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associations, and consigned to in. alone that we are to impute the significance and contempt?
conception of such projects in re. I cannot, sir, conceive that any spectable classes of society, and considerations of political utility their tacit encouragement by the can be admitted, in justification of governments of enlightened coun, this abuse. The Divine prohibition, tries: but I have no hesitation in • Swear not at all, which must be asserting, that it is impossible daily allowed, even in its most restricted to witness its practical operation, sense, to forbid the irreverent use of without a conviction that it contri. oaths, is a prohibition of universalbutes most essentially to such reobligation. It is not abrogated by sults. the interests of extending commerce, Impressed with a sincere reor the most urgent requisitions of spect for the distinguished character political or civil life. Amidst the of our British merchants, I cannot changing forms of society, its au- be indifferent to the relaxation of thority is unimpaired; and while those principles, from which its human laws may adapt themselves superiority is derived. It is with to the varying exigencies of the the deepest regret, therefore, that I times, this precept will remain in- see them exposed to the injurious flexible, to the latest period of the influence of a vestige of barbarism Christian world, an awful and im- so opposed to the spirit of the pressive witness to the solemn nature times. The practice is inconsistent of an oath.
with true philosophy, for it proceeds But the efficiency of this sacred in opposition to the established laws test, as an instrument of political of the human mind : it is inconsisutility, may very fairly be called in tent with a due regard to the moral question. The superior efficacy of welfare of society, for its tendency an oath, to that of a simple declara- is to vitiate and ensnare: it is intion, is derived from its superior consistent with the better part of impression on the mind; from its the manners and institutions of our tendency to recal to memory those country, and the principles of the sublime religious sanctions by religion we profess. Is it not also which moral obligation is most most inconsistent with those illuseffectually enforced. But it is in trious efforts, for the circulation of the nature of habit, indefinitely to the Scriptures and other moral and weaken this effect; and experience religious objects, which have been has proved, that by the prostitution vindicated among us with so much of this sacred test to every trivial ability and zeal? It is some conpurpose, its moral influence is in- solation, indeed, to discern in this jured or destroyed. To what other very inconsistency, the germ of a cause are we to attribute the pro- principle which will exterminate the verbial inefficiency of a custom- abuse. But shall we refuse to exhouse oath; the distinction which pel a malady injurious to the system, generally prevails, between an oath because it is probable that it may taken in attestation of an indifferent one day be outgrown ? Is it nofact before the collector of the thing that, in the mean time, it is customs, and a fact equally in- impairing the vigour of the constidifferent before the judge in a court tution, and sowing the seeds of of justice? I will not say, that it is subsequent disease? And, above to this cause, too, that we are ex- all, is it nothing to reflect that there dusively to attribute the facility is an inseparable connexion be- with which agents are found, in tween national chastisement and
periods of interrupted commerce, to national crime; and that every adexecute illicit projects by systematic dition to our guilt forebodes, from perjury and fraud ; i will not ven- the hands of an all-righteous Judge, ture to affirm, that it is to this cause a calamity in reserve ?
I allow, indeed, with you, Mr. be of much value; for plausible Editor, that “ if the sanction of an subterfuges will always be at hand oath is justifiably required any to hide the enormity of a man's where, it is in the article of mar- guilt from the scrutiny of his own riage." A deliberate appeal to the bosom. A solemn assertion, fortified Almighty on the subject of this by a suitable punishment for detected most solemn compact, certainly does falsehood, would, probably in almost not stand on exactly the same foot- every instance, be found as effectual ing as a petty regulation of the in practice as an oath; reserving Customs or Excise. If it be right that most awful sanction for cases of that “a pound of tea cannot find extraordinary solemnity, of which its way to the consumer without the stipulations at the altar of marpassing, where oaths no less than riage might justly be considered seven have been administered," it is one. But to multiply oaths uncertainly not wrong that nearly the necessarily, especially where there same number should be in some is a strong temptation to violate cases requisite before two human them, and where public opinion is beings should be allowed to unite not greatly outraged by so doing, is themselves indissolubly under the to lay a trap for perjury; with somesanction of the most momentous, thing of the same injudicious policy responsible, and irreversible of all which is so often the occasion of a earthly covenants. But, in either guilty criminals adding to his crimes case, what good end is really gained by the utterance of a solemn falseby this repeated appeal to Heaven? hood as the preliminary to being Where the conscience is susceptible tried “ by the laws of God and his of moral or religious impression, one country."
