« AnteriorContinuar »
1 Pet. iii. 18, 19, as might have preaching is expressly restricted been given. His three first par- to the days of Noah; and conseticulars, (viz. 1. The apostle is quently the place in which he not here speaking of the human preached by bis Divine Spirit, spirit of Christ, but of the divine through the instrumentality ef Spirit: 2. Christ never did, nor Noah, that preacher of righteousever will descend locally into ness, must have been upon earth, hell: 3. The mercy of God to- not in hell-in purgatory, or any wards the antediluvians termina- other place in the invisible world. ted with their existence in this We wish that Mr. Isaac had world,) are legitimately drawn enlarged upon the argument of the from the passage. But when he Universalists, “ that Christian comes to speak of the spirits in experience naturally leads to a prison, his illustration is lame. belief of the doctrine of restoraThe obvious interpretation of the tion.” He does indeed effectually passage, to any one who will read meet the delusion, that a person it carefully, appears to us to be who is convinced that God will this : that by the spirits in prison do him no injustice, will resign the apostle means the souls of himself into his band with peace the wicked inhabitants of the and composure. All men on earth earth before the flood, who were and in hell who know any thing then disobedient " when the long- about the true God, are, we have suffering of God waited in the no doubt, convinced of this. But days of Noah ;” and who, in con- it does not therefore follow that sequence of that disobedience, they have peace and composure; are now shut in the prison of hell. or that if they have, that their For the passage does not say, the peace is not a false peace. Mr. spirits that were in prison ; as it Isaac might have shown that this does they were sometime, or for conviction is not necessarily a matmerly, disobedient : but the spi- ter of Christian experience at all ; rits in prison, words which de- that the inference drawn from it scribe, as clear and strong as lan- is rather a matter of feeling, than guage can describe, their present of reasoning, and that its direct condition in consequence of their tendency is to induce men to cry former disobedience.
unto themselves peace, when there Nor does the passage say, that is no peace ! Christ preached to them while In section XVII. Mr. Isaac they were in prison, so as to con- places in a contrasted light, a vavey the idea that they are not now riety of Scripture passages, which in prison ; or while in prison, to clearly show the falacy of the convey the idea that he preached Universalists' assertion," that to them in that place; but it does there are many stronger expressay that “Christ preached to the sions (even in our translation) to spirits in prison which were set forth the well being of the sometimes disobedient when once righteous, than any that are used the long-suffering of God waited as connected with the misery of in the days of Noah.” That is, the wicked ;” and in a most luhe preached to those who are dicrous, as well as happy maoner, now in prison, while they were exposes the wretched meaning upon earth. The period of bis, which the Universalists give to
the Greek word alwvies, and which an impression, that we had quoted in our translation is rendered all that was worthy of perusal. eternal and everlasting. Verily This we assure our readers we 'Mr. Vidler and Mr. Scarlet, when should have regretted. For we they saw Mr Isaac's strictures, pronounce the whole worthy of must have blushed for their igno- more than one reading. Mr. rance and their effrontery, or if Isaac, from the very fact of they did not, we can ascribe their stating at full length the argument want of confusion to but one of of his adversary, put his own two causes--the most hardened strength to the test, and as witinsensibility, or a most imper- nesses of the contest, we must vious skin!
certify, that in cases, where ScripHad our limits permitted; we tural illustration, sound learning, should gladly bave given more logical reasoning, or common extracts from this little volume. sense were put in requisition, Perhaps if we had, it would have Mr. Isaac has con off victodiminished a desire to see it, from rious.
SPECIMEN Of welch PREACHING. (this request. * But,” said he,
“if I must give my opinion, I AT
a meeting of ministers at should say that you have no good Bristol, the Rev. Mr. in preachers in England."
