Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

to receive him, to the Academy ing was deeply affecting. at Bristol, and to send him un- that we may meet around the der the care of Dr. Ryland, throne of God, and be for ever

There are good reasons to con- bappy in his presence, to go no clude, that the assiduous atten- more out! How peculiarly iutions paid by Mr. Phillips to the teresting is christian friendship! interests of the Sunday school, How combined are its pleasures contributed greatly to qualify him and its pains! In this world, for missionary labours. His part- sweet as it is, it is subject to ining address to the children and terruptions. Here we meet, and the teachers on his leaving Lon- enjoy the sweetest of earthly dedon for Bristol, will show the lights, but how painful are the state of bis mind at that season, separations from those with whom whilst it exhibits his character as we have often taken sweet couna Sunday-school teacher to high sel, and gone to the house of advantage.

God in company! But though February 12, 1815. Deli- we are absent in body, and though vered my farewell address to the thousands of miles may separate children of the Sunday, school, us from communion with each from Luke xv. 2. This man re- other, we shall approach the ceiveth sinners! It was truly a same throne of grace, and resolemn season: very many of the member each other there. We children were melted into tears. shall often think on the goodness I spoke of the probability of its of our covenant God which has being the last time I should ad been manifested towards us, and dress them upon the subjects erect an Ebenezer of gratitude to which related to their everlasting his name. O the blessedness of peace, and said, that perhaps we religion, true religion, the relimight meet no more on earth, but gion of the cross ! It meets our we should meet at the judgment- every necessity: by its influence seat of Christ, there to give ac- what glorious effects are procount of the manner in which I duced and experienced. O that had preached and they had its truths and influence were heard. I requested their serious known and felt as extensively as attention, and endeavoured to the effects of sin! Hasten the direct it to Jesus Christ. I en time, O Lord, and make Jeru. joyed much liberty in speaking, salem a praise in the whole earth!" and the children appeared after. Dec. 6, 1822.

I. wards as if they had been deeply affected. I addressed the teach- (To be concluded in our next.) ers also on the subject of their discouragements and encouragements, and exhorted them to abound in their work. Having Scriptural Views of Christ essential shaken hands with each child,

to Christianity. my desires were fervent that my labours in the school, might not The knowledge of Christ is have been in vain. The teachers evidently an attainment of the then sung a hymn, and my dear highest importance, because friend Sutton* prayed. Our part- scriptural views of bis person and

offices essentially affect our reMission ary at Moorshedabad . ligious principles ju general, and

CA

are necessary to a proper recep- | system, we shall discover no re-
tion of the christian faith. If férence, except to the simple
indeed this faith were werely fact of his divine mission, or to
designed to enforce a rational the principal events of bis his-
worship and a pure morality, tory. It may therefore be in-
by teaching us the unity offerred, that if the character of
God, the doctrine of a moral pro- Moses were sunk in oblivion, or
vidence, and tbe retributions of if another name were substituted
a future state, it might doubtless in its room, while the leading
be received in a perfect form, by facts of the Pentateuch remained,
persons who had little or no idea Judaism would experience scarce-
of the sacred personage from ly the shadow of a changé, nor
whom it derives its name. But the writings of the prophets re-
every person who has any acquire a single variation.
quaintance with the New Testa- But in turning to the gospel of
ment will perceive, that christi Christ as deliveated in the New
anity, in this, as well as in other Testament, a different scene ar-
respects, differs essentially from rests our notice, and we perceive
every system of theology and his character and work inter
morals proposed to the world, woven with the system in all its
either by the sages of antiquity, parts, not as the author only,
or by the philosophers of modern but as the subject and essence of
times. The Mosaic law, indeed, the whole. The grand events of
by virtue of its divine origin, apo his ministry are not only topics
proaches the nearest in reseni. of frequent reference in the dis-
blance to the christian faith. courses and writings of his apos-
Yet the slightest comparison of tles, considered merely as evi.
the twò systems, as interwoven dences of his divine mission, and
with the character of their au- the consequent authority of his
thors, will convince us, that doctrine; but the relation of
while the law. confers dignily those facts to the christian scheme,
upon Moses, Christianity receives and the offices he sustains in the
its dignity and essence from economy of redemption, form the
Christ.

