Imágenes de páginas

priests, the pretended preachers of and by force they will introduce their the Gospel, confident in the assistance religion. The French Government of physical force, and knowing that will always be ready with its frigates they can invoke the aid of a powerful and gun-ships to support transubstanmilitary nation to beat down the op- tiation and the Popish priests; and position of a weak people, go with that happy island, which has not long their trinkets of superstition to set up

been recovered from the bloody sway mass and introduce idolatry, and so in of barbarian idolatry, will now be fact to compel the Tahitians to admit desolated by the fearful visitation of Popery whether they wish to have it or Popish superstitions. The mind sicknot. Is this a mission of the Gospel ? ens with the prospect; a cloud of Are the glad tidings of salvation to be death seems to pass over all the fair introduced by a fine of 2000 dollars, landscape, and already we see, in ana humble apology, and a salute of ticipation, those scenes repeated in cannon? Is the



to Tahiti, which characterised the introlost sinners to make its way by threats duction of Popery in Mexico and of destruction of the capital city of a South America. Let those who would free people ? And is this the


that understand what this change may be, the most Christian monarch' shews compare the present state of Cuba his zeal for the kingdom of Christ with that of Tahiti, and then they upon earth, by invading a quiet and will somewhat comprehend the plague peaceful nation with strokes of cow- that is hanging over this devoted ardly tyranny, and by trampling on island: all the rights of independent sove- May the Lord in his infinite mercy reigns that ever have been acknow- avert impending mischief; may “the ledged, since the law of nations was little flock" be preserved in the quiet supposed to have existence? How possession of their unmolested faith; mean, how pitiful in a mighty monarch and


the counsels of wicked men thus to fight out the intrigues of priests be turned into foolishness; so that after in whose religion he himself does not a time it may be seen that the simplicity the least believe ! How could a great of Christians is stronger than the nation be brought down lower than power of Papists, though armed with by thus acting the bully in the face of all the terrors of irresistible force ! all the world?

Alas! alas I the story of oppression and irremediable wrong is ever the same; and thus are we condemned

The Second Council of Orange took from age to age to see the strong op- place in the year 529. The principal pressing the weak, and the tiger fixing person in this Council was Cesarius, his fangs in the helpless and inoffen

the prelate of Arles, by whose influence sive lamb: “the thing that hath been

the Council was held. Tiberius, the is that which is to be; and that which Pretorian Prefect of Gaul, appeared at is done is that which shall be done,

the head of the laymen who assisted and there is no new thing under the at the Council. The object of the sun. Is there any thing whereof it decrees was to pass a

definitive may be said, See this is new? It hath

sentence against the Pelagian and been already of old time, which

Semi-Pelagian views, which in those before us.”

days were advocated by multitudes of The end of this outrage seems to the clergy. Cesarius requested the be that Tahiti is henceforward to be- assistance of Felix IV., who then come one of the provinces under the occupied the see of Rome, and that superintending care of the Pope. His pope, to help him in drawing up the emissaries are now fixed there by force, decrees, sent him many extracts from



the writings of Augustine. The Pope death of the body, which is the in those days did not command and punishment of sin, has alone entered decide, but lent his assistance and into the world, and that sin, which is offered his advice to others who were the death of the soul, has not extended anxious to decide on matters of faith. over the whole human race, he attriThe publication of the decrees of the butes injustice to God, and contradicts Second Council of Orange displeased the Apostle, who assures us, that“ by many of the clergy, who loudly com- one man sin entered the world, and plained of them, and particularly on death by sin.” this point, “ that the commencement III. He who says that grace is of faith depends on grace.” Cesarius, given to the prayers of man, and that to put this question at rest, assembled it is not grace that makes us call upon another council at Valence, where the God, contradicts the Prophet and the Fathers decided that no one could have Apostle, who represent God as saying, faith, or could begin to believe without “I am found of them who sought me the assistance of grace. This decision not.” was forwarded to Pope Boniface II., IV. If any one say that God waits the successor of Felix IV., who for the inclination of our will in order expressed his approbation of the that he may purge us from sin, and decree. In his letter of approbation, that it is not rather the Holy Spirit he remarks that they had decided who, by his infusion and by his opeunanimously, “that faith is formed by rations within us, makes us willing to preventing grace, and that a man can be delivered from sin-he resists the do nothing for his salvation without Holy Spirit, who says by the mouth grace."

of Solomon, that “it is God who preThese decrees deserve attention; pares the will, and creates in us this was the last time in Church his.

efficaciously, both the will and the tory that the doctrines

of grace were power to perform." thus plainly stated. The decrees of V. He who believes that the prothe Council of Orange are diametri- gress of faith, the commencement of cally opposed to the decrees of the faith, and even the desire of faith, by Council of Trent.

which we believe in God, who justifies The Decrees of the Second Council of the regeneration of holy baptism; if

the ungodly, by which we attain to Orange.

any one believe that the progress or 1. That if any person affirms that the desire of this faith is naturally the whole nature of man, in mind as within us, that it is not a gift of grace, well as in body, is not changed by that it is not produced within us by the sin of Adam, and that the body the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, only has become subject to corruption, which corrects our will, which transwhilst the liberty of the soul continues lates us from unbelief to faith, from unimpaired-he not only defends the impiety to virtue ;-he is an enemy errors of Pelagius, but also contradicts to the apostolic dogmas, and espeHoly Scripture, which says that “the cially to St. Paul, who says that God, soul which has sinned shall die,” who has begun his work in us, will “know ye not that to whom ye yield perform it; that Christ has given us yourselves servants to obey, his ser- not only to believe, but also to suffer vants ye are to whom ye obey;”.“ of for him—that we are saved by faith in whom a man is overcome, of the same Jesus Christ, and that not of our. is he brought in bondage.”

selves, it is the gift of God. Those II. If any person assert that the who say that the faith by which we sin of Adam has injured only himself, believe in God is natural, affirm at and not his posterity, or even that the the same time that all those who are VOL. II.





without the Church are in some sense Simon, It is not flesh and blood believers.

which have revealed it unto thee, but
any one say


is my Father who is in heaven.” granted to us, when we believe—that IX. It is a present from God when we wish, that we desire, that we make we have good thoughts, and withdraw efforts, that we work, that we watch, our feet from unrighteousness and that we study, that we ask, that we iniquity; whenever we do good, it is seek, that we find without grace, and God who works in us and with us. that it is not the Holy Spirit, who, by

X. The saints and the faithful his inspiration and his infusion, makes regenerate persons always ought to us to believe, to wish, and to act as implore help from God, in order to we ought: he who contents himself reach the mark, or to persevere in with uniting the assistance of grace

that which is good. to the humility and the obedience of XI. No man has ever made lawful man, and who does not acknowledge unto God, unless he have that it is by a gift of grace that we received from God power to make his become humble and obedient, resists vow according to that which is the Apostle, who says, “ What hast written. We give thee that which thou that thou hast not received.” we have received from thy hand. By the grace of God I am what I XII. God loves us such as we shall

be one day through his grace, and not VII. If any one imagine that by such as we are by our merits. the powers of nature he can choose, XIII. Free-will, impaired by the or think as he ought, any thing which first man, can only be re-established may

conduce to eternal life, or even by the grace of baptism; that which that he can give his consent to the is lost can only be recovered by Him salutary preaching of the gospel, who gave it; therefore the Truth said, without the inspiration and the illu- “ If the Son make you free, then ye mination of the Holy Spirit, who sheds shall be free indeed.” abroad pleasure in the soul which XIV. No unhappy person is delibelieves and consents to the truth, he vered from his misery, unless he be is animated by a spirit of heresy, and prevented by the mercy of God, acdoes not understand the voice of God, cording to the prayer of the Psalmist, which speaks in the Gospel, “ Without · Lord

may thy mercy prevent us. It me ye can do nothing-we can think is my God, his mercy shall prevent nothing of ourselves, and all our sufficiency is of God."

XV. Adam changed his state, but ne believe that some it was for the worse, through his persons receive the grace of baptism iniquity. The faithful man in the way of mercy, whilst others forth from the state in which his ini. obtain it by their own will, which is quity had placed him, but he changes vitiated in all men born of Adam, he for the better by the grace of God, departs from the true faith; for he according to the word of the Psalmist, asserts that the free will of the first change comes from the Most High.” man has not been wounded by sin, or XVI. Let no man boast himself as that the wound has been so slight that though he had not received that which some can acquire salvation without he possesses, or that he does not bethe revelation of God—which is evi- lieve himself to have received it, bedently contrary to what the Lord says, cause the law has been proclaimed who excepts no one from the number externally, so that it may be heard, of those who cannot come unto him and even because it has been hidden except the Father draw them, accord. in writing, in order that it may ing to that which he said to St. Peter, read; for if righteousness be by the

[ocr errors]


VIIÍ. If any


be him.

law, Christ is dead in vain. Whoever XXIF. Man has nothing of himpossesses anything, he holds it from self but falsehood and sin; if he have Jesus Christ; and he who denies that

any justice and any truth, it comes he has received it from him has not from that spring which we must seek truly that which he may appear to in the desert, in order, that being repossess; or even that which he ap- freshed by some drops, we may not peared to possess is taken away

from faint in the journey.

XXIII. Men do not the will of XVII. The desire of glory occa- God, but their own, when they do sioned the generosity of the heathen, that which is displeasing to God ; but it is the love of God shed abroad but when they do what they can to in the heart which makes the virtue obey the will of God, although they of Christians; it does not proceed act voluntarily, nevertheless their will from free will which is within us, but comes from Him who prepares and from the Holy Spirit who has given ordains that which they will. it to us.

XXIV. The branches are in such XVIII. The reward is not given to manner attached to the vine, that good works, which may have been they do not communicate any strength done without grace; but grace, on to it, but, on the contrary, it is from which we have no claim, prevents us the vine that they receive the sap by in order that we should act.

which they live; the vine is attached XIX. If human nature had kept to the branches in such a manner that itself even in the same state of in

it communicates to them nourishment tegrity in which God formed it, it. and life, but does not receive from could not sustain itself without God's them. It is thus that the believer assistance ; and since we cannot, derives great advantage from abiding without grace, keep the salvation in Christ, and having Christ in him; which we have received, how could but he does not bring any advantage we, without it, repair that which is to Jesus Christ: for when the branch lost.

is cut off another can spring out of XX. God does effect within man the vine, but the branch cut off canmany excellent things, which man not live without the root. does not do, but man does nothing good unless God give him the power to do it.


THE SONSHIP XXI. If the apostle had reason to CHRIST; A FRAGMENT. By Robt. say, that those who sought to be jus- Hall, of Arnsby, preceded by a tified by the law have been deprived Short Sketch of the Author's Life. of grace; “if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain, ROBERT HALL, the father of the illus.

can say to those who maintain trious Robert Hall, of Leicester, that nature is this grace so much was born in the year 1728, at a boasted of, that if righteousness be village called Black Heddon, in the from nature, Christ is dead in vain. parish of Stanninton, about twelve There was the law which could not miles northward of Newcastle-uponjustify,-here is nature which cannot Tyne, in Northumberland. His father, justify—Christ is not dead in vain : Christopher Hall, was a reputable but in order that the law should be farmer, as were his ancestors, in the fulfilled by him who said, “I am come same place, for many generations. to fulfil the law," and that nature The great-grandfather was living in which was undone should be repaired the house when Robert Hall was a by him who said, “I came to seek boy. His father was a worthy, honest and to save that which is lost."

man, of the episcopal persuasion, but




[ocr errors]

his mother was a Presbyterian-their close the cause of his secret woe; són believed that they were con- and, by holding constant converse verted Christians. His father died with his melancholy thoughts, he when he was about twelve years old, came at last to think that he was after which Robert was brought up losing his understanding. with an uncle, at Kirkley, three miles In the midst of his anguish he met east of Black Heddon, where he with a painful accident, by which he attended the Presbyterian meeting, broke his arm and three ribs ; and but with little advantage, owing to before he was fully cured, he was the tenets of the minister, which were thrown from a young horse, which more grossly Arminian than


that ran away with him; and, in the fall, Robert Hall ever heard delivered by broke both his arms and collar-bone, any other preacher. However, the and dislocated a shoulder.

Great, first year after he went there, he however, as was the pain of his received serious impressions, though broken bones, he declared that it did not through the ministry of this Pres. not equal the mental agony which he byterian divine. One day one of his was then enduring: the sense of unyouthful companions told him of some pardoned sin was more acute than awful things which he had heard the sense of his bodily hurt. A “the parson say at church,” in de. decree of irreversible damnation scribing the torments of hell. This seemed registered against him, and apparently accidental narrative sunk he was fully persuaded that the deep into the mind of Robert; he Almighty could not save him if he was seized with an overwhelming would. Once, on perusing the glorious sense of guilt, and the misery of title of Jehovah, in Exod. xxxiv., eternal banishment from God. From The Lord, the Lord God, merciful that day, self-abhorrence, attended and gracious, long - suffering, and with black despair, occupied his mind abundant in goodness and truth, continually, and he was pursued with keeping mercy for thousands, fortemptations to blasphemy, too awful giving iniquity, and transgression and to utter.

sin, and that will by no means clear He seemed shut up under the the guilty ;" he was tempted to throw wrath of God, all whose terrors were away his Bible, as containing irreset in full array against him, and concileableinconsistencies, in declaring under the discipline of that dreadful that God will forgive iniquity, lesson, “ the sinfulness of sin," he transgression, and sin," while it is at saw no escape, no hope, no possibility the same time asserted that he will of salvation. The minister, whose by no means clear the guilty.” After sermons he heard, would of course seven years' exercise under the terrors only lead him further away from the of the law, he obtained relief from his peace proclaimed by free grace in the sorrows by a perception of the gospel gospel. The righteousness of faith, method of salvation. No one taught and a gratuitous justification, he heard him the way which he should take; nothing of; and thus, for months and preacher of the gospel” proyears, he lived " in the valley of the claimed, in his hearing, the truth as shadow of death,” without a gleam it is in Jesus; but he was “taught of hope that he ever should or could by the Lord” in the day of grace. be released. The burthen of a guilty One day he took up his Bible, once .conscience unceasingly oppressed him, more, to see if he could discover any so that he was ever occupied with the door of hope; and he cast his eyes on sense of spiritual misery, which was Gal. iv. 4, 5, 6 When the fulness of of such a nature that he probably the time was come, God sent forth found no one to whom he could dis- his Son, made of a woman, made



« AnteriorContinuar »