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too many principles in our nature plain, and all of them are pious ; which urge us to maintain our own but all of them are men, and thereas notions with obstinacy, and to re- fore all of them are fallible. 11,4 gus commend them with vehemence. I would wish, therefore, Putatus, P
To all subtlety in religion I am and any other person who is tot an utter stranger. If I admire what satisfied respecting the authority of is learned, yet I have always found, the Moral Law, to forget names, and that I am chiefly edified by what to confine their attention to Scrip- f is plain. I have heard the reason- lure; being folly a ware, as all ought ings of the Deist: I have heard the to be, that Scripture, meditation, I gay dreams of the enthusiast: 1 and prayer will always form there have often listened to the mulilated, , best divine and the best Christian. eccentric, and partial statements of The subject I am now upon is the seclarist : but I have turned extensive, if it were followed ito! away from them all with different any length, according to the hiots degrees of aversion; for those who given by Faturus. "The advocates rejected the Bible I was compelled of total liberty think that they have to condemn, and those who in my scriptural proof: it must be shewn view misinterpreted its doctrines I that they wrest the Scriptures. The could not approve
advocates of total liberty suppose if names were sufficient to decide that the authority of law is incom. a question, the subjection of be patible with the fulness and freeJievers to the Moral Law could no ness of mercy: it must be shewa, longer be a subject of dispute. The that these are not incompatible. names of those who graft the doc. The advocates of total liberty mains trine of absolute liberty on the 'tain that their statement, excluding: mérciful dispensation of the Gospel, alt reference to the Law as an auare few, and of no great weight, thoritative role of conduct, as a rule when compared with those who of conduct in its own nature bind... have advocated the doctrines of ing, is that alone which gives Christ d mercy without abrogating the au. his full honour, and the Christian thority of law. Agricola was only full satisfaction and comfort: it? an excrescence of the Reformation ; must be shewn that they are egrewhose sentiments probably were giously mistaken. Assert the com formed on the partial and ambigu- manding power of the Law over the t oùs sentences of the great, but ofien believer, and, if he will soffer him-1 incautious, Luther. Crisp was in self to be guided by scriptural truths consistent with' himself, and there, and sober thought, and not by hu»'! fore deserves no notice on the sub- man opinion or a dreaming fancy, ject. The modera Hercules of the he will have no reason to complain, ological absurdity was better ac- that so much as a 'single jota is de i quainted with plausible' effusion ducted from the mercy of the Gouls than with the logical examination spel, the honour of its great Author,'' of Divine truth. The name of one or his own comfort. The oppugna. calm, thoughtful, learned, and disers of the law may be specious, and passionate divine 'would fairly out- they will be obstinate. He knows weigh a whole host of such singular but little indeed of intellectual matcombatants.
ters who does not know, that som But I must say, as a plain man, phists' are the worst men to deal that I consider names, however I with in the walks of literature. So-. may revere them, as a very inferior phists are in the walks of literature, kind of evidence, as only a toterable what" knaves' are in the common. auxiliary, when a disputed point in walks of life. But that I may theology is brought forward for dise abridge my reflectiobs; I shall leates cussion. A Hooker is sublime, à this view of the sabject to those of Hopkins is decided, an Andrews is your correspondents wbo may judges CHRIST. ODSERY. No, 155, 150w
it expedient to unfold and discuss rity at all times. If men sin, and, the point in its various parts and according to the mercy of God re. bearings.
vealed in the Gospel, obtain parFrom what I have said already, don, this does not in the least de. it may be concluded, that I see no gree affect the nature of the Law. passages in Scripture tbat deny the Nothing, I think, can be more perplenary and universal authority of verse, or more unfounded, than to the Moral Law, and that I do not maintain, that faith in Christ, for see how any advantage is derived justification, pardon, and acceptance to the Gospel by denying it. Christ, with God, places map on a ground to the real Christian, is, in all reso on which the Law has no authority pects, every thing. He is his “ wis. Over him. dom, righteousness, sanctification, Of the religion of the first ages and redemption." This must be of the world, we have only in some freadily admitted, and strenuously respects obscure information : but inaintained.
obscure as it is, we may say, that • But while the Gospel confers the Moral Law was then known, and every mercy, the Law enjoins every existed in full force as the directing dury. Now take up the point on and commanding guide of all men.
the ground of reason ; and it ap- The First Table of the Law is to be pears 10 me evident, that su- deduced, and not unfairly, from the preme authority and abundant sanctification of the Sabbath-day. merey may exist in the same go. It niay also be asked, how could 'verninent, and also in respect of Abrabam teach his family to "do the same persons. A king rules by jaslice and judgment,” if he was laws. His subjects break those not familiar with the Second Table Jaws. He pardons the offenders. of the Law? The laws, though broken, do not According to my opinion, the Jose their authority; they are the Moral Law derived no additional immutable laws of the government. autbority by its promulgation on The pardoned offenders can claim Sinai. Moral relations are always * nothing, it is evident, from their the same: moral' enactments, there. sovereign, on the score of their obe- fore, which are in fact only the sisidience: they live by his mercy: ble expressions of those relations, but still, as necessarily members of are invariable. If, then, the Moral the same government, they owe Law existed previous to the Sinai. subjection to the laws. How far dispensation, which cannot be disthis may illustrale the point ) am puied, it must also exist, and that upon in religion, I leave others io with the very same character, after determine. But consess it has that dispensation became obsolete always appeared to me that the by the introduction of the Gospel. Moral Law.must, from its nature, be I have always thought the testimoimmutable, and therefore of equal ny of our Lord, in the fifth chapter authority in every possible dispen- of St. Matthew conclusive on this sation of truth. I am utterly at a point. Joss to discover how it can be other- If the Law is of oo force as it wise. It rests in nothing accidental respects the believer, I would ask, or varying, but in the essential na- how does St. Paul, in the serenih dure of things. If God creates chapter of the Epistle to the Robeings free agents, be must give mans, not only speak of the Law as them directions. Creatures are not “holy, just, and good,” but assert, Todependent: they must be subject that he “ delighted in the law of ro certain laws, that relate to right God after the inward man,” and and wrong; and since right and also that " with his mind he served wrong are always the same, the Law he law of God?" I it be admite has the same character and autho. ted that St. Paul bere speaks as a believer, then it must also be ad, point, I do not quote him as an mitted, that being a believer, he re. authority to decide the question; garded the Law in such a manner but having accidentally met with as no one could who wa not per. his opinion, after I bad written the suaded of its authority over him. above remarks, I was struck, with the
The New Testament aboueds with coincidence between his views and commands. Those commands are ade my own, Some men will be condressed to believers, and, as I suppose, yinced more by the observations of are binding upon them. But what Flavel than they would by those are those commands, but, in effect, of our pious and learned prelates, the Moral Law? For the Moral Law, "Christ doth not free believers though summarily contained in the from obedience to the Moral Law; Ten Commandments, consists of the it is true we are no more under it as preceptive parts of Scripture so far a covenant for our justification; but as such parış, are of a moral nature. we are and must still be under it as a Moral commands are moral laws, rule for our direction. The maller and are binding wherever they occ of the Moral Law is unchangeable cur. They'abound in the Gospel; as the nature of good and evil iş, and are especially directed to those and cannot be abolished except who have embraced the mercy which that distinction should be destroyed. it offers.
The precepts of the Law are still The notion of some, that real urged under the Gospel, to enforce Christians obey the commands of duties upon us. It, is, therefore, a God from a principle of love, and vain distinction invented by liberthai these commands have, for that lines to say it binds us as creatures, reason, no authority over them, is not as Christians : or that it binds so absurd that it clearly shews us the unregenerate part, but not the that they speak without knowledge, regenerate; but tbis is a sure truth, Every one who reflects must be that they who are freed from its convinced, that the authority of a penalties, are still under its premoral law resides in the law itself, cepts; though believers are no and is not diminished or eyen af, more under its curse, yet they are fected, whether the law be obeyed still under its conduct: the Law. or not obeyed, or whether it be sends us to Christ to be justified, obeyed from a principle of love, and Christ sends us to the Law to or lear, or from any other prin- be regulated. Let the heart of ciple,
every Christian join therefore with ... 'If, then, I am asked, on what David's in that holy wish; Thou ground, I am persuaded of the au hast commanded me to keep thy thority of the Moral Law ayer be- precepts diligently that my lievers, I should reply, that I rest ways were, directed to keep thy my persuasion of it on my views of statutes!!!! the nature of the Moral Law, and on
Lam, c. the testimony of Scripture, which,
PHILONONOS, if I am not mistaken, agrees with those views. I am aware that my statement is
Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer, very imperfect; but I shall rejoice if any thing I have adyanced will I was so delighted with a passage lead to a more clear, learned, and which I lately met with in reading the satisfactory investigation of the second part of thetwenty-thirdHomi. subject.
ly of the United Church of England Allow me to conclude my paper and Ireland, on alms-deeds," and with the remarks of Flavel, no consider it so admirable an answer to mean name in theology, on this many of the unscriplural statements,
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as they are in hiene o me, of the bit of especially, and they have so received
hoof other writers of it fruitfully, that, although by tea 1 the same school, that I venture to son of their sinful living outwardly. beg a place for it in your valuable they seemed before to have been pages. After having quoted Luke tlie children of wrath and përdition, xi. 41.""Give alms of such things as yet now, the Spirit of God mightily ye bave; and behold all things are working in them, 'unto obedience to clean unto you;" and having also Gol's will and commandments, they cited the apocryphal books of Tobit declare by their outward deeds and and Ecclesiasticus, as well as some life, in the shewing of mercy, and words of Cyprian, in confirmation charity (which cannot come but of what he has before alleged'; of the Spirit of God, and his espen the writer supposes and answers the cial grace), that they are the ons following objection. (Oxford ed. doubted children of God, appointed of Hom. 1810, pp. 328, &c.) “But to everlasting life." And so, as by here some will say unto me, Ifalms- their wickedness and ungodly living giving, and our' charitable works they shewed themselves according towards the
poor, 'be able to wash to the judgment of men which follow away sins, to reconcile us to God, the outward appearance, to be res to deliver us from the peril of data probates and cast-aways: 80 now, nation, and make us the sons and by their obedience unto God's heirs of God's kingdom: then are boly will, and by their mercifulness Christ's merits defaced, and his and tender pity, (wherein they blood shed in vain; then are we xhew themselves to be like unto justified by works, and by our God, who is the fountain and spring deeds may we merit heaven then of all mercy), they declare openly do we in vain believe that Christ and manifestly unto the sight of men, died for to put away our sins, and that they are the sons of God, and that he rose for our justification, as elect of bim unto salvation. For, St. Paul teacheth,
as 'the good fruit is not the cause " But ye shall understand (dearly that the tree' is good, but the tree beloved) that neither those places of must first be goods before it can che Scripture before alleged, neither bring forth good fruit: '50 the good the doctrine of the blessed martyr deeds of man "are 'note the cause Cyprian, neither any other godiy that maketh man good, but he is and learned man, when they, in ex first made good, by the Spirit and tolling the digoity, profit, fruit, and grace of God, that effectually work effect of virtuous and liberal almas, eth in him, and afterward, he bring do say that it washeth away sins, eth forth good fruitsu And then, and bringeth us to the favour of as the good fruit doth arguel the God, do mean, that our work and goodness of the tree, * '50 doth the charitable deed is the original cause good and merciful deed of the man of our acceptation before God, or that argue, and certainly prove the goodfor the dignity or worthiness there ness of him that doeth it, according of our sins may be washed away; to Christ's sayings: Ye shall koow and we purged and cleansed of all them by their fruits." the spots of our iniquity : for that "And if any man wilt object, were, indeed, to deface Christ; and that evil and naughty men do somea to defraud him of his glory. But times, by their deeds, appear to be ey mean this
, and this
is the on very godly and virtuous : I will derstanding of those and such like answer, so doth the crab and choke sayings; that God of his mercy and pear seem outwardly to have some special favour towards them whom limes as fair a red, and as mellor be bath appointed to everlasting á colour, as the fruit that is good, 17960 lux