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order, and provide an organ as magnificent and curious as it is useful and important! But it will be of little atail, O Reader! to be possessed of natural sight, and to be capable of diecerning the beauties of nature, if the eye of thy mind receives pot the light of divine truth, or receives it in so imperfect a way, that its image is neither formed on thy heart, nor reflected in thy life!
The beauties of nature have been in vain explored and admired ; if the wonders of grace bave been neglecied, you have lived in vain. There is a far nobler object for your contemplation! It is He who is called The Life of the world, and the Light of men !
The Saviour's come, by ancient bards foretold !
T. P. B.
THE DENIAL OF CHRIST'S DIVINITY.
FORMERLY we considered the necessity of the divine dignity of Jesus to the success of his underlaking. We now would attend to some of the few consequences of the
denial of this doctrine, and which attach to that system which rejects it.
The denial of the divinity of the Saviour tends to produce, as its native fruit, the greatest indifference both to principle and practice. If a merely buman substitute and Saviour was all that was necessary, what can we suppose, but that all are in tolerably favourable circumstances, and involved in no material or alarming danger? Hence, we find Socinians speaking of the heathen, in all their superstition and idolatries, as only taking different ways of recommending themselves to their common parent, who may be equally well pleased with them all. When the doctrine of Jestis's Deity, which is so clearly and strikingly made known in the Scripture, is explained away as figurative, and metaphorical allusion or embellishment, or hyperbolical description, because not suited to the opinions or inclinations of Socinians, on the same principle, every doctrine that does not quadrate witér the pride, the presumption, or the propensities of ungodly men, may be explained away or rejected. The very system leads to absolute indifference about religious principles : hence they palliate and excuse the grossest errror, and even treat Divine Reo velation with very little ceremony when it will not bend to their wishes. Hence Dr. Priestley conceives the apostles to have often reasoned inconclusively, and Moses to have written lame accounts. It were surely better for these men to throw off the mask at once, than to be amusing themselves with the name of Christians, while, in fact, they are shaking hands with Deists as brethren, and becoming pioneers to those hosts that defy the armits of the living God! But this system is as much calculated to promote and foster licentiouness of conduct, as to produce an indifference of principle. If a created arm was sufficient to effect their deliver, ance, surely sin against God must be but a trivial failure, -a trifling fault, or a mere frailty. If we view it in this light, shall we fear to indulge in it? Shall we hate it with a perfect hatred ? or, suppose ourselves very criminal in committing it? The system is calculated to drive every sech apprehension from our minds. We cannot love that Saviour much who did and could do us so little benefit; and we cannot have much reverence or respect for the character of God, who made so much ado, - uttering threatenings, instituting penalties, and demanding a satisfaction for what appears so venial and trifling. All reverence and respect for the character of Jesus is almost lost in this system : hence, we hear Dr. Priestley spraking of him as fallible or peccable like Moses, or like any of the Prophets. That system which produces the rank weeds of imınorality, cannot be divine in its origin, nor heavenly in its tendency. This is in effect, though not in words, acknowledged by some of its abettors. Mrs. Barbauld styles Socinianism the frigid zone of Christianity;' and says, that speculative persons will always be the first, and serious Christians the last, to embrace a rational system of faith, or Socinianism, so called by it friends.
