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sisting of distinct persons, but one in the most strict and literal sense ; --that this one God is as really the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as he is our God and Father ;—and that he only is the object of prayer and religious adoration. This doctrine of the unity and worship of the one God, the Father, is the foundation of all true religion, both natural and revealed, both Jewish and Christian : as Jesus said, Jolin iv. 23. The true worshippers shall. worship the Father. A departure from this doctrine is one of the greatest corruptions, not only of the doctrine of Chris, but of all true religion. In this doctrine I beseech you to stand fast, and to do all you can to spread the knowledge of it. Bear a firm testi, mony against the worship of other beings besides the one God and Fa her of all, by dec'ining to unite in it, and carry on the worship of the one and only God among yourselves, in the best man. ner you can. However feeble your eforts, if made with sincerity, God will accept them, and he can crown them with success.
2. You have been taught to renounce the absurd and unscrip. tural nosion of satisfaction for sins by the death of Christ, and to rely on the infinite mercy of God, as inade known by Jesus Christ, in the gospel, for your whole salvation. You have been led to see that God is not a wrathful, vindictive Being, whose anger must be appeased, and his justice satisfied, before he can shew mercy to sin.' ners; but that he is naturally in and of himself merciful, without any external excitement; that he delighteth in mercy, and is ever ready to forgive; that the gospel is a system, not of bought grace, but of free grace, communicated to the world by Jesus Christ. Stand fast, my brethren, in these views, which are so honourable to God, and so safe for men. If you cannot rely on the infinite love and mercy of the God of love, of the Father of all mercies, and his gracious declarations, and exceeding great and precious promises, for salva. tiou and eternal life, on what can you rely? You can no where find a being more merciful, more ready to forgive, more disposed to make you happy, than the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. You have been taught that Jesus Christ is a man anointed of God, exalted to be a Prince and a saviour, in whom the Father is pleased all fulness should dwell, even the very man whom the Jews slew and hanged on a tree, who was shut up in a tomb, and raised, from the dead; that he was made in all things like unto his brethren, lib. ii. 17.; and tlat, thongh raised to the throne of glory, and d. clared the Lord of all, he is still your elder Brother O! cherish these, pleasing and animating views of the Saviour, which shew hiin so closely comcted with you, give you such a peculiar interest in all bc bath done, in all' he is, and teach that it is possible for you to initate him, and to attain a share in the honour and glory he hath attained
4. You have been taught that man is not born a sinful creature; that according to the words of Jesus, Matt. xvii. 3. not uịconvert. ed, but converted persons resemble little children ; that you are
tot made sinful through an almost almighty malignant being in. spiring you with evil thoughts and propensities ; but that you, and all men, have become sinners by suffering your own lusts to tempt and draw you into sin, by personally transgressing. Consequently you bave to take all the guilt and shame of your sins entirely to yourselves, and must, on due reflection, feel an awful sense of your accountability to God for all the moral evil that is found in you.
5. You have been convinced, that without repentance you can. not be saved, but must unavoidably perish ; and that you no further repent than you forsake your sins; that repentance consists, not in having yonr feelings violently agitated, in what some men call being shaken over hell, &c.; but in such a sorrow for sin as produces amendment of life, in ceasing to do evil and learning to do well. See that you daily reduce these views to practice. Examine yourselves; consider your ways; depart from whatever you find contrary to the will of God, either in your spirit or conduct;' seek for an increase of purity both in heart and life. Remember you can no further enjoy peace than
obtain deliverance from sin. Build not on frames and feelings; hope not to be saved for your opinions; but always keep in mind that holiness is essential to happiness,
6. Remember that faith in Christ, the necessity of which you have been taught, consists not in notions about his person, nor in ą reliance on his merits, nor in a mere persuasion that he died for you, nor in certain rapturous feelings, but in the steady belief of what he taught, as coming from God, and being of divine authority; not in a cold-hearted assent to the truth of his doctrines, but in such a hearty teception of the gospel as fixes our faith and hope in God, 1 Peter 1. 21. and produces obedience to the truth believed. Seck to in. érease in this faith. Obey the truth so far as you understand it. Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ. You know that faith without works is dead, and that it can only be made perfect by works. If, with the ideas you have received, you live in disobedience to the gospel, you will shew yourselves of all men the most inconsistent, and be the most self-condemned. O! tremble at the thought of allowing yourselves in the practice of any known sin, or in the omission of any known duty.
7. Remember you are called to walk as Christ also walked, to let the same mind be in you which was also in him ; to conform yourselves to his example; to imitate his humility, meekness, gentle. ness, peaceable and forgiving temper; to be like him in piety, resig. nation, patience, and submission to the will of God; to love one another as he hath loved you ; to be tender-hearted, compassionate and kind, as he was ; 'to resist evil, and obey, God as he did ; to imi. tate his purity, holiness, goodness, and love; to love, forgive, and pray for your enemies as he did for his. In all these things you are called to be like Christ, and with your views of his person, as one made in all things like unto his brethren, you must feel it practicable to attain his likeness in all these respects : and let me remind you that your own happiness, and the success of the cause of truth among you, much depend on your conformity to his example.
8. You have been taught that life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel; that eternal life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Consequently the gospel must appear to yon of the highest possible importànce; it is the only ground on which you can have an assured hope of a future life, on which you can look for immortality and glory. How strictly, then, ought you to adhere to the gospel ! how zealous ought you to be for its truth and success! how diligent in seeking to be grounded in its real facts and genuine doctrines ! Acquit yourselves like candidates for eternal life. Live like those who, by patient continuance in well-doing, are waiting for glory, honour, and immortality. Guard against an inordinate attachment to earthly things ; against a worldly spirit ; against the influence of sensual gratification ;, and give diligence, that you may be found in the day of the Lord Jesus in peace, without spot, and blameless.
