Imágenes de páginas

tianity, it is sufficient that the stances, all were bound to imi. practice is condemned by the tate, at the hazard of their im. positive command of the Al mortal souls. mighty' Thou shalt do no I now revert to myself. The murder,”—and that it is opposed period of my residence with not only by the letter, but by the Theophilus is nearly expired, whole spirit of our holy religion, and in a few days I must leave the essence of which is love to my invaluable friend and bene, God and man. These are the factor, and return once more to principles upon which I have act. the mixed society of the world. ed, and to which, by God's assist- I am too well acquainted with ance, I am determined ever to the power of long established adhere, through honour and dis- habit not to feel some apprehenhonour, through evil report and sion of danger from the temptagood report. Eternity is of too tions to which I may be expos. serious importance to be staked ed, on revisiting the scenes of against the opinion of the world; my former dissipation. Of all and professing to fear him who my life, I can only reckon the can destroy both body and soul last six months as in any degree forever, I dare not offend him devoted to God, and to the care by the deliberate commission of of my own soul, and I feel there, a crime, which may send me or a fore my want of constant aid from fellow-creature uncalled into his the society, encouragement, and presence, with the dreadful con- example of those, who live by the sciousness of wilful sin, which rules of the gospel. This aid I cannot be repented of.”

am not to expect from my old This address, of which I am friends and associates. My enabled only to give you an im- newly acquired principles are, I perfect sketch, was heard with trust, too firmly fixed, to be shagreat surprise, but with an effect ken by ridicule or sarcasm ; on much to the credit of those to this account I have no alarms; whom it was offered. It was but what I most dread is the well known, that at no very dis- contagious influence of the sotant period, Theophilus would ciety of those, who though not not have declined a challenge, professed infidels, and even and those who were disposed to nominal Christians, live without attribute his new principles to a God in the world. The danger methodistical bias, could not re- of such a society is the greater fuse their applause to his manly because it is not as much sus avowal of them, whilst all con- pected as it ought to be, and curred in approving that conduct there is a natural tendency to which had exposed him to the accommodate ourselves to the insult of an unprincipled liber dispositions and conversations of tine. Some of the company did those with whom we associatę, not hesitate to express an un particularly when we are not disqualified approbation of his beha- gusted by open profaneness, viour, and an old and respectable immorality, or indelicacy. Our divine spoke with enthusiasm in principles are thus gradually favour of it, as affording an exam, undermined, for want of due care ple which; under similar circum- to invigorate and confirm them,

for the daily recurrence of frivo- paragraph ; " Irenæus is also lous and worldly conversation said to have been for some time naturally tends to produce idle the scholar of Papias, the Bishhabits of thinking, and in time, op of Hieropolis, a man of unif not counteracted, to annihilate questionable piety, but of a weak the very power of serious reflec- judgment and narrow under. tion and meditation.

standing, which, leading him to I have explained may appre- misunderstand some of the more hensions to Theophilus, who is abstruse parts of scripture, prove pleased to find that I entertained the occasion of great errors them; he tells me to be strong in many who followed him, and in the Lord, and in the power revered his memory; errors, of his might, praying always the contagion of which, Irenæus with all prayer and supplication himself did not wholly escape.” in the spirit, for the support of It would be doing justice to divine grace. He has promised the memory of those pious and to write to me frequently, and to ancient fathers, to notice what introduce me to the acquaintance has been said and published, on of a most respectable clergyman the other hand, by those who in London, as well as of another have made it much the business friend of his, with an assurance of a long life, to search into anthat I may depend on their as- tiquity, and to inquire what was sistance and advice, in whatever accounted orthodox doctrine in relates to my spiritual concerns. the early ages of the church, I shall leave him with unfeigned To answer such a purpose, the regret, but with this consolatory following extract from the above hope, that a few months will ena- mentioned venerable author, is ble me to finish the business submitted to the judgment of the which calls me to the metrop- editors of the Panoplist. olis, and that I may then return Mr. Hartley, in citing the testo his society ; for the benefit I timony of the primitive fathers have already derived from which for a future triumphant state of I most devoutly return thanks to the church, under a visible reign

of Christ on earth ; after introEDWARD ASIATICUS. ducing the plain testimony of

Justin Martyr, which is to be found in his dialogue with Try

pho the Jew, proceeds as follows. PAPIAS AND IREN ÆUS VINDICA: “ Irenæus, Bishop of Lions,

TED, RESPECTING THE MIL- was another father of chief note LENARIAN TENET.

in the early days of the church,

having been a disciple of Poly(Selected from a work of the Rev. Tho. carn, as Polycarp was of St. mas Hartley, entitled, Paradise Re stord; or a Testimony to the Doc

John. Very honourable mention trine of the blessed Millennium.] is made of bim, by the fathers of

the following ages, and by those In the Panoplist for August, who rejected the doctrine of the page 92, in the Life of St. Ire- Millennium, as Eusebius, Theodonæus, given from the Christian ret, and St. Austin, styling him Observer, we find the following an apostolical man, admirables


and the light of the western a weak man, when he had no less churches. Jerome in his com- advantage than that of conversmentaries on Isaiah and Ezekiel, ing with those, who had con and Eusebius in the third book versed with the apostles, and was of his ecclesiastical history, af- himself a disciple of Polycarti, firm, that he believed in the who was instructed by St. John thousand years reign of Christ the divine ? Besides, it appears on earth, according to the letter from the confession of Jerome of the Revelations; which, by himself* (who had taken up as the way, is one very probable strong prejudices against this reason, why all bis writings, in doctrine as Eusebius) that Papias which he professedly treats that was also a disciple of St. John ; subject, have been suppressed, and Eusebius owns that Irengus. and that only one of his many called him so, and the companvolumes (that on heresy) is come ion of Polycarp; and surely down to us, recovered and pub- these connexions well qualified lished by Erasmus, in which, him for a witness to their docthough the matter of the work trine. If Papias was a plain leads not to this point of doc- man, he was the less likely trine, yet there is enough to to impose upon others; nor confirm what Eusebius and Jee could it require much learning rome have affirmed of him as to to know whether his master, St. this matter. In particular, he John, explained his prophecy of delivers it as an article in the the Millennium in a literal sense symbol or creed of the churches or not. Whether Papias was a in his time, that Christ should man of learning or not, is nothcome to restore all things : And ing to the purpose ; he was an in Book v. chap. 28. and 30. that honest man, charged by no auat the end of six thousand years, thor of credit with holding vould be the Sabbath of rest, heretical notions, and so great a when the Lord will destroy the veneration had he for the aposreign of anti-christ, put the just tles, that he was a diligent colin possession of the kingdom, lector of all remarkable particuand restore the promised inheri. lars concerning them, and even tance to Abraham, Eusebius, of their sayings. What his who was no friend to this doc. credit in the church was, aptrine (nor yet to one of still pears by his being made Bishop greater importance) makes Pa- of Hierofolis by the immediate pias 1o be the first author of it, successors of the apostles; and and endeavours to discredit his the dignity of his office in those authority, by calling him a plain, days of the church, may be alilliterate man; and yet asserts lowed a good presumptive arguthat he led Irenæus into this er- ment of the sufficiency of his ror. But if Ireneus was a man qualifications for the discharge of such ability and learning, as of it, or else we must say, that he is represented, and does ap- all things went wrong apace in pear by what we have left of his the church, even in the first cenworks, how came he to suffer . himself to be imposed upon in a

Hieronym. Ep. 29. matter of such consequence, by $ Euseb. Eccl. Hist. Lib. 3.

tury ; and then there is an end in greater clearness, and fuller of all ecclesiastical authority measure than has been hitherto, But the truth of the matter lies and that not in the way of huhere ; the tide of prejudice and man learning and criticism, but opposition ran so strong against by larger communications of the the millennial doctrine, after the Spirit of Wisdom from the Fasecond century downwards, that ther of Lights in the hearts of no arts of calumny and misrep: the simple and unlearned, both resentation were spared in or men and women; and that as der to sink it, insomuch that even well to humble the pride of men good men were, by education on account of their natural and and the authority of the learned, acquired endowments, as to make prepossessed against it, and this manifest that the excellency of has been so much the case in wisdom is not of man, but of general for now more than four. God. That the full understand. teen centuries, joined to the ing of the scriptures has not yet wicked practice of corrupting, been given, will readily be grantdurtailing, and suppressing the ed ; and that they shall be unworks of the first fathers on this derstood in perfection cannot be subject, that it is next to a won denied, since to that end they der that we have any of their were given. Now,' we know testimonies to it left.

that it is according to the pur" It is likewise to be observed, pose of God, to conceal his se. that together with the opposition crets from the great and wise of to the doctrine of the Millenni. the earth, and to reveal them un um, sprang up in the church a to babes,* persons of an humble fondness for that critical and mind, and of a resigned and simcontentious kind of theology, plified understanding ; and that which teaches men to doubt of thus it shall be in the last days, every thing, and dispute against when he will pour out his Spirit every thing; insomuch that there upon the servants and upon the are few of the canonical books handmaids,s and all his children of scripture, which did not meet shall be taught of the Lord."'1 with some oppugners to their The 'worthy author, from divine authority, about that time. whose work the preceding exBut the God of truth hath set his tract is taken, was Rector of seal upon the Sacred Writings, Winwick in Northamptonshire; and his providence hath preserve a clergyman much esteemed by ed them to us; and so long as men of learning and piety for his we are possessed of this blessing, warm attachment to the truths so long will this doctrine be sup and duties of our holy religion, ported by an authority, against aiming in all his discourses, to which the gates of hell shall not promote the spirit and power of prevail ; and fully assured we religion in its professors, and to may be, that the time when the win souls to Christ. He was a knowledge of the scriptures, true follower of the Lamb; and both as to the mysteries of our holy faith, and the interpreta.

* Math. xi. 25. Joel ü. 29. tion of prophecy, will be given | Isaiah liv. 13. Vol. I. No. 8.

UV : .

in imitation of his divine Máster, was sudden, we trust it did not nade it his delight to “ work find him unprepared : He died, the works of him that sent him in an advanced age, of an apo'while it was day,” and when the plexy, December 11, 1784. Dight of death came, though it :


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:ON EXPERIMENTAL RELI- in bidding us love him with all in i'. GION

' the heart, and with the utmost (Continued from p. 203.) fervour of our affections, he is **The propensity to commit sin, either ignorant, not knowing our is not more universal, or power- frame ; or unjust, demanding ful, than the propensity to palli. that which he knows to be imate and excuse it. Indeed, this possible. Beside, who sees not last is one of the capital exhibi. that on this principle, Abraham, tions and proofs of human de- David, Paul, and in short, the Pravity. Insensibility to the ob- whole host of worthies whose jects of religion has seized the character and exercises the scripwhole species. Of course, it be- ture records, were a set of viscomes a common interest and sionaries and enthusiasts. Their wish, to justify, or at least, to religion was not a cold and lanextenuate it. To this point hu- guid thing. It was vigorous, acman ingenuity has directed its tive and ardent. Love to God utmost strength, and its unweari- was their ruling passion. It tri. ed efforts. The result has been umphed over every rival affecan infinitude of apologies, plau- tion, and every opposing intersible in appearance, but in reali- ést. Devotion to the divine honty, frivolous and absurd.

our was their grand principle of One of the most imposing of action. Here they sought and these apologies is this : that found their happiness. This from the very constitution of our they esteemed the life of life. nature, we are principally attract. They conversed less with their ed and impressed by things visi. fellow-creatures around them, Ble ; and that God being spirit- than with an UNSEEN Deity. ual and invisible, all emotions in cominunion with him, they which have him for their object, found the sorrows of life soothmust necessarily be indistincted, its burdens lightened, and a and languid. This suggestion, new sweetness mingling itself though it assumes the garb of with every joy. In short, their philosophy, is in fact one of the sentiments and feelings, their most irrational and preposterous plans and pursuits, were precisethat can be conceived. If it ly what the generality of men proves any thing, it proves far are prone to consider as the too much. It presumptuously height of enthusiasm. arraigns and blasphemes the God But let us take a nearer view of of heaven: for it declares, that this boasted theory, that none but

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