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me of all things ? To what are well beings at the head of the unirerse,
cribe the existence of things and God and fate, than which nothing can ats? Is it to be ascribed to the de- be more contradictory and absurd.
of God ? Or is fate their cause ? || At best, such an idea is a partial fataliust be one or the other of these; ity, which has no perceivable prefer
n10 third efficient is conceivable orence to that which is total. !sible. They who believe the doc- If the above reasoning be just, then ; e of decrees, have no hesitancy in we may easily see the great advantaEvering, that the decrees of God are ges which the Calvinistic doctrine of
primary cause of all things; and universal decrees has over the Armi
their efficiency pervades the uni- nian denial. Calvinists have a God at se, giving existence, form and issue the head of the universe, an intelligent, all beings, and to whatsoever comes wise and holy Being, who has estabpass. But to what cause will the lished a perfect plan of operation, and
liers of divine decrees ascribe the is conducting all things by his proving of events and things? They can-dence according to design; or as an
ascribe it to God, or to his decrees, apostle of Jesus Christ expresses it,
hich it is grounded be not true, then leads to a denial of the divine govern-
(Mass. Miss. Mag.
, then those things which are not find several attempts to surmount the
alluded to, are treated with ingenuity ; || greater before a less good; and that and without wishing to detract from the apostle, under such an influence, the merit of either of them, I would chose to give up his own salvation, as request leave to suggest the result of an individual, for the sake of the sal some study upon the same passage, tovation of a multitude. which I was led to recur in some of This doctrine has met with many my MSS, of past years, upon read. very strenuous, and with some very ing what was published as above. If bitter opposers. From this circumthe reasoning should be thought incon- stance, however, I should never infer clusive, and the meaning of the text that the doctrine itself is ill founded. mistaken, yet some advantage may, There are other reasons, nevertheless, possibly, be derived from knowing || which I shall notice as operating a. what turns different minds have taken gainst the above construction, the conin a labour to investigate the apostle's clusiveness of which I shall submit to meaning in so interesting a text of holy every judicious and candid reader. I scripture.
F. am not, in the mean time, at all dissat“ For I could wish that myself were isfied with the idea that true christians accursed from Christ for my brethren, are ready to make all possible sacrifimy kinsmen according to the flesh." ces to the kingdom of Christ. They
These words lead us to inquire con- are willing that God should get glory cerning the apostle's exercises of mind, to himself, by means of them, in any in relation to his synagogue brethren. way which is according to his own And with respect to this particular, we good pleasure. But this may not imare encompassed with a diversity of ply any positive desire in them to be opinions, all of which, perhaps it may| made victims to the eternal wrath of be said, are immersed in a greater or God, that others may escape this so Jess degree of doubtfulness. We wish dreadful an evil. The reasons against to know what it was precisely that oc- it are the following: casioned the apostle's heaviness and 1. That such a supposition implies continual sorrow of heart, and what a known, or at least a supposed conwas the real object of that wish which || nexion between the voluntary damna.
expresses under the formality of ation of some, and the salvation of othsolemn protestation, and in terms so We are not authorised to use pungent and weighty. Some have un-means, either in prayer, or desire, conderstood his meaning to be, that he had cerning them, or in any other way, so fervent an affeetion and so earnest a wịthout some evidence that they are desire for the well being of his Jewish necessary or inay become subservient brethren, for their conversion to the to the end. If St. Paul could pray, or christian faith, that to bring about this wish, that himself might be accursed event, and be an instrument of their from Christ for his brethren, his kinssalvation, he could even consent, yeamen according to the flesh, it would desire to become himself an outcast suppose him possessed of an idea that from the kingdom of God, and lose all his submitting to the evil might, possihis interest in Christ, provided such a bly, at least open a door for their ob sacrifice might be accepted, and pavetaining the good in view. So grave a the way to the desired event. This man as he would not spend his time has been thought to be one of the es-in conceiving and uttering wishes in fa. sential offices and genuine marks of vor of palpable impossibilities; neither real benevolence, and to be necessa- | would he appear so inconsiderate as to rily involved in that charity which say, if he might be permitted, he would seeketh not her own. The advocates procure the salvation of others at the of this interpretation of the text, plead expense of his own, when it would be that a disinterested spirit, the opposite admitted, on all points, that such a of crimidal selfishness, always places a l thing is perfectly inadmissible and ab
as much propriety might a || much as eternal perdition in hell is he had been empowered to more dreadful than temporal death or
whole world from destruc- the death of the body? admitting that the greater 3. The text itself is an objection to hem are already in hell. A the opinion against which we are now never harbors nor expresses arguing. I will not deny that the transich opposes the known order lators of the passage in question have, of Providence, And what in the words as they stand in our En
is there in providence or | glish bible, given some reason to bethat one man, by foregoing lieve they understood it in the sense aulvation, may assist others in which we are now opposing. But for
