. 9; Jer. xxxi. 20; Joel ii.
in such compositions, the same place 13; Matt. v. 45; Rom. ii. 4 ; v. 8, 9; which, in an argumentative or doctrinal 1 John iv. 8, &c.)
treatise, is sustained by the latter. “ The knowledge of these attributes of “ It was not, then, tv a mere temporal the divine character, (which are properly and transitory system of rewards and pu. termed moral, to distinguish them from nishments as consequent upon human those which are simply ontological, or conduct, that the attention of mankind physical, such as eternal self-existence, was directed by those divine revelations infinitude, omniscience, omnipotence, which were enjoyed under the ancient &c.,) is of the last importance to man dispensations. On the contrary, there kind. It is with respect to them alone, does not seem to have been a time when that man, as an intelligent and moral
they were not instructed to look beyond being, sustains any religious relation to
the present to a future and permanent God. Hence it is almost exclusively in state of existence, the character of which their bearing upon the condition and
was to depend upon their conduct whilst prospects of man, that these divine attri.
on earth. But for this, their minds butes are brought before our notice in the
could not have acquiesced in those views Bible ; and it is only as God's character the divine Being, as a just and equal in this respect is understood, that we can Governor, which they were taught to enentertain any hopes of comprehending tertain. They had numerous instances upon what conditions a religion can exist then, as we have now, of the prosperity for man towards him.” (Page 115.) of the wicked, and the sufferings of the
righteous; and but for their expectation Yes; and therefore it is that the
of a state beyond this, where it should be mere study of what is called nature, made manifest that the righteous is mere
excellent than his neighbour, this fact densation into personality; and that would not only have vexed their feelings, Christ and his Apostles availed thembut perplexed and confounded their selves of this circumstance, and moral perceptions.
On this head we have the express testimony of one of sought to reform the people by con
structing a new religion on the themselves. Distressed by what he saw
foundation of this popular misappreof the prosperity of the wicked and the sufferings of the righteous, his reflections
hension. On these subjects the Lecupon the subject became too painful for
tures contain many very useful statehim, 'until,' says he, “I went into the ments,-useful to the student, as sanctuary of God; then understood I well as to the general reader. But, their end. By his going into the sanc
as we have not room to enter into tuary of God, Asaph, I apprehend, here them fully, we must content ourmeans his viewing the subject in con selves with one or two passing renexion with the character of God as re marks. Mr. Alexander considers vealed to his true worshippers. By the largely the grand theme of Messianic consideration of this, he was led to see that all was consistent with truth and prophecy, and particularly notices, justice; and to believe that, by the end
with explanatory observations, the
Messianic Psalms, and the chief of the whole, the glory of God would be vindicated, and the arrangements of his passages in the writings of the Proprovidence approved. It is not easy to
phets, relating to “ Him that was to see how he could have arrived at such a
As giving what was deconclusion, had he been ignorant of that signed to be, in soine measure, a great event which is to close the history popular view of a subject at once of our world,
deep and extensive, Mr. Alexander 'Assert eternal Providence,
will make even the general reader And justify the ways of God to men.'"
better acquainted with Scripture (Page 163.) than he was before, and the cautious
and thoughtful student will find And for man, considered as a sin- paths opened for research which he ner, the knowledge that there is a
may usefully follow. way of salvation, and what that way
Mr. Alexander likewise examines is, so far as may be necessary to di- the connexion subsisting between rect and encourage desire, search, the Old and New Testament, and practice, is likewise necessary. by means of those types which the And as this is revealed in Scripture, first contains, and which find their so is there a remarkable identity of intended object, and thus their prothought in the numerous statements
per explanation, in the latter. The which are there made ;--made, too, subject, however, is both so extenunder such a variety of circum- sive, and in all its parts so connectstances, that no ordinary power of ed, that quotation, with justice to thought is required for comprehend- the author, is scarcely possible. ing them in one scheme, and which Detached fragments of reasoning would have completely embarrassed are seldom good specimens of the the merely human agent who should entire argument. have endeavoured to introduce his The lecturer's own summary of own compositions, so as duly to his work may be read with advanconnect them with what had gone tage, even as standing alone. before, and what might come after. Mr. Alexander examines with much “Assuming the divine authority of precision the subject of the Messi. the Old and New Testament, I have anic prophecies, as well as the theory endeavoured to show, of accommodation taught by some
“ First. That both belong to the same German neologists ; that is, that in
national literature ; and that on the comprocess of time, the highly-wrought position of the latter
, a great influence
has been exerted by the familiarity of its figures of oriental poetry in which
human authors with the former. the authors of the ancient Hebrew
“ Second. That both teach the unity of literature had indulged, had become
the divine existence; but, at the same 80 fixed in the national mind, as to
time, intimate the mysterious fact of a undergo a species of gradual con plurality in that unity : the New Testa
ment more fully and dogmatically ; the When the way into the holiest by Old, generally by hints and intimations, the blood of Jesus was made maniand, in one or two instances, by more fest, the objects of religious feeling Espress and explicit statement.
as:umed a inore definite character, ** Third. That both present the same
as being more distinctly revealed. view of the moral character of God, as holy, just, and good ; and of the relation der the Old Testament, the penitent
But the objects were the same. lo. in which man stands to Him as one who has broken his law, insulted his govern- ciful; under the New, the penitent
sioner applied to God as most mer. ment, and merited his displeasure.
