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priests, the pretended preachers of the Gospel, confident in the assistance of physical force, and knowing that they can invoke the aid of a powerful military nation to beat down the opposition of a weak people, go with their trinkets of superstition to set up mass and introduce idolatry, and so in fact to compel the Tahitians to admit Popery whether they wish to have it or not. Is this a mission of the Gospel? Are the glad tidings of salvation to be introduced by a fine of 2000 dollars, a humble apology, and a salute of cannon? Is the message of mercy to lost sinners to make its way by threats of destruction of the capital city of a free people? And is this the that way 'the most Christian monarch' shews his zeal for the kingdom of Christ upon earth, by invading a quiet and peaceful nation with strokes of cowardly tyranny, and by trampling on all the rights of independent sovereigns that ever have been acknowledged, since the law of nations was supposed to have existence? mean, how pitiful in a mighty monarch thus to fight out the intrigues of priests in whose religion he himself does not the least believe! How could a great nation be brought down lower than by thus acting the bully in the face of all the world?
Alas! alas! the story of oppression and irremediable wrong is ever the same; and thus are we condemned from age to age to see the strong oppressing the weak, and the tiger fixing his fangs in the helpless and inoffensive lamb: "the thing that hath been is that which is to be; and that which is done is that which shall be done, and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See this is new? It hath been already of old time, which was before us."
The end of this outrage seems to be that Tahiti is henceforward to become one of the provinces under the superintending care of the Pope. His emissaries are now fixed there by force,
and by force they will introduce their religion. The French Government will always be ready with its frigates and gun-ships to support transubstantiation and the Popish priests; and that happy island, which has not long been recovered from the bloody sway of barbarian idolatry, will now be desolated by the fearful visitation of Popish superstitions. The mind sickens with the prospect; a cloud of death seems to pass over all the fair landscape, and already we see, in anticipation, those scenes repeated in Tahiti, which characterised the introduction of Popery in Mexico and South America. Let those who would understand what this change may be, compare the present state of Cuba with that of Tahiti, and then they will somewhat comprehend the plague that is hanging over this devoted island.
May the Lord in his infinite mercy avert impending mischief; may "the little flock" be preserved in the quiet possession of their unmolested faith; and may the counsels of wicked men be turned into foolishness; so that after a time it may be seen that the simplicity of Christians is stronger than the power of Papists, though armed with all the terrors of irresistible force !
THE SECOND COUNCIL OF ORANGE.
THE Second Council of Orange took place in the year 529. The principal person in this Council was Cesarius, the prelate of Arles, by whose influence the Council was held. Tiberius, the Pretorian Prefect of Gaul, appeared at the head of the laymen who assisted at the Council. The object of the decrees was to pass a definitive sentence against the Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian views, which in those days were advocated by multitudes of the clergy. Cesarius requested the assistance of Felix IV., who then occupied the see of Rome, and that pope, to help him in drawing up the decrees, sent him many extracts from
the writings of Augustine. The Pope in those days did not command and decide, but lent his assistance and offered his advice to others who were anxious to decide on matters of faith. The publication of the decrees of the Second Council of Orange displeased many of the clergy, who loudly complained of them, and particularly on this point, "that the commencement of faith depends on grace." Cesarius, to put this question at rest, assembled another council at Valence, where the Fathers decided that no one could have faith, or could begin to believe without the assistance of grace. This decision was forwarded to Pope Boniface II., the successor of Felix IV., who expressed his approbation of the decree. In his letter of approbation, he remarks that they had decided unanimously," that faith is formed by preventing grace, and that a man can do nothing for his salvation without grace."
These decrees deserve attention; this was the last time in Church history that the doctrines of grace were thus plainly stated. The decrees of the Council of Orange are diametrically opposed to the decrees of the Council of Trent.
The Decrees of the Second Council of Orange.
That if any person affirms that the whole nature of man, in mind as well as in body, is not changed by the sin of Adam, and that the body only has become subject to corruption, whilst the liberty of the soul continues unimpaired-he not only defends the errors of Pelagius, but also contradicts Holy Scripture, which says that "the soul which has sinned shall die," "know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey;" "of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."
II. If any person assert that the sin of Adam has injured only himself, and not his posterity, or even that the
death of the body, which is the punishment of sin, has alone entered into the world, and that sin, which is the death of the soul, has not extended over the whole human race, he attributes injustice to God, and contradicts the Apostle, who assures us, that "by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin."
