« PreviousContinue »
people, zealous of good works. We safely build our eternal hopes. are commanded in his name to be What no scheme of human deholy, for God is holy. “Know ye vising could have effected, God not,” says the Apostle, pursuing has accomplished, by Jaying help the metaphor in the text, « that ye upon One that was mighty; by makare the temple of God, and that the ing Him who knew no sin to be a Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If sin-offering for us, that we might any man defile the temple of God, be made the righteousness of God him shall God destroy." It is a dan- in him. He has also promised us gerous delusion to suppose, either his Holy Spirit both to lead us to that a correct creed will save us, or this Saviour for pardon aod justifi. that any impressions on the mind or cation, and to enable us henceforth imagination will be allowed to stand to walk in the ways of his commandas substitutes for the duties of a ments. Thus every necessary proholy and obedient life. We are vision is made on the part of God required to present our bodies as for our salvation : the foundation a reasonable and lively sacrifice to is firmly laid in the gift of his Son, God; to love, serve, and obey him as our Redeemer and Iutercessor, with all our heart, and soul, and and of the Holy Spirit as our Sancmind, and strength. We do not tifier, working in us both to will build on the right foundation, un- and to do of his good pleasure. If less reposing by faith upon our Sa- we perish, we perish wilfully. Noviour alone for pardon and justifi- thing is required of us but that we cation, we earnestly endeavour to should come to the Son of God for tread in his footsteps ; to live holy, life, and, believing in his name and justly, and unblameably; and to depending on his Holy Spirit, deadorn his doctrine in all things. voie ourselves diligently to his serEvery day ought we to be making vice. And this is no harsh requireprogress in religion; forgetting ment: it is truly a way of pleathose things which are behind, we santness, and a path of peace. It should press forwards towards those is living up to the real dignity and which are before, for the prize of design of our nature: it is comthe mark of our high calling of God mencing on earth the blessedness in Christ Jesus. We should be of heaven itself. careful to secure valuable and durable materials for the spiritual edifice, gold, silver, and precious To the Editor of the ChristianObserver. stones, all the graces and virtues In order to the word of God havof the Christian character, avoid- ing its full effect " for reproof, ing not only whalever is fundament- correction, and instruction in righteally unsound in doctrine, or grossly ousness," it is necessary to perceive vicious in life, but every thing that its precise meaning and force; but, would in the least degree blemish notwithstanding the labours of so the spiritual edifice--the wood, hay, many men of learning and discernstubble which must be consumed, meni, it is evident that many pasand bring loss to the uuwise builder, sages, even in the New Testament, even though his work should not remain yet enveloped in considerwholly perish, being grounded in able obscurity. This appears to the main on the righų foundation, me to be in some measure the case and composed of many of the pro- with the passage in the 16th chapter perties which belong to the genuine of St. John's Gospel, verses 8-11. Christian.
“ And when He [the Holy Spirit, In conclusion, let us adore the the Comforter,] is come, he will grace and mercy of God in thus reprove the world of sin, and of laying in Zion a foundation stone, righteousness, and of judgment; elect, precious, on wbich we may of sin, because they believe not in me; of righteousness, because I he be the effectual Teacher. I go go to my Father, and ye see me no to the Father, and men see me no more; of judgment, because the more (2 Cor. v. 16); but he will prince of this world is judged." -- convince them that I suffered for No explication which I have had an their sins, and rose again for their opportunity to notice of this pas- justification: and in consequence of sage, has rendered the argumenta- my ascension on high to receive tion of our Lord sufficiently clear gifts for men, I shall by his Divine to my mind. I offer the following influences be revealed as the Lord thoughts on the subject, without their Righteousness. lo me shall any great degree of confidence as all the seed of Israel be justified, 10 their appearing sufficienıly elu- and shall glory. cidatory: but I trust they may at It strikes me as not improbable least have the effect of exciting that in this verse there is a reference useful discussion.
to the scape-goat. By his knowI would just premise, that the ledge shall my Righteous Servant Saviour's argumentation appears to justify many, for he shall bear (and me to proceed upon the expediency bear away) their iniquities. and necessity of his leaving the world " Of judgment, because the at large, as well as bis immediate prince of this world is judged.”disciples, in their present state. The wrath of God shall be revealed The following parapbrase and ob- from Heaven, against all ungodliservations will suffice to shew the ness and uprighteousness of men. reader that view of the passage Satan bath hitherto reigned the god which I wish to present.