A MERCHANT, appeal is as binding as a thousand; and where it is not, no appeal can
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.
On the Corruption of Human Na- versally known and acknowledged for
ture: a Charge delivered to the the salvation of mankind. It would Clergy of the Archdeaconry of indeed be of the utmost consequence Ely, at a Visitation held in the that it should be admitted and proParish Church of St. Michael's, mulgated, were it only that, having Cambridge, May 7, 1822: with been made a prominent topic of Dian Appendix. By the Rev. J. H. vine revelation, it vindicates its own BROWNE, A.M. Archdeacon of right to be considered of high imEly, Rector of Cotgrave, and late portance to the human race. But Fellow of St. John's College, when, in addition to this just preCambridge. Published at the sumption, we can actually trace its Request of the Clergy. 1822, importance in the process of the
application of the Gospel to the
souls of men, we are the better preThe “corruption of human nature" pared to answer those who proceed, is a subject so inexpressibly painful, with a triumphant cui bono? to argue that we should never wish again to against the doctrine, as being not read, write, or think of it, but for only unscriptural and unfounded, but two very important considerations; also wholly useless and often highly namely, that it is a doctrine clearly mischievous. In fact, it is a doctrine revealed in Scripture, and that it is closely connected with repentance, of indispensable necessity to be uni- with faith, with gratitude, and with
a holy life. Without a knowledge gard to the leading articles of reliof the awful extent of the corrup- gion, we never wish to be told from tion of human nature, the most the pulpit so much as that they momentous disclosures of Chris- have been made the subject of distianity are of little value. If “the pute. The' “ great mystery of god-' whole need not a physician," those liness" is unfolded in our Bibles who are but partially sick
may “ without controversy :" it comes content with a remedy far short of in an equally uncontroversial form that which the Bible reveals and in our Prayer-books. Why, then, prescribes. But if, on the contrary, when the Lessons, Epistle, and mankind be indeed gone far, very Gospel have plainly instructed us far, from original righteousness; if in the truth as it is in Jesus ;" we are all deeply guilty before God; and when on our bended knees we if “ there is no health in us;" then have humbly recognized all its leadhow important is the record of the ing positions, especially the docGospel! how profound should be trine more immediately under conour penitence! how implicit should sideration ; should we be summoned be our trust in the Great Sacrifice from the pulpit to go back to neutral of Calvary ! how ardent our thanks- ground, to begin with debating givings for so unspeakable a Gift! almost whether the God whom we how lively our joy at our deliverance! have been professing to worship and how self-denying and perse- really exists, whether the book we vering our devotion to the service have been reading as His is not of our Almighty Deliverer!