III. He who says that grace is given to the prayers of man, and that it is not grace that makes us call upon God, contradicts the Prophet and the Apostle, who represent God as saying, 'I am found of them who sought me not."
IV. If any one say that God waits for the inclination of our will in order that he may purge us from sin, and that it is not rather the Holy Spirit who, by his infusion and by his operations within us, makes us willing to be delivered from sin-he resists the Holy Spirit, who says by the mouth of Solomon, that "it is God who prepares the will, and creates in us efficaciously, both the will and the power to perform."
V. He who believes that the progress of faith, the commencement of faith, and even the desire of faith, by which we believe in God, who justifies the ungodly, by which we attain to the regeneration of holy baptism; if any one believe that the progress or the desire of this faith is naturally within us, that it is not a gift of grace, that it is not produced within us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which corrects our will, which translates us from unbelief to faith, from impiety to virtue;-he is an enemy to the apostolic dogmas, and especially to St. Paul, who says that God, who has begun his work in us, will perform it; that CHRIST has given us not only to believe, but also to suffer for him-that we are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. Those who say that the faith by which we believe in God is natural, affirm at the same time that all those who are
without the Church are in some sense believers.
VI. If any one say that mercy granted to us, when we believe-that we wish, that we desire, that we make efforts, that we work, that we watch, that we study, that we ask, that we seek, that we find without grace, and that it is not the Holy Spirit, who, by his inspiration and his infusion, makes us to believe, to wish, and to act as we ought he who contents himself with uniting the assistance of grace to the humility and the obedience of man, and who does not acknowledge that it is by a gift of grace that we become humble and obedient, resists the Apostle, who says, "What hast thou that thou hast not received." By the grace of God I am what I
VII. If any one imagine that by the powers of nature he can choose, or think as he ought, any thing which may conduce to eternal life, or even that he can give his consent to the salutary preaching of the gospel, without the inspiration and the illumination of the Holy Spirit, who sheds abroad pleasure in the soul which believes and consents to the truth, he is animated by a spirit of heresy, and does not understand the voice of God, which speaks in the Gospel," Without me ye can do nothing-we can think nothing of ourselves, and all our sufficiency is of God."
VIII. If any one believe that some persons receive the grace of baptism in the way of mercy, whilst others obtain it by their own will, which is vitiated in all men born of Adam, he departs from the true faith; for he asserts that the free will of the first man has not been wounded by sin, or that the wound has been so slight that some can acquire salvation without the revelation of God-which is evidently contrary to what the Lord says, who excepts no one from the number of those who cannot come unto him except the Father draw them, according to that which he said to St. Peter,
"Simon, It is not flesh and blood which have revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven."
IX. It is a present from God when we have good thoughts, and withdraw our feet from unrighteousness and iniquity; whenever we do good, it is God who works in us and with us.
X. The saints and the faithful regenerate persons always ought to implore help from God, in order to reach the mark, or to persevere in that which is good.
XI. No man has ever made lawful VOWS unto God, unless he have received from God power to make his Vow according to that which is written. We give thee that which we have received from thy hand.
XII. God loves us such as we shall be one day through his grace, and not such as we are by our merits.
XIII. Free-will, impaired by the first man, can only be re-established by the grace of baptism; that which is lost can only be recovered by Him who gave it; therefore the Truth said, "If the Son make you free, then ye shall be free indeed."
XIV. No unhappy person is delivered from his misery, unless he be prevented by the mercy of God, according to the prayer of the Psalmist, "Lord may thy mercy prevent us. It is my God, his mercy shall prevent
XV. Adam changed his state, but it was for the worse, through his iniquity. The faithful man comes forth from the state in which his iniquity had placed him, but he changes for the better by the grace of God, according to the word of the Psalmist,
change comes from the Most High."
XVI. Let no man boast himself as though he had not received that which he possesses, or that he does not believe himself to have received it, because the law has been proclaimed externally, so that it may be heard, and even because it has been hidden in writing, in order that it may be read; for if righteousness be by the
law, Christ is dead in vain. Whoever possesses anything, he holds it from Jesus Christ; and he who denies that he has received it from him has not truly that which he may appear to possess; or even that which he appeared to possess is taken away from him.
XVII. The desire of glory occasioned the generosity of the heathen, but it is the love of God shed abroad in the heart which makes the virtue of Christians; it does not proceed from free will which is within us, but from the Holy Spirit who has given it to us.
