Imatges de pÓgina

on this subject is perfectly consistent with 1 John v. 20, and with every other passage quoted by Mr. Porter. With a very bad grace, then, has Mr. Porter ventured to charge his antagonist with a want either of caution or scholarship.' He will see, I hope, that this flourish over his adversary was quite inappropriate.

"From the air of triumph with which Mr. Porter ushers in a number of examples in which the article is used in the predicate, it is quite obvious that he speaks at random. Had he read any thing on the subject of the article, he would have seen that his examples are nothing to the purpose. They are all accounted for by Bishop Middleton. Mr. Porter should at least have looked into the Bishop's Essay before he ventured to give his doctrine so unmerciful a defeat. Dr. Middleton's Essay on the Greek article is one of the noblest specimens of philosophical criticism that ever was exhibited in the English language. While I say this, I do not always accord with his decisions. I am very far from consenting, in a single instance, to correct the text of the Greek manuscript on the authority of his doctrine."

Mr. Porter throughout the Discussion assumed that Griesbach and Schleusner were good Trinitarians: now, so far as we are concerned, we question very much whether they were Trinitarians at all. Mr. Porter's ipse dixit will not satisfy us; and unless some new evidence be adduced, of the soundness of their opinions, we feel ourselves constrained in honesty to give them their proper name of Neologians-at least, Trinitarians they were not.

The doctrine of the true Deity of the Word had in Mr. Bagot a powerful advocate; his proofs amount, in fact, to a perfect moral demonstration; and we scarcely know how any man can read them with understanding, and still remain either an Arian or a Socinian. He satisfactorily proved, that if the Scriptures be the Word of God, the true Deity of the Word must be acknowledged by the men who receive them as such or if they do not prove the truth of this doctrine, neither do they prove that the Father is possessed of true Deity. And let it be observed, that the same objections which are urged by Unitarians against the Deity of the Word, can be urged with equal force against the Deity of the Father, and if valid in the one case, they must be valid in the other; so that by this process, were we to admit the legitimacy of the Unitarian criticisms, we would banish a God from the Bible.


In our review of this Discussion, we have been fre, quently obliged to refer to Mr. Porter, the controversialist; if we have alluded to him in any other relation, we own that it was not intended. We cannot part, even with an opponent, cherishing angry feelings in relation to him as


a man; and in this respect, we have no other sentiments than those of kindness and good-will towards that GentleWe believe him to be the most talented-the most learned the most liberal-and the most honest of all his party; nor do we know one of them who could have made a defence of his system any thing like that which he has done. When the cause failed, then, in his hands, we must attribute such an event principally to its own unscriptural and indefensible character.

We confidently expect, that the most beneficial results will follow from this Discussion. Unitarians have long boasted of the rationality of their system; they have repeatedly asserted, that were it confronted with the Trinitarian doctrine, its simplicity and scripturality would appear evident, and a decided triumph to their cause be the consequence. Such an opportunity has been given, and the very reverse of their anticipations has been the result. We trust that it will be the means, under the blessing of God, of spreading the truth as it is in Jesus-of reclaiming wanderers from the error of their ways,-and of building up the people of God in their most holy faith,


We had intended to notice the Review and Analysis of this Discussion by the Rev. D. M'Afee; as it is, however, our space prevents us from fulfilling our intention. We would most earnestly recommend the perusal of the work to our readers, as one of distinguished ability, displaying the characteristics of a powerful, acute, and highly gifted metaphysical mind,

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[An Article in the last Number alluded to the exertions of the General Assembly in Scotland, for the better observance of the Lord's Day. On that subject the following Address has been published by the Assembly, which we are happy to have it in our power to submit to our readers.]

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Knowing well that there are many among you who are zealously exercised in having conciences void of offence towards God and man, whose hearts' desire and prayer is, that pure and undefiled religion may flourish, and that iniquity may stop its mouth, we cannot conceal from ourselves that there are multitudes who bring re

proach on our land, by disregarding the form and denying the power of godliness; and who, instead of humbly endeavouring to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless, make light of that holy commandment which was first promulgated when the heavens and the earth were finished, "and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it," and which will continue to be binding on all the generations of men till the heavens and the earth shall pass away.

We solemnly entreat you, brethren, to bear in mind that this precept rests on an authority not to be challenged or explained away by human reason,-that, though the Sabbath was made for man, man is not entitled to frustrate the beneficent purpose of God, by renouncing or foregoing the inestimable blessings which the institution was intended to secure; and that, though the evil heart of unbelief, and the prevalence of corrupt example, may. tempt many to make a mock at this presumptuous sin, and to act as if their time were their own, and not included among the talents for which an account must be rendered in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ; yet the faithfulness of the Sovereign Judge will be vindicated by shutting out from his presence all who have wilfully departed from him, despising the riches of his goodness and forbearance, and setting at nought the threatened vengeance which will assuredly he executed against them who obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness.

We call upon all, in every rank, to consider seriously in how many ways the command to sanctify the Sabbath is disobeyed, in thought, in word, and in deed. Even among those who have prepared their hearts to seek God, it must be confessed, that there is no small danger of suf fering the mind to be unduly occupied on this holy day with vain imaginations and worldly cares, and that though idle and foolish talking may not be deliberately indulged, the conversation is not always with grace, seasoned with holiness, and many things are inconsiderately done, whereby the profane may be countenanced and encouraged in their worldly-minded pursuits, and weak brethren offended or made to stumble. But whatever may be the estimation in which you are held, and whatever the stations which you occupy, we cannot forbear to remind you, that all violations of the Fourth Commandment are utterly

inconsistent with the principles of the doctrine of Christ, which you are bound to adorn, and, with the example of Christ, which it is your highest honour and interest to follow, and that those gross acts of profanation are especially perilous, which, while they betray contempt of the Divine Lawgiver, have a manifest tendency not only to grieve and wound every serious spirit, but to ensnare and mislead the giddy and careless, and thus ultimately involve them in everlasting ruin. Though we trust that some transgres. sions of the law of the Sabbath are less frequent than at former periods, we have too great cause to fear, that there has been upon the whole an increased abounding of this flagrant iniquity, and that many things are done, without hesitation or scruple, of which it is a shame even to speak. With deep concern we have learned, that in various parts of the country there has been, for a number of years past, a great increase of unnecessary travelling on the Lord's day, both for purposes of business and amusement; that shops have been kept open on that day for the sale of provisions and other articles of traffic; that multitudes, forgetful of their most sacred duties and their immortal interests, have become accustomed to wander in the fields, to frequent scenes of recreation, or to spend their time in riot and drunkenness, and other immoralities. We do not attempt to enumerate the multiplied and aggravated offences of this description, of which we have received most unwelcome information; but we have ground for apprehending that many of these offences may be traced to the neglect of the religious instruction of children,—to the inattention of masters to the spiritual welfare of their servants, to the inadequate provision for accommodating the population in places of public worship,-to the consequent deficiency of pastoral superintendence, and above all, to the temptation presented by the almost unlimited. number of public houses, which, in many places, are so inconsiderately licensed from year to year, with too little regard to the characters and habits of the landlords.

As we cannot shut our eyes to the alarming extent and enormity of these evils, the progress of which it is our duty to counteract by all the means within our reach, we earnestly warn you to beware of outraging the sanctity of the Sabbath, by engaging in any ordinary employment, or in any occasional labour which you cannot, in your consciences, and in the near prospect of eternal judgment,

regard as a work of necessity or mercy. As the Lord God has appropriated the Sabbath to himself, it is an impious encroachment on his inalienable prerogative to attempt to convert it either into a day of business or a day of idle. ness and pastime. In the entire cessation from secular pursuits, in the strict exclusion of all worldly cares, in turning away the eyes from vanity, in avoiding all corrupt communication, and in endeavouring to unite the heart to fear the Lord, and to attend on his service without distraction, a spiritually minded man, far from accounting the Sabbath a weariness, finds it to be a delight, and has the satisfaction of knowing that, by the light of a good example, he is employing the most likely means of encouraging others to serve the Lord with gladness.

We exhort those who possess power and wealth, not only to set an example of the regular observance of the offices of divine worship in public and in private, and to abstain from making any unnecessary demands on the time and the services of their dependants, that none may, on their account, be detained from the house of God, but diligently to exert themselves in discouraging and repressing the ensnaring haunts of guilty excess, and liberally to devise and promote more ample means of attending on the solemnities of religion, for those who have too good grounds for alleging that no space has been reserved for them in the churches of the Establishment. If, during the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus, it was matter of just commendation to a man of rank, who was an alien from the commonwealth of Israel; that from the love of that nation he had built a synagogue; much more must it become every christian patriot, according to his ability, to provide access for men of all conditions to the house of prayer, that the small and the great meeting together, may, with one accord, pour out their common supplications, intercessions, and thanksgivings, before the throne of the Universal Father, who hath made of one blood all the families of men to dwell on the face of the earth, and who, in proclaiming it to be his pleasure that to the poor the Gospel shall be preached, has emphatically admonished the rich, that, in proportion as they know and value the truth, they ought to do with all their might whatsoever their hand findeth to do, for the free and copious communication of this inestimable privilege.

We exhort Parents and Masters that they be faithful

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