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reality so conflicting that they never can commingle; / pacifies the conscience in the appointed way, the but they tend to keep the natural conscience in its sinner, as an outcast prodigal, does not return to the unruffled security. To bring down lofty imaginations, Father's house in the frame which the omniscient or to insinuate a suspicion of the perfect safety of Saviour mentions. Compare our Lord's description such as espouse this set of notions, is no part of these of the prodigal's history, in which every converted men's endeavour. Their whole efforts and their person sees himself reflected in a mirror, the dewhole views conspire, no less than if it were sys- struction of his false peace, the resolution of the tematically pursued, to assist the strong man armed awakened sinner, the illumination of his mind, his to keep his goods in peace. In common with all repentance (I have sinned, and am not worthy), and error, this heresy makes the strait gate wider, and every one will be overwhelmed with emotion when the narrow way broader than the Bible does; and he reads such language as the following: "1. We they labour as strenuously to retain the conscience therefore learn that we have no sorrow to suffer before we in its perilous repose, as if the bias of the mind, in enjoy the facour of God. Many speak and act as if a its natural suggestions, did not sufficiently whisper mighty agony must be endured before he can have peace and safety when sudden destruction cometh. mercy Were this the case, it would be untrue that
Between Rowism and Morisonianism the only Jesus finished the work given him to do. That was difference is that the former requires all men to be just the work of bearing our agonies : and were there lieve that their sins are already pardoned, while the still some that we must bear ere we get pardon, he latter is comprised in the belief-Christ died for me. could not be said to have finished his work. O But they are positions, both of them, not only devoid how fearful the position which men take up in mainof scriptural authority and unsanctioned by apostolic taining that the sinner must suffer an agony ere he practice, but calculated to lull the mind into a de- is forgiven! They go right up to the cross of Jesus lusive belief of pardon, without the evidence of a and contradict his dying words."* We tell these change of heart. Mr Erskine, who may be said to misjudging men, who fill sermons with such painful have run riot with the unguarded statements of irreverence and ignorant tirades, that they but betray Marshall, Hervey, and the marrow-men, proclaims their own deficiencies, and that the hearts' desire that the sins of all mankind are pardoned whether and prayer of all who wish their welfare is, that they believe it or not. Mr Kirk, using the language they may know that repentance and those convicof his party, says: “As truly may you say he has tions of which they speak so lightly. Was it not the borne my sins in his own body on the tree. It is true substance of our Lord's own preaching to enforce that he has done so—it shall remain for ever true, repentance : “From that time Jesus began to preach, whether you believe it or not.* Mr Erskine sets forth, and to say, Repent : for the kingdom of heaven is at that the penalty is removed and the pardon is pro- hand.” (Mat. iv. 17.) Did not Peter say, “ Repent,” claimed whether men believe it or not. Mr Kirk to the awakened thousands at Pentecost, who might again says, “Whether you believe it or not, God is have been thought sufficiently awakened, and who propitious to you for Christ's sake;" + and in another had inquired,“What shall we do ?” And on the second place, “ Whether you will or not, Jesus has effected great birth-day of the Church (Acts üi.), when your deliverance so completely, that through him is Peter charged the Jews with their denial, and rejecnow proclaimed to you the forgiveness of sins.” I Intion, and murder, of the Prince of life, was not his their deepest ground, in this inmost germ, the two address, “ Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that systems are identical. They demand, contrary to your sins may be blotted out” (els cò iganespoñvas.) No the dictates of conscience and to the Word of God, conscience awakened by the Spirit was ever persuada persuasion of personal safety, on grounds upon ed of pardon without repentance; but to tell men which no mind awakened by the Holy Spirit ever that repentance is unnecessary, or to tell them that did or ever could repose. They agree to persuade it is wrong to “think of God as one who demands men that they are pardoned, whether they have any the hard task of repentance from them, before he desire to return to God or not. Though God has would condescend to receive them into his favour,”+ is yet spoken no peace to the awakened sinner, they to daub with untempered mortar, and to heal the labour to convince him that it is the greatest sin to hurt slightly, saying " Peace, peace, when there is no entertain a doubt of his salvation. No more effectual peace.” opiate could be brought to stifle the convictions of The crude revivalism of America, which may be sin, and to pacify the conscience by a mere delusion : called the other side of this system, leads them to lay and the conclusion of which the anxious inquirer claim to an ability which it cannot be proved even runs the risk is, that he may be saved whether he unfallen Adam had in his possession. They make prereturn to God or not. They virtually calm the in- tensions to a strength, a life, a fulness, which even the quirer's well-founded apprehensions, as if all