of this world : his empire over the “ Of sin, because they believe nations of the earth has been almost not on me.”—The world have not wholly undisturbed through a long believed on me: it is expedient, succession of ages : idolatry, and therefore, for them as well as for all the other awful consequences of you, that I go away; the divine bis domination, God hath hitherto, constitution of grace requires it. as it were, “ winked at.” But now After my exaltation to the media. his exclusive reign amongst the torial throne of glory, I will send Gentile nations is about to termidown in my place the heavenly Para- nate ; now is that revolution about clete, my Advocate, the Holy Spirit to commence, which will end in bis of truth, tbe divine internal infla- being entirely cast out. (John xii. ential Teacher, who will shew them 31.) Yea, even you, my limid disthat their not having believed on ciples, who now feel as though me was their great crowning sin, you would be desolute and helpless which could proceed only from the orphans, if left by me, shall, after deep corruptiou of their nature, my departure, under the influences and which above all things proves, of the Divine Spirit, be armed and that “ the carnal mind is enmity sent forth on this mighty warfare ; against God,” since the mani- every where declaring the inexfestation of the Divine law, on tinguishable wrath of God on all the one band, and of the Divine whio continue the adherents of sawercy and grace on the other, tan; turving men from darkness to only excited in them the more light, and from the power of satan deadly hatred. By his teaching, unto God ; and convincing persons they shall be brought to look out of all conditions, capacities, and atme whom they have pierced, and tainments, and however entrenched shall mouro. (Acts ii. 22-24, and in prejudices, that your crucified 32-41.)
Master shall one day judge the “ Of righteousness, because I world in righteousness, and finally go to my Father, and ye see me no pronounce upon the ungodly, “ Demore."--of righteousness also shall part, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his ed to comprehend every thing that angels."
was necessary to the formation of I apprehend the further this pas- the full Christian character, and to sage is considered, the more clearly the establishment of the Gospel on will it appear that this promised in the earth.
J. M. W. struction respecting sin, righteousness, and judgment, was design
REMARKS DURING A JOURNEY
an Unitarian congregation was formTHROUGH NORTH AMERIOA.
ed at Portlaod, in the district of
Maine; and another at Saco, a smalt (Continued from p. 346.)
town twenty miles further to the Salem, 24. Feb. 1821. south. Both these congregations In my last, after giving you, I soon expired ; but I regretted to tbink, what you would consider an find, when at Portland last Sunencouraging picture of the present day, that another congregation was state, and still more so of the future established there, and that the leprospects, of religion in this coun- gislature of the newly elected State iry, I expressed my regrel that of Maine, who were then sitting, Unitarianism had acquired so much were debating on a bill which influence, and promised to say more would have a tendency, (if indeed on the subject in my next. From it were not one of its immediate all I can learn, it appears that Uni- objects,) to favour the extension of tarian opinions have been entertain. Unitarian sentiments. The sermon ed in New England for fifty years of the minister of the Episcopal at least, and perhaps much longer. church which I attended, was on Generally speaking, however, they the duty of contending for the were not very openly avowed, till “faith once delivered to the saints," much more recently; some of those and had a specific reference to who beld them concealing their this bill. As Unitarian sentiments sentiments because they were un- became more general, they were popular,-others because they felt gradually avowed with less reserve; indifferent about them,-and others, yet the pulpits of many ministers more reflecting and philosophical, who were supposed to bave imbibed because they conceived that their them, gave no evidence of the fact, extension would be most effectually except that of omissions. This at promoted at that particular time length brought upon them the charge by reserve and caution. The first of insincerity from their more orUnitarian congregation formed in thodox brethren. The imputation America, was established in the was repelled with warmtb; and the King's Chapel soon after the Revo. public were left in great doubt as lution. This was the chapel in to the precise sentiments of many of which the Governor worshipped ; their pastors, Dr. Morse, who had but becoming afterwards private been the most prominent of those property, and the majority changing who publicly manifested their retheir sentiments, they expunged gret at the defection of their brefrom the church prayers all allu- thren from the common faith, was sion to Trinitarian doctrines, and accused of misrepresentation; and openly denounced the Trinity. The the most candid felt it almost imminority of course retired. In 1792 possible to arrive at the real state
of things. At this time, Dr. Morse chapel was lately completed; but I happened to meet with Mr.Belsham's was told that it is almost entirely Life of Lindsay, in which be found inortgaged to the banks. In Phihis own representations borne out ladelphia there is a small Unitarian by letters and documents transmit- chapel. In New York, a new United from Boston by the Unitarians tarian chapel, or what the orthothemselves. These he strung to- dox consider as such, was opened, gether in the form of a pampblet, while I was there, by Mr. Everett, under the title of “ American Uni- the Professor of Divinity from Camtarianism; or a brief History of the bridge (Massachussetts). I was Progress and present State of the told it was numerously attended, Unitarian Churches in America ; as Mr. Everett has some reputation, compiled froin Documents and In- but that it was generally rather formation communicated by the frowned upon. As, however, those Rev. James Freeman, D.D. and whom I heard speak of it, were William Wells, jun. Esq. of Boston, among its strongest opponents, I and from other Unitarian Gentlemen know not how far to conclude that in this country. By the Rev. T. that was