Page images
PDF
EPUB

to the world as free from all depravity, from all criminal bias to evil, as he was when he came from the band of his Maker, is contrary to scripture. In attempting to establish this part of his system, the preacher did not, any more than in the other case, bring any tbing like scriptual proof; probably for the good reason that nothing of that sort coula be found; nor did he even take notice of any of the passages which appear to be against his doctrine. The topics on which he chiefly insisted, were, the absurdity involved in the doctrine of native depravity, and the dishonor which it brings upon the character of God. Nevertheless, the scriptures do affirm, Rom. v. 12, that, “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have siuned.” That the apostle here ineaus to include the whole race of man, is evident from what follows. "For until the law,” that is, until it was publicly given at Sinai, "sin was in the world ; but sin is not inputed where there is no law" at all. “Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, over those who had not sinned after the similitude of Adams' transgression;" that is, over infants, who had not sined by any overt act, but yet were sinners in the spirit of their minds, and so were obnoxious, with the rest of the human race, to the sentence of death. F01,' said the apostle, Rom. 3. 9, "we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” Another argument to prove this doctrine, rests on the fact that Christ gave himself to death as a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and is as much the Saviour of infants, as of others who are saved; for, 1. Cor. v. 14, “We thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.". Again, the necessity of regeneration to all, in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven, implies that all are naturally unfit for that holy place. But of such texts and arguments as these the preacher took no notice at all. It should however be here stated that, while he insisted that the posterity of Adam come into the world as free from depravity as he came from his Maker, and for a while, (he did not tell us how long) existed without any moral character; he did expressly allow that whenever they do put forth any moral exercises, they universally choose to gratify self, and do all go wrong! But why it has ever happened since the fall of Adam, that so much as one of all the millions of his race who have been put to the trial without any bias one way more than the other, should, at first, incline to do right; the preacher did not attempt to inform us. Here was a result invariably the same in every age and nation, witho:t any assignable cause.

Once more. The doctrine that the Spirit of God does not, in regenerating the hearts of men, create within them any such thing as a holy disposition, is also contrary to the divine oracles. The Spirit does indeed address divine truth to the minds of men with convincing power. He uses the strongest moral suasion with them. But this, in itself, is not enough; "For the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are

[ocr errors]

ness.

foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.” David when crushed with a conviction of his depravity, prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Speaking of the future conversion of his covenant people, the Almighty promised, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” And “We," said the apostle to his brethren at Ephesus, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Men are, while unrenewed, dead in sin. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth." All who are renewed, are born of God. They are made "partakers of the divine nature." They are, “aster God, created in righteousness and true holi

This is the ancient scriptural doctrine, and by no means accords with the new doctrine, that created holivess is no holiness; and that, in becoming new creatures, sinners do regenerate and make themselves holy.

Having thus proved these fundamental principles of the new system to be unscriptural, and consequently false, it is obvious they inust be of dangerous tendency. They are dangerous, because they give men wrong views of themselves; wrong views of true holiness; wrong views of the operations of the Divine Spirit ; and lead them to trust in themselves rather than in the living God. These doctrines have been called the New Divinity, not because the system is really new; but because it is new in comparison with the old divinity contained in cur Bibles; or is a new thing to be advauced under the venerable name of orthodox. For my part, I view it as right down heresy, which ought to be exposed and resisted. The fact that it has assumed the name of orthodoxy, and that it is strenuously maintained by some in our churches whose preaching is said to be followed with great revivals, is no reason why we should not resist it ; for, if our churches are ever to be deluged and carried away with error, the flood will undoubtedly come in through some such easy and unsuspected channel. Let ministers and churches awake to their danger, and stand fast in their adherence to the sound doctrines of the gospel as they lie before us in the sacred volume.

One thing which I thought highly commendable in the preacher, on whose discourse I have offered these observations, was, the plainness and bonesty with which he declared his sentiments. Some of his friends seemed to be a little startled; they said they had never heard him go so far, before. But, considering his standing and influence in the orthodox churchies, it was well that he took the occasion he did to declare his real belief. If he should publish that discourse, it might, with still better effect, be compared with the oracles of God, and the cause of truth would be promoted.

M.

From the Taunton Gazette.

THE TOY SHOP.

Being fascinated by the display of a confectioner's and toyshop window, my attention was easily directed to a friend of mine, seated within its enclosure. I entered, and was soon seated by his side.