“ Fourth. That the penalty denounced sinner applies to God as revealing against sin in both, and which both as. bis mercy in Christ; but both reler, sure us man has incurred, and deserves to never to human merit, always to the receive, is, eternal death,—exclusion, dur. divine compassion. And they seek ing the whole course of his being, from the same blessings. When David the love and favour of God.
prayed, “ Hide thy face from my “ Fifth. That both, representing God
sins, and blot out all mine iniquias full of love, announce the glorious fact, ties: create in mne a clean heart, and that he has found a way for the display of that love in the salvation of sinners, mind adverted to the same subjects
renew a right spirit within me," his whereby so great an act of mercy has been rendered consistent with the claims
as are included in the terms of the of his government and law.
Saviour's commission to Paul,66 Sinth. That both announce the great
“ That they may receive forgiveness truth, that, by the incarnation of the son of sins, and inheritance among them of God, and his substitution on which are sanctified.” The pious behalf, this way of salvation has been Christian in these latter days can opened up: the Old Testament, by pro- fully enter into the language in mises, predictions, and types; the New which David expresses his various Testament, by the history of our Lord, feelings. Religion, thus viewed sub, and the statement of his doctrines, in jectively, has been always one and which all these promises have been ful
the same, and always, even in the filled, and all these types substantiated.
“ Upon the whole, the aim of the lec- days of ceremony and type, primaturer has been, to show that the religion rily inward and spiritual. of Jesus Christ, the only religion which,
This is a subject which would deas our own experience amply testifies, serve to have a whole set of lectures can meet the case, and relieve the mise devoted to it. We know no one that ries of man, has been, from first to last, will better reward the labour of dilithe sole religion of Divine revelation, and gent and exact investigation. It unfolds the only plan which God has would soon be found that what has ever announced to man, as that by which
of late years been derisively termed he saves the guilty.” (Page 467.) “Methodism,”-the religion of par
don, and peace with God, and the There is one more point in which devotion of grateful love, the reli
; the harmony of the Old and New gion which takes full possession of Testaments is found and exhibited. man's internal consciousness, and We do not say Mr. Alexander's lec enters the hidden depths of his be. tures are deficient for not making it ing, to sanctify the whole,-the relithe subject of distinct argument and gion of sacred experience,- has been separate remark; for it seems to in all ages the religion of the people of have been his plan to consider the God; and that Popery, and all modern question of their agreement chiefly plans of Church and sacramental salin reference to religion viewed as an vation, are revivals of the old heresy so object of contemplation and study, indignantly rebuked by the inspired and not in reference to it as a prin Prophet,— “Trust ye not in lying ciple of human character. But in words, saying, The temple of the nothing is the harmony of the two Lord, The temple of the Lord, The Testaments more decidedly apparent temple of the Lord, are these.". It than in the identity of the religion, is the old and destructive formalism, thus personally considered, which bearing the same relation to religion, was both required and possessed. considered personally, as Socinian.
ism does to religion, considered doc- the other, the inward work of the trinally. The one denies the out. Spirit in the heart. Each is a most ward work of Christ on the cross; dangerous heresy.
SELECT LIST OF BOOKS RECENTLY PUBLISHED,
[The insertion of any article in this List is not to be considered as pledging us to the approbation of its contents, unless it be accompanied by some express notice of our favourable opinion. Nor is the omission of any such notice to be regarded as indicating a contrary opinion; as our limits, and other reasons, impose on us the necessity of selection and brevity.]