“ No!" vited several of his brethren to said Mr. L. “No," said he ; sup with him ; among them was that is, I mean, no such preachthe minister officiating at the ers as we have in the principaliWelch meeting-house in that city. ty." “I know," said Mr. L. He was an entire stranger to all “ you are famous for jumping, in the company, and silently atten- Wales ; but that is not owing, I tive to the general conversation suppose, so much to the strain of of his brethren. The subject on preaching which the people hear, which they were discoursing was as to the enthusiasm of their chathe different strains of public racters." Indeed," said the preaching When several bad Welchman, “ you would jump given their opinion, and had men- too, if you heard and understood tioned some individuals as good such preaching." Why,” said preachers, and such as were mo- Mr. L. “ do you not think I could dels' as to style of composition, make them jump, if I were to &c. Mr.
turned to the preach to them ?” “ You make Welch stranger, and solicited his them jump!" exclaimed the opinion. He said he felt it to be Welchman, "you make them a privilege to be silent when such jump! A Welchman would set men were discoursing ; but that fire to the world, wbile you were he felt it a duty to comply with lighting your match.” The whole
company became very much in figure the condition of man as a terested in this new turn of the singer, and the means of his resubject, and unanimously request-covery by the cross of Jesus ed the good man to give them Obrist, I should represent it some specimen of the style and somewhat in this way -Suppose manner of preaching in the prin- a large graveyard, surrounded by cipality. “Specimen," said be, a high wall with only one en“I cannot give you ; if John trance, which is by a large iron Elias was here, he would give gate which is fast bolted. Within you a specimen indeed.-Oh! these walls are thousands and John Elias is a great preacher." tens of thousands of buman be“Well,” said the company, “give ings, of all ages and of all classes, us something that you bave heard by one epidemic disease bending from him." "Oh no!" said he, to the grave; the grave yawns “ I cannot do justice to it;-be- to swallow them, and they must side, do you understand the all die. There is no balm to reWelch language ?” They said lieve them-no physician there “No, not so as to follow a dis--they must perish. This is the course." Then,” said he, “it condition of man as a sidner ; all is impossible for you to under- who have sinned, and the soul stand, if I were to give you a spe. that sinneth, shall die. While cimen." “But,” said they, man is in this deplorable state, “cannot you put it into English ?" Mercy, the darling attribute of “Oh!" said he, your poor Deity, came down and stood at meagre language would spoil it; the gate, looked at the scene, it is not capable of expressing and wept over it, exclaiming, those ideas which a Welchman “ Oh! that I might enter; I can conceive : I cannot give you would bind up their wounds-1 a specimen in English without would relieve their sorrows-I spoiling it.” The interest of the would save their souls !" While company was increased, and no- Mercy stood weeping at the gate, thing would do but something of an embassy of angels, commisa specimen, while they promised sioned from the court of heaven to make every allowance for the to some other world, passing language. “Well," said the over, paused at the sight, and Welchman, “if you must have a Heaven forgave that pause; and piece, I must try; but I don't seeing Mercy standing there, they know what to give you. I do not cried, “ Mercy, Mercy, can you recollect a piece of John Elias : not enter ? Can you look upon he is our best preacher. I must this scene and not pity? Can think a little :—Well, I recollect you pity and not relieve ?" Mera piece of Christmas Evans :-cy replied, “I can see ;” and in Christmas Evans was a good her tears she added, “I can. pity, preacher; and I heard him a lit. but I cannot relieve." Why can tle time ago at an association of you not enter ?" « Oh !" said ministers. He was preaching on Mercy, “ Justice has barred the the depravity of man by sin ; of gate against me, and I cannot, his recovery by the death of must not unbar it.” At this moChrist; and he said :-Brethren, ment Justice himself appeared, if I were to represent to you in alas it were to watch the gate.
The angels inquired of him, saying, “This is the day when “ Why will you not let Mercy this bond is to be executed.”
Justice replied, "My law When he received it, did be is broken, and it must be honour tear it in pieces, and give it to ed. Die they or Justice must!" the winds of heaven? No, he At this, there appeared a form, nailed it to his cross, exclaiming, among the angelic band like the " It is finished.” Justice called Son of God, who, addressing him- on holy fire to come down and self to Justice, said, “What are consume the sacrifice.-Holy fire thy demands ?” Justice replied, descended ; it swallowed his hu“My terms are stern and rigid, manity ; but when it touched bis I must have, sickness for their deity it expired! and there was health ; I must bave ignominy darkness over the whole heafor their honour; I must have vens. But “Glory to God in death for life.-Without shedding the highest; on earth peace, good of blood there is no remission.". will to men." Justice," said the Son of God.
