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as hirelings, our days, and at evening bination of gravity and kindness. The lie down to rest ; or, it may be, our few who knew his trials highly esteemed sun will go down while it is yet day; his meekness, and patience, and defeat all events, the night cometh, and rence to the Divine will. will probably overtake us before we are Intense study in a burning climate aware. Nevertheless, the foundation gave to his vigorous mind the mastery of God standeth sure, having this seal : of one of the most difficult themes to a • The Lord knoweth them that are his.'” European, the language and literature
His funeral sermon was preached at of China. Knowing what it cost to Tonbridge chapel, by the pastor on acquire this rare talent, he was conwhose ministry the family attended. scientiously solicitous to render it in Mr. Woodwark published it under the the highest degree conducive to the title of “ Man's ignorance of his time," Divine glory, and the salvation of men. as it was founded on Eccles. ix, 12. He bore up against a most discouraging To this discourse, we must refer for indifference to the language of almost further information concerning the de- half a world, with the uncomplaining ceased.
calmness of one who had learned, in In childhood he was of delicate the school of affliction, to say, “ Father, health ; in youth, strong ; but, for the thy will be done." His tender solicilast twelve years, disease depressed tude for his partner and their offspring, both body and mind, though the self- he poured into the bosom of Him who discipline which divine grace produced said, not in vain, “ Leave thy fatherless triumphed over the excitability of his children ; I will preserve them alive ; frame, and maintained a uniform com- and let thy widows trust in me.”
ECCLESIASTICAL CONTROVERSIES OF SCOTLAND.
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. DEAR SIR,—In a letter of mine, in- of many, so that an attempt at eluciserted in the Magazine a few months dation, if not quite abortive, may prove ago, reference was made to certain of some benefit to your readers geneministers recently excluded from the rally. United Secession Church of Scotland, The "statement” of these ministers on the alleged ground of departure, includes “their views of God's chaon some points said to be of great im- racter as our sovereign Governor ; of portance, from the doctrines taught by our duty as the subjects of his governthe standards of that church. Since ment ; of our state and character as that time these ministers have formed rebels against the authority of his themselves into an association--in fact, government; and of the way of salvaa new denomination, under the desig. tion by which, one and all of our fellownation of the “ Evangelical Union.” rebels may be delivered from the penal They have published a statement of and demoralizing (the italics are mine, their principles of Union, on one or and the passage is significant) consetwo of which I beg to offer a few re- quences of our rebellion." marks. I am the more induced to do O n the first three topics little is said this because I think I see the source which calls for remark. It may be of what appear to me to be mistakes mentioned, however, that the whole of on their part, and because the points in the Divine character may, in their view, regard to which I cannot but regard be expressed by the single word bene. them as in perplexity or error, are volence. God, they say, is simply love; points which have perplexed the minds and his holiness, justice, truth, anger, &c., may and must be resolved into the gospel is not assurance of my salvalove. This has been often affirined, tion." Nothing, surely, can be more but it has never been satisfactorily self-evident than this. Accordingly, proved. It is no doubt true that in the “ statement” of principles, lately rectitude and benevolence are insepa, issued, a view of the immediate results rably connected—that what is right, is of faith, somewhat modified, is given. kind—and what is kind, right; but “ The simple belief of God's word resurely they are not identical. The garding the propitiation, in the true ideas of rightness and of goodness ap- sense of that record, immediately, and pear to be as distant from each other, in every case, produces peace with as any ideas can well be. The at. God”-“ prior to any reflection upon tempts made by the “statement” to the act of the mind in believing, or resolve all the perfections of God into upon the morally transforming effects love will be generally considered abor- of the truth believed." There is, I tive. What can be the meaning of the think, much important truth couched in assertion that “God's anger is his bene- this statement, yet it is somewhat survolence wounded ?”