My friend and I, by some strange association of ideas, I can. not tell what, were led to look back on the blasted hopes of many a family which but a few years ago, were figuring in this small village, in almost city equipage. We were inevitably driven to the conclusion, that the wealth, the greatness or respectability of any farnily, can afford no warrant to believe that the termination of even five years, will find them either wealthy, great, or respectable. The slightest regard to the changes wrought within the few years with which we were familiar, swept away all expectation that he who now owned the soil, and farmed the tenements of whole neighborhoods would leave a family, who, after the lapse of twenty years would possess an acre of the soil or a single' dwelling to cover them. This was A melancholy thought, and we were induced to search for the cause. Where was it ? Surely such mutability in the affairs of men, does not exist without a reason. We sought for the origin of this much lamented evil. Like those who seek for lost property and health and character, we were disposed to travel abroad to find what was immediatly before us: Here we saw the child of four years with his cent to buy him a stick of candy. It was all he had, and he parted with it for one little stick of candy, which disolved in a moment. The boy spent his only ninepece for a trumpet. The lad of fifteen bought his pie for a fourpence, but not being satisfied with one, he took the second. The little girl of half a dozen years, wanted a doll, and the sprightly and beautiful Miss, was delighted to extacy with cakes bespangled with silver and gold. But it would be impossible for me to give an account of all the waste of time snd money we witnessed in the short half hour we remained, leaving out of the account the ever enduring influence of the habits now contracting, of parting with both time and money, for that which will only produce a fitful lusting for sweetmeais, cakes and sugar-plumbs, which can never be satisfied. We seemed to have hit, accidentally, upon the true origin of the evil we had been lamenting. We now could account for the unsuccessful efforts of the youth who has failed in business after struggling with debts and duns for two long years. We traced the fall of families and the ruin of neighborhoods to these destructive enticements. Here we detected the first secret ravages of that worm, which from year to year, had been undermining the once invaluable,and but recently independent families. As that child who is taught to labor when young, and to lay up his little earnings, will retain these habits, and act under their inflence when advanced to manhood, and reap the rewards of industry and prudence in old age; so the child, who commences life at a toy-shop, or confectioner's

, will contract a habit of wasting both his time and his money. which will last as long as he has time and money to waste No one will doubt the magnitude of this evil, who counts up the amount of change, which the lad has spent who has been isdulged froin the age of five to fifteen.' And yet this is much the least itens of evil which results from this iudulgence, aud I only name it because it is more tangible to all. But should not this consideration produce conviction, I will only ask the reader to walk round this village, and deliberately set down the amount of this kind of merchandize which he may discover. Who pays for all this ?-How many families are supported with the profits arising from it ? If the whole amount were supk in the oceag from year to year, it would be nothing, less than nothing, when we take into view the life-lasting, happiness-destroying habits here contracted.

M. L.

From the New Hampshire Observer.

EXPLANATION OF I CORINTHIANS v. 11. I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brolher, be a fornicator, or covetous, an idolator, or e drunkard, or an executioner ; with such an one, no nol lo eat."

It has been supposed that Paul here gives directions how to treat excommunicated persons. And some very respectable ministers have thought they were forbidden to eat with them at a cominon meal: And others have supposed, that he referred to the eating of the Lord's supper. But perhaps both of these opinions are incorrect. It is absurd to suppose it refers to eating with excommunicated persons at the Lord's table. For are such persons, while they remain excommunicaied, ever admited to the Lord's table? And would it not be absurd to suppose, that the apostle wrote to the Corinthians, giving them directions not to do what never was, and never would be done? And the manner of expression, "not to keep company,--no,not to eat, im implies that this eating was an interior kind of fellowship. As if he had said, I have written unto you not to keep company with such, no, not in so small an act of friendly and familiar intercourse as eating with them.

It appears to me evident that the apostle in this passage has no reference to excommunicated persons. For he says, “If any man that is called a brother be a fornicator," &c. But after a person is excommunicated, he is no longer a brother, but is without,-and the apostle adds, “What have I tu do to judge them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within! But them that are without, God judgeth.” Here he teaches that he did not judge them that were without, and that they judged only them that were within. And that others were to be left to the judgment of God. And yet he gives direction respecting the treatment of such characters as he here names. Consequently he must intend persons in the church.

And this is farther evident from a very similar direction in 2 Thess. 3: 14, 15. “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that inan, and have no company with him that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Here they are directed to have no company with such an one, or familiar intercourse, as the original word seems to imply. But still they were to view and admonish him as a brother.

If any were manifestly disobedient or immoral, their christian brethren must admonish them, and use all proper means to reclaim them. And for this purpose, to manilest their-disap. probation of their unchristian conduct, they must avoid all familiar and brotherly intercourse with them, till they were made ashained, and brought to repentance, or appeared incorrigible, and were excluded from the church, or excommunicated. And then, being without, they must be lefi to the judgement of God, and be treated like the fornicators, and other vicious characters of this world, with whom the apostle did not forbid them to keep company. “I wrote unto you, says he, not to keep company

with fornicators; yet not altogether with the fornicators of this : world,- for then must ye needs go out of the world.”

And this is agreeable to the direction of our Saviour in the 18th of Matthew. When an offending brother could not be reclaimed, he must be excommunicated, and in the common intercourse of lise, be treated as a heathen man and a publican, vr like other wicked men, who were "without" the church.-Some suppose that Christ designed that excommunicated persons should be treated as the Jews treated publicans and leathens. But he would not surely require what he, by his own example, condemned. We are informed how he himself treated publicans. He received them, and ate with them.

ZANCHY

FAMILY OF ADAM.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The derivaton of the human species, all from one stock, Noalı, the second father of mankind, has proved a great stumbling block to minute philosophers; who cannot reconcile the fact of the varieties of the species in different countries, as to color, size, shape, disposition, &c. However inadequate we may be fully to unfold ihe mysteries of nature and the ways of Provi. dence, yet much of these alleged varieties may be satisfactorily accounted for, from the influence of climate, local circumstances of air, water, food, customs, &c. which may, in process of time, make a material change in the constitutions and complexions of the inhabitants. If dogs, taken to the frigid zone, grow shaggy; and if sheep, transported to the torid zone, exchange their wool for hair ; why may not the human species gradually partake of the influence of climate,

I. Man was formed to reside in all climates. The human

« PreviousContinue »