were a angelic hosts draw
from the living Head—both theirs groundless fear. The awakened jailer of Philippi and ours. They lay claim to an independent life, which they would have soothed, not by leading him, as Paul we are very certain even the humanity of the Goddid, to the personal Redeemer, and to a direct inter- man did not possess in itself, but derived from the course with the Living One, but by assuring him that Holy Ghost, by whom he was immediately led and Jesus died for him, and that God was propitious replenished. We intend to dwell on the identity to him, whether he believed it or not. They would between our life and that of Christ-the great posibave brought him, not to a living connexion with the tive truth fitted to outflank and to consume this God-man, but to a fact-to a doctrine, but not to the naturalistic heresy- to point out that the Living One, Saviour. If they attach any real meaning to their with the most perfect possession of every gift and words, they have no ground on this side the wildest grace, and a humanity plentifully endowed rather for universalism which they can consistently occupy. us than for himself, lives in all the members whom Bat, amid this light-hearted security of a system, he apprehends ; but at present we only remark that which neither allows free course to convictions nor if even Jesus lived by the Father, surely the pre* Way of Life,.p. 12. 7. Ibid., p. 11. i Ibid., p. 60. * Precious Seed, p. 46.
+ Way of Life, p. 178.
sumptuous arrogance of laying claim to independent use a German phrase, is simply to subjectivize the activity, and life, and power, is only equalled by its objective word. Here, however, a crude set of opiignorance. The Morisonian notions of ability are nions presumes to claim public notice, though they do imported from America—a quarter whence every not profess to be legitimately evolved from Scripture; statement on this subject is to be received with the nor can they, if we try them by a test, bear the apgreatest caution and suspicion. And far from plication of any rule of interpretation known to the giving heed to the reckless crudities of Finney, few modern exegesis—a result the more strange and inwill be prepared, least of those well versed in the excusable in one like Mr Morison, who takes credit Augustinian theology, to give an unreserved assent for mature acquaintance with exegesis and the use of to all the statements on ability which even Edwards hermeneutic canons. But before they are entitled and Bellamy propounded. For ourselves, while we to attention from the public, a definite understanding do not object to the distinction of natural and moral must be had with them on what ground they argue ability, we cannot acquiesce in all the inferences their case, whether Scripture, fairly interpreted, drawn from a distinction which has as much embar-binds them as an ultimate authority, and whether they rassed its propounders as advanced the cause. Pre- are content to regard theology as a reproduction, in sumptuous and perilous, however, as American re- the most ample fulness and in the most luminous outvivalism may be, it is turned to some account in its line, of the Divine ideas given in the Word, while proper homes. But in this country the introducers insulated passages are most clearly expounded by of the exotic do not know to what use to turn it. itself as a harmonious whole. On any principles of Though such men as Finney make the most unwarrant. interpretation which do homage to Scripture as the able statements on ability, yet they employ it to basis of theology, and evolve its import with philolourge on men the immediate duty of submission and gical precision, it is the easiest task to demolish to return to God. In this country, claims no less the foundation this whole system. It is now incumarrogant are made ; but men are not called to repent bent on them to avow whether they hold their rea. and to return from their rebellion. We can under- son as ruled by Scripture, and not ruling it, and stand the American, and can sympathize with his whether they abide by the Word as the final stanappeals in no small measure, when he urges sinners dard, when expounded on the principles of grammato yield to God on the spot, and before they draw tico-historical interpretation. another breath, although he deeply errs in assuring But, on the contrary, their whole attitude is neothem they have the power. But we cannot under logical. If they are unconscious of the ground they stand the Morisonian, when he flatters men with occupy, it is high time they knew it: if they know their ability, but keeps silence on the urgency of the it, it is high time to avow it. They seem to attach divine claims on the one hand, and the pressing no more importance to the Scriptures, if we may immediate duty of the sinner on the other. Why judge from their presumptuous audacity of interprethis is not attempted may appear strange, especially tation, than as they reflect their preconceived ideas