9. Let me exhort you to keep your minds open to conviction ; to be very diligent in your inquiries after truth. You have not yet discovered the whole of truth, nor, perhaps, detected all your er. rors.
Go on, my brethren, and you will grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Bear with each other's weaknesses and mistakes, and love as brethren. Treat all your fel. low. Christians, however much they may differ from you, with candour and affection. Look well to your spirit and conduct in every respect. Remember, if you manifest a bad spirit, you cannot excuse yourselves by saying it is the fault of your nature; if you indulge unlovely tempers, you cannot consistently say it is the devil who stirs them up
you live in sin, you cannot comfort your. selves with the delusive notion, that another was punished in your stead, and that you are covered with his righteousness.
10. Though you have renounced the tremendous and God-dis. honouring notion of eternal torments, and entertain the pleasing hope, that, sooner or later, God will make all his rational creatures happy; yet you believe that the wicked will be punished according to their works, and that none will be happy until they become holy: and as your views of the restoration lead you to think that God acts from love, in every part of his conduct towards his creatures, this should teach you to act from a principle of love, in every part of yonr conduct, towards all men. May love increase anu abound among you !
Finally, brethren, farewell; may the blessing of our heavenly Father be upon you all!
I remain your willing servant in the glorious gospel of the blessed God..
MR. BELSHAM'S STRICTURIS UPON MR. B. CARPENTER'S
DEFENCE OF ARIANISM IN HIS LECTURES.
LETTER IV. To the Editor of the Monthly Repository. Sur, The title of my friend's third Lecture is, “ On the Boundaries of Human Knowledge, Materialisin, Necessity,” &c. I have perused this Lecture repeatedly, with a considerable degree of attention, but I confess that I am completely at a loss to understand the worthy author's meaning in the farrago of topics, theological, moral, metaphysical, philosophical, and political, which he has crowded into a very narrow compass. One thing, however, is very clear, my friend is a decided enemy to metaphysics. If I understand him right, he means to represent this science as beyond the limits of the human faculties; and to stigmatize all inquiries into it as “ dangerous and hurtful," p. 51. It is true, that my worthy friend delivers a very decided opinion upon some points which have been the topics of controversy amongst learned and inquisitive men; but this does not at all militate against the position, that these topics are beyond the sphere of the human intellect; for he has had the goodness to inform us, that the system which he advocates is divinely inspired *; and most assuredly he would never have arrived at his conclusions by the deductions of reason. · Metaphysics t, Sir, is a hard word; it is a word which few understand, and, unfortunately, it has of late fallen into disre
* See p. 64. “ If this system (that is, the doctrine of necessity) be true, we deceive ourselves, and more than this, we are deceived by our Maker." And again, p. 65, “ Happily for mankind it will never prevail to any great extent ; for the Creator of man has written a law on his heart, which will always oppose and rise superior to these metaphysical speculations." With equal propriety the bizotted Papists denounced the Copernican system as heresy, because it was contrary to the appearances of nature, and to the word of God. In this way superficial spectators of the phænomena, both of the natural and moral world, will always argue against more accurate observers ; and will always gain credit with superficial judges. The solemn assertion of a balfled di putant, that to controvert his system is to oppose the Almighty, is a staie artiáce, which may sometimes overawe a feeble and a timid mind, but it can produce no effect upon an upright and resolute inquirer after truch.
+ To make ugliness still more ugly, my worthy friend has permitted his printer to mis-spell the word, and to give his readers, almost through the whole Essay, the barbarous terms metapbi:i's and metapbisical, instead oi' the proper expressions, metaphysics and metaphysal.
pute. It has become a sort of watch-word of a party ; a razehead-and-bloody-bones, the very sound of which is to striko terror into the ignorant and unthinking. In the hands of an adept it will perform wonders. If a doctrine which cannot be disproved is to be hunted down, call it metaphysics, and every body will think of it with horror. If a train of reasoning is irresistibly cogent, if an objection to some popular system is unanswerable, brand it as metaphysical, and you may, without a blush, acknowledge that you cannot reply to it, for nobody will think it deserving of attention. In short, metaphysics is a term of as much use in theology and morals as “ Jacobin” and “ No Popery” are in politics; it secures an easy and decisive victory, and saves a polemic abundance of trouble in analysing arguments, confuting objections, and collecting proofs.
My friend says, p. 59, “ Perhaps the study of metaphysics is the principal cause of that scepticism which has prevailed amongst the studious,” I say, perhaps not, and as he offers no reasons in support of his conjecture, my perhaps may possibly be allowed to go as far as his; and, at any rate, it is more charitable. And what is there in metaphysics that should lead to infidelity? Metaphysics is the sublime science of the human mind, and I, for one, see nothing in the curious and wonderful phænomena of the intellectual and active powers which does not tend to excite the most exalted and adoring sentiments of their omnipotent Author, which does not stamp an infinite value upon the discoveries of divine revelation, and which does not impart a cogency to its evidence, which, to the philosophical observer, appears little short of mathematical demonstration. And what facts are there to support my friend's, I am constrained to call it, uncandid insinuation? Locke was ä metaphysician ; Clarke and Berkeley were metaphysicians ; Hartley was a metaphysician; Jonathan Edwards was a metaphysician ; Price and 'Priestley were inetaphysicians. These were men of the highest rank for talents and for virtue ; the pride and ornament of the age in which they lived ; and they were all firm friends and able advocates of the Christian revelation. It might have been thought that these illustrious and venerable names would have protected the science, in which they delighted and excelled, from the charge of absurdity, or of a tendency to scepticism. And surely my friend is, a better logician than to argue, that because some metaphysicians are unbelievers, therefore metaphysics leads to scepticism.