We observe further, that from what we formerly stated of the doctrine of Jesus's divinity, the Socinian syatem, which denies it, contradicts the testimony of the faithful and true witness, and is a virtual rejection of it. Does not Jesus testify that he is the true God? Does he not say, I and my Father are one?' Did he give the least hint that the Jews mistook his meaning, when they said that he blasphemed in calling himself the Son of God, making himself equal with God? Or did he rclinquish his claims and pretensions, when they said he blasphemed, by pretending to forgive sins, which none could do but God? Did he not make good his caim, by restoring the lame to soundness and strength? Did he not refer the objectors among the Jews to the works he performed, as a proof of his being eqnal with God? And to shew that he viewed himself as truly God, he claims the same worship as the Father, and gives his disciples to understand that their applications to his Father must be through him, and he would bestow on them what they needed. If ye sball ask any thing in my name, I will do it. All this is quite inexplicable on the Socinian hypothesis, that Jesus is å mere man, fallible and peccable like Moses, or any of the Prophets. But admitting his own claim, that he is God, all is plain, and natural, and consistent. The Socinian systers then contradicts the testimony of the faithful anil true witness, and in effect is a rejection of the whole of Revelation ; for it is absurd to deny one of its principal articles, and yet pretend to admit any part of it. Socinianism, then, instead of being complimented with the name of Christianity, is nothing else than an ill-adjusted system of Deism.
We observe again, as another consequence of the denial of Jesus's divinity, and which attaches itself, with all its weight, to Socinianism, is, that it leaves the soul involved in all its guilt, and exposed to all the horrors of the second death. Our guilt is infinite, and therefore far too ponderous a burden for any created agent to bear. But Socinians view Jesus as a mere man; they therefore, like the Jews, have to look for another, for be who is revealed to us in the Scriptures, according to tbeir views of him, must be utterly unable to become responsible for them. Infinite wrath stands against us. A creature, as the Socinian deliverer is, would sink under it, and, perishing in the attempt himself, leave us involved in ruin. No deliverance can be effected for us on the Socinian hypothesis :---no; but all the wrath due to men for sin, remains still upon them. How absurd and destructive their Botions, which lead them to reject à Saviour every way able to save to the uttermost, and put their trust in one who is utterly inadequate to deliver them at all! Consider then, if infinite guilt be your verdict, and infinite punishment be your desert, a finite Being cannot save you ; and you are yet involved in the awful punishment, in all its magnitude and horrors. Weigh these Things seriously; let the terrors of the Lord influence you, and his own word direct you, - they are meant for your good, with the most tender desire for your eternal welfare. Falkland.
ON MINISTERS' SALARIES. MR. Editor,
I HAVE seen, at different times, a page or two of your valuable Magazine occupied in laying before the Religious Pub, lic an account of the inadequate provision which many congregations make for their ministers; and arguments used to draw the attention of the friends of genuine religion to the subject, and to stimulate them to exert themselves to render those who minister to them in 'holy things, in some degree comfortable. But, after waiting from year to year, in expectation that some plan would be devised to remedy the evil, and remove all just ground of complaint, I have neither seen nor heard, although my acquaintance with the Protestant Dissenters, called Orthodox, is pretty extensive, that any thing has buen done to ameliorate the condition of those who have too much reason to complain.
Is it not shameful, does it not argue a want of all due consideration, that not a few dissenting congregations can raise as much at one collection, for certain objects, as they raise for their minister in the whole year? Is there not something in this like detestable pride, and vain-glory, — well knowing that their liberality will be exhibited to the view of all who read certain Publications? I have frequently been grieved to hear persons, who
should know better, say, “Ministers are only entitled to a bare competence, -a mere subsistence. But why, I ask, with a degree of indignation, why, are they entitled only to a mere subsistence? Are they worse members of civil society than other men ? This, sarely, will not be affirmed, except by the inveterate enemies of the cross, who, like Haman, say, It is not for the king's profit to suffer them to live. Are they worse members of religious society than all others? This, no man, in his sober senses, will dare to avow. Why then, I ask again, have they a right only to a mere subsistence? From what premises do per. soos who talk in this manner draw their conclusions ? Not from the Mosaic Dispensation; because, under that, a suitable provision was made for the priesthood. Not from the gospel ; because the Apostle argues from the provision made for the ministers of religion under the Law, to what ought to be done under the gospel. Not from the principles of common equity and justice, which, with Scripture, say, that “the” industrious “ labourer is worthy of his hire.”
his hire.” It is evident, then, that the premises from which they infer, that ministers are entitled only to a mere subsistence, exist nowhere but in gross ignorance, or in, what is worse, base ingratitude, and want of affection for their spiritual guides.