Provincial Letters from the County to be the doctrine of the Bible, and to Palatine of Durham: exhibiting the have been taught by the primitive church. Nature and Tendency of the Principles Plain and honest villagers should be put forth by the Writers of the Tracts told the truth, that these men, who enfor the Times, and their various Allies deavour to puzzle their parishioners by and Associales. By George Stanley their tracts, and to teach for religion Faber, B. D. 12mo. pp. xii, 260. E. what the early Church of England rePainter.—Mr. Faber has not unfitly jected with abhorrence, dure not grapple adopted the title of the work by which with Church writers like Mr. Faber, who the celebrated Pascal assailed the men have administered castigations that would who seem, in our day, to be rising into have driven persons of ordinary modesty favour through the Jesuitism of some into retirement for the end of their days. modern theologians, and the ignorance, Such spectacles are fearful, as well as as to religious matters, of educated pub- melancholy. But, in the midst of these lic men, who look with a sort of good. turmoils, let Christian people keep their tempered, self-satisfied pity, upon Me. minds fixed on the subject of justificathodistical evangelists, and reserve their tion, as described by Mr. Faber, in his respects for the gentlemen Jesuits, who able work upon it. Let them especially have, at all events, the merit of belong- view it, not merely as a doctrine, but as ing to a true, if in some respects an a blessing. They who know what it is erring, Church! These ten letters were to be freely justified by faith, can never first published in the “Churchman ; be hurt by Tractarians. Their disciples and their author now sends them forth will be found amongst those who want in this form as “ deeming the principles religion without conversion. and publications of the Tract-school at A Memorial of the Grace of our Lord once essentially false and eminently mis Jesus Christ, as exhibited in the Life chievous.' Some of the writers, whom and Death of Miss Mary M'Owan ; Mr. Faber opposes, are shown to have who exchanged a State of Suffering for very Jesuitical notions on the subject of immortal Glory, Tuesday, April 26th, literary integrity. But what of that? 1842, aged sixteen years and They will still go on, repeating their Month. By her father. 18mo. Stiff bold assertions, as if they had never been Corers. pp. 71. Sold by John Mason, contradicted ; and urging their claims, as -We feel greatly indebted to Mr. though they had never been shown to be M'Owan (Peter) for this brief, but affect. utterly groundless. It must be recollected, ing and instructive, biographical sketch. however, that the members of ti party For young people it will be a very usehave been properly exposed, not only by ful present, And the aged will find it a those whom they regard, by reason of bright illustration of the real nature, and their schism, as below their notice, but blessed power, of religion. by Churchmen like Mr. Faber. The Riley's Pocket-Book for 1843, adapted justification which they call an heretical for the use of Wesleyan Methodists. invention of Luther, he has demonstrated Sold by John Mason.-As this is, wę
believe, the third or fourth issue of worship, will find here much that they “ Riley's Pocket Book,” it is not neces. require ; and it would be well if a sary for us now to do more than thus to larger quantity of information were posannounce it, and recommend it to the sessed on the subject. We often hear notice of all who are accustomed to pur complaints about fallings off in this part chase such articles.
of divine service. Many of them would Damascus : or, Conversion in rela be remedied by a truly good taste ; but tion to the Grace of God and the Agency this can never be formed where its object of Man. An Essay, by David E. is not understood. Mr. Hirst has com. Ford, Author of “ Decapolis," fc. piled a volume, in which the general 18mo. pp. 119. Simpkins.--Impressive reader will find a large quantity of both as well as instructive; mingling, with doc. useful and pleasing statement. trinal exposition, practical exhortation. Dora Melder, a Tale of Alsace : by
The Music of the Church, in Four Meta Sander. A Translation. Edited Parts : containing a General History by the Rev. C. B. Taylor, Author of of Music: including an Account of “ May you like it," &c. 12mo. pp. 278. Hebrew Music, an Investigation into the Longmans.—The narratives (for there are Fitness of Instruments, Harmony, fc., two others) in this volume are designed and Notices, biographical and critical, to illustrate the progress and power of of the most popular hymnic Authors. Christian feeling, as resting on Christian By Thomas Hirst. 12mo. pp. xi, 357. truth. Whittakers : Simpkins.—They who have Christianity in the East. no professional obligation to study mu Rev. W. Buyers, Missionary of the sic, yet wish to know something of London Society at Benares, fc. 24mO. its general history and character, and pp. 62. John Snow.—A brief but useespecially the best mode of adapting it ful address on the subject referred to by for being properly employed in public the title.
On account of the insertion of Mr. it contains matter that would have filled Freeman's Journal in the Missionary a volume, while few books of travels Notices for the present month, and its approach it, in point either of pathos or great interest and value, we have resolved information. That such a great door to give the whole of it at once. To and effectual into such a field of Misenable us do this, however, we have been sionary labour should have been opened, obliged to omit some important articles is indeed a powerful reason for devout which were actually in type, and to post thanksgivings; and calls on the friends pone them, and some others which of Africa, especially, for earnest prayer, were ready for printing, to our next and an energetic supply of the means Nuinber. We cannot regret doing this, which shall enable the mmittee to nor, we think, will any of the readers of avail themselves of the favourable opthe Journal in question. Printed in a portunity without loss of time.-EDIT. close type, and an unpretending form,
OPENING OF THE NORTHERN BRANCH OF THE WESLEYAN
THEOLOGICAL INSTITUTION AT DIDSBURY,
(To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magasine.) Few, if any, of your readers will need expressed by many, that a branch of that to be informed, that the first object con Institution should be permanently located templated at the commencement of the in the neighbourhood of Manchester. Centenary subscription was, the provi The General Centenary Committee of sion of new and enlarged premises for the 1839 entertained the project favourably, purposes of the Wesleyan Theological and set apart a portion of the funds at Institution; or that, from the same their disposal to accomplish it; and, ia period, the wish was entertained and accordance with their recommendation,