, as it is admitted that the sinner is found with the and enable them to dress out their conceits. In weapons of rebellion in his hands. And yet, in that proof of this we need only cast our eye on any porstrange consistency which error carries with it as tion of their writings. We take the following from well as truth, it is in keeping with the other parts of Mr Morison :- In a separate tract he labours to show a system, the whole aim of which is to leave man's that the words of Jesus, “I pray not for the world," subjective nature as inviolable and intact as if it manifest his love to the whole world; and the prinnever was enfeebled or beclouded by the fall. ciples of interpretation which conduct him to the
But we cannot proceed farther without pointing rare discovery are no less rare. The Divine idea out, that for every doctrine there is an indispensable was not in harmony with his views; and the question necessity for a scriptural foundation. To this, how was, Whether were his views to be brought to harever, these opinions lay no claim. They do not even monize with Scripture, or Scripture exhausted of its claim to be drawn from Scripture, the basis of all fulness to suit his superficial views ! It is curious theology, and the substance of all knowledge of di- to trace how he acquits himself of his task; but vine things. And the public have right and reason whether he exhibits an ingenuous love of truth-an to complain that doctrines of a character so wholly honest candour, that yields a supreme reverence to negative are obtruded on their notice. Doctrines the Word, whether for his system or against it-we which do not profess even to be a reproduction of leave our readers to judge. He first assumes that the objective word, merit no notice, and should be the declaration cannot possibly mean that there is a visited with the most unceremonious rejection. We vast non-elect company of mankind, in which Jesus should rejoice to see the public resent it as an indig- took so little interest that he would not even pray nity offered to the intelligence of the age, and as an for them”-language which none would presume to outrage for which men should be made to answer at use who is acquainted with the prayers of the God. the bar of public opinion, if the propounders of doc- man; and then he capriciously asserts that Jesus trines cannot establish them from scripture. If the prayed for disunion as a blessing to the world. We domain of science is so severely fenced, that theories are at a loss what
say to such wayward petulance can be established only on the solid basis of a wide and pueriency of exegesis. He first assumes that it induction, is theology alone to be a prey to every cannot mean what the natural grammatical meaning one who will have a new set of notions, whether of the words imply, and then he puts the most arbithey can be deduced from Scripture or not? The trary sense upon them which it is possible to conviews in question do not appeal to the final standard.ceive. Few peasants in the country but discern at a They rest for their ultimate
ground, not on the Word glance that the words cannot bear that sense, and of God, but on the subjective reason of the indivi- that the omniscient Saviour, in the second clause, dual. They are professedly adopted, because the has forestalled the possibility of misconstruction. No ter of God. But the business of the theologian, to ) words, “I pray not for the world, but for them
“ Such an
which thou hast given me," than he concludes as Dorner* emphatically remarks, that Pelagianism that, as Jesus prayed for his own because they were and Ebionism are inwardly connected. given him, so he prays not at all for the world be- Ebionitic, external, unethic conception of his (Christ's) cause the world was not given him. That Mr Mori. work,” says he of those unduly attached to Eschatoloson is ignorant of the rules of exegesis, when it has gy,