theirs ? Paul, indeed, speaks the phrase, “ I could wish,” I see no hilippians about being offered authority in the original. It might cersacrifice and service of their tainly have been rendered (and I think ut it is only in reference to the more correctly) I wished, or did wish is of the present life, and these | myself accursed from Christ. But will appointed as a means of pro- any one seriously avow the opinion, salvation in the souls of others. that he did actually wish himself in than this, personal sacrifices hell for the benefit of his kinsmen acdesirable, as they cannot becording to the flesh ? I am persuaded
that none will venture upon this St. Paul loyed the Jews so ground. Again, Jat he could even be glad of an Some think that by being accursed unity to save them by relin- from Christ, the apostle meant an exng his own salvation, I know not||clusion from the christian church, and It is to be reconciled with what all the consolations of the gospel, du
laid down in the 5th chapter of ring his natural life, or while he should ame epistle: "For scarcely for a continue in the body. Had the exeous man will one die; yet per- pression been such as naturally to imnture for a good man some would|ply a willingness on his part to be put
dare to die." This exhibits the to any labor or suffering which a ministest effort of benevolence in man, ter of Christ might consistently have onsisting in a willingness to lay to encounter, in order that he might
his life in the cause of a righteous be useful to the souls of his natural on. The love of God is declared kindred, who as yet were in the gall se still greater, and to exceed any of bitterness and bond of iniquity, I g that is conceivable among men, should see nothing in it incongruous that while we were yet sinners, with the nature of things, or incomist died for us.” But if the apos- || patible with the general style of scripwas willing, and desired not mere ture language. A devoted apostle to die, but to suffer in hell forever, and a sincere christian might be very of love to Jewish sinners and infi || patient in doing and suffering to the
is, that they might be preserved utmost in the service of Christ, being om that place of torment, does he supported in them by the hope and
ot rise infinitely above the point, the consolations of the gospel ; but to Thich he himself has fixed, as the imprecate a situation in which no acvery highest of all human attainments,|cess could be had to such support, to and which the Saviour has himself fix that peace, which there is in believing, ed in the words following: “ Greater I am not prepared to consider as agreelove hath no man than this, that a man | able to the genius and spirit of a chrislay down his life for his friend.” And tian, let the reasons assumed for it be is not the love of Paul, upon the sup- what they may. I am apt to think, ition to which we now object, com-that to wish himself accursed from
above the love of Christ, as Christ, meaning by it a bereavement of that spiritual communion which is; ed the Saviour whom I now adore the effect of reconciliation, is no part and this I did not at my own motion. of the experience of a true christian, or for my own sake merely; but at the in any supposable situation in which instigation, and to subserve the cause he may be placed, He may cheer- of my nation. I abjured Christ with fully submit to as many natural, inci- blasphemous oaths and imprecations, dental evils as he sees may be benefi- | through the strong attachment I had to cial to the cause of God and true right-my own nation, and my ardent zeal to eousness; because he may be persua- support the religion, which I professec ded that nothing shall be able to sepa- | in common with the people, among ratę him from the love of God which whom I had my birth and education. is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But to || On their account, and to raise myself be separated from Christ himself is, I in their esteem, I persecuted the church apprehend, what no genuine believer of Christ and wasted it. Our adoption can acquiesce in. Again,
of this gloss or construction, will perMany have supposed that the text haps, depend on the degree of eviabout which we are speaking, should dence that can be adduced, that the be read so as to disconnect the phrase,|| terins used will apply to that opposi“I could wish that myself were ac- tion which was made to the church of cursed from Christ," from the chain of Christ by Sau! of Tarsus. Įs it true the discourse, by including it within a in fact, that he did wish himself acparenthesis, as a circumstance intro-cursed from Christ for his brethren, duced incidentally, or, by the bye, and his kinsmen according to the flesh!as intimating a reason for his peculiar with respect to this it may be obserfeelings, his tender compassion and ved that the persecutors of the chrissorrow of heart for his brethren, who tians in the first ages, required those were but the imitators and followers who had been accused of adhering of his former unbelief. I know of no to Christ and favouring his cause, material objection, that could be urg- to prove the accusation false, or to ed against this manner of solving the clear themselves from the charge, by difficulty supposed, provided it were | abjuring or blaspheming Christ. This certain, that the sacred pepman de- was the practịce of Saul of Tarsus, as signed the passage to be so read. The he confesses to king Agrippa, in presintroduction of marks not handedence of the Roman governor. down to us with the text itself, for the punished them oft in every synagogue, purpose of determining, or modifying and compelled them to blaspheme." the sense, may perhaps be thought an He probably gave an example of this unwarrantable freedom used with sa-kind of blasphemy, in his own con: cred things; and it must be allowed, duct; for he says to him, that he was that such alternatives ought to be re- before a blasphemer, and persecutor, sorted to with much circumspection and injurious.” To this blasphemy, and caution.