substance of their compositions It is doubtless assumed by the in describing the peculiarities of disciples of Judaism, that Moses our faith. In the epistolary became their lawgiver by a di- writings, we are continually revine commission, and that a minded of the dignity of his perseries of supernatural interposi- son, the design of his obedience tions in Egypt and the wilder. unto death, the submission due ness, contirmed the authority of from his people, or the magnitude his institutions, and enforced the of those blessings which he disobservance of his laws. But if penses to the world. Whether we attentively consider his eco- ibey describe the attributes of nomy as established in the Penta-, God, or trace the disclosure of teuch, and exemplitied in the bis purposes, or mark the probistorical, prophetic, devotional, gress of his government in the and moral books of the Old Tes dispensations of grace, or predict tament, instead of finding his the history of the church in its name and character intermingled different vicissitudes, or anticipate with every discussion, as though the events of a future world, or it were the life and soul of the describe the influence of religion

on the heart and character of its it probable that a change of votaries; it may be truly affirmed, views concerning Christ, would that instead of referring toour Lord in many respects reverse or moe, as a subject of remote, secondo dify the whole system of our ary, or subordipate importance, theology. "Cbrist is all and in all." He If indeed we appeal to actual not only constructed christianity experience, po doubt will remain as a inoral machine to effect the that the principal hypotheses renovation of society, but is him- maintained on this subject, inself the main spring of its dif- stead of being regarded as soliferent movements, the full force tary points of difference, are ra. of which is essential to its moralther accompanied with trains of utility and spiritual operations. thinking, and modes of belief, He is not only the founder of wbich change the complexion of the christian church, but the their systems, and leave scarcely foundation and chief corner stone a doctrine of whose import the of the edifice, in whom alone the same ideas are entertained.

In whole building fitly compacted the eye of two individuals, the together, can become a holy tem. one of wliom regards our Lord as ple for the Lord. He is not only a simply a good man, endowed part of the spiritual system, but with great wisdom for the instruethe centre of the whole; the sun tion of the ignorant, whilst the of righteousness, around which other conceives him to be the all the parts and all the mes. Son of God, incarnate, whom sengers of divine revelation cir. the Father sent to be the Saviour culate like the planets of the so- of the world, christianity not lar system, which revolve around only assumes a different aspect, the sun, as the centre of their but is, in many respects, a dif- . movements, and the source of ferent thing.

The former, pero their warmth and glory.

haps, considers it as a code of From these premises it is rea- pure morality, enforced by the sonable to infer, that ignorance example of its author, by amiable of the true character of Christ, displays of the divine goodness, or the adoption of some false aud by the retributions of a fuhypothesis respecting him, will ture life, which the death and reessentially modify our ideas of surrection of Jesus were designed the whole system, and render tw ratify. But the latter, in conour reception of christianity in nection with these sentiments, its native form impossible. We views it with admiration as a shall put opposite constructions grand scheme of mediatorial inperhaps on the same fact, draw terposition in behalf of man, by couclusions from a principle that which the grace of God can be will warrant them, or dispensed; while the purity of imagine a series of doctrines that his law, and the justice of his have no being And as the no- moral government, are secured tions we receive on the subject in the redemption and final hapof astronomy would be entirely piness of his people. Instead of reversed, by renouncing the regarding the advent, death, and Copernican system for that resurrection of Christ, or the prewhich supposes the earth to be paratory dispensations of the Old the centre around which the sun Testament, as insulated facts and the stars revolve daily; so is, which are important only because

never

they were extraordinary, he ra- the former must be essentially dether views them as the progres- fective, and radically wrong. sive developement of a plan, And yet, upon closely examinformed in the divine purpose being the subject, it will be found that fore the foundation of the world, these differences, however remote, and including a series of dispen- are not suppositions formed for sations in regard to man, from the sake of argument, but facts the beginning of time till the con- naturally arising from the insummation of the mediatorial eco- fuence of different hypotheses