can very easily advance forward to an Ebionitic engaged so much of his attention, we cannot believe; conception of his person, as, indeed, Pelagianism and but such an exposition, whatever defect it argues, is Ebionism are inwardly connected." The Morisonian 80 little in harmony with an honest attempt to educe views only reflect the spirit of the age; they are but a meaning from Scripture by sound rules and philo- a bubble tossed to the surface of this turbid time; logical exactness, that we are very hopeless of his but, like the counterpart movements in Germany, of recovery. His whole idea of Scripture, we fear, is which Rongé and Uhlich are the guides, this so called so jejune and superficial, that, in common with all progress is a retrogression. The one claims to imheretics, he finds a use for the Word only to put a prove the theology of Scotland, the other makes premeaning into it, but not to draw a meaning out of it. tensions to reform the Reformation. They are one It does not evince that any attempt is made, in com- in their inmost core, but they differ in the adventipliance with the claims of science, to go back to tious circumstances of the several countries. In Scripture, and to speak out what is there discovered. Germany, the objective Christological foundation of Deliverance from error, and an advance in the life of the faith has nearly disappeared; in this country, the the Church, is practicable only by a new immersion truths connected with Christ's person are retained, in the sacred springs of Scripture; but, instead of but all subjective holiness, all supernatural aid, all seeking to fathom its depths, to trace its outline, and spirituality of mind, are set at nought. If they will to explain it by itself, such a wayward exposition be rationalists, and swell the rising tide, let them argues mental habits that are wholly perverted. We take their ground. It seems the controversy must take another specimen from Mr Guthrie, who thus come. Our confessional views do not shrink from all denounces the doctrine of inability: “ Constituted as the lights of science, and claim no authority but what I am, it is not in my nature, nor do I believe it in the Scripture lends them. The most profound researches nature of any rational being in the universe, to feel any into the Word, the most strenuous attempts to reobligation to work impossibilities, or, in the event of produce its whole contents, will only lend them fresh not doing so, to feel anything like remorse.'
."* In such confirmation. Already the friends of truth abroad choice phrase any doctrine may be denounced; but are beginning to feel this in a conflict with a rathis profound thinker forgets that the appeal is not tionalism to which nothing was too sacred. Theoto Mr Guthrie's nature, but to Mr Guthrie's judge-logy was there set free from the formulas of bygone to the Word of God. We cannot believe that the centuries, and every traditional doctrine beaten down, Popish maxim is the maxim of these writers—“Mun. and already they are being reconstructed with fresh dus cult decipi ;” but sure we are that they take no strength. If this struggle is to be renewed here, steps to set the world right. An uneducated audience when it is expiring in its proper home, we can only may be easily deluded by preconceived ideas, when say, let them honestly take their ground, and we shall the ultimate decision turns on what these men call know how to deal with them. fitting or unbefitting the character of God. But, with Whatever sanctifying influence is expected-and it all who are acquainted with the Scriptures as the is deeply painful to trace how small a place this source of knowledge, conceits are held in small ac holds-is expected from the mere belief of pardon. count. We give another instance of the same neolo- The unerring Scriptures announce a sanctification of gical bias from Mr Kirk: “Much that is true, and of the Spirit, and belief of the truth. This human inestimable value, is written, eren about Jesus, in the system calls in the moral influence of pardon to heal Bible, which is not the gospel. That only is the gospel which the spiritual disease. The rationale of the process is the good news concerning him. Let us then search the Mr Kirk ventures to explain, but with what success Bible, keeping this in view. By doing so you will we leave our readers to determine. “Why, for exbe enabled to see clearly that one glorious truth, by ample,” says het " is it necessary to communicate the the knowledge of which the soul is saved.”+ If this intelligence of pardon to a condemned criminal with man attaches any meaning to such revolting lan- the greatest possible care? Is it not true, that if a guage-which the wise will bewail, and which the man were going into a prison, and saying all at once profane will scarcely use—if he will play the ra- to the condemned criminal, 'You are pardoned,' if he tionalist, we call upon him openly to avow it, and we did not die, would not his reason sustain a shock shall know how to deal with him; but we will not from which he might never recover! Surely, then, allow him, under the semblance of deference to Scrip- if a sentence might take away life and dethrone the ture, to select a gospel out of a few favourite texts, reason of man, it is not too much to say that a senand leave the rest as a residuum, as common and tence, provided of God for the purpose, may save them and unclean. He cannot be allowed to reduce its holy change the unconverted soul.” It is beside our purpose words to his naturalistic stand-point.