Many congregations, when told they should be more liberal to their ministers, reply, We are a poor people!' - and well they may be, who are guilty of such flagrant injustice to their ministers. How can they expect to prosper in their temporal concerns, who make no suitable provision for their pastor and his family? Have they not too much reason to fear being cursed in their basket and in their store, while they are so wofully neglectful of their ministers? Let any one go over the whole nation, and he will find those congregations in the most flourishing circumstances, in their secular affairs, who support their ministers in a decent and comfortable manner.
Congregations are very apt to put ministers in remembrance, that they are only the servants of the church. Be it so. Then their own account of the matter furnishes, what logicians call argumentum ad hominem. Does not every one know, that the law will oblige a master, who hires a servant into his family, to find him suitable and sufficient provision ? But some may ask, ? What does the writer deem sufficient ?' To this I return no answer, Circumstances must determine how much is necessary. But is there not, in every congregation, a person to be found of good common understanding,who knows what is required to cover the expense of a decent, but frugal mode of living ? This cannot be doubted. Let him step forward, and tell the rest what ought to be done. Or, let some solid reason be assigned why a minister of the gospel skould sit down to a worse dinner, or wear a worse coat, than his hearers, in modcrate circumstances. I know but of one that can be assigned ; and that is, often he has it not in bis power. But why has he it not in his power? Because, say many, he is en
titled only to a bare competence, a mere subsistence. – A mere subsistence! "Tell it not in Gath.' Is now the way in which many Protestant Dissenters treat their ministers, cspecially those called Orthodox, an eternal disgrace to them? Methinks, I hear some as they read, exclaiming, - a Libel! -- a. Libel! - Be not alarmed; no libel, but a true statement of lamentable facts.
Should any think that I am an interested individual, -a minister, whose people do not provide for my temporal wants, they are greatly mistaken. I have neither church nor congregation; and, consequently, not the least dependence on any : but, as it is a business in which ministers themselves cannot appear with a good grace, it is high time that the Laity should take it ur. Pray, what encouragement is there for young men of real Teligion and talents to enter into the Christian ministry, how. ever well disposed to it, when they see so many godly ministers and their families struggling with deep poverty, and almost in a state of starvation? I hope the observation, which has oftea been made by persons of a mean, covetous, and avaricious mind, is become stale, and ceases to influence the minds of those who love the gospel; viz. That ministers should be kept humble and poor, for then they proach hest. This is just as sound reason. ing as to say, that a minister is in the best frame for the calm investigation of divine subjects, and the discharge of all ministerial, Christian, and relative duties, when his miod is tormented with painful apprehensions of being involved in debt, and of becoming a disgrace to his profession! Who can believe this?
Should any ask, What plan would the writer wish us to adopt to remcdy the evil of which he complains ? - I know of none superior to that which has long been acted upon in the late Mr. Wesley's societies. Let him who earns but twelve or fourteen shillings per week, lay by one penny per week; and let a person of approved fidelity be chosen, into whose hands it shall be deposited, to be produced on the quarter-day. Let him who earns between twenty and thirty shillings, dedicate twopence to 1he support of his minister ; and let people of some property contribute in proportion. Upon this plan, I am bold to say, a sum sufficient 10 render the minister comfortable will be raised. It needs only to be reduced to practice, to prove its propriety and atilly. Some, perhaps, will say, "The man who earns but twelve or fourtern shillings per week, has more need of having a -penny given to him, than one to be taken from him. Granted: but the question is, Would he live obe degree worse through the werk, for having devoted one penny to the purpose specified? I ảnswer, No.
I shall wait a reasonable time, to hear whether what I have written bave any good effect upon the professed disciples of Christ. If it have not, they shall hear from me again through the same medium, if admissible, or the most popular newspapers in the kingdom, as I am determined to persevere till the object in view be obtained.