Thus he not only con- in the ordinary operations of *ceives it to be “a faithful say- theological enquiry and belief. ing, and worthy of all accepta- No person who has either made tion, that Jesus Christ came into the experiment himself, or been the world to save sinners;" but conversant with persons long in connection with this belief as grounded in the different systems, its natural associates, he likewise will be disposed to deny the facts perceives and maintains the rec- assumed in this argument, whattitude and benevolence of the ever he may think of its applicadivine sovereignty ; the fall of tion or force. A solitary excepman from his original perfection; tion or two, perhaps, may recur the universal degeneracy and ruin to his recollection, of persons who of our species; the insufficiency espoused opposite opinions conof human wisdom and virtue to cerning Christ, while their views

effect their recovery; the neces- on other points, usually deemed sity of divine influence to enlighten evangelical, remained for a conand renovate the soul; the doc- siderable time at least, nearly trine of justification by faith only; unanimous. But it will be readily the intercession and lordship of acknowledged as a general and Christ for the benefit of his peo- obvious fact, that the opinions ple ; together with his personal which men adopt in all the demanifestation and agency, as the partments of theology, are intijudge of all men in the solemn mately affected by their views of and universal decisions of the last the person and work of Christ, day. By the former, many of and the offices assigned bim in the these doctrines are looked upon divine economy.

If the kuowas fictions or absurdities; while ledge of Christ therefore be essenthe latter calls thein the peculiar tial to our receiving the gospel in doctrines, the distinguishing fea- its native purity, undiminished tures of evangelical religion. So and uncorrupted by human spewide is the difference between culations, to say nothing of its them, that both cannot be cor- experimental and práciical inrect; but one or the other must' Auence, it cannot be estimated be seriously mistaken. If the too highly, nor sought after with views of the former include a pro- attention more serious, or soliciper reception and discernment of tude more persevering, than its the christian faith, the latter importance justities, or its nemust be guilty of connecting with cessity requires. it the vain traditions, or vainer subtleties of men. But if the Harlow, Nov. 1822. T.P. latter derive their doctrines from the New Testainent, the creed of

[ocr errors]

Letter from the Rev. James Bass.* | very few comparatively, were

really converted during our Sa. To the Editor of the Baptist Magazine.

viour's residence on earth, I cannot cease to feel it my duty to

maintain them. DEAR SIR,

But I am surprised that the The review of “ An Address

Reviewer should have adduced on Baptism,” &c. wbich appear-the.case of the Eunuch as so deed in your Magazine for Septem- cisively against me, without nober, contains some mis-statements of my system, which you subject. I have endeavoured to

ticing what I have said on the will allow me, I doubt not, an opportunity of rectifying.

prove, and to my own mind I 1. The Reviewer says,

have satisfactorily proved, that

All inquiry into the sentiments and Philip did not sit in judgment on conduct of those who request to fession of faith amounted to no

his character, and that his conbe baptized, or any confession of faith, appears to Mr. Bass to be thing more than an acknowledg.

of an undue assumption of authori.

God; and I would ask whether ty; yet such inquisition he regards as essentially requisite to a

it is a fair inference, because

lle proposed queries which bis per and the privileges of church he finally declared his belief in per and the privileges of church baptizer answered, and because fellowship: but while the case of the divinity of Christ, that mithe Eunuch is confessedly in the nisters are from thence authoway of the former part of this rized to judge of the spiritual distinction, no case whatever is

state of those who desire the orcited in support of the latter."

dinance ot baptism, and to admit The first part of this assertion, them to, or to reject them from I freely acknowledge, contains

it, at their own discretion ? my undisguised sentiments; and while the plain language of scrip- of which I particularly complain

The mis-statement, however, ture is, I baptize you, unto re

in the passage I have quoted, is pentance;" — "Be baptized for this; that though I maintain the thé remission of sins :" — while. I read that Jerusalem and all Ju- necessity of an inquiry into the

conduct and sentiments of candidea, and all the region round dates for church fellowship, “no about Jordan, came to be bap. tized of John, and that Jesus by of it:" this must surely be an

case whatever is cited in support his disciples baptized even greater oversiglit of the reviewer's; for multitudes, and yet not a single in a note, page 62, I refer to the instance appears of any who ap

case of Saul expressly for this plied for baptism being refused; purpose : -" Saul assayed 10 join nor even of their admission to it himself to the disciples, (the being delayed :—and while also, notwithstanding such numbers church,) but was rejected; when

Ananias related on his behalf.-received this ordinance, it is a

not his baptism,-although he generally acknowledged fact that had baptized him, but bis call

* To avoid the charge of unfairness, by grace and the consistency of we insert this letter, and, without en- / bis subsequent conduct.” [A] tering into a lengthened controversy, we shall remark on those parts only in [A] If Ananias had made any statewhich the writer complains.” Ed. ment to the disciples," on behalf” of

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »