Imágenes de páginas

thereby excused from paying make them love to harp upon their tithes, for the support of this string. I have not been the Levites, and so robbed God much in insisting on this duty of his due: but got nothing by in my own pulpit, where it it, for God cursed them with would especially concern my a curse; they made that scarcity own temporal interest, and and want the excuse for their blessed be God, that I have. backwardness to support God's had no more occasion. But ministers, which was its pu- whatever any judge of the senishment, and God tells them crets of my heart, with regard by the prophet, that if they to the principles by which I would cheerfully do their duty, have been influenced, in what in that respect, it would be a I have now said; it is enough sure way to have their wants for you, to whom I have spoken, plentifully supplied. Mal. iii. that I have demonstrated what 1-9. “ Ye are cursed with a I have delivered to be the mind curse, for ye have robbed me, of God; and also, if there be even this whole nation. Bring any truth in his word, that.what ye all the tithes into the store- I have recommended is not only house, that there may be meat for the temporal interest of in my house, and prove me now your minister, but also for your herewith, saith the Lord of own interest, both temporal and hosts, if I will not open you spiritual. the windows of heaven, and Another article of advice that pour you out a blessing that I would now give you, is, to there shall not be room enough beware that you do not weaken to receive it.” What can God your minister's hands,and wound say more to encourage a peo- yourselves, by contention. You ple cheerfully to run the ven- are but a small people, and you ture of expending what is ne- will be a very foolish people, cessary, for the comfortable and indeed, if you are divided against honourable support of the mi- yourselves. Contention among nistry?

a people hinders all sort of And here let me warn you, comfort and prosperity, either in particular, that you do not of soul or body; it makes only do pretty well by your them a torment to themselves minister, for a while, at first, and to one another; it puts while the relation between you them every way under disadvanand him is a new thing, and tages, and weakens the whole then, afterwards, when your mi- body, like a consumption. nister's necessities are increased, There are two sorts of conbegin to fail, as it too frequently tention, against which I would happens.

warn you. Some may be ready to say, (1.) Avoid contention among It is no wonder ministers should yourselves about your own tembe forward to urge such a duty poral affairs.

This will exas this, wherein their temporal ceedingly tend to render a miinteresi is so much concern- nister's labours ineffectual; and ed; a covetous disposition will is what greatly damps the spirit


2 P

and discourages the heart of a be unkind and unfriendly to. minister, to see his people di- wards their own ministers, and vided into parties, and envying to make difficulties for them. one another, and entertaining But I do not believe there is mutual prejudices, jealousies, a true christian upon earth that and grudges, and so backbiting is of this character; on the and reproaching one another, contrary, the feet of them that and carrying on secret plots bring good tidings, and publish and designs against one ano- the gospel of salvation, are ther.

beautiful in the eyes of the (2.) Avoid quarrelling with true children of Zion; and every your minister in matters of one that receives Christ, and church discipline. This is a whose heart is governed by a common thing, but a most un- supreme love to him, has a dischristian thing, which tends position to receive, love, and greatly to weaken the hands of honour his messengers. It was à minister in the whole of his the distinguishing mark by work, and to render all to no which God manifested the perpurpose. The exercise of the son he had chosen to be the discipline of God's house is the wife of Isaac, that type of most difficult part of that great Christ, that it was the damsel work which a minister has to that should give the kind and do, and it becomes a christian friendly entertainment to Abrapeople, to their utmost, to ham's servant, or steward, who strengthen their minister's hands was sent to espouse her, and in this difficult business; and to bring her home to Isaac, and say, as the people said to Ezra who therein was a type of the the priest, with respect to the gospel ministry. See to it, that affair of purging the church of you thus entertain the steward Israel from the scandal of those of the house of God, who that had married strange wives, comes on this blessed errand Ezra, X. 4. “ Arise; for this to you. matter belongeth to thee; we


minister thus also will be with thee: be of live in peace, it will be the way good courage, and do it.”

for you to be a happy society; ; To conclude, if you would to flourish and prosper with have your minister successful all manner of prosperity; to among you, and a blessing to have Christ dwelling among you; and if you would be a you; and for things to be happy people, then love one brought to so blessed an event another, and love your minister. at last, as that he who is the There are some professors in great Shepherd of the sheep, some of our towns, that are who purchased the souls of antiministerial men; they seemmen with his blood; and your to have a disposition to dislike pastor, who has the care of men of that order; they are your souls committed to him; apt to be prejudiced against and yourselves, and your chilthem; to be suspicious of them, dren, should all rejoice toand to talk against them; to gether in another world, agree

If you



ably to John, iv. 36. “And he ordinary means, and, to accomthat reapeth receiveth wages, plish this, should raise up a and gathereth fruit unto life succession of inspired writers, eternal: that both he that sow- supposes that ordinary means eth, and he that reapeth, may are insufficient. And any sysrejoice together.”

tem which teaches that the knowledge of salvation is attainable by the strength of rea

son, or the dictates of nature, ALLIANCE OF INFIDELITY is hostile to the necessity of

But, my

dear friend, socinianism, to which SOCINIANISM.