a book of fables, and whether But with the deepest sense of the sentiments which formed the the importance of this doctrine, it basis of our confessions and prayers is one which we never wish to see are not mere matters of gratuitous rudely handled as a subject of mere invention ? literary or intellectual contention. Still,we confess that there are times While it is too essential to be unic and places which demand something versally known to allow of its being more than mere inculcation. The buried in oblivion, or made only a regular pastor, it is true, must orditopic of infrequent and transient narily feel that the best way to settle notice; it is also too afflicting to disputed points is not to dispute about be rendered a mere thesis for the them, but to preach them just as display of subtle argument, or an he finds them stated in Scripture, apology for loud and angry war- and so to banish heterodoxy by infare. The true way to discuss this stilling truth; and he is doubtless doctrine is not as prize-fighters, but in the right. But while error puts as Christians; not in order to foil on a shew of argument, there are an opponent, but to bring him to proper occasions on which her claims his knees; not to wedge by force should be argumentatively refuited, a barren fact into the head, but to and there are persons to whose prohumble and mollify the obdurate vince it peculiarly falls to undertake heart. In the pulpit especially, the the refutation. Our prelates, and only safe course for the ministers others in high ecclesiastical stations, of Christ, ordinarily speaking, is to are especially called to this service. propound matters of this kind—and Bishop Horsley, who so urgently inindeed all other matters—simply as culcated on his clergy the importthey are propounded in the Bible; ance of what may be called simple to teach rather than to controvert ; pastoral preaching, himself rendered to prove their positions by that inestimable benefit to the church by strongest of arguments, “ Thus devoting some of his own clerical saith the Lord,” rather than by a Charges to points of important theolengthened process of ingenious de- logical argument and discussion. monstration. For ourselves, in re- The present Archdeacon of Ely
has acted somewhat similarly in a solitary tenet, which men may the truly scriptural Charge before or may not admit, with equal indif
He does not, we are sure, wish ference as respects their general the clergy of his archdeaconry to religious character, but as an essen. exhibit weekly before their rustic tial part of the whole structure of parishioners a regular argument, Christian doctrine, and entering logically propounded and discussed, deeply into all the details of pracon “ the corruption of human na- tical religion. ture;" but, knowing how essential Mr. Archdeacon Browne coma part this doctrine is of the whole mences his Charge with stating, scheme of Revelation, he is anxious what we believe is very true, though that they should themselves be well it argues either strange misconcepgrounded in it, and that all their tion or stranger perverseness; nameministrations should take that de- ly, that some persons
are unwil, cided colour which such a doctrine, ling to admit the deep, entire, and if true, ought undoubtedly to stamp universal corruption of human naupon them. It is grossly incorrect ture, lest such an admission should and uncharitable to assert, that per- entangle them in the difficulties of sons who, like the Archdeacon of the Calvinistic scheme.” This misEly, plead earnestly for the admission conception is passing strange, when, of this doctrine, wish to “ blacken as is notorious, some of the most human nature," or to exhibit before zealous advocates for the one have men such a hopeless and melan- been equally opposed to the other. choly picture, that all stimulus is The better informed class of theotaken away from the performance logians of all parties are beginning, of every right and virtuous enter- we think, to be ashamed of this prize. They intend nothing like identification. The celebrated “Five it: they mean only to describe man Articles” of the Synod of Dort are as God describes him; and even entitled; k. Of Divine Predestinathat not to discourage him in re- tion ; 2d, Of the Merits of Christ's turning to the path of duty, but Death; 3d, Of Man's Will in a State to lead him to the cross of the Sa- of Nature ; 4th, Of the Manner of viour; and to teach him the necessity Conversion; and, 5th, Of the Cernot only of zealous resolutions of tainty of Perseverance. There is amendment, but of praying earnest- not a word in them strictly on the ly for the forgiveness of his sins, question of the depravity of man. and for the promised influences of Yet these Articles, remarks Mr. the Holy Spirit to renew and sanc- Knight, the present Bishop of Llantify his heart. If the admission of daff's examining chaplain, in his the doctrine of human corruption do Considerations on Calvinism," pot lead to these practical issues, lately published, are “the five points it matters little what are a man's of Calvinism.” Certainly if the corsentiments upon it. An intellectual ruption of human nature had