prising to me that they do not seem to In reference to the universality of feel that there may be an ambiguity in the atonement-understanding by that the phrase "peace with God," leading phrase the removal of all obstacles on to a misapprehension of the facts of the the part of God to the bestowment of case. Let us, then, endeavour to quesmercy upon the guilty in such way as tion what those facts are. Divine wisdom shall see fit to adopt It is no doubt true that the enlightthey hold, in my view, the truth, and ened belief of any truth will produce very important truth. I cannot think upon every individual who receives it that a man rightly understands the the precise effect which it is in itself gospel-the glad tidings—who enter adapted to secure and that it will do tains the limited anti-Calvinistic view this “ prior" to any thought, whether he of the atonement; since the gospel is believes it or not. If a well authentinot that God loved the elect, and gave cated report reach me that a beloved his son for the elect,--but that He friend is recovering from a dangerous loved the world, and gave his Son for malady, the report, if believed, fills me the WORLD, that whosoever of that with joy. It is right to state it thus, world believeth, should not perish, &c. because it is, properly speaking, the
In regard to their statements concern- report itself, or the truth believed, and ing the necessary and immediate effect of not the act of believiog it, that prothe belief of this blessed testimony, it duces the joy-and produces it just may not be useless to offer a few remarks. because it is a joy-inspiring truth. I In some of their former publications must believe the report to have the they represent assurance-and, as I joy, but I have no need to put the understand them, assurance of our own question, “ Do I believe it or not?”. acceptance with God—as entering into before the joy is awakened. Just so the very essence of faith ; so that if a is it with the gospel. It is a joy-inman has not assurance, in this sense, spiring report-supremely so. It dehe has not faith. One of their number, clares that, all obstacles, on the part of indeed, in a private communication, God, to the salvation of all men having which I hope he will excuse me for been removed, every obstacle to my adverting to, says, “I by no means salvation is of course taken away, think it accurate to say, that assurance that atonement has not merely been made of salvation is of the essence of faith. for others, but for me. Now it is maniThe object of saving faith, in other festly impossible to believe this—that words the gospel, is not that I shall be the door of mercy has been thus opened saved, and, consequently, my belief of for me--without joy. And it is of vast
importance to observe that the joy operator could produce. Formerly, comes directly out of the report, or is I had a secret fear that it was preproduced by the truth believed. It sumption in me to receive the great does not spring from the consciousness truths of the gospel ; now there apof believing. There is no need, in peared no impediment. I beheld Jesus order to its existence, that the questions, as the speaker in his word, and as “Do I believe ?" should be decided. speaking to me!" "I chiefly viewed No reflection upon the exercise of my the atonement of Jesus as of infinite mind is necessary. The truth itself value-as a price paid for my redempcomforts; it cannot fail to do it. If it tion, and cheerfully accepted by the do not, in the case of any individual, Father. I saw love in the Father, Son, he either misunderstands or disbelieves and Holy Ghost, all harmonizing in it- perhaps both. The testimony that pardoning and justifying me. The “ God was in Christ reconciling the sight humbled and melted my soul. world to himself;" i.e. making provision Looking to what I felt was no help to for the salvation of the world, and my comfort ; it came directly from therefore for his salvation, fills him God, through his word.” with joy; and were it possible for the Joy, then, is the necessary and imquestion, “Am I a believer," never to mediate result of the faith of the gospel. occur, his joy would remain. I most It comes directly--if I may so speakthoroughly believe that the recorded out of the gospel, and is not produced experience of David Brainerd and John by the consciousness of faith in the Campbell, late of Kingsland, is in ac- gospel. Nay, I will add that the joy cordance with what is and must be the of which I am now speaking cannot be experience of every man when his eyes the result of consciousness, or " of any are first opened by the Spirit of God reflection upon the act of the mind in to a full discovery of the meaning and believing." It is here, as in vision, evidence of the gospel testimony. “I In the latter case it is the object seen stood still," says the former, “and won that affects the eye. To secure that dered and admired.” “My soul was affection, at first, and to retain it, we so captivated and delighted with the must look at, and continue looking at, excellency, loveliness, greatness, and the object. The instant the eye is other perfections of God, that I was withdrawn from the object, the imswallowed up in him ; at least to that pression ceases. In like manner when degree that I had no thought, as I the mental eye is turned inward, and remember, at first, about my own salva begins to inspect its own consciousness, tion, and scarce reflected there was it is of course withdrawn from the such a creature as myself." The latter gospel-the joy-inspiring object; and, writes, “ Upon the evening of the 26th by necessary consequence, the joy for day of January, 1795, the Lord ap- the time at least subsides. peared as my deliverer. He com- Again, reconciliation to God is manded, and darkness was turned into another of the immediate and neces. light! The cloud which covered the sary effects of a spiritual and believing mercy seat fled away. Jesus appeared view of the gospel. The apostles were as he is! My eyes were not now commanded to carry the gospel unto turned INWARD, but OUTWARD. The the whole world, that by it, as an ingospel was the glass in which I beheld strument in the hand of the spirit of him. When our Lord first visited God, they might reconcile the world Saul by the highway, he knew in a to God. And the gospel is eminently moment that it was the Lord. So did I. adapted to accomplish this most blessSuch a change of views, feelings, and ed work. Love begets love. We love desires, suddenly took place in my mind, God because He first loved us. No as none but the hand of an infinite sooner does the rebel perceive the
character of God as it is displayed in ás false, in this case, as in the other it the gospel-his unbounded and infinite was true. If, indeed, the gospel delove to sinners, blended with his love claration were, that the sins of all men to holiness, than he drops his arms and are pardoned, or that they shall be parsues for peace. It is the power of doned, without any condition, or sine God's holy love that converts the rebel qua non, of pardon, then all the joy of into a friend. It is the gospel that pardoned sin would immediately, and effects this conversion ; not, properly in every case, arise directly out of the speaking, his faith in the gospel, for belief of this declaration. But the faith does no inore, and can do no more, gospel declaration is not this. It is than admit the gospel into the mind to neither that all men are in a state of put forth all its energy there. Far pardon, nor even that God's judicial less is this conversion effected by re- displeasure is removed from all menflecting upon our consciousness - upon for even the elect remain under conthe state, or feelings, or actings of our demnation till they believe ; but it is own minds—by self-inspection, or turn- merely this, that obstacles on the part ing the eye of the mind inward. Such of God to the salvation of all men have introvision might, perhaps, find enmity been so removed by the death of Christ against God removed, but it could not that he can now, in whatever way he take it away. Sound philosophy, and pleases, show mercy to any and every the Bible, unite in teaching that the man ; and that he actually will show way to kindle love to God in the mercy to every man that believes in bosom, is to look at God, and not at Christ. The gospel is, “ God so loved ourselves. His character, as it is un the world, &c., that whosoever believeth veiled in the person and work of Christ, in him might not perish." A passage subdues the enmity of the human heart; occurs in the “Great Propitiation," by so that the way to live in the constant Truman—who, by the way, has anticiexercise of love to God is to live in the pated all that modern writers have said constant contemplation of the character on the universal aspect of the atoneof God. We are now prepared to esti- ment—that deserves especial notice. mate the correctness of the assertion “God set not forth Christ to die merely in “the statement of principles,” viz. for this end—that sinners might be “that the simple belief of God's record, justified without more ado, only be &c., produces imrnediately peace with sinners. Some have said, Be but God, prior to any reflection upon the sure of this, that you are sinners, act of the mind in believing, or upon and you may believe that you are the morally transforming effects of the justified. The immediate effect of this truth believed." If by peace with God satisfaction, as satisfaction, and which they intend the joy of which we have is an essential consequent of a satisfacbeen speaking, or the conversion of tion to justice, is only this,-that that enmity against God into love, the asser- obstacle being removed, he might be tion is undoubtedly true, and as im- left at liberty to act in the pardon portant as it is true. But if by peace of sinners, in what way and upon what with God they mean, as they appear to terms he pleased.” The rectoral chado, the assurance that we are in a state racter of God seems to have rendered of reconciliation with God-that He is it necessary that a rule of justification in a state of friendship with us, and should be established, or how could that we are in a state of friendship the equity of the proceedings of the with him ; and if they further mean to great day be rendered manifest ? Faith denote by the words, the joy which the in Christ is that rule. The requisition knowledge of this cannot fail to give to and the promise are, “Believe in the the mind,-if they mean this, the as- Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be sertion, thus understood, appears to me saved." The instant a sinner believes he is justified on the ground of the sentiments of the ministers who drew work of Christ; he is rescued from the up “the statement.” On their princijudicial displeasure of God, to which, ples, though Christ made an atoneup to the very moment of believing, he ment for each and every man, i. e., rewas exposed ; so that were he to die moved, as we have explained it, the the moment after, before the inquiry obstacles on the part of God which had arisen, “ Do I believe ?” he would would have prevented his salvation, be safe for eternity. I have not said, yet that atonement did not, as they it will be observed, that he knows that believe, and as I believe, of itself, irrehe is justified, for there is a great and spectively of covenant engagements, an important distinction between being which are the foundation of the work of justified, and knowing that we are so. the Spirit, secure the salvation of any Brainerd and Campbell were justified, man. It is, then, impossible to gather but neither of them, at the first mo the knowledge of my salvation, i. e., ment of believing, knew themselves to that I am saved, from the gospel, bebe so. Believing brings justification, but cause that knowledge identifies itself it does not bring,-directly at least, with the knowledge that I am reconthe knowledge of justification (nor con- ciled to God, and the gospel does not sequently the joy which that know- testify this. It testifies concerning the ledge produces); that depends upon work of Christ, not the work of the our knowledge that we are believers. Spirit. It declares that the obstacles
The writers of “the statement” have to reconciliation on God's part have failed to perceive that the Christian been removed, but not that the obstaparticipates in a double joy,—the joycles on my part have been removed. (of which we have spoken) which is It is impossible that the latter should directly kindled by the gospel when be the subject of Divine testimony. That faith brings it into contact with the a man is reconciled to God is to be mind; and the joy which arises out attested by the consciousness of beof assurance that we are personally lieving, and the possession of personal interested in its blessings. These two holiness : it not only is not, but it is joys, if I may so speak, result from the impossible that it should be attested belief of two totally distinct and dif- by the gospel. ferent things; the former from the be- I think I see the source of the mislief that God has been so propitiated by takes, as I cannot but deem them, the work of his Son as to render it safe which these writers have fallen into, and honourable to him to establish the both on the point referred to in this gracious constitution in which salvation letter, and on the doctrine of Divine is connected with faith—the latter, influence, (a far more serious mistake, from the belief that by special Divine since they resolve it into moral sudinfluence I am a partaker of that faith sion,) which may form the subject of which the gospel requires in order to another letter. Having felt powerfully, salvation. The former springs from a perhaps, the difference in the power of spiritual and believing view of the the two editions, shall I call them, of work of Christ without me; the latter the gospel“ Christ made an atonefrom the experience of the work of the ment for the elect merely ;' and Spirit within me; the first arises from “ Christ made an atonement for the the conviction that I may be saved, whole world "- to yield comfort to the the latter from the consciousness that minds of men in general, they have I am saved. By the belief of the gos- suffered themselves to dwell too exclupel I obtain the former joy ; by know. sively upon this universal manifestation ing that I believe the gospel I come to of Divine goodness. They have thought the possession of the latter.
too much, or rather too exclusively, This distinction is demanded by the upon the love which opened the door