to animadvert on the rare felicity of this illustration, But towards rationalism they are greatly more but we put it in juxtaposition with the divine explaadvanced than they are at all aware. “Naturalism," nation of the process : “We are his workmanship, which is the real character of this system, “finds," as created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God Kahniswell remarks, “its truth in rationalism.” The hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” very arguments which we have seen employed against It is true, the moral influence of pardon is the proxiCalvinism may be employed by them against the still mate motive in the hand of the renewing Spirit, but more mysterious doctrines of the trinity. The sys- no primary moving power. It is true, he that is for. tem still retains the objective fundamental truths in given much loves much, and stands forth among men reference to Christology; but it is not the less true, as the purchased property of Jesus, his willing disciple, his devoted servant, drawn with cords of love, pentance is not to be enforced from the ten comwhile the will of one so precious is invested with a mandments, or from the law of Moses, but from the captivating glory, goodness, and wisdom. But it is sufferings and death of the Son of God, by the gospel; utterly unscriptural to hold, as these opinions do, and here we have the same sentiment avowed. that all this precedes the new nature, and engenders These divines find no use for the law. If they all the moral change. The mind is carried to its do not, with the early Antinomians, dismiss it to activity, not alone by motives from without, but by the civil tribunals, they do not employ it as the a new nature from within. And, to anticipate the apostle did (Rom. iii.), to give the knowledge of supposition in question, the Redeemer sets forth in sin. They forestall the possibility of true repenthe stony.ground hearers, where the soil was not | tance, as much as in them lies, by keeping silence prepared, that the mere force of motives without a on the awful holiness of God reflected in his law. new sense, that even the great facts of redeeming Christian freedom dissociated from right views of the love without a new nature and a hidden life—all Holy One, degenerates into mere frivolity and prove unavailing. But these men would adjust the dangerous security. With reference to the proper deranged machinery by the application of an outward nature of repentance, Denne, the Antinomian, made moving power. Such is the implacable enmity of it a part of faith, or a change of mind. To the same the carnal mind, however, that the nearer it is effect, says Mr Kirk, * « you see that in some cases brought to God, the more affecting the outward ex- in Scripture you'are called upon to repent and be hibition of his loveliness and grace, the more em- lieve, in others only to believe, and in others only to bittered the hostility. Who but such a class of theo- repent, in order to be saved. Now, there is no diffilogians can fail to understand that all carnal minds, culty with these various phrases, if you only underdisguise their enmity in feigned submission as they stand repentance to be a change of mind." The prin. may, would, equally with the Jews, lift up their hand ciple of the old Antinomians was, that no minister against the life of the God-man, were he within their was to threaten or to declare the wrath of God reach!
1 Way of Life, p. 4.
* Dorner Enforickelungsgeschichte der Person Christi, p. 236. # Kahnis die Lehre vom Heiligen Geiste, P. 99.
| Precious Seed, p. 54.
* Guthrie's New Views,
against sinners till they refused Christ; and so far But whatever is of mere nature is strange fire : have these divines imbibed the same spirit, that they and we cannot omit to apply this consideration not only do not come forth, saying, “Knowing the to much of the temporary earnestness with which terrors of the Lord we persuade men,” but they do these new opinions are associated.