you lean, looks very coldly on

the great principles, on which My Dear Friend,

the necessity of a revelation The subject of your last let from heaven must rest. ter has much occupied my mind. 1. She denies human depra, You avow your unqualified be-vity. She does not credit, that lief of revelation, and express all men are born children of your decided opposition to in- wrath, dead in sins, and alienfidel principles, but unite with ated from the life of God, from both a declaration of partiality their ignorance. No, in her to what

you call. unitarian sen- creed, men have suffered little timents. You are much con- from the fall of Adam, and are versant with the deistical con- able to keep themselves from troversy, and have perused the wilful transgression, and to perbest writers on it, in the Eng- form the duties, to God and lish and German languages. It man, enjoined in the divine law. surprises me, that my friend, Men are such as God has made who is so acute and penetrating, them, and are criminal in his has not observed the proximity sight, only when they comply of socinian and deistical views. with appetites, which ought to This proximity must surely have be rejected, and with examples escaped your notice, or you which ought to be shunned.-would have embraced your pre- If such be the condition of husent sentiments with greater man nature, the Bible may be caution. My regard for your useful, but cannot be necessary welfare,-my desire to draw you to our eternal interests. Pause, from the whirlpool of error into my dear sir, and consider whewhich I believe you have fallen, ther the whole frame of chriscompels me to perform an un- tianity does not involve the hupleasing task, in stating the miliating fact, that men have alliance of infidelity and soci- destroyed themselves, so that, nianism, in several momentuous without regeneration by the particulars

Spirit, and justification by the I. Socinianism undermines faith of Christ, none

can be the necessity of revelation. saved. That the all-wise God should 2. Socinianism allows the impart his will to us by extra- sufficiency of natural religion


to lead men to the enjoymented to point out, with all huof the divine favour. I grant mility, some trifling errors into, you that nature and providence which reason, from the imdo reveal, to every creature, perfections inseparable from the power and godhead of their all created things, has inadverAuthor. And the work of tently fallen. Beware, dear God's law is so deeply written sir, of mounting the seat of on every heart, that all men judgment to correct the inacknow, or may know, the essen- curacies of revelation by the intial differences of moral good fallible dictates of reason! and evil. If the character of 2. Socinianism weakens the Supreme, and the rule of part of the evidence on which duty, were not thus unequivo- the truth of christianity is built. cally made known to them, men As you are a decided enemy. could not be accountable to to infidelity, I expect you to their Maker, nor the subjects examine what I advance on of retribution in another world. this charge with great severity. But if men by nature, can fol- It shall be stated to you in all low the light which shines in the simplicity of friendship. God's works, and can fulfil the 1. According to evangelical law written on their hearts, so writers, judaism and chrisas to please their Governor and tianity make constituent parts Judge, the atonement and Spi- of one system. The altar, the rit of Jesus Christ may be dis- sacrifice, the priest, the temple, pensed with, and that book the incense, under the law, which reveals them, may be were shadows of the priesthood unknown with perfect safety. of the true Messiah. They

3. Socinianism exalts reason were shadows of a substance even above revelation. Is it to be found in the sufferings and not so when she employs reason mediation of God's Son. Now, not merely to examine the evi-socinianism, by denying the dences of revelation, and to atonement and intercession of ascertain what tenets are there Christ, sets aside the corresdisclosed, which are legitimate pondence between the cereand commendable exercises, monial law and the work of the but even to judge of the truths Redeemer; removes the truth discovered in the scriptures of the figure, the original of the Yes, socinianism erects a tri- prophetic profile, the substance bunal for reason, to which all of the jewish shadows.She the truths of God's word are destroys the grand uniting links summoned, and their claims on of that chain which binds toour belief are canvassed and gether the Old and New Tesdecided. Reason, then, is our tament churches. chief guide, and the inspired 2. The miracles of Christ volume is a handmaid design and his apostles are another

They can, if they will; but their depravity consists in such a radical love of sin, and hatred of God, as Divine Agency alone can cure.

evidence of their inspiration. Remove this, and the seriptures One class of these miracles is fall to a level with the composithe expulsion of demons from tions of pious and intelligent the bodies of men. You need men; of their superiority to all not be informed, my dear sir, other writings, in the decisions that some leading socinians have of truth and duty. Let a man's adopted such sentiments re- faith in the inspiration of the specting demoniacs as are, at sacred volume be shaken, and least, hard to be reconciled with he is launched into a boundless the plain language of the New ocean of conjecture. Testament. Is not our Lord Some writers admit a partial, introduced, in the gospels, as and explode a plenary inspira

addressed by these depraved tion; the thoughts were sugspirits, who tremble before him, gested by the Spirit; the landeprecate his wrath, and sub-guage was the offspring of mit without an attempt to re- mere human intellect and taste. sist the decisions of his power." Others contend that the facts, When this apostle, John, gives and the leading doctrines, were an epitome of his Master's un- communicated by the divine dertaking, is not this his style - Spirit, but that the minor parts, “ the Son of God was mani- the reasonings, the deductions, fested to destroy the works of the exhortations, were mingled the devil.” Infidels laugh at with the imperfections of their the devil and hell, and demo-authors. By the aid of a criniacs, modern illuminati, look tical apparatus, they often exdown with contempt on the communicate a stubborn text, ignorance and fanaticism of a or paragraph, or chapter, which Jewish Carpenter, who cast out cannot be melted down in their demons from the bodies of his theological crucible. If such countrymen. They place the things be so, how shall plain narrations of the evangelists, on illiterate men separate the unthis topic, upon a level with inspired from the inspired parts popular tales of fairies, and of the scriptures; the mind of witches, and apparitions--be- God, from the blunders of his ware, sir, of the scorner's chair! penmen? Some modern critics and socinians should seriously have done more service to the consider, whether, by their pride and sophistry of infidelity, forced comments on the evan- than can be expressed in modegelists, they do not expose them- rate terms of disapprobation. selves to the sneer of the deist, Socinianism injures the mafor impenetrable obscurity, or jesty of revelation in another popular error.

way. It admits christianity as III. Socinianism attacks the a whole, and explains away very life and soul of revelation. every part in detail. The unity If the scriptures be a revela-' of the Godhead is credited; tion from heaven, and be the the Trinity rejected: the divistandard of faith and practice, nity of the Redeemer denied ; inspiration must, necessarily, his humanity defended: the be the basis of this authority righteousness is separated from



« AnteriorContinuar »