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th: true scheme of religius and moral sentimonts. Their belid rests not upon conjecture, or the opinions of allible men, but upsi tive infallible word of God, and therefore cannot be shaken by the frivolous objections, or thimsey arguments of men of corrupt maids and destitute of the truth.
But on the otber hand, those who hate the truth, are unwilling to examine and understand it, and shut their eyes against the erid-nce by wlucl it is supported. Ilence they generally remaia ignorant of the only true system of religious and moral sentiments under the best means of light, and perceive not the essential difference between the doctrines and precepts of the gospel, and the mumerous errors and absurdities which counterfeit and subvert them. But if at any time, they see and believe some truth, they hold it in uurighteousness-desire to get rid of it, and readily part with it for any error which evil men and seducers may throw in tbeir way. Thus, ever learning, they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, but are turned unto fables and falsehoods, aud waves like the waves of the sea, amidst the changeful and conflicting opinions which innundate the christian world.
Sich is the double-minded man, or one unsteady in bis belief on religious and moral subjects.
That such a man as has been described, is ever unstable in his practice, is expressly asserted by James in the passage before us: "A double-ninded man is unstable in all his ways.” But as it is possible that some may not be satisfied with the explanation which has been given of the apostle's words, it may be useful to exbibit further evidence of the connexion between a wavering belief and unstable practice. And a variety of facts recorded in sacred history go to establish this point.
Pharaoh is represented as a double-minded man. At one time he believed Moses and Aaron to be idle impostors ; at another time he was convinced that they wrought miracles by the finger of God. At one time he believed he had a right to hold the Israelites in rigorous bondage; and then again, he was constrained to confess that he and his people had done very wickedly in not letting them depart. And his practice corresponded with his belief. He sent for Moses and Aaron, and then drove them from bis presence: he increased the burdens of the people, and then let them
Most of the Israelites in the wilderness were double-minded. They wavered between a belief in the true God, and in the idols of the Heathen. And equally unsteady was their practice. At one time we find them engaged in the solemn worship of Jehovab; and then dancing around the molten calf.
The great majority of the people in the time of Elijah, were double-minded. They sometimes believed the Lord to be God, arrd sometimes they believed Baal to he God. And accordingly they worshipped sometimes the one, and sometimes the other. Yence the prophet interrogated them, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal
be God, then follow him." Similar instances of instability in practice, arising from unsteadiness in belief, night be found in the subsequent history of the Israelites, down to the tiine of the Messiah.
The Jews who heard Christ preach, were fluctuating in their opinions concerning him; which rendered them equally so in their treatment of him.” At one time they crowded to hear him preach, and at another time thrust him out of the synagogue. Now they cry, “ Hosanna, blessed is be that cometh in the name of the Lord:” and anon, they vociferate, “Away with such a fellow from the earth; crucify him. Similar unsteadiness of conduct, arising from the same cause, was witnessed aiuong Jews and Gentiles, under the preaching of the apostles.
Do we not find by observation, that at the present day, unsteadiness of belief is ever connected with instability in practice? Who are they that change from one denomination to another, and in their modes of worship and daily conversation, are unstable as water? Are they not those who are uuseitled in their religious sentiments, frequently change their creed, and bave no established belief on religious and moral subjects?
Every man's practice is, and must be, governed in a great measure, by bis belief. Though men may sometimes be compelled by the arm of power, or persuaded by the force of temptation, to act in opposition to the inward conviction of their minds, yet in general, their practice corresponds with their sentiments. Whatever one believes to be right, he does with a clear conscience; but for one to do what be believes to be wrong, is like kicking against the pricks.” The dictates of conscience are always according to one's sentiments in religion and morals.
'The conscience of every man lays him under moral obligation to do what be believes to be right, and to refrain from what he believes to be wrong. This is the obvio's meaning of the apostle's words, “ Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Though a man may be very criminal for belier. ing that to be right which is wrong, or that to be wrong which is right; yet it is sinful for any man to do what he believis to be wrong, or to omit doing what he believes to be right. He who acts contrary to his belief, is "condemned of himself.” When a man, therefore, is wavering in his belief, it is natural, and almost necessary for him to be equally Auctuating in bis practice.
[To be Concluded.]
“A DEPRAVED NATURE."
Extract from a Communication in the N. Y. Evangelist.
" I beg leave to state a few difficulties which grow out of the doctrine of a “depraved nature," communicated by “ordinary generation;" and which to ne, at least, are insuperable.
First, if depravity of nature has been communicated from Adam to me, by “ordinary generation,” I had no band, or choice, in the communication-it was physically impossible for me to prevent it; and I cannot see that I am guilty of, or accountable for, tbat depravity; neither can I find any man, who is able to show me these things. Many say them; no one proves them—they bring no Thus saith the Lord."
Second, this depravity being inherited by descent, and from my fathers, is inbred-is constitutional-is physical, and if so, not moral. It is neither holiness nor sin; consequently, neither praise nor blame belong to it. We may just as well blame a man, or praise bim, for having four instead of five fingers on each hand.
Third, as depravity thus communicated is constitutional, I am utterly incapable of removing it, I am both naturally and morally unable to remove it-as much as I am to make a world from pothing I am therefore naturally and morally, incapable of obeying God, of believing in Jesus Christ, or of doing any good thing; and though this may ha my infirmity, I find no proof that it is my crime. Neither do I find any proof that it will be wrong in me to remain forever under this infirmity and incapacity; and will Jesus Christ sund me to hell for not getting rid of this depravity?
Fourth, the deprarity thus inherited is undefinable. No man has yet d-fined it No one has told us what it is, or in what part of the constitution it lies; and as it cannot be defined, it cannot be understood. They who contend for it, do not understand it; if they did, they could define it, which they bave never done.Now as no one understands that depravity, no one will ever repent of it: for no man will see that he is guilty, or feel that he is guilty, or repent of his iniquity, till he sees bis iniquity-til
! he sees in what it consists. In all the Bible, I have not read of one who repnted of constitutional sin, of wickedness, inherited from his fathers.
Fith, God brings no such accusation against men-be does not threaten them with punishment for sin inherited by descent-he does not cominand them to repent of such iniquity-he does not condemn them for it, nor even hint at any such thing in the indictment, which will be presented against the wicked, in the day of judgment. There is no such account in that indictment.
Sixth, this account of sin is so different from that which God bas given, that I strongly suspect it must be wrong. “ Sin is tbe transmission of the law." This does not sound much like depravity, communicated by ordinary generation.
Seventh, as depravity inherited by descent, is constitutional, it
1931. Effect of Concealing Doctrines in time of Reviral.
follows that, when God renews a person, he renews his constitution, and not the spirit of his mind: the spirit of the mind follows as a consequence of the renovated constitution. But, when the constitution bas been repewed, how is it that depravity remaius? Or does God renew the system by degrees.
Finally, as depravily communicated by ordinary generation, is constitutional, regeneration is constitutional; and it is strange, that when the constitutions of parents are renewed, their children, begotten after this renovation, do not possess one particle of that constitutional holiness, although they receive constitutional iniquity. Why cannot holy parents communicate holiness to their children in the same way, and as readily as wicked parents can communicate wickedness to their children? The parents are cleanat last, in part; why should not the children be as clean as the parents, if iniquity come by natural generation. V. D. M.
EFFECT OF CONCEALING DOCTRINES IN TIME OF REVIVAL.
Extracted from the Boston Telegraph. A few years ago, in the State of New York, there was a clergyman distinguish d, throughout that part of the country, as a celebrated revival preacher. He was the first, I think, who openly advocated the modern Botion of “the prayer of faith." He was sent for from various places, and, in some instances, at the distance of one and two hundred miles, either to aid in revivals of religion, or, as was confidently expected, to be instrumental in ihrir commencement; and he was so successful, that a whole section of country, various parts of which he visited, was set forth as an example, in which God was doing wonders by the general out-pouring of his Holy Spirit. The time of his operations, like the present, began to be spoken of, as “ The age of Revivals;” and many christians and christian ministers began to think, that a new and important era in religion bad opened to the churches.
The theory of this revival preacher, in which he instructed the young converts and old professors of religion was, That the fundamental doctrines of the gospel were true, but unprofitable; that they would do for christians to speculate upon, in a time of religious declension, but were never calculated to warn their hearts, or to promote a revival of religion; that, in order for professors of religion to be engaged in such a work, and be instrumental in the awakening, convietion and conversion of sinners, they must throw aside what he called their metaphysical speculations, and betake themselves constantly to prayer and exhortation from house to house. The natural and almost necessary consequence of such instruction was very
soon visible in the churchne. Profssors of religion began to despise and throw aside those valuable works, which were most replete with religious instruction, ani from which they bad derived what little knowledge of the fumdamental doctrines of the gospel they possossed; appeals were generally made to the passions of both saints and sioners; that kind of preaching and exhoriation was in most general use, which tended either to move the arimal sympathies, or to arouse the sellish desires of the natural beart; christians went backward, instead of forward, in divine knowledge; here and there a few, who were, doubtless, really converted, were sacre dwar's in religion, being starved for lack of “the sincere milk of the word ;" a multitude of other converts proved themselves to be nothing better than stoney ground bearers of the word; and it may not be out of place to remark, that this revival preacher himself, has since given sad and affecting evidence, by gross immorality and licentiousness, that he had no more love to truth and religion, than Simon the sorcerer. For christian professors, therefore, to despise “the knowledge of God," either in their conversation or in their reading, I must believe to be wholly inconsistent with a genuine and special work of Divine grace in their hearts,
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE AMERICAN PEACE
The prophecy concerning the children of_Ishmael, seems to continue to be fulfilled to the present day. Their hand has been against every man, and consequently, every man's band has been against them, and those who have taken the sword have perished by the sword. Algiers, long as great a terror to christians, as Malta was to mahometans, though not altogether so ferocious and unsparing, has, at length, fallen under the attacks of the armies of the most christian king, and its sovereign bas bern obliged to seek a refuge in a christian country, where he lives in security as a private man. In war, however, caia mitics do not fall altogether on the vanquished. They but share them with the victors. Besides the killed and wounded among the christian troops, many have fallen victims to pestilence, by which feets are often dis 4.0pled, and whole armies sluggishly melted away, and the loss of life bas probably fallen heaviest on the conquerors. We certainly can. not be very sorry that a nest of pirates bas been broken up, and however we may deprecate the means, we are not disposed to repine at the end But could these barbarians have been civilized and christianized, the triumphs of the cross would have been a