XVIII. The reward is not given to good works, which may have been done without grace; but grace, on which we have no claim, prevents us in order that we should act.
XIX. If human nature had kept itself even in the same state of integrity in which God formed it, it could not sustain itself without God's assistance; and since we cannot, without grace, keep the salvation which we have received, how could we, without it, repair that which is lost.
XX. God does effect within man many excellent things, which man does not do, but man does nothing good unless God give him the power to do it.
XXI. If the apostle had reason to say, that those who sought to be justified by the law have been deprived of grace; "if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain,' we can say to those who maintain that nature is this grace so much boasted of, that if righteousness be from nature, Christ is dead in vain. There was the law which could not justify, here is nature which cannot justify-Christ is not dead in vain: but in order that the law should be fulfilled by him who said, "I am come to fulfil the law," and that nature which was undone should be repaired by him who said, "I came to seek and to save that which is lost."
XXII. Man has nothing of himself but falsehood and sin; if he have any justice and any truth, it comes from that spring which we must seek in the desert, in order, that being refreshed by some drops, we may not faint in the journey.
XXIII. Men do not the will of God, but their own, when they do that which is displeasing to God; but when they do what they can to obey the will of God, although they act voluntarily, nevertheless their will comes from Him who prepares and ordains that which they will.
XXIV. The branches are in such manner attached to the vine, that they do not communicate any strength to it, but, on the contrary, it is from the vine that they receive the sap by which they live; the vine is attached to the branches in such a manner that it communicates to them nourishment and life, but does not receive from them. It is thus that the believer derives great advantage from abiding in Christ, and having Christ in him; but he does not bring any advantage to Jesus Christ: for when the branch is cut off another can spring out of the vine, but the branch cut off cannot live without the root.
ON THE SONSHIP OF CHRIST; A FRAGMENT. BY ROBT. HALL, of Arnsby, preceded by a Short Sketch of the Author's Life.
ROBERT HALL, the father of the illustrious Robert Hall, of Leicester, was born in the year 1728, at a village called Black Heddon, in the parish of Stanninton, about twelve miles northward of Newcastle-uponTyne, in Northumberland. His father, Christopher Hall, was a reputable farmer, as were his ancestors, in the same place, for many generations. The great-grandfather was living in the house when Robert Hall was a boy. His father was a worthy, honest man, of the episcopal persuasion, but
his mother was a Presbyterian-their son believed that they were converted Christians. His father died when he was about twelve years old, after which Robert was brought up with an uncle, at Kirkley, three miles east of Black Heddon, where he attended the Presbyterian meeting, but with little advantage, owing to the tenets of the minister, which were more grossly Arminian than any that Robert Hall ever heard delivered by any other preacher. However, the first year after he went there, he received serious impressions, though not through the ministry of this Pres byterian divine. One day one of his youthful companions told him of some awful things which he had heard "the parson say at church," in describing the torments of hell. This apparently accidental narrative sunk deep into the mind of Robert; he was seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt, and the misery of eternal banishment from God.
close the cause of his secret woe; and, by holding constant converse with his melancholy thoughts, he came at last to think that he was losing his understanding.
In the midst of his anguish he met with a painful accident, by which he broke his arm and three ribs; and before he was fully cured, he was thrown from a young horse, which ran away with him; and, in the fall, broke both his arms and collar-bone, and dislocated a shoulder. Great, however, as was the pain of his broken bones, he declared that it did not equal the mental agony which he was then enduring the sense of unpardoned sin was more acute than the sense of his bodily hurt. A decree of irreversible damnation seemed registered against him, and he was fully persuaded that the Almighty could not save him if he would. Once, on perusing the glorious title of Jehovah, in Exod. xxxiv., "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty;" he was tempted to throw away his Bible, as containing irreconcileable inconsistencies, in declaring that God will forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin," while it is at the same time asserted that "" 'he will by no means clear the guilty." After seven years' exercise under the terrors of the law, he obtained relief from his sorrows by a perception of the gospel method of salvation. No one taught him the way which he should take; no preacher of the gospel" proclaimed, in his hearing, the truth as it is in Jesus; but he was "taught by the Lord" in the day of grace. One day he took up his Bible, once more, to see if he could discover any door of hope; and he cast his eyes on Gal. iv. 4, 5, "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made