by which persons apostatised and sepBut there is another interpretation arated themselves from Christ and his still, which has appeared plausible in church, the apostle, most probably, althe eyes of some, viz. the following, (ludes in the following words,“ Where: that the apostle is calling up to mind fore I give you to understand, that na the Pharisaical and injurious part man speaking by the spirit of God, which he acted, when in ignorance calleth Jesus accursed.” Some were and unbelief, and opposing the cbris- anathematised, accursed from Christ, tians in the spirit of madness, and with or excluded from the church by their bigotted fury, and zeal; as if he had own act, as when one, to avoid death, said, I recollect, and it is ever on my or other of the extremes of persecu. mind, filling me with grief and remorse, tion, apostatised in the manner just how I once deprecated and blasphem. stated. Others were excluded under
66 And I
or anathema, by the sentence || day she is rational ; and is to all aphurch, when they had sinned, pearance exactly like another person. not repent of the evil they had But when she goes to bed, to sleep, Now why may we not sup- | owing to some change which this act hat Paul in the words under produces in the bodily system,her mind ration, refers to his blasphe-becomes disordered. Her will creason] reprobation of Christ, that he loses all power over her mental faculto be accursed from him, ac-ties, and her thoughts are uncontrolled. to what was required of per-Having received what is called a relifree them from the sword of|gious education, religious associations ution; and that he did this in and religious impressions have taken I for the nation in whose cause a stronger hold of her mind and pos- embarked ? Let us be ever in- || sess a more powerful influence in sve to find the truth, and never her imagination, than any other subvard to embrace it.
ject. Hence these are the subjects to
which her thoughts are directed, and n the N. Y. Commercial Advertiser. about which she is occupied in the MISS BAKER.
absence of her reason. The ideas of Fie whole city is wondering at this madmen are almost universally conular personage; many ignorantnected with those things with which le are disposed to believe that they were most, familiar, and with s divinely inspired, and there are respect to which they felt the greatest e well informed men who are stag- | concern before their madness. The d by the numerous confirmations | principles of the sect to which she beopinion seems to receive. But longs, are, in general, highly tinctured my own part, I have always sus- with entirusiasm; and it is not to be ted that this moral phenomenon, wondered at, that a baptist, who is act has been aptly called, might be customed to spend so much time in lained upon known principles; and prayer and exhortation, and in convering within a few days reflected up- | sing about Divine things, should, in it with a good deal of attention, I the moments of delirium, which these ak that I have at length hit upon a very employments have perhaps asisfactory solution of the case. sisted in producing, fancy himself inIt appears to me then, that it is no- spired; and should believe that he had ng more than an instance of period. | been sent a chosen messenger from al insanity, or a species of religious God. Nor is it strange, that under adness, returning at stated intervals, the influence of this disorder, he should id under peculiar circumstances. Its appear to possess powers of mind of gular recurrence, and the fact that which he was not before suspected, je fit always comes on in bed, are and should deliver himself in language le only difficulties in the way of this which he was not known to be acupposition. These circumstances, quainted with. owever, may be accounted for by Madmen often evince a degree of upposing the existence of some secret | sagacity, a stretch of thought, and a physical cause, analogous to others power of vivid conception, which, in which are well known. There are their sober senses, would be utterly Certain diseases in which this regular-i impossible. And they frequently hold ity of recurrence is remarkable, such || forth with a fluency of speech, and in for instance is the common fever and a strain of eloquence, which throws ague ; and there are others, such as the the most splendid efforts of the pro
asthma, which are felt only when the fessed orator far in the shade. But *** body is in a recumbent posture. Soine- the language and the thoughts of Miss
thing of this kind may be the mat- Baker, though quite beyond what ter with Miss Baker: throughout the might be expected from one of her