The sem- not so much as retain the doctrine or the duty of blance of ardent zeal disguises no small part of repentance. They will have no offers of the gospel, their mischief and their danger. The line between but gifts to all alike, although they might remember tendency and motive we do not overstep when we that the gifts and calling of God are without repen. assert, that the dark chamber of religiosity, which in tance. They will have unconverted men equally reality comes under a higher bar, is no proper test of with saints the objects of God's love, although the fordoctrines. They are to be tested by their scriptural mer are termed children of wrath," and "condemned foundation, and by their proper character. But we already.”. When the Spirit comes, he convinces men cannot admit, and least of all in a period when many of sin at the commencement of his work; God maniworshippers of earnestness have scarcely even a per- fests his love only to the awakened that they may sonal God, that any convulsive efforts of nature, adequately value Christ, and understand the charachowever earnest—that any mere religiosity, however ter of God as no less holy than marvellously gracions impassioned-are, in themselves, a letter of com- to the undeserving; but these preachers will anmendation to any set of doctrines. These are often nounce only glad tidings, without inquiring whether kindled into the fiercest flame by what is wholly there be any hungry and thirsty, sick and weary, human in its origin. The Hindu devotee, who souls, to value them. The Antinomians of a former shares them in common with the Pharisee who com- period, alleged that their duties were superseded
bepassed sea and land to make one proselyte, is proof cause Christ prayed, and repented, and was sanctified, enough that no mere earnestness can weigh or test for them, and they could speak of holiness as Pharithe truth of doctrines. They must have more worthy saic Popery. Our modern pretenders have not ventestimony in their favour than the feverisk heat of tured on such language; but in all their writings we our fitful nature.
do not remember the enforcement of a single duty, But we must add, that, to a large extent, the lan- or of that holiness without which no man shall see guage and the tenets peculiar to the Antinomians the Lord. Of old they alleged that it was contrary have been adopted in this system. Here, again, to faith to be moved by the convictions of sin: the we must summon them to complete their views. modern representatives fill whole sermons with The reformers were fully persuaded that the more every opiate that can soothe the conscience, with warmly all works of the law were repudiated as a every consideration that tends to discourage or recondition of acceptance, the more needful was it to move sorrow for sin and hatred of it. And the maintain the law's authority and its relation to the calumnies with which they borden the opposite Christian life. They saw that an omission here would opinions are almost verbally the same. Saltmarsh, forfeit on the one hand what had been gained upon for instance, said of old, that they who opposed his the other. In his five impassioned disputations views, “ durst not believe till, upon terms of humiliaagainst the Antinomians, Luther maintains, with all tion, sorrow for sin, works of righteousness
, they his fiery energy, that a neglect of the law in its have a price and satisfaction to come with.” And threefold use would usher in a perilous security, with similar unfairness, Mr Kirk + says * Conviction ruinous both to faith and to the fear of God. Mr of sin is considered a necessary part of saving faith. Kirk complains that “very many make repentance a It is not meant by those who hold this that work of law."* We should like to see him prove conviction of sin will always go along with saving faith
, that it is not. The main position which Agricola laid or follow it; but that if a sinner has not a considerable down in his controversy with Luther was, that re- degree of a feeling called conviction of sin, he is without * Way Of Life, p. 177.
* Way of Life, p. 178.
Ibid. p. 12.
an essential condition of acceptance with God.” | savour of spiritual life, though it has conceded much Has Mr Kirk really met with such a person, or is it on the extent of divine grace; but the theology in a gratuitous assumption, to dress out his case? But question, by its own showing, contemplates nothing in one respect, in the extreme to which his views are higher than mere nature. carried on faith, he exceeds the wildest Antinomian The Morisonian movement, as every one must, at orgies in ancient or in modern times. He finds it a glance, discern, runs counter to the whole spirit legal to accept of Christ, or to lay hold on Christ, if of the Reformation; nay, the most of its peculiar it is something in addition to his notion of believing. tenets, although the germs may be discovered, are “ Those who are under the law,” says he, “ in this form of not developed, even in the Church of Rome, in a its bondage, say, 'My salvation turns not on my know- manner so offensive as by men who would resent it ing or believing something about Jesus, but on my re- as an indignity to be denied the name of Protestant. ceiving or rejecting him.' O my reader! is this the way The Reformation would never have succeeded in the in which you think and speak of being saved ?" hands of men infected with such withering, baleful We find it difficult to speak in measured language tenets. We shall adduce, to this effect, an impartial of such impiety; but our readers have materials but competent witness. D'Aubigné, speaking of enough to judge whether Antinomianism of a more Melancthon's Common places (book ix. chap. 9), rerevolting form could well be uttered.
marks: “ What is, above all, remarkable in this first But, still farther we must add, these opinions have edition of the Common places is the manner in which forfeited all title to be viewed as evangelical. There the theologian of Germany speaks of free-will. He may be a belief of many doctrines connected with perceives, still better, perhaps, than Luther, because the person and the work of Christ; but the refusal he was more of a theologian than he, that this docto regard the Spirit as the author of conversion, and trine cannot be separated from that which was the the source of spiritual life, puts a Church or an in- essence of the Reformation. Man's justification bedividual beyond the pale of the truly Christian. fore God proceeds only from faith: this is the first Such religion has no claim to be classed among Pro- point. That faith proceeds in the heart of man only testant or evangelical communions. A religion dis- from God's grace: this is the second point. Melancdaining to be termed spiritual, to act in the Spirit as thon felt clearly, that, if there be admitted in man the principle of action, and in dependence on him any natural capacity for believing, this must overas the author of life, and light, and holiness, can only be throw in the second point the great doctrine of grace the religion of nature. It may give offence to not a few, established in the first." But, to show still more to speak in these terms of a system which makes high clearly that this new theology can claim no affinity pretensions; but, deeply persuaded that the essential with the spirit of Luther, whom Mr Morison on all feature of Christianity, according to our Lord's own occasions quotes, or with the Reformation, from the delineation, is the new birth, and that even a de spirit of which, indeed, it is wholly alien, let us listen pendence on Christ for righteousness, and for the to the Reformer himself. Erasmus had assailed him blessings of his purchase, is an unreal fancy without on a point which some accounted not a central onethe new nature, we must avow, that whatever sys- the doctrine of free-will, or the natural power of tem, not only puts itself beyond the confines of the man. “ Luther” (we again quote from D’Aubigné, hidden life, but formally disclaims possession of it, book xi. chap. 9) “ thought quite otherwise, and we cannot be viewed as truly Christian. This system has agree with him. 'I must own,' said Luther, that done so by the deliberate act of its propounders. you alone in this contest have seized your antaThey may fondly delude themselves with the impres-gonist by the throat. I thank you for this with all sion that others who retain their evangelical position my heart, for I am better pleased to engage on that have gone equally far, and made equal concessions subject than on all those secondary questions of the to the spirit of the age; but others who adopted sen- Pope, purgatory, and indulgences, with which the timents at variance with the theology of the country, enemies of the gospel have teazed me till now.”” retained a sufficient connexion with evangelical reli- This was, in reality, the hinge on which the Reforgion and with spiritual experience to break their fall. mation turned; and they can claim no affinity with But this new communion cannot diffuse the savour the spirit of the Reformation who set at nought its of the knowledge of Christ, or reflect the beauty of central point, as the propounders of this new theology holiness. They must advance to the landing-place, are so forward to do. at which the consistent followers of Arminius are not But we must pause for the present. slow to arrive. They have no doctrine that can intercept their descent to the lowest depths of naturalism or Socinianism. The Wesleyan system, un- DOES TRUE RELIGION EVER LEAD TO happily, imbibed most of the Arminian tenets; but it
MADNESS? was rescued from the irreparable ruin that had otherwise awaited it by the unequivocal recognition of the “ Paul, thou art beside thyself,” was the exclamation Holy Spirit as the author of all spiritual life. But of Portius Festus when he heard the apostle earthe Morisonian communion repudiates the superna- nestly pleading for the truth of God. High fervour tural impulse, in which the other glories, and the would have been tolerated in any cause but that which spirituality and power given from on high, which Paul was advocating—the cause of God and purity constitute the other's strength. Wesley says, in lan- against the world and sin. But ardour on that topic guage not to be mistaken, “The author of faith and was instantly frowned on. Religious zeal—such as salvation is God alone. There is no more of power the Bible warrants or demands—in one man, rebukes than of merit in man: but as all merit is in the Son the indifference of millions, and, in self-defence, they of Go so all power is in the Spirit of God; and must assail and revile him. Festus was just the retherefore every man, in order to believe unto salva- presentative of the world when he cast the imputation, must receive the Holy Ghost." A communion tion of madness and mysticism on the preacher of may retain all the characteristics and the evangelical righteousness, who made Felix tremble, and won