the case. The chapel Belsbam, Essex Street, London. was opened on a week-day, and Extracted from, &c. &c.” This the minister was said not to dwell pamphlet was eagerly read, and at all ou doctrinal points—a line of produced a great sensation. It dis- conduct you would anticipate from closed the actual state of things, a sagacious advocate of his scheme. brought the question to issue, and But Boston is the head-quarters ranged in opposite ranks those ad- of Unitarianism; and many of the vocates of conflicting sentiments Unitarians there are so amiable, who had hitherto been confusedly and so intelligent,-possess so much intermingled. A paper controversy practical kindness, and so many sobas since been carried ou at inter- ciul virtues,-as to exert a powerful vals, as particular circumstances influence in favour of their opinions, or occasional excitement prompted; and to shame many a narrow-windand both parties, as usual, claim the ed, indolent professor of a purer victory. In the mean time, bow- faith ;-a faith which too many of ever, Unitariavism has advanced ; us are apl to forget it is our duty but although it is painful to see that to illustrate, as well as to maintain, it prevails to a considerable extent, - and 10 exhibit not merely as a Dr. Morse assured me that he did dry system of restraint and prohinot believe it was gaining ground bition, but as a source of the most at present. If the Jumber of its generous incentives to excellence advocates seems to have augmented in all that is “ lovely and of good during the last year or two, he was report." disposed to ascribe the apparent There are many things in the increase rather to a more open
situation of the respectable classes avowal of tbeir sentiments by many of society in Boston, which are who were Unitarians before, than calculated to promote the extension to a more general conviction of the of Unitarianism. In tbe first place, truth of Upilarianisın.—Of the pre- the strong traces which still re. sent numbers of the Unitarians, I main of those habits of order and can give you no idea. There are morality which their religious forecomparatively few, except in New fathers left as a rich inheritance to England; and very few there, except the population of New England, in the lowns on the coast. In Bos- babits intriņsically valuable, and ton, I believe there are seven or enuitling the possessors to esteem, eight congregations of Unitarians, but rather apt perhaps to lull asleep of different shades. In Balliinore, any suspicion of error in the creed a splendid and costly Unitarian with which they are found connected. 2dly, A consciousness of li- rica, and is destined to supply terary superiority to the rest of the much of the population, and imUnion ; an undue appreciation of press its own features strongly on talent in the estimate of character; the character, of the new States. and an association adroitly esta- With respect to the ministers, blished between liberality and Uni- Mr. Dwight among the Congregatarianism-all strengthened, if not tionalists, and Dr. Jarvis among produced, by proximity to the most the Episcopaliaus, occupy stations celebrated university in the United of peculiar importance, and seem States, where the principal profes- likely to effect much. The former sors are Unitarians, and the system, is the son of Dr. Dwight, the late ibough ostensibly neutral, is Uni. eminent Professor of Yale College, tarian also. 3dly, A state of world- and is apparently of respectable laly ease and comfort, in which the lents and great activity. The latter necessity of religious consolations is the son of Bishop Jarvis; and I am is apt to be less strongly felt, and disposed 10 believe the most learn. their foundation 10 be investigated ed, and, as respects most of the with less trembling solicitude than duties of his responsible office, the under poverty and affliction. most accomplished, Episcopal cler
I am not, bowever, without hopes gyman in America. He has a high that the tendency of these circum- standing in society, possesses great stances will be fully counteracted personal respectability, and was by a more auspicious influence; I appointed some months since to mean, the influence of the warmer the new and handsome Episcopal piety, the more evident spiritual- church in the most fashionable mindedness, the more obvious in- part of Boston. Many of the most terest in religion, which characterize respectable inhabitants of Boston many who hold the opposite senti- have joined bis congregation-not ments, and which give to their opi- a few from Unitarian societies.nions a persuasive air of sincerity Many families are divided in their and truth. In fact, so naturally religious sentiments; some of the does a bigb degree of religious sen- members attending the Episcopal, sibility appear to result from cor- others the Unitarian churches. rect and deep views of religious The most portentous feature iv truib, that opinions which are sel. the history of the present state of dom found in connexion with de- Unitarianism in this country, is the votional fervour, seem to want one strong hold it has obtained in Canvery important credential of their bridge college, near Boston ; the authenticity. Many of the ortho- most extensive, and, in a literary dox to whom I allude, are not only point of view, the most respectable pious but learned, of irreproach- college in the Union; in which able moral character and acknow- also a large proportion of the ledged liberality, and are engaged most influential persons of the naiu a course of active efforts in their tion are educated. Many parents Master's cause. Among them are are prevented by religious cousi. to be found all the most strenuous derations from sending their chil. supporters of Bible Societies, dren thither; but I wish I could say Missionary Societies, and Sunday the objection was more general. Scbools. Indeed, the American This, and perhaps Transylvania Missionary Society, you are aware, university at Lexington, are baphad its origin in this part of the pily the only colleges under the country, where it still maintains its influence of Unitarian sentiments. head-quarters, in the very focus Yale College, Princeton, Columbia, of Unitarianisun. All this is the and all the others that I am acquaintmore important, as New England ed with, are opposed to them; and is the “ Otficina Gentium" of Ame Yale College has the happiness of