Imatges de pàgina


prescribed, that it can never be forms, the observance of uninapproved by him, nor does it ful- stituted days, the experience of ly satisfy themselves. The transient affections, and an abstiprophet Micah introduces nence from certain indifferent superstitious zealot inquiring, pleasures. To men of this de“ Wherewith shall I come be- scription may be applied God's fore the Lord ? Shall I come be- reproof and exhortation to Isfore him with thousands of rael. “Bring no more vain obrams, or with ten thousands of lations ; your appointed feasts rivers of oil ? Shall I offer my my soul hateth.

Wash ye, first-born for my transgression, make you clean ; cease to do the fruit of my body for the sin evil, learn to do well.” of my soul?”. The prophet an- True religion is plain and simswers, “ He hath shewed thee, ple, obvious to the understandO man, what is good ; and what ing and adapted to the condition doth the Lord thy God require of man. It consists in a love of of thee, but to do justly, to love the character, and a submission mercy, and to walk humbly with to the will of God, in benevothy God ?” The Baalites thought lence to men and a readiness to lo obtain an answer from their do them good, in the denial of god by costly sacrifices, long and ungodliness and worldly lusts, vociferous prayers, and cruel and in the choice and practice of lacerations of the flesh. But those things which are pure, the sacrifice, which the true virtuous and lovely. As we are God requires, as an attendant on corrupt and guilty creatures, our prayer, is real repentance, a religion must begin with repenthumble heart, and the dedica- ance of sin and renovation of tion of ourselves to him. The heart. As God exercises his apostle supposes, that some may mercy to sinners through the give all their goods to the poor, atonement of a Redeemer, our and their bodies to the fire, and repentance must be accompanied yet not have that love, which is with faith and hope in God's the end of the commandment. mercy through the Redeemer,

There are few, in the present whom he has ordained. day, who are in danger of run- This religion will satisfy the ning to great extremes in relig- mind. A false and hypocritical ious expenses and self-denials ; religion, however laborious it but there are those, who take may be, usually leaves a suspithat for religion, which will not cion, that there is something satisfy them in the end. They amiss something wanting. But are strangers to that sincere re- to them who love God's law pentance of sin, that supreme there is great peace. The work love to God, that active faith of righteousness is peace, and in unseen things, that unre- the effect of righteousness is served and humble obedience, quietness and assurance forever. which alone will give solid peace Every thing around us deto the conscience, and ensure a clares, and our own experience title to heavenly happiness. confirms this solemn truth, that

They content themselves with a there must be such a thing as zeal for particular opinions and religion, and that this only can


make us happy. All nature whole transaction was in the proclaims the existence of a De- highest degree solemn and treity, who made, upholds and gov- mendous. Near three millions of erns the world. As God has people were conducted by the put in all men a desire of happi- hands of Moses and Aaron from ness, he has certainly provided Egypt to the wilderness. It was some object to satisfy it. We already evident that God was find nothing in the present with them. A fiery cloud led world adequate to this desire. them by day and defended them Trial has been made by men in by night. The Red Sea diall ages, what the world can vided to favour their escape ; do; and still they are, as they but stopped the pursuing enemy, were at first, restless and unea- and became their grave. Their sy, seeking happiness in world- hunger was satisfied with bread ly things, but finding none. Hap- from heaven ; their thirst with piness then must be in another water from the rock. The world ; and if ever we find it, third month brought them to we shall find it there. To ob- Sinai. God determined to manitain the happiness of another fest himself to the congregation, world, we must be weaned from and to make them hear his voice. this. Pride, ambition, avarice, Of this previous intimation was anxiety, discontent and fleshly given. Two days were allowed lusts must be subdued. Humil- to prepare themselves. On ity, purity, benevolence and Mount Sinai God would depious affections must be intro- scend ; on the third day, he did duced. These are springs of descend. (Exodus xix. 16, 17, enjoyment; the others are 18.) The darkness, in which sources of misery. So they are the mountain was hid ; its trehere; and so they will be here- mulous motion, the flashing after. If we make light of re- lightnings, the raging tempest, ligion in general, or if we frame and roaring thunder, roused to ourselves a religion destitute the attention of the multitude ; of piety to God, benevolence to the trumpet of God, waxing men and personal sobriety—a louder and louder, was the sumreligion which allows the domin- mons to approach. The Divine ion of passion, lust and earthly Majesty appeared at the top of affections, and still hope for hap- the mount, surrounded with anpiness, we contradict our own ex- gels like flames of fire ; a voice, perience, and the experience of loud and articulate, addressed all mankind. What religion is, this vast concourse, and was disGod hath shewed us in his word. tinctly heard by each, pronouncTo this we may resort and finding the Ten Commandments. instruction of this we may This wonderful transaction is cellearn, and find rest to our souls. ebrated in the book of Psalms,

and often spoken of by the proTHE DECALOGUE. phets and apostles.

A more No. l. manifest and terrible display of The first general and striking the Divine Majesty need not declaration of God's preceptive again be expected before the will was from Mount Sinai. The consummation of all things. Vol. I. No.7.


The words now uttered, and af- liar. Have we passed safely terwards written by the finger through helpless infancy; have of God himself on tables of stone, we been raised from beds of sickare every way worthy of our at- ness; in danger have we found tention, being of moral and unal- a way of escape ; have we had terable obligation. Other legis- our wants wonderfully supplied; lators have imposed laws upon have we been advanced to statheir people, as dictated from tions of honour, of profit, or of above, but the Israelites could usefulness? These, and such not be imposed upon ; they had like considerations, bind us to the testimony of their own sen- our duty, and incline us to say, ses, and the correspondence be- “ All that the Lord hath spoken, tween what they heard and what we will do." was written gave validity to these The first commandment is, tables, which Moses produced. “Thou shalt have no other gods

There are two tables, the one before me.” contains our duty to God, and The divine nature, although the other our duty to men. I simple and uncompound, is so shall give some attention to each. exalted and glorious, that it ex

A short preface asserts the ceeds the comprehension of the right, which God had to prescribe most perfect created intelligence.

, a law of universal obligation. The Old Testament asserts the (Ex. xx. 2.) The right, which unity of the divine nature; the God claims in the Israelites, is at New, reveals a distinction in once of a general and of a pecu- this nature, of Father, Son, and liar nature : “ I am the Lord,” Holy Ghost. There is one God, self-existent, and from whom ex- and in the Godhead the scripture istence in every other instance speaks of the Father, Son, and is derived, “thy God," whom Holy Ghost. So far our inforalone you ought to worship. E- mation carries us, and a step farlohim, the word here used, was ther we dare not proceed. The the most ancient name by which discoveries of the Old Testament the Eternal had been pleased to are not so full as those of the discover himself to his creatures, New. The language used makes and in which he claimed their it evident that a part only was homage and service. So far the known, and accommodates, with claim is universal. In God we great ease, to future discoveries. all live and move and have our The name, for instance, by which being. To God we owe cheerful, God is mentioned, has a plural constant and universal obedience. termination ; the praise, ascribed A claim of a peculiar nature is by the celestials, whom Isaiah added; “ which have brought beheld, is thrice repeated. The thee out of the land of Egypt, command, concerning the Mesout of the house of bondage.” siah, is in peculiar language ; This deliverance was fresh in “ Awake, O sword, against the their minds, and deeply affected Shepherd, against the man who them. A stronger motive to obe- is my FELLOW" These exdience could not have been urg- pressions alone do not amount to ed. It reminds us of what, in a discovery of the distinction our own situation, may be pecu- which I have mentioned, as re

vealed in the New Testament, before us makes it an indispensabut when once this revelation ble duty to acquaint ourselves was made, we see in these ex- with God; to cherish the affecpressions evident traces of that tions, and to persevere in the serdistinction.

vice which the Creator demands Future dispensations may im- of all and each of his depending prove the knowledge now com- creatures. PHILOLOGOS. municated, as much as the present dispensation has improved

(To be continued.) the knowledge formerly communicated. It is required that we acquaint ourselves with God. Use such light as is given ; ex