“This,” said the Welchman, “ I accept thy terms. On me be “ this is but
a specimen of this wrong, and let Mercy enter." Christmas Evans." “When, said Justice, « will
[Lond. Jewish Expos. you perform this proinise ?" Je. sus replied, “ Four thousand years hence, upon the hill of Cal. vary, without the gates of Jeru. CHARACTER OF AN ATHEIST. salem, I will perform it in my own person.”—The deed was
I WILL imagine only one case prepared and signed in the pre-more, on which you would em. sence of the angels of God. Jus- phatically express your compagtice was satisfied, and Mercy en- sion, though for one of the most tered, preaching salvation in the daring beings in the creation, a name of Jesus. The deed was contemner of God, who explodes committed to tbe patriarchs ; by his laws by denying bis existthem to the kings of Israel, and ence. the propbets ; by them it was If you were so unacquainted preserved till Daniel's seventy with mankind, that this character weeks
accomplished. - might be announced to you as a Then, at the appointed time, Jus- rare or singular phenomenon, tice appeared on the hill of Cal- your conjectures, till you saw vary, and Mercy presented to and heard the man, at the nature bim the important deed. and the extent of the discipline “ Where,” said Justice, “is the through which he must have ad. Son of God ?” Mercy answered, vanced, would be led towards “ Behold him at the bottom of something extraordinary : and the hill, bearing his own cross ;” you might think that the term of and then she departed, and stood that discipline must have been aloof at the hour of trial! Jesus very long, --since a quick train of ascended the hill, while in bis impressions, a short series of mentrain followed his weeping tal gradations, within the little Church. Justice immediately space of a few months and years, presented him with the deed, would not seem enough to have
matured such supreme and awful may have been done by a God. heroism. Surely the creature Thus, unless he knows all things, that thus lifts bis voice, and de- that is, precludes another Deity, fies all invisible power within the by being one himself, he caonot range of infinity, challenging know that the Being, whose existwhatever unknown being may ence he rejects, does not exist. hear him, and may appropriate But he must know that he does that title of Almighty which is not exist, else he deserves equal pronounced in scorn, to evince contempt and compassion for the his existence, if he will, by his temerity with which he firmly vengeance, was not as yesterday avows his rejection and acts aca little child, that would tremble cordingly. And yet a man of orand cry at the approach of a di- dinary age and intelligence may minutive reptile.
present himself to you with the But indeed it is heroism no avowal of being thus distinguished longer, if he knows that there is from the crowd ; and if he would no God. The wonder then turns describe the manner in which he on the great process, by which'a has attained this eminence, you man could grow to the immense would feel a melancholy interest intelligence that can know there in contemplating that process of is no God. What ages and what which the result is so portentous. lights are requisite for this attain
[Foster's Essays ment ! This intelligence involves the very attributes of Di. vinity, while a God is denied ; for unless this man is omnipre- ORIGIN OF THANKSGIVING DAYS 15 sent, unless he is at this moment in every place in the universe, he cannot know but there may THERE is a tradition, that, in be, in some place, manifestations the planting of New England, the of a Deity by which even he first settlers met with many diffiwould be overpowered. If he culties and hardships, as is genedoes not know absolutely every rally the case when a civilized agent in the universe, the one people attempt establishing themthat he does not know may be selves in a wilderness country. God. If he is not himself the Being men of piety, they sought chief agent in the universe, and relief from heaven, by laying does not know what is so, that their wants and distresses before which is so may be God. If the Lord in frequent set days of he is not in absolute possession fasting and prayer. Constant meof all the propositions that consti- ditation and discourse on their tute universal trath, the one difficulties kept their minds which he wants may be, that gloomy and discontented : and, there is a God. 'If he cannot like the children of Israel, there with certainty assign the cause of were many disposed to return to all that he perceives to exist, that that Egypt which persecution cause may be a God. If he does induced them to abandon. At not know every thing that has length, when it was proposed in been done in the immeasurable one of their assemblies to proages that are past, some things claim a fast, a farmer of plain