been credence, without any moral or a part of exclusive Calvinism, such spiritual effect resulting from it, is writers as Mr. Knight--who does of no avail to salvation. This is not scruple to intimate, that “every qur own humble view of the sub- person who is baptized [by the ject; and we doubt not it is the view way, not a word is here said of a also of the Venerable the Arch- right reception of baptism) is redeacon of Ely, whose excellent ceived into favour and into covenant Charge has led us into these re- with God; and that all their sins, marks. He has proved ably and whether original or actual, are thus convincingly what is the doctrine washedaway"_would not have failed of Scripture, and of our own church, to discover the identification. Our upon the subject of the corruption present author, however, is not very of human nature; not, however, as solicitous about this alleged neces
sary junction : he deprecates it in- family is wholly for the contra-Remondeed, and justly remarks, that every strants ; that in all these churches some doctrine ought to be discussed upon out of all this I collect, for my part, that
particular doctors vary in these opinions : its own merits; but even should
these points are
no necessary Cathothe junction be urged and proved,
lic verities, not essential to the faith, but he does not hesitate to avow, with merely matters of opinion, problematical, Bishop Horsley, that supposing such of inferior moment, wherein a man may doctrines as the entire corruption err, or be ignorant, without danger to his of man and justification solely by soul; yet so still, that the glory of God's faith to be Calvinistic (which it justice, mercy, truth, sincerity, and Divine cannot be admitted that in any just
grace be not any ways blemished, nor any sense they are), still “ a man may good ascribed to man's corrupt will, nor hold all the theological opinions of If I can discover any corruption in myself
, Calvin, hard and extravagant as
or any other, I should hate it with all my some of them may seem, and yet might; but pity, support, and love all be a sound member of the Church that love the Lord Jesus, though they of England and Ireland ; certainly err in doubtful points ; but never break a much sounder member than one charity, unless with him that obstinately who, loudly declaiming against those errs in fundamentals, or is wilf illy fac
tious.” opinions (which, if they be errors, are not errors that affect the essence Having thus shewn that it is not of our common faith), runs into inevitable that a person believing all the nonsense, the impiety, the in the doctrine of human corrupabominations [Horsley is not always tion should be a Calvinist; and that, over-courteous in his phrases] of even if he were so, this would not the Arian, the Unitarian, and the necessarily exclude him from the Pelagian heresies, denying, in effect, pale of the Church of England ; the Lord who bought them.” The Mr. Browne assumes, that “the more timid part of our readers will doctrine of original sin or human perhaps marvel at the intrepidity of depravity constitutes a cardinal docBishop Horsley's avowal, and of Mr. trine of the Christian scheme," and Browne in making it his own by proceeds to point out its “extent quotation, and of the Christian Ob- and universality.” This last is, in server in giving the passage even at truth, the main point for inquiry; third hand. Horsley, however, was for few professed Christians now not singular in this opinion, as our deny the doctrine altogether. To readers may infer from the following say nothing at present, of recent declaration of Dean Potter, quoted writers, south of the Tweed, even by Mr. Browne from Dr. Words- Bishop Gleig himself, in his very worth's “ Ecclesiastical Biography.” singular Charge*, delivered at Bre
pp. 5, 6.
“ But now," says Dr. Potter,“
you • The epithet “very singular” is not long to hear what is the issue of all my used offensively, but to avoid one of a study and inquiry, what my resolution. harsher kind. But Bishop Gleig's divinity Why, you may easily conjecture. Finding, is truly very singular. This learned ediupon this serious search, that all doubts tor of Stackhouse's Bible teaches his are not clearly decided by Scripture; that clergy, in the Charge alluded to, that in the ancient church, after the age of St. “ Adam was not that being of transcenAugustine, who was presently contradict- dent perfections which in human systems ed by many Catholics, as you may see in
he is commonly supposed to have been;" the epistles of Prosper and Fulgentius to that the circumstance of the first pair being him upon that very occasion, they have banished from the garden of Eden into a been friendly debated, and never deter- barren wilderness, where they had to work mined in any council ; that, in our age, hard for their living, was quite sufficient whole churches are here divided, either in itself to deteriorate the human race; that from one another, as the Lutherans from thus situated “the education which they us, or amongst themselves, as the Ro- could give to their children must have been månişts, amongst whom the Dominican
very imperfect;" that to this early neglect