ON THE SAINTS' PERSEVERANCE. pecting in due time a brighter

Messrs. EDITORS, day. A more worthy object cannot employ our thoughts, nor can Your object avowedly is to one more astonishing be propos- promote, with a spirit of caned to our faith. Let none re- dour and enlightened zeal, “the main ignorant of what is most doctrines of the reformation,”worthy to be known. Let them those old doctrines, which were be established in the faith. He brought into this country by the that cometh to God must believe first settlers, and are expressed that he is. This is the root of all generally and for substance, in religion. Genuine faith will always the confessions of faith used in be operative. It works by love, the Presbyterian churches in and purifies the heart. Faith in Scotland and in the United God will lead us to worship him. States. The doctrine of the A negative precept includes the saints' perseverance is one article affirmative, “ Thou shalt have no in these confessions. It is not other gods but one,” is a com- questionable, I believe, in what mand to worship him and him sense this doctrine has been genalone. Naaman's resolution, erally understood. It means, " Thy servant will henceforth of that those who are renewed by fer neither burnt offering nor sa- the Holy Spirit, do always retain crifice unto other gods, but unto some inward moral quality disthe Lord," although expressed tinguishing them from the unre. negatively, includes his resolution generate. Many words are not for the future to worship the God necessary to prove, that this is of Israel only. A competitor is the common understanding of inadmissible. A mongrel wor- Christians, as to this doctrine. It ship prevailed in Samaria. 2 is evident from the writings of Kings xvii. 28–33. Such wor- those, who have espoused it, and ship is not acceptable. God re- from the passages of Holy Writ, quires all our heart, and all our which have been used for this soul, and all our strength, and all purpose. The very term signiour might. Any thing which fies as much. The saints are divides the heart is highly offen- said to persevere : persevere in sive, spoiling like the dead fly the what? In that, doubtless, which fragrance of the apothecary's pre- constitutes them saints. A son paration. The commandment is said to persevere in obedience

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to his father ; but if he should it, of persons after conversion become disobedient and his fa- falling into the same state of car. ther should still love him, no per- nality as before, though he will son would express this, I sup- not pretend that these instances pose, by saying, that the son per- are very frequent. The advosevered in his father's love, nor cate for the new doctrine says, would it be said of a sleeping in- that this falling from holiness fant tenderly guarded by a moth. happens frequently to every reer, that it persevered in its moth- newed person ; in short, that the er's attention.

life of a saint is nothing but a Under the title of the doc, succession of perfectly holy ex. trine of the saints'perseverance," ercises and perfectly sinful ones. ideas have lately been exhibited, With very high respect for which do by no means corres

the talents and piety of some, pond with those which this term who entertain this belief, I beg has usually conveyed. We are leave to suggest the following now told that regenerate persons thoughts, do frequently, very frequently, 1. That it appears very much lose all those moral qualities, like abuse of language to call which they first received in re- this the doctrine of saints' per: generation, and which distinguish severance,” According to this them from the unrenewed; but theory, in what do the saints perthat, notwithstanding such loss, severe ? To persevere is to perthe love of God towards them is sist in an attempt, not to give continued; or, in other words, over, not to quit a design. Be. they still retain their interest in cause God continues to love the covenant of grace.

them, can they be said to persist As this doctrine is not com:

in the love which God has for mon in the church of Christ, let them ? Can they be said not to us consider to what it is like. Is give over

not to quit that love it like that Calvinistic doctrine which God has for them? In found in the Assembly's Cate, this love which God exercises, chism, and in the sermons of the person has no more activity those, who have been reputed or: than a building has in the mo. thodox divines ? It has

tion of those rays of light which point of coincidence. Both fall upon it. Should we say of agree in this, that the regenerate such a building, that it perse: will never be lost, the love of veres in sunshine ? Should we God being unalterably fixed up; say of a rock lying at the bottom on them. Is this doctrine like of the ocean, that it perseveres that which has generally been in water? The doctrine above held by Arminians, viz. that the stated might indeed be denomi: regenerate may fall away from nated the doctrine of divine per. holiness and miss of eternal life? severance, but certainly not the With this too it has one point of doctrine of the saints' persever: coincidence. Both allow, that ance. But, men may, and actually do fall 2. Should we use the term from holiness. The Arminian “ saints' perseverance” in so ex. says, that there are instances, traordinary a latitude, as to un: and that the scriptures suppose derstand